Every Record I Own - Day 318: Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
For the last couple of years of Botch’s existence, our closest peers were Dillinger Escape Plan. We’d first met them when they opened the first half of the Botch + Jesuit tour in 1998, and anyone that’s curious about that adventure can read about it in more detail here. But in ‘98 Dillinger was touring on the Under The Running Board EP, and the songs that would make up their debut album had yet to be written. I would wind up hearing the songs off Calculating Infinity on a nightly basis two years later when we toured Europe together in the fall of 2000.
It was Botch’s second time to Europe and Dillinger’s first, but because they’d surpassed our popularity in the States they were headlining this tour. The arrangement worked in our favor. We were paid a flat fee of $4000 to do the tour. We kept all of our merch money and didn’t have to pay for anything, not even the bus we shared. Ultimately, the ticket sales weren’t high enough to justify the nightliner, and in the end I think we were the only people making money on the trip.
Touring in a bus isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nineteen people were on board. A flu swept through the ranks and only me and the roadie for the opening band Shora somehow avoided getting sick. We drove all night and woke up in the parking lot of whatever venue we were playing that day. Between jet lag, the uncomfortable bunks, people staying up late partying, and the general issues with sleeping in a moving vehicle, I did most of my sleeping between dawn and load-in. Most of my memories of the tour involve sitting in one of the bus lounges listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor, Sigur Ros, and Neurosis with the other night owls. The tour lacked the sense of adventure of our previous European tour but we were in the company of friends, and our late-night hangs helped make the experience a positive one.
Some of the best shows of our career were on that trip. Playing with Dillinger meant that we were up against our strongest allies, which pushed us to play harder. And while I don’t want to downplay the members that came before and after, it was my favorite line-up for Dillinger Escape Plan. I enjoyed listening to Calculating Infinity back in the day because its unhinged energy and frenzied complexity was completely unmatched, but now I enjoy it because it takes me back to that European tours and all its ups and downs.