Jeff Tuttle took some time to speak with us about how the The Dillinger Escape Plan’s tour with Mastodon is progressing, and also to provide some insight into his new project, Old Gods, and the importance of clean socks.
Type 3 Media: How is the tour going with Mastodon?
Jeff Tuttle: It’s going great man, it’s going really great. We’re like two weeks deep and we’ve got about two more to go, and it’s just been a really good time. Both of our bands kind of come from the same place. The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mastodon toured together years and years ago. It’s cool to come back and join forces once again. Both of our bands have been through a lot, and gone through some pretty intense metamorphoses over the years. So it’s cool to reconnect.
Type 3 Media: Are the Mastodon fans embracing your performances?
Jeff Tuttle: It’s hit or miss man. As we continue going East we see a lot more of our fans coming out. We did a bunch of dates in the Midwest where Mastodon’s style goes over well. The shows for us have been getting bigger and bigger as we continue East. From here on out it’s all East coast and Canada. So it’s going to be good man. It’s going to be a good time.
Type 3 Media: You’ve also been keeping busy with your new side project Old Gods; how did that project come together?
Jeff Tuttle: A really good friend of mine was involved in the project and they needed a singer. He asked me to join based on the fact that he wanted to have a dude in the band that he got along with really well. At this point in his whole career — you know he’s a few years older than me, so when it comes time to make music — it can be more about the friendship involved more so than the music itself. So putting this band together, it was a collective of people who all dig the same kind of music and have fun with it, and then see what happens from there. It wasn’t like “we want to revolutionize this,” it was more like a buch of dudes that hang out on a regular basis, and “we’re all musicians, so lets put something together.” Old Gods is what came out and it’s cool because every time we get together to practice, and every time we speak about what we want to do to continue to evolve — the latest thing that we want to do that we’ve been kicking around is — we’re all big into film and the next album that we’re going to come out with, that we’re working on now, we’re approaching this album as if it were a film, and we’re all taking on different film making roles. Derek [Swanson], the bass player, is a film editor by trade, so he is taking on the role of being Editor. Me, as the vocalist, I’m going to take on the role of Director. Our drummer [Tony Wolski] is an art director by trade, so he’s going to take on the art direction. And then Randall [Kupfer], the guitar player he’s got stockpiles of riffs that could fill an entire library.
Type 3 Media: You guys hit the studio a month after forming; is that the fastest you’ve ever pulled together enough songs to be able to record?
Jeff Tuttle: I think so. But also, being older dudes, evolving and doing this for so long, we know what needs to be done in the studio, and we know what not to do to waste time. I especially have been doing this for so long, I’m not trying to get in there to waste time, I’m there to work and do business. So we were very focused in the studio, very focused in the practice room, and that first EP is what came out. We are going to take a bit more time with the next record because we want to try to do something that’s never really been done before. One’s first impression of this idea that we have is to label it a concept record, but I think we want it to be a lot more than that. We want to take the concept record and take it to the next level, and have an experiment in music to what can come out.
Type 3 Media: How are finding the transition from axe-man to frontman, is it difficult?
Jeff Tuttle: A little bit. I’ve been singing in bands since I started playing in bands, but this is the first time that I’ve done it without having a guitar . So it was a little bit strange at first, but as a performer I love being onstage and I love performing in front of people. So once I got my bearings and got comfortable it really was a natural transition. My main concern is and was how can I approach being a vocalist. Especially with the punk or hardcore genre, there a million dudes out there who went out onstage. It’s been done a million times, and it’s cool, and I absolutely appreciate it. GG Allin is — I don’t want to say GG Allin is a hero of mine because the dude’s a pretty gnarly scumbag — I definitely appreciate what he did onstage. I want to keep my own interests piqued. I want to try to do something a little bit different. I’ve got the effects that I run my voice through to give the audience something a little bit different. I wanted to approach it a little bit different and maybe a listener or viewer would say “this is something I’ve never seen and it’s really cool, I’m going to check this out a little further than maybe I would have.”
Type 3 Media: What are three things you need with you to survive life on the road?
Jeff Tuttle: You’ve got to have clean socks. That’s an essential. A Tupperware bowl comes in handy, especially in Europe because they have the most amazing catering at nearly every single venue. What would my third one be… a positive mindset. How’s that?
Type 3 Media: Funny you mention socks because we just got some for friends of ours who are on tour.
Jeff Tuttle: Socks are the first thing to go, man. On tour with me, I brought twenty pairs of socks.
Type 3 Media: Any final thoughts?
Jeff Tuttle: Check out the Old Gods record, we’re really excited about it, and I’m really excited about the things to come with those guys. Check out The Dillinger Escape Plan on the Mastodon tour if you happen to live in a city we haven’t come to yet. And keep your eyes and ears open for more stuff in the future.