News Stories

Ben Weinman of DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN launches Party Smasher Inc.!

Now that’s interesting. Benjamin Weinman, a guitarist and founding member of the band THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN has launched Party Smasher Inc., a collective of creative professionals – a portal for musicians, photographers, illustrators, and fashion designers. Check out the official word below, read about DIY and a bunch of other interesting stuff, watch a video interview with Mike Patton (streaming below) and start following Party Smasher, cause big things are going down for this sweet online service.

Party Smasher Inc. is driven by a team of notable creatives within a full spectrum of disciplines – art, music, design, fashion, engineering, innovation… – who have built up their career and reputation through alternative paths and severe workaholism.

We like DIY as much as massive success stories – especially those that break the rules.
We don’t judge books by the covers but by the passion, blood and sweat spots on the pages.
We don’t believe complaining about the system, the business, the crisis, or the scene will make artists’ lives (or art) better.
We believe that understanding mutations and having a strong strategy is not selling your soul but giving your art the means to catch light and your ambitions the power to become your living.

We will share insights, experience and resources from the successful as well as errors, scars and burns from the brave.

To build your own system. To Do-It-Yourself. To believe in your art. 
If Party Smasher Inc. feels like home, you are probably already waving the flag.

This not about a style but about an attitude.
Get prepared for Party Smasher Inc.

As artists we change the world through creative invention, giving birth to ideas which will continue to influence long after we’re gone. Creationism or Intelligent Design is the belief that life and the universe was created by a supernatural being (an “intelligent designer”), an omnipotent, benevolent God. Evolution is the process by which different kinds of living organisms developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the Earth.

Whatever your belief system is, we, as human beings, have the unique ability to adapt and evolve. We do this, not just as a result of natural selection and survival, but through our ability to continuously create things that change our surroundings. Kind of a big responsibility, wouldn’t you say? 

But as young artists, starting out, we don’t usually think or care about the great responsibilities that come with the ability to create and influence. Let’s be honest, we just wanted to be good at something. Maybe meet some girls, and we were horrible at sports and probably a little weird. Well that’s how my story began anyway. The story that leads me here to you guys now. 

My first band consisted of me and my friend Justin. I had a tennis racket guitar and a he had a bucket and boxes. We set up my parents’ video camera in my basement and would video ourselves lip synching and fake playing to thrash metal songs. Then we would run back up with the camera and watch our music videos with a very critical eye. We were sure this was it. Worldwide fame was sure to follow. Eventually we graduated to a real guitar and drum set and were actually covering some of those bands and playing all the hottest gigs in town, which consisted of a carnival talent show and a church lock in. 

It turned out that the world didn’t need another generic metal band, and by the end of high school we had given up. We tried everything. We followed all the rules. I mean I’m pretty sure our music was just as bad as everything else on the racks and nobody seemed to care. A career in music was practically impossible. It seemed as if it was about as likely as winning the lottery. But what would I do with my life? The only thing I knew I was good at was sitting in class pretending I was listening, while actually drawing band logos in my notebook. What job would pay me a lot of money to pretend to care about what someone was saying while I was actually looking into a blank notebook? 

Flash forward a few years. I had started studying psychology at a local university. Dillinger was in its early stages. A few of us started the band just as an outlet really. I said to myself, “hey you know we grew up listening to all kinds of interesting metal and punk and we like some of our parents’ old jazz and classical records.  I grew up hanging around my dad’s Broadway musical course that he taught at a university and hearing the original scores to shows like ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Hair,’ which really got me into complex arrangements and tension in music, so let’s just make fucking music that we like. Let’s make the record that will fulfill our every musical desire and let’s deliver this music with 100% confidence regardless of whether anyone likes it or it fits in with the other bands that are doing well in the scene.”  It wasn’t about being technical or being punk.  It wasn’t about preaching some cause that probably half the dudes in the band didn’t even understand. It was about creating something that excited us so much personally that we could go out there and be real. We wanted to create something that we could shove down those kids’ throats with so much conviction that they (and we) could experience maybe what people felt when music was dangerous, daring, and unpredictable. We even wanted those people within the underground, who were a part of the developing culture itself, to feel that something interesting and cathartic was happening. And that is when things started to actually work. 

Here I was well into my 20’s with a college degree and a corporate job.  I was playing music with no intention of generating money or some massive fan base and, all of a sudden, I had to find excuses to get out of work in order to go tour Europe or Japan. I was recording albums on one of my favorite metal labels of all time (Relapse Records). I was collaborating with some of my favorite musicians. And before I even realized it, I was making 100% of my living creating art. 

How did this happen?  It happened because we ignored the rules. For the first time in my musical trajectory, I was creating without the idea that there was a right way or a wrong way to do things.  No two people are alike. No two people have the same exact cultural influences. Art is not a two party system and never should be.  It wasn’t until I started living my artistic life with that mindset that I became a responsible creator; one who could move people through honest expression.  And that is what Party Smasher Inc. is all about. We are here to celebrate the artists who are out there creating responsibly. Following their own path, undeterred by the trends.

Welcome to Party Smasher Inc. 

Comments
To Top