The Dillinger Escape Plan

Greg Puciato Opens Up On His Mental Health Issues During Final The Dillinger Escape Plan Tour, Comments On Chris Cornell’s Suicide


Former The Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato has given a revealing interview to Revolver about the band’s farewell tour which came to a close in December of last year. In addition to a decline in Puciato‘s mental health on that trek, the band also survived a serious bus accident in Poland and the death of Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell, who The Dillinger Escape Plan had been opening for around the time of his suicide.

Looking back on that final trek, Puciato commented:

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“I was not in the right mindset to be playing shows when we did the last Dillinger tour. I was having a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, hypochondria — all these weird things that I’ve never experienced before. The band was ending and then things just kept happening. I didn’t even think we were gonna get through it.”

As for the panic attacks he describes, it seems they developed after the aforementioned bus accident, as Puciato explained of the injury he sustained from that crash:

“I tore a quadriceps. See that? [Points to a bump on his leg] I’ve got a bump in my leg that’s like another kneecap. That’s my muscle torn and rolled up. I waited too long to have it fixed, because it basically needs to be sewn back to your kneecap right away. If 72 hours go by, they need to re-tear it and pull it back down.

By the time I got home from Poland, I didn’t want to have surgery right away. I was having all these anxiety attacks and I wanted to be left alone. I got home from the bus accident and was like a leaf in the wind. I got prescribed Lexapro and Xanax because of the level of panic and anxiety.”

As to finding out about Cornell taking his own life following a concert in Detroit, Puciato stated:

“We went out with Soundgarden and things were going well. Then we had like three days off in the middle of nowhere because we were switching off shows with The Pretty Reckless, so I flew home. I went straight to some bar downtown, grabbed a drink and then got a text from a buddy of mine that said, “Cornell?”

It made me think something had happened, but then I was like, “Couldn’t be — I saw that guy yesterday.” So I asked the bartender, “Did something happen to Chris Cornell?” And he goes, “Who’s that?” So I immediately felt old. [Laughs] But I looked him up on my phone and he came up dead.

I went to [L.A. nightclub] the Lash and got more wasted than I got the night of the bus accident, which was more wasted than I had gotten in a long time. I woke up the next morning and I had gotten so fucked up that I couldn’t remember if everything that had happened was real. I went downstairs and turned on MTV Classic.

Burden In My Hand” was on, so I just sat down and started crying. It was the weight of everything — the band ending, the record, plus the outlook for people with mental illness obviously being fucking terrible, seeing as how a guy who seemingly has it all had to hit eject by himself in a fucking hotel room in Detroit. I just had this feeling of like, “We need to get off this ride.” Everything felt symbolic at that point.”

Speaking further on how he felt about that, he offered:

“It’s horrible. He was an addict. He went through it, you know? But I think it’s incorrect when people say addiction is a disease. I think it’s a symptom of trying to cope with something else. Here’s this guy with a beautiful family; he has his band back together, he has a solo career on the side, he looks great, he sounds great — he went through some shit and came out on the other side.

I looked at him on that tour and thought he’d made it over the hump, you know? But then that happened and you realize nothing is as it seems, and this is gonna end poorly for all of us. We’re all gonna be miserable forever or fighting something forever until it gets the best of us. That’s what shook me — not the loss of the rest of the Soundgarden shows.”

You can find more from Puciato and his thoughts on that final tour over at Revolver. Puciato currently fronts The Black Queen, who just announced this North American tour.