Ben Weinman is a legendary guitarist and songwriter. He best known for his work with the mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan. He is also a member of Suicidal Tendencies and Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, two other influential bands in the metal and rock scene. Critics and fans have praised Weinman for his technical skills, creativity, and originality, as well as his ability to blend different genres and styles into his music. SPIN Magazine has named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. VH1 has also named him one of the 20 Most Influential Metal Guitarists of The Modern Era.
But behind his musical achievements, Ben Weinman has also faced many challenges and struggles in his life. He has dealt with attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression, anxiety, and the pressure of being in a band that constantly pushed the boundaries of music and performance. He has also experienced the loss of friends, family members, and bandmates, as well as the end of The Dillinger Escape Plan in 2017.
Music has been a source of inspiration, comfort, and healing for Ben Weinman throughout his dark times. In this article, we will explore five songs that helped him cope with his mental health issues and personal tragedies. These songs are:
1. Under the Surface by Neurosis
Neurosis is one of Ben Weinman’s favorite bands, and one of the pioneers of post-metal. He said that he was drawn to their heavy and atmospheric sound. The band has the ability to create intense and emotional music. He also said that he admired their DIY ethic and their independence from the mainstream music industry.
The song Under the Surface is from their 1999 album Times of Grace. It is considered one of their best albums. The song features heavy riffs, atmospheric keyboards, and harsh vocals. The lyrics are about the inner turmoil and anger of the singer, who feels misunderstood and isolated by the world. The song also samples a voice saying “Fire!” from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
Ben Weinman said that this song helped him express his frustration and resentment towards the world and himself. He said that he felt like he was always under pressure to conform and please others. Adding that he often felt alienated and rejected by society. He also said that he related to the song’s message of finding strength and courage in oneself. And how to not let anyone or anything bring you down.
2. Asleep by The Smiths
The Smiths is a band that Ben Weinman respects for their witty and poetic lyrics, and their unique and influential style. He said that he was impressed by their singer Morrissey’s voice and charisma. As well as their guitarist Johnny Marr’s skill and creativity. He also said that he enjoyed their blend of indie rock, jangle pop, and post-punk.
The song Asleep is a B-side to their 1985 single The Boy with the Thorn in His Side. The song is a slow and melancholic ballad, with lyrics that express the singer’s desire to die peacefully in his sleep. The novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger inspired it. It was later featured in the 1999 film adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.
Ben Weinman said that this song helped him through some of his darkest moments, when he felt like he had nothing left to live for. He said that he struggled with suicidal thoughts and self-harm. That he used music as a way to escape from his pain. He also said that he found comfort in the song’s soothing melody and gentle words.
3. Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday is a singer that Ben Weinman admires for her soulful and powerful voice. He admires her impact on jazz and blues music. Weinman stated that her emotional expression and courage to sing about social issues and personal experiences moved him. He also said that he learned a lot from her musical phrasing and timing.
The song Strange Fruit is one of Holiday’s most famous and controversial songs. It was recorded in 1939, based on a poem by Abel Meeropol. The song is a powerful protest against the lynching of Black Americans in the South. It has lyrics that compare the victims to fruit hanging from trees. Many radio stations at the time considered the song taboo and banned it. Time magazine also named it the song of the century in 1999, and it became one of Holiday’s signature songs.
Ben Weinman said that this song helped him cope with his grief and anger over the loss of his friends, family members, and bandmates. He said that he witnessed many tragedies and injustices in his life, such as racism, violence, addiction, suicide, and cancer. He also said that he felt a connection with Holiday’s voice and message. Adding, he admired her bravery and honesty.
4. Bugs Death March by Today Is The Day
Today Is The Day is a band that Ben Weinman credits for inspiring him to start The Dillinger Escape Plan. He said their experimental and extreme style, along with their ability to create chaotic and noisy music, blew him away. He also said that he respected their leader Steve Austin’s vision and passion, and his influence on the metal scene.
The song Bugs Death March is from their 1997 album Temple of the Morning Star. It is considered one of their best albums. The song is a chaotic and noisy track, with distorted guitars, blast beats, and screamed vocals. The lyrics are nonsensical and violent, mentioning bugs, Mike Stipe (the lead singer of R.E.M.), and death march. The song is also one of the band’s most aggressive and abrasive songs, and reflects their avant-garde and extreme style.
Ben Weinman said that this song helped him channel his energy and aggression into his music. He said that he felt a lot of tension and stress in his life, especially from being in a band that constantly pushed the boundaries of music and performance. He also said that he liked how the song was unpredictable and challenging. It kept him on his toes.
5. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff is a composer that Ben Weinman respects for his virtuosic and romantic style, and his mastery of the piano. He said that he was amazed by his musical talent and expression. As well as his use of complex and beautiful melodies and harmonies. He also said that he appreciated his classical background and his influence on modern music.
The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a musical work composed by Rachmaninoff in 1934, for solo piano and orchestra. The work consists of 24 variations on a theme by the Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini, from his 24th Caprice for solo violin. The work showcases Rachmaninoff’s skill and creativity. It also showases his use of the Dies Irae (a Gregorian chant associated with death) motif. The 18th variation, the most famous one, is a lyrical and melodic piece that has featured in many films and TV shows.
Ben Weinman said that this work helped him cope with his depression and anxiety. It calmed him down and lifted his mood. He said that he suffered from mood swings and panic attacks. Adding, he used music as a way to relax and focus. He also said that he loved how the work expressed different emotions and moods. It reflected his own personality.
The Bottom Line
Ben Weinman is a musician who has faced many dark times in his life. He has also used music as a way to cope and heal. He has shared some of the songs that helped him through his struggles, and how they influenced his own music.
Ben Weinman has shown us that music can be a powerful tool for expressing ourselves, connecting with others, and finding meaning in our lives. He has also shown us that music can be a source of hope and joy, even in the darkest of times.