Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan launches online course for musicians wanting to “make a living without making compromises”

Ben Weinman of the Dillinger Escape Plan, who launched a music business course via Soundfly for uncompromising musicians
(Image credit: Soundfly)

Ben Weinman, co-founder and guitarist of the trailblazing Dillinger Escape Plan, has teamed up with Soundfly for a course that teaches students how to build a career in music without compromising on their artistic principals.

And prospective students could look at Weinman and Dillinger Escape Plan as a case study in just that. For a start, what could you call them – mathcore? Metalcore? Progressive hardcore? Metal or punk? Their sound and aesthetic was uncompromising and extreme, not to mention their stage presence, too. 

A DEP show was the stuff of a health and safety professional’s nightmares, and then there were legendary incidents such as Reading 2002 when frontman Greg Puciato defecated onstage into a bag, an act of performance art serving as commentary on the bands that would populate that year’s lineup.

Weinman, for his part, was an inveterate climber, his ESP signature guitar wrapped around his neck as he scaled the PA, the walls, accruing injuries to himself and his belongings.

But he’s also a professional, a producer, film scorer and songwriter, founder of his own label in Party Smasher Inc., and having taken part in all of the above and somehow managed to get six studio albums in the can with a band who played right at the edge of noise chaos and jazz changes he is in a good position to pass on some wisdom to the next generation. 

Forget Instagram and social media metrics. It is about making people seeing something authentic in your act. That how the supposedly “unmarketable” bands reach an audience. “This course teaches you to stick to your guns, follow your values, create uncompromising art, and then sell that uncompromising art in a way that doesn’t suck the life out of you,” says Weinman. 

The Business of Uncompromising Art includes over 35 lessons and students have flexibility over where and when to take them, with the Soundfly Discord community offering access to support 24/7. For more details, check out the course trailer and head over to Soundfly. Price is from $19/month.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.