Dillinger Guitarist on Today's Metal: 'I Don't Want to Watch Dudes Masturbate, I Want Music to Convey Emotions'

"Watching somebody shred is kind of awesome for a minute, but then it's tedious and boring," Ben Weinman adds.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
18

Sharing his thoughts on the state of metal and hardcore scene in 2014, Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman described the current situation as somewhat of a "recession."

Chatting with Premier Guitar, Ben noted, "We're in a bit of a recession. The first 10 years of the millennium were fertile for intelligent, thought-provoking music from bands like Mastodon, Botch, and Converge.

"But then the copycat bands got bigger and found a way to blend that with a more commercial sound and make money off it," the guitarist continued. "Also, everybody is a well-trained guitar player - everybody can play circles around me. But what impressed me when I was young were bands that didn’t focus on schooling or theory. I liked the bands that experimented and just ripped up stuff. People have tons of chops, but no songwriting ability."

Focusing on what most of today's guitarists lack, Weiman explained, "It's all about how fast you can play, how far you can tweak your time signatures. When you've got that mindset, the rabbit hole you can fall down is very deep and very difficult to get out of.

"I don't want to watch dudes masturbate," he added. "I want music to convey emotions. Watching somebody shred is kind of awesome for a minute, but then it's tedious and boring. I've seen enough of that with young bands. It's out of control. Nuance is dying in our genre, but not in others. That's why I pay attention to the larger music world when I'm looking for something new to inspire me to write."

In related news, Ben showed just what an awesome guy he is, discussing the delicate art of farting, diarrhea and pooping your pants upside down with a little boy, making the kid chuckle like mad. It's a must-see, check it out below via Little Punk People.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Skyvalve2012
    First, he's right. We are in a recession...somewhat. There are good bands that like to just jam coming out these days, we just need to find them. And Ben, leave the poop jokes to Greg. Comment when you get the reference.
    Shredder666
    I know where this guy is coming from, but it is very possible to make extremely technical music that is still meaningful and emotional. An example of this is Dream Theater. They cycle through multiple time signatures in a song, and Petrucci's soloing is usually a full-on shred attack. Still, DT's music almost brings me to tears at times. On the flipside, if you look at artists like Yngwie Malmsteen, some would argue that he is much too technical and his music has little emotion. I respect and understand that opinion, but emotion is derived differently for every single person and you can't say what consists of "good songwriting" and you can't objectively say how "emotional" a band is playing. I do agree that a lot of heavy bands these days sound a little too processed and less free than they used to be. Some of that has to do with lack of solo work though.
    ibanez124
    I find too many times a lot of bands put in solos whether the songs call for it or not. A solo should add to the emotion or feel of the song, it shouldn't be there just to flex your guitar muscles.
    Oh_My_Goth
    Don't like their music, but he's right. I hate the fact that the traditional riff is kinda dying, while every modern band has to have tons of open low strings, chaotic fiddling and shredding to be ''talented''. All this stuff just sounds the same.
    skull_king
    Don't forget the whole "every band NEEDS more than one guitarist" thing. That seems like the new rule in the metal community (I'm familiar with metal bands with one guitarist, but there are more dual guitarist bands than anything). I mean, it's useful for lead and rhythm sections, but if a band's songs don't have them, then what's the point? Even if you play one of those bands' solos without another guitar, it will barely make a difference.
    Shaggy91
    This right here. To be fair I haven't ever listened to their music but this guy is spot on. Mastodon has been doing it right IMO, they figured it out. Edit: I too would not like to watch guys masturbate. If you're gonna play a 10 minute solo you either have to be playing freebird or you're doing it wrong.
    Downfault
    I can see his perspective, but sometimes the solo can add so much more emotion to a song and really make the music speak. That's why I love the classics like Metallica and Maiden because the solos were the emotion for me.
    suicidehummer
    Maiden and Metallica are great songwriters though, they just mix in technical skill as well. He's not talking about them.
    thebigredjj10
    People often generalize music containing shredding as having no emotion or artistic credibility. To me it's the same thing as generalizing dissonant metal/ hardcore music (the same DEP plays) as having no emotion or artistic credibility because it is so chaotic.
    kriskilgannon
    Hey, plenty of emotions are conveyed when watching a dude masturbate. Such as sadness... anger... disgust... "dude, don't do that"... that last one's an emotion right?
    Phill-Rock
    I'd even go as far as to say masturbation is an emotion itself e.g. "I feel so wank right now...".
    Josh100_3
    You could play as fast as Yngwie or dragon force but The Beatles never did and look what they made with some of the simplest chords around...
    suicidehummer
    Exactly. Pink Floyd is a perfect example of why feeling and creativity is way more important than technical skill. Malmsteen would win a speed competition, but only Gilmour could bring you to tears.