Escape The Fate Interview + Exclusive Video Premiere
Mark it in your calendars: Escape The Fate are inching closer and closer to releasing new music with their new album set to reach our earholes on October 30. Flipping the ultimate bird to their haters, the band everyone seemingly loves to hate are embracing the scorn they’ve copped over the years and using it to fuel their aptly titled record, Hate Me. Coming off back of the success of their first single, “Just A Memory”, the Las Vegas four-piece are channelling the ‘80s hard rock gods with their new track “Alive”, complete with a darkened circus-themed video. It’s riffs and blistering solos ahoy for the shredders, and you can check it out below.
It goes without saying that Escape The Fate have experienced their fair share of drama over the years. Was the title of your latest record, Hate Me, a fuck you to those who have hated you over the years?
Hate Me is absolutely a fuck you to everyone that’s hated us. We’re saying, “Here’s Escape The Fate! We’re back, better and stronger than ever and we’re here to kick some arse”. We get all his hate on social media and in real life; this was our final piece on it. It fuels our fire, that’s for sure. Despite everything, and having some history, we’re still going to do what we love, live out our passions, and come up stronger than ever before.
Have Escape The Fate always had this attitude of not caring what people think or is this something that’s just come around with the new record?
It’s been what the band’s always had – we’ve always been the rebels, always been the black sheep. We’ve always done things ahead of the curb; that’s what makes this band unique, that’s what brings the fans to really connect. The outsiders, the losers, the nerds, the skateboarders, the metal kids: they all come to this band and have a home and a connection.
Being that this was your first album with the band, how did you personally find the recording process? I know you’ve played shows together, but was it daunting coming into an already established act?
No, it was a long time coming. Craig [Mabbitt, vocals] and I have been writing for years – there’s a song we wrote together four years ago and it’s on the record now. It was really exciting, and a challenge at first because I was writing a lot of songs that were similar to the vibe of past Escape The Fate records and then one day we just thought, “Why write the past again?” Those records are great and all those songs are special, but we decided to turn up a bit and that’s where we get Hate Me. It’s diverse and has different styles; everything we wanted to do is on it.
Given you do have a newer line-up, were you trying to experiment with new sounds in the studio and break out of your comfort zone?
Absolutely. My day job is producing, engineering and writing songs so for me it was very fun. Very early on we got a picture of what the album was going to sound like because the demos were crazy, like we had synthesisers. All of the elements that were in the actual record that made it were similar in the pre-production, we even demoed out Craig’s vocals fully and it prepared us to go into the studio and fine-tune things. That’s where Howard Benson and his team came in, and that took the weight off me trying to find the signal and sounds, and it let me be a player and play my heart out.
Howard Benson has worked with some huge acts like Motörhead, My Chemical Romance, Zebrahead, P.O.D… What did he bring to the album overall?
I think one of the biggest things he brought to the record was empowering the band to do what they do best. He helped us decide on what songs to pick, he was very involved with that and he didn’t overproduce Craig’s vocals. There’s not all these effects trying to hide anything, you can feel the personality listening to this record vocally. He believed in us, he listened to our demos and pre-production and said, “You guys will get killer guitar tone, go do your thing and write, write, write”. That was his biggest tip and it fuelled our writing process and that’s why we wrote so many songs.
You’ve described this album as one that you’ll either love or hate – did you worry about alienating your fan base with it
Absolutely not. We were nervous at first but as soon as we dropped “Just A Memory” the haters went away. There’s always one or two that step out but there were so many positive comments it buries it completely. As soon as we dropped it, all the old fans resurfaced saying, “Holy shit, we didn’t know what you guys were coming out with!” We dropped another song, “Remember Every Scar”, and it was kind of a different direction, but it got the same reaction if not even greater. We got so many messages. All the fans wrote to us on social media, saying, “Thank you, this song meant so much to me at this part of my life”. It’s kind of about dealing with your demons, pushing through and carrying on. It got a really good reception; we have even more songs that are going to turn heads on the record. Those aren’t even the songs that we think will make noise in the industry. We’re excited for the rest to come out.
You’ve spent the most time with the album now, so how does it sit with you today?
It was definitely a bit scary for it to leave our hands because it’s like you’re releasing a child into the world. You want to protect it and keep it safe, but you have to let it grow and prosper and become its own thing and help other lives. That was kind of the next step for us, and now getting past that it’s exciting. We’re going to play our first headlining tour on this album and we’ll play like four songs off of it to change it up.
What is it that exactly makes this album so significant? Why do you all think it’s the best thing you’ve ever put out as a band?
Amongst us, the simple thing was just experience. This album is the rebirth of Escape The Fate. The band’s happy again! The band wasn’t happy for years. We had so many things holding us back, these negative people and things. With the new album, everyone came in with their ideas and was passionate and brutally honest. We put in our best efforts, we didn’t sleep for months making this thing, and it hadn’t been like that with any record before. That’s why we have so much love for this record.
Do you think the love you all have for this album has anything to do with the fact that Escape The Fate is in probably the most stable place it’s been in years?
Yes absolutely. The band itself is in a stable place but we’re still going through issues in our lives and have things to conquer; none of us are living extremely comfortably but we’re doing well and it’s a great time for us to be creative and this is the most creative the band’s ever been. We’re all artists and poured all this time into creating something different and new – we didn’t care about any formats, we didn’t care about it being radio friendly or appealing to any crowds, we just did what we believed in and I think that will reach people more than trying to be anything.
Are you looking forward to touring with any particular bands on the back off Hate Me? What would your dream tour line-up be?
This tour is with A Skylit Drive, Sworn In, Sirens & Sailors and Myka Relocate, and we’re excited to go on tour with those bands. We’re not sure who we’re going to Europe and Australia with, but we’re sure they’ll be awesome. A dream tour would be with Muse or Alice Cooper. We could just jump on that Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper tour! [laughs]