365 Days of Mike Patton: “Pig Latin,” Dillinger Escape Plan (2002)

I’ve had three opportunities to see Dillinger Escape Plan, a legendary mathcore metal band if there was such a thing as a legendary mathcore metal band. The first was in about 2000 when DEP was opening for Mr. Bungle. But the Atlanta show was sold out, we couldn’t find scalped tickets, and I missed it. The second came circa 2012 when the band opened for Mastadon at a club show in Austin, but I arrived too late to see DEP. Then, on its final tour and its final time coming through Austin, I was out of town. On all three occasions, I blew it.

But Patton didn’t blow his chance to work with DEP. At the time, around the turn of the century, DEP—which specialized in highly technical, extraordinarily fast metal that relied more on screaming than harmonious vocals—was in between lead singers. After the remainder of the band had recorded a handful of instrumental tracks, Patton said he’d contribute the vocals. What was born was a four-song EP called Irony Is a Dead Scene.

Turns out Patton and DEP were a pretty damn good match.

As for how the collaboration came to be, DEP guitarist Ben Weinman told Metal Sucks, via Ultimate Guitar, that the seeds of a partnership began during that Mr. Bungle tour.

“[We] just realized we were like-minded. We had a similar creative process, and it would make sense at some point to work on something together,” Weinman said. “So fast-forward to a couple of years later, we were in between singers. … I was like, ‘Hey, maybe Mike wants to sing on these.’ What we do is put out an EP in between singers and that’s how we keep relevant while we’re searching for a guy.

“And we sent Patton the songs and he said, ‘Hey if it’s something that I feel like I can do something over it makes sense, I’m down.’”

Two weeks after sending him the songs, Patton had a demo of his vocals ready. It was apparently that simple.

Here’s some behind the scenes footage of Patton recording the EP, including some snippets of “Pig Latin” and how Patton made a couple of his vocal choices.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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