Dillinger Frontman: 'Van Halen Put US on Map of Rock N' Roll'

"They were a prototype for so much in American rock," says Greg Puciato.

Ultimate Guitar

Being a member of possibly the world's most intense music act, Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato might not strike you as a "massive Van Halen fan," but it turns out that's exactly what he is. Chatting with Team Rock Radio, Greg discussed his passion for the iconic four-piece, calling Eddie and co. basically the most pioneering group in US history. "We all know all of the great British rock bands," the singer kicked off. "UK is synonymous with rock 'n' roll. Every giant British rock band is massive in America too. Whether it's the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or the Beatles, we are very aware of all that. I was talking to someone recently over here [in the UK] - they were young and they knew Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and Metallica and all that stuff, but they didn't know anything about Van Halen." Puciato continued, "That really kind of blew my mind, 'cause Van Halen was such massive, probably like the prototype for every - I really can't really think of another band before them that really put the United States on the map as far as rock 'n' roll is concerned, in a way that it spawned a bunch of stuff after them trying to kind of compete with the guitar hero thing Eddie Van Halen had or the frontman thing David Lee Roth had. "They were a prototype for so much of American rock," the vocalist concluded. Asked to play a single Van Halen tune encompassing the band's work and style, Greg singled out the popular "Panama" track. The latest Dillinger studio album, "One of Us Is the Killer," dropped on May 14 through Party Smasher Records.

Do you agree with Greg on this one - are Van Halen as crucial for US rock as he claims? Let us know in the comments.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Keep in mind this from a guitarists perspective... There have been two times that we can look at an era and say guitar playing changed practically over night. Hendrix and Van Halen. When Eruption hit the streets in February of 78, the entire guitar community stopped what they were doing and listened. Insane over driven 7 string tapped arpeggios were now out there. that's not to say he was the only guy that could do it, but at the time he was the only one putting in a song context that was very listenable to. (is that a word??) He took that playing to song form and did it well. Like him or hate him, no real guitarist can deny the huge impact EVH had on guitar playing. He is a Guitar God.
    a drummer
    maybe i read this wrong....but prettttty sure EVH never used 7 strings...
    Nope you read it just fine, you're just mistaken. its a seven string traverse not a 7 string guitar. Pretty stock actually.
    Nobody is denying his greatness, I think people are having the debate on how much contribution the band Van Halen placed on American Rock and Roll.
    Who's having the debate? There is no debate, VH set the standard, period. Aerosmith were phenomenal in their own right, but they basically took what the Brits were doing and gave it an American spin. VH didn't put a spin on anything, they created.
    Yeah but nobody told us in the UK.. like zero airplay until Jump...
    I agree, at least from a rock perspective. Charlie Christian, Andres Segovia, and Django Reinhardt changed it as much overnight in their respective genres. Anyways, DEP rules!!!
    I believe Steve Hackett was doing some incredibly song oriented and quite kistenabke tapping at the time too. Genesis was actually good then.
    I'm really surprised nobody has brought up Chuck Berry. In terms of changing how the instrument was played, and having a long term effect of the course of music (rock or not), Chuck's kind of the biggest name. I'm also surprised that both Greg in the article and almost everybody in the comments section is only thinking as far back as the 60s and 70s, and particularly in Britain. Those British musicians were heavily influenced by the Jazz and Blues guitarists, and the chord structures they used as the basis of their songs are still commonly used today. I think we could consider Hendrix the beginning of modern guitar playing, but I'm less sure about EVH's influence.
    and you are a master musician i presume?
    Hmm I don't see your point. Beatles weren't shit, but they weren't as good as people put them... They were just there commercially that's all.
    I agree, more of a Stones fan,, What I will give to the Beatles is they were breaking bounds with their recordings. they took the studio to a new level before a lot of other bands did. These guys were layers 20 - 30 guitar tracks to one song, that's very impressive for the time. I really don't care for that approach or their music, but I can completely respect what the did, and what came of it.
    I'm not a big beatles fan, but even I admit that the lot of them knew their stuff, and that it wasn't them just being there "at the right time"
    Exactly Lennon and McCartney were very talented musicians. Like I said, I really don't care for them, but I've drove down into some of their music, and for that time hell even today, its very impressive.
    Did the fish market have a sale on red herring? Because that's a pretty nice appeal to authority/accomplishment you got there.
    "I really can't really think of another band before them that really put the United States on the map as far as rock 'n' roll is concerned" You mean aside from the fact that America created it? Hell, I'm from the UK and I can argue forever that we had the Beatles, the Stones, Zeppelin, Sabbath, etc, but at the end of the day, the US had Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, etc.
    I was going to say the same thing. We also had Jimi Hendrix and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Van Halen was just the start of a new age of rock music, not the first age of rock music.
    Hell we can take this one step further, 50% of Van Halen (the Van Halen part) are from the Netherlands... They didn't move here until the early 60s.
    I mean, they're really proto-neo-classical. . . so thake that for what it is. But yeah, people seem to forget about the 40s and 50s.
    That is a pretty bold statement to say that Van Halen put U.S. rock and roll on the map. I feel like he completely skipped over decades of great rock music that American bands produced. Also lets face it British and American bands have been feeding off of each other for quite some time and by doing so they are able to produce great music.
    You children who constantly put down the Beatles need to shut up....1.)you have no clue what you are talking about as you try to rationalize your new millennium thoughts around something that occurred 50 years ago. 2.) you should also thank the Beatles for if not for them most of the music you listen to now would never had been heard because they were responsible for putting POP in its place and making way for music that is actually a listening experience .....
    Homie, the Beatles were pop, and there was an entire 2 decades of rock that made for the music you're talking about before the Beatles hit it big. . . they're alright, but overrated.
    they were nothing more than beiber fever before their 2nd album tho
    Sammy Hagar gives good interviews on Howard Stern and Adam Carolla's podcast that you can find on youtube....talks a lot about Van Halen of course. He was making more as a solo artist...hard to believe because I don't know if he was that popular at all. Just had a good manager...Van Halen had a pretty bad record deal back then.
    I guess he never heard of Aerosmith, ZZTop, or KISS...all of which were active before VH.
    never cared for Dillinger Escape Plan, but the guy is so right about how awesome Van Halen is and how great their impact was on rock music
    For a second I thought they were talking about Dillinger Four, and was really confused.
    I particularly love how David Lee Roth is the obvious influence for Dr Rockso. Just think... No Van Halen, no Dr Rockso. I love Van Halen and Metalocalypse, so no hate here, just an observation.