Greg PuciatoJesse Draxler

Greg Puciato Speaks On The Impact Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell Had On “Child Soldier: Creator Of God”, Discusses The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Possible Future


It turns out that Greg Puciato‘s (Killer Be Killed, The Black Queen, ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan) friendship with Alice In Chains vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrell had a significant impact on his solo career.

Puciato himself released his solo debut album “Child Soldier: Creator Of God” earlier this month. While he had originally been intending to release the album under the moniker of ‘Child Soldier‘—it was advice from Cantrell that swayed him not to. Puciato told Revolver of that:

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Jerry Cantrell convinced me to use my own name, which was a huge deal for me. When I started doing shit with Jerry, I thought how silly it would be if Jerry Cantrell‘s solo record was called “Chainsaw” or “Garbage Man” instead of his own name.

I felt like I needed to break out of that, but I still just couldn’t get used to the idea of using my own name. When I asked him about it, he was like, “Why wouldn’t you use your name?” It didn’t even cross his mind to do it another way, you know? And he was right. This album isn’t a collaboration. It’s me. So it was time to stop hiding.”

Puciato would go on to perform with Cantrell live last December. According to Puciato, that experience also affected the record:

“I had to put this record on hold to sing with Cantrell, which took me out of my comfort zone in a way that I never anticipated. When I got back to my record, I was in the best vocal shape I’d ever been in because for a month and a half straight, I had to do 20-song rehearsals with Jerry and his band.

It was like vocal boot camp, because Jerry will call you out if you have just one weird note. He’s a pitch-perfect singer himself, and I’ve never been in a band with someone like that. It’s a whole new level of magnification. He knows exactly what he wants, so I had to really tighten my shit up. But it made me — and my record — better.”

Asked later if he misses anything about his run with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Puciato responded:

“I don’t miss the expectation that you have to make a record and go on tour for two or three years. It’s like a time warp, dude. You make a record when you’re 30, and when you finish touring it, you’re 33. But you didn’t grow — you only played a bunch of shows.

So you end up becoming psychologically trapped at age 24 when you’re really 38 because all your life has been in this bubble with these other people who are trapped in there with you and no one’s able to grow outside of the bubble.

No matter who I meet from other bands, that’s what happens. You only grow as a person when you’re not on tour or in the studio, and that’s not that much time. You’re trying to cram all this growth into the four months you’re home, and it’s unrealistic.

You meet other people your age who have had all this life experience and all you’ve done is play ‘Panasonic Youth‘ 2,000 times. [Laughs] You have all these sick memories, but it’s a different reality. So I feel like we’ve all grown more in the last two years than we have in the previous 10.

But I do miss the intensity of the shows, when we were all in synch and we could all objectively say, ‘That was sick.’ And there weren’t that many of them that all of us would say that about. But I don’t miss being in an active band that takes up 200 percent of my life.

And I don’t miss the expectation of, ‘This is your full time thing, and everything else is a side project.’ Because right now, nothing’s a side project and nothing’s a full-time thing. So when the inevitable question comes up, ‘Would you guys ever get back together?’ the first thing I say is, ‘If you knew me, you wouldn’t ask that.'”

He continued:

“But the other answer is: If it were to happen, it would be in such a drastically different context than what a fan would be thinking of. It wouldn’t be about turning a full-time thing on and off.

At some point five or six years from now, maybe there will be room in all our lives where this thing can live and we can all be happy with where it’s living, but that time does not exist right now.

I’d never make one thing the main thing for me ever again. What’s exciting to me now is not doing the same thing over and over again. I want to see how I can grow and learn and make myself uncomfortable.”

You can read more from Puciato over at Revolver.

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