A creation merging new-school hardcore, progressive metal, and free-jazz, the furious din of The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN is the perfect embodiment of intensity, cathartic rage, urgency, and forward thinking. Given their abilities and relative youth, it's not out of the question to believe that something this intricate and focused could develop into a paradigm to be followed, a yardstick by which other bands are measured.
The force known as The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN was formed in March '97 in North New Jersey by guitarist Ben Weinman, bassist Adam Doll, and drummer Chris Pennie. Armed only with a simple desire to correct the musical misdeeds of their former bands, the trio added vocalist Dimitri Minakakis and set about writing material with the aim of pleasing their harshest critics:Themselves.
These early steps surfaced shortly thereafter in the form of a six-song self-titled mini-CD. The quartet unleashed their devastating live show regularly in basements, houses, punk spaces, record stores and tiny, underground clubs throughout the Northeast and MidWest.
The foursome added John Fulton on second guitar in the fall of '97 and recorded their now-infamous "demo" at TraxEast Studios (HATEBREED, SNAPCASE). Named Under The Running Board, the eight-minute blast of near-maddening technical complexity, flawless execution, and raw energy had fans and critics redefining the term intensity mere seconds after the opening salvo "The Mullet Burden." Rarely had something so intricate been so focused. Under..., consisting of only three songs, received rave reviews internationally and was remarkably named as one of the top releases of 1998 by numerous publications worldwide.
Tales of the band's infamous live performances continued to spread like wildfire as DILLINGER... brought their absolutely ferocious live assault to the East coast and Midwest. The touring culminated with a blistering set at the 1998 Milwaukee Metalfest that sent the message loud and clear; The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN had arrived.
Brian Benoit replaced Fulton on guitar in November of '98 and another East Coast trek followed, this time in the company of CAVE IN. The band then returned home to begin writing material for their first full-length effort for Relapse Records.
The quartet entered Trax East Studios with producer Steve Evetts early that summer to record their debut full-length. The result of the band's two plus years of labors resulted in Calculating Infinity, a genre-shattering and unprecedented amalgam of musical styles. Wildly progressive and fresh in every sense of the word, Calculating... saw the band maturing by leaps and bounds as the new material incorporated elements of jazz-fusion amidst the barely-controlled chaos.
In August '99, with Calculating... still over a month away from its release, the band was invited to open for MR.BUNGLE on the band's 45-date U.S. tour. The band rose to the challenge and dazzled audiences from coast to coast on what was to become the beginning of an 18-month worldwide tour.
Calculating Infinity was met with an incredible response from fans and critics alike. Its stunning technicality, sheer intensity, and total musical proficiency left critics slack-jawed once again as Calculating...topped numerous "Best of..." year-end polls while the band continued to amass an ever-growing legion of rabid fans.
The year 2000 saw the band criss-cross the world on four headlining tours; first the U.S. in February and once again on a massive summer tour punctuated by numerous Warped Tour dates alongside PAPA ROACH, BLINK 182, AFI, PENNYWISE, and many, many more. T