DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN’s Rhythm Section Gave a Writing Masterclass

So often when rock bands are interviewed about their writing process, they speak in generalizations – “this riff sounded cool,” “we wanted this part to be heavy,” “Misha programmed everything,” etc.

But in other genres, like jazz, the masterclass is a critical part of music education: a group of students sit down with a master, who takes them note-by-note through things like chord voicings, improvisational approach, and rhythm comping. There’s a give-and-take between teacher and student – a balance between talking about playing, and actually doing it.

So I was excited to discover that The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s rhythm section of Liam Wilson (bass) and Billy Rymer (drums) put on this exact format of class at Berklee two years ago, and that the whole thing exists online. Somehow, this incredible hour-long clip eluded the metal and rock press – as you can tell from the view count – but it’s one of the most insightful looks into writing heavy music that I’ve ever seen. Check it out below:

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Max is a senior editor and producer of Gear Gods and member of the collective Party Smasher Inc. He studies jazz composition and improvisation in New York City.