Back in 2002, while still considered a smaller band at the time, The Dillinger Escape Plan were granted a major break in the form of touring with System of a Down. SOAD guitarist Daron Malakian had reached out to the band’s manager and asked if they would be part of the band’s European tour. For ex-band frontman, Greg Puciato, this was shocking news.
Speaking to being part of this System of a Down tour, via an interview with Metal Hammer, Puciato shares the following:
“We were part of this Relapse Records, grindcore scene – these bands like Coalesce, Botch. No one was really talking about it until the System thing happened. We were in the van in the United States; playing rooms to 200 people felt like a big show. If there were 70 people there, we didn’t see that as a bad show, our scale of size was there… we thought there was no way a band like ours was going to get any bigger than that.
“Anyway, we had this friend of a friend who was our manager, and he said that Daron [Malakian, guitarist] from System Of A Down had been in touch about getting us to open on this European tour starting in two weeks. We were like, ‘WHAT?!’ We asked what size rooms, and they said it was all booked as arenas, and there was a soccer stadium in Italy – big, giant places and they’re already all sold out. It was for no money, but we knew we had to do it.
“That tour changed everything for us. We never would have done Reading and Leeds, any of those big European shows, the press we got in the NME or whatever, it all came from being on that tour. When we came back, we were two or three times the size we were previously.”
That said, while this tour would end up giving the band a lot of exposure, not all of that exposure was positive. Apparently, System of a Down fans were not super pleased with The Dillinger Escape Plan. As Puciato puts it, they used such anger to “fuel” themselves. Per Puciato:
“Well, we had a defiance that came from pushing against everything. We held onto that right until the end. Even when we were doing 3,000 people in London or whatever, we still thought we were this upstart band. We still thought of ourselves as this young band saying ‘fuck you’ to everything. But on that tour, we were getting booed mercilessly; it did not seem successful at the time.
“It was only when we came back and realised that if you are usually playing to 200 people, and you then get 800 of a 5,000-strong crowd into you… that’s a huge difference for our size. Suddenly there were 600 people where there used to be 200. We realised that something had happened.
“But we were getting booed so badly that we couldn’t even hear our monitors, and that gave us this idea that everyone hated us, and we just used it as fuel. We hated the fans, the industry for holding us back, other bands for not being as good as us and not taking us on tour because they were scared of us. Everything became this thing to push against.”
In other related news, Puciato recently shared that he saw the late Chris Cornell the night before he died. Full details can be found via the link below.