Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’s (Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Etc.) Lead Vocalist Is Juliette Lewis


Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc. fame called into Liquid Metal recently for a chat with Jose Mangin. During the course of the discussion [transcription via Revolver] he revealed some interesting details on the upcoming supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra and where The Dillinger Escape Plan are at with new music.

Speaking of Giraffe Tongue Orchestra—his project with Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Pete Griffin (Dethklok), Thomas Pridgen (ex-The Mars Volta) and actress/musician Juliette Lewis—it appears that Lewis is tackling the main vocal duties in the group and that they hope to have the album in stores this year:

“Well actually, there have been some personnel changes throughout the years, it’s something we’ve been working on for a long time and interestingly enough we finished all the music and we’re finalizing all the vocals now, Juliette Lewis is singing on the project right now along with some other guest people.”

“…Me and her have become pretty close friends and she’s amazing, obviously I’m a huge fan of her work as an actress and many years ago I saw her band Juliette and the Licks play and like most people I was pretty skeptical. I’m like, “Oh another actress or actor that has a band, like vanity project blah, blah, blah.” So I went into the show and I basically saw somebody that gave 110%. By the end of the show she was drenched in sweat, she was throwing herself into the crowd, and when I thought about it I saw this person putting all her energy and spirit into this music, I thought this was almost more real that most bands because she doesn’t need this.

She doesn’t need to be playing in front of 500 people on this shitty ugly club, you know? She’s a successful actress–she did a 9-minute-long acting scene with Robert DeNiro for god sakes. And here she is by choice in a grungy club with a dirty toilet just putting everything into it, so when we were thinking about singers and people to collaborate, all of a sudden I was like “You know what? I think that could be cool.” So I reached out to her and we started working together and it’s been really cool.”

Later on he mentioned that the album should be coming out under Weinman and co.’s Party Smasher Inc. label:

“Well that’s gonna be one of the first Party Smasher releases coming out soon. It’s evolved into something really interesting– now on drums we have Thomas Pridgen, who is also from the Mars Volta. We had written some stuff with Jon and actually Thomas was the original drummer and then timing ended up making it so that it made sense for him to play on it.

On bass now we actually have this guy Pete Griffin. Not the guy from ‘Family Guy,’ but the same name. He played with Zappa Plays Zappa and he played in Dethklok, he’s a badass bass player, man.”

On how the music sounds:

“It’s hard to explain, but really when you hear it it’s like “that’s totally Brent and Ben in the same band.” Me and Brent have been like yin and yang for years, he’s been one of my best friends forever, I’ve known him for so long. I remember when mastodon first started-one of the first tours they did was with Dillinger.”

“We were label mates, we’ve been best friends forever–we’ve always wanted to work together and we slowly started trading riffs throughout the years, then finally recently we got in the studio and we have a bunch of songs that are existing, we wrote a bunch of songs in the studio, and like I said, when you hear it it doesn’t sound quite like Mastodon, Dillinger or Mars Volta, but you hear all of it in there. You definitely hear all of it in there.”

On whether or not Juliette Lewis is the main singer in the project:

Juliette Lewis and we have some other people singing as well, I don’t want to get into it because there are some interesting surprises, but we’ll see.”

On where The Dillinger Escape Plan are at with their new album:

“Oh man, we got new music slamming right now. I was just working on it now, it’s brutal. The songs we’re working on right now are super heavy and just dirty, and of course there will be all the diversity people expect on a Dillinger record, but what I’m working on right now is just straight up in your face, rip your fucking head off shit, I’m really excited. I think I actually just knocked over my keyboard because I was so excited.”