Some say the best writing descends from despair, longing, elation, love; the same old drill. But, as Liam Wilson, bassist of Dillinger Escape Plan, will tell you, the only reason to write an album is out of revenge—sweet, sweet revenge. “If someone were to show me a crystal ball years ago and say we would make our best album without our drummer, I would never have believed them,” Wilson discloses auspiciously over a pint of local brew at the pub.
It all started when Dillinger’s long-time drummer announced he would be quitting the band merely a month before recording was to start. Quitting, that is, to join another more famous, not-to-be-named-here, bigger band. Luckily, after all the mooting, choplogic, and lawyers were over with, the band decided to go on and write the album without him, taking along the intense anger that still hung heavy above their heads.
But all bad blood breeds new blood, and Wilson lights up when he talks about the new, bigger, badder, better drummer, who was hired over the phone. “He put us on speakerphone and just went to town!” Wilson says. “He was like, ‘Can you hear me okay?’ And we were like, ‘Fuck! Yeah, you got it!’” And so they recorded, armed with a new drummer and the fire of wrath in their eyes, with an intention to “trim the fat” and make the best album of their careers. The record was made in a Los Angeles studio over the course of three months, though their stay in the hotel suite (courtesy of label Relapse Records) went on far longer.
“It got to be kind of a joke, we just kept staying,” Wilson snorts. Now, safely back on the East Coast, he is plenty content to lay low until the band hits the road on a world tour to support the album. The aptly named Ire Works will be quite a surprise to their die-hard fans. “There are some almost-poppy songs,” he says, “and there’s singing, like Justin Timberlake singing.”