Greg Puciato

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Greg Puciato
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Wacken Open Air 2017 07.jpg
Puciato performing at Wacken Open Air 2017
Background information
Birth nameGregory John Puciato
Born (1980-03-27) March 27, 1980 (age 38)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
GenresMathcore, alternative metal, experimental metal, hardcore punk, digital hardcore, darkwave, synthpop, alternative R&B, electronicore, experimental
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, programming, keyboards
Years active2001–present
LabelsSeason of Mist, Party Smasher, Relapse, Epitaph
Associated actsThe Dillinger Escape Plan, Killer Be Killed, Spylacopa, The Black Queen, Error

Gregory John Puciato (born March 27, 1980) is best known as the lead singer of the disbanded The Dillinger Escape Plan and is currently the lead singer of The Black Queen and Killer Be Killed. He is noted for reckless live performances, wide vocal range, outspoken views, and controversy stemming from his bands' performances and interviews.

In the December 2007 issue of Revolver Puciato was voted one of the "37 greatest metal frontmen" of all time.[1] In 2013 he was named number one by MetalSucks in their listing of "top 25 modern metal frontmen".[2]

Early life[edit]

Greg Puciato grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. The city was surrounded by poverty and African-American culture that "had a giant influence on [him]," both in the sense that he does not "feel uncomfortable in any area" and on his fondness for R&B and hip-hop.[3] As a child, he became a fan of Guns N' Roses through MTV, which was the first band he was "obsessed with."[3][4] Around the age of nine, he saw Metallica's video for "One" which bridged him from hard rock to extreme metal music. During that period, Puciato started playing guitar, with "Seek & Destroy" being the first song that he learned how to play.[4] He describes the following years as centered around thrash metal and Nintendo, and shortly afterward, the Bad Brains.[3]

At fourteen, Puciato was in a thrash metal group, and they did not have a singer, which lead him to move to vocals because he was "too much of a control freak to let someone else sing" and could not do both at the same time, but he continued playing by himself.[5] During that time, Puciato became a fan of funk metal bands including the Bad Brains, Faith No More, Primus and Living Colour. Pucaiato cites Mike Patton and H.R. as his biggest vocal inspirations when growing up, who "opened my eyes a lot to what could be done with the voice overtop of heavy music."[3][6][7]

Although raised in a non-practicing home, Puciato attended a Catholic private school. He was a good student and skipped grades, graduating at the age of seventeen.[8] Later, he studied for a year in Maryland and decided to take a break, during which he was invited to join The Dillinger Escape Plan.[8]


The Dillinger Escape Plan[edit]

Puciato joined The Dillinger Escape Plan in September 2001 and first performed with the group weeks later at the CMJ music conference in October 2001.[9]

In a scenario mirroring that of young Henry Rollins and Black Flag, Puciato started out as a fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan in their earlier days. When the band split with their singer Dimitri Minakakis (due to him wanting to focus more on Graphic Arts/Design), they searched publicly for a new singer by releasing the instrumental version of the song "43% Burnt" (off of their debut album). Puciato sent in a tape with one version of him mimicking Dimitri Minakakis and one with his own take on the song. He was contacted shortly after by the band, auditioned in person, and was subsequently asked to join. Coincidentally, the band's first release with Puciato was for a Black Flag tribute compilation, where they covered Damaged I and II. He has since sung on every subsequent release.[9]

In August 2016 he told Metal Hammer magazine that the previously announced Dillinger "hiatus" was in fact a "break up" and explained the artistic reasoning for doing so.[10]


Puciato was also involved with Spylacopa, an experimental musical project headed by Candiria guitarist John LaMacchia (along with Julie Christmas of Made Out of Babies and Jeff Caxide of Isis). Spylacopa released a self-titled EP in 2008, with vocals, as well as some guitar and piano/programming, written by Puciato. Similar programming and piano playing would appear on The Dillinger Escape Plan's Option Paralysis album as the bonus track "Chuck McChip". Puciato confirmed in 2012 that Spylacopa is "dead".[11]

Puciato singing while hanging head down from the ceiling

Killer Be Killed[edit]

Later in February 2011, Max Cavalera, in an interview with Swedish magazine Metalshrine, revealed that he and Greg were working on a full-length album, similar in style to Cavalera's Nailbomb project. The band, later named Killer Be Killed, was also announced to feature former Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch, and Troy Sanders of Mastodon.[12] In September 2013 the band recorded their self-titled debut album at Fortress Studio in Los Angeles with producer Josh Wilbur. It was released on May 13, 2014.[13]

The Black Queen[edit]

He announced in an interview with Revolver Magazine that he was involved in a new band with Josh Eustis and Nine Inch Nails/A Perfect Circle guitar tech Steven Alexander, called The Black Queen, with a release originally expected at some stage in 2014.[14] The band posted their first song, "The End Where We Start", and an explanation for the long wait in June 2015.[15] The debut album Fever Daydream was self-released on January 29, 2016, debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard Electronic chart.[16]

On June 15, 2018, the band announced that a new album called "Infinite Games" would be released on September 28, as well as the formation of a label named Federal Prisoner with frequent visual collaborator and fine artist Jesse Draxler. Puciato called the label "as much an act of refusal as it is a statement of intent",[17] further elaborating in a blog post for Spotify that they would be "giving more than we would be gaining" by signing to an outside label, and that "everything I used to see as help, I suddenly saw as unnecessary at best, and a liability at worst."[18]

Guest Work and Non-Musical[edit]

Puciato sang all of the vocals on the five-song, self-titled EP of digital hardcore band Error (founded by future NIN-member Atticus Ross and Epitaph Records owner and Bad Religion founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz.[19] His position was mainly considered as temporary studio work, since the band never played any concerts. Puciato confirmed in 2012 that Error is "dead".[11]

Puciato is furthermore a frequent collaborator, and guest on other shows. He lent his vocals to Genghis Tron's song "The Feast" on their 2008 release Board Up the House.[20]

He contributed a remix of the song "Bad Fall" on the 2009 Prong remix album Power of the Damn Mixxxer.[21] He features in A Static Lullaby's song "The Pledge" from their 2008 album Rattlesnake![22]

He and The Dillinger Escape Plan repeatedly joined the stage with Nine Inch Nails during their Wave Goodbye Tour in North America, and in Australia (both with The Dillinger Escape Plan, and solo, performing the songs "Wish" and "Mr. Self Destruct").[9][23]

He contributed minor backup vocals on the song "The Marvelous Slut" on the Every Time I Die album New Junk Aesthetic.[24] In late November 2009 he appeared on stage during the two Deftones concerts at the Avalon Hollywood.

He sang the Deftones songs "Passenger" and "Hexagram", as well as the Metallica classic "Battery", all with Chino Moreno, as part of the Chi Cheng benefit show, and then later performed "Passenger" most nights on the 2011 Deftones/Dillinger Escape Plan North American tour.

In 2010 he appeared on and co-wrote (with Max Cavalera) the Soulfly track "Rise of the Fallen" on their record Omen, and has on occasion performed the song live with them.[25]

He also appears on the Architects track "Year In/Year Out" on their 2011 release The Here and Now.[26]

In February 2011 Puciato and Devin Townsend publicly decided to collaborate after both being Tweeted by a fan expressing interest in seeing them work together. The track ended up being called "The Mighty Masturbator" and was released as part of Townsend's Deconstruction album. Upon hearing the vocals, Townsend remarked "Ladies and Gentlemen, Greg Puciato just tore me a new asshole. Fucking hell…AWESOME".[27]

In 2012 Puciato appeared as vocalist on Igor Cavalera's electronic duo Mixhell's track "Exit Wound".[28]

In May 2014 Suicide Silence announced that Puciato had contributed guest vocals to a song called "Monster Within", on the album You Can't Stop Me, their first album after the death of vocalist Mitch Lucker.[29]

In January 2015 Puciato appeared as a murderer in the Retox video "Let's Not Keep in Touch", in which he chases and kills Retox guitar player Mike Crain with a baseball bat, before dumping him out of a van which Justin Pearson is driving.[30]

In July 2015 Puciato appeared as a guest vocalist on the Lamb of God track "Torches."[31]

In December 2016 Puciato appeared as a "shadow figure" in the Drab Majesty video "39 By Design".[32]

Puciato wrote the foreword for Jesse Draxler's 2018 visual arts book "Misophonia".[33]

Puciato released a book of poetry and photography, titled "Separate The Dawn", on February 12th, 2019. Initially 1000 hardcover copies were made available, selling out quickly. A second pressing of 200 was subsequently made available, also selling out quickly.

Personal life, views and controversies[edit]

In a 2013 interview, Puciato said that he does not "have a filter" on his statements, live performances and songs' lyrics, and in the past he thought that this "was a plus".[34] For this reason, he claims that his social media had become a "distraction" and their original intention was distorted, which was to have a closer relationship with his fans, and that led him to close them all in early 2013, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.[34]

On July 23, 2010, Puciato's death was faked by bandmates Ben Weinman and Liam Wilson, when they posted on their Twitter accounts that Puciato had passed in his sleep. Shortly after their Warped Tour set on July 23, Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley tweeted, "If Greg Puciato is dead, then his corpse just played a great set on mainstage today." debunking the rumors of Puciato's death.[citation needed]

He has been outwardly critical of both organized religion and mainstream politics, and of the relationship between the two,[35] and has been consistently supportive of LGBT rights, criticizing homophobia in metal,[36] releasing a shirt in support of LGBT rights with The Dillinger Escape Plan,[37] and debuting a video from The Black Queen on Out's magazine website.[38]

Puciato has been outspoken on his opinions about other musicians, especially during his tenure with The Dillinger Escape Plan, criticizing artists such as Puddle of Mudd,[7] Fall Out Boy,[39] and Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars, the latter whom he called a "poser".[40]

In 2012, Puciato dated former pornographic actress Jenna Haze.[41][42]

In an interview with The Independent in 2016, Puciato revealed that he has struggled with panic attacks and agoraphobia.[43]

In 2017, he detailed his vocal writing and recording processes. He stated: "I don't leave anything out of the realm of possibility when it comes to vocal style, as far as getting what I want. I'm more interested in capturing or amplifying the emotion of the song". Puciato compared writing a song to a "morphing straight line", rather than a "collection of parts".[44]

Incident at the Reading Festival 2002[edit]

During The Dillinger Escape Plan's 2002 performance at the Reading Festival in the United Kingdom, Puciato defecated onstage, put it into a bag, and threw it into the crowd before smearing the rest onto himself, proclaiming "This is a bag of shit, I just wanted to show you this so you'll recognize it later on throughout the day" referring to other bands that would appear that day of the festival, especially Puddle of Mudd.[7][45] The act caused much controversy and had them on the verge of being banned in the UK.[45][46]


With The Dillinger Escape Plan[edit]

With Spylacopa[edit]

  • Spylacopa (2008)

With Killer Be Killed[edit]

With The Black Queen[edit]

Guest work[edit]

Year Artist Release Additional information Source
2004 Error Error Vocals [19]
2008 Genghis Tron Board Up the House Vocals on "The Feast" [20]
2008 A Static Lullaby Rattlesnake! Vocals on "The Pledge" [22]
2009 Prong Power of the Damn Mixxxer Remixed "Bad Fall" [21]
2009 Every Time I Die New Junk Aesthetic Vocals on "The Marvelous Slut" [24]
2010 Soulfly Omen Vocals on "Rise of the Fallen" [25]
2011 Architects The Here and Now Vocals on "Year in Year Out" [26]
2011 The Devin Townsend Project Deconstruction Vocals on "The Mighty Masturbator" [47]
2013 MixHell Spaces Vocals on "Exit Wound" [28]
2014 Suicide Silence You Can't Stop Me Vocals on "Monster Within" [29]
2015 Lamb of God VII: Sturm und Drang Vocals on "Torches" [31]


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