It has seemed like you’ve been going in more of the radio-rock direction and away from the Warped Tour scene.
MABBITT: That’s what happened with old members and old members wanting to completely go that route and alienate our fans. That’s something I’ve never wanted to do and never will do. Now, we’re putting our feet down. We’re gonna go for it. We’re gonna do things our way. It’s very inspiring to see certain stories.
For example, I read the article about Breathe Carolina that you guys did. Now, they’re out on Warped Tour and killing it. It was a very inspiring article. This guy had his entire band pretty much leave him high and dry, and he came out on top, did a great record, and now he’s out there killing it. I’m ready for that story to be about us for this next record. I finally feel like I have a band where I don’t have to sit down in a conference room or be at the house on a conference call and we gotta pull each other’s hair out just to make a decision. I finally feel like I have a group of guys where we all throw our opinions in it, but we’re all on the same page at the same time. So, we come to decisions a lot easier, and it’s a lot less stressful. It feels nice.
ORTIZ: I’m excited about the new music that Kevin and TJ have been making. They’ve become this dynamic duo, and all the stuff they’ve been putting together is sick. As far as all that stuff with the label and the direction, as Craig said, alienating fans is a tough thing. I think in their mind, they believe, “You guys already have a fanbase there. You can go back to it. With Bury The Hatchet, you guys just did that. Let’s focus on radio.” Okay, cool, let’s branch out. I don’t mind branching out. We can kind of fit in with some of those festivals like Rock On The Range, where the bands are more active rock, but I don’t wanna live in that. I wanna spread our wings into every possible outlet that there is. I know where our home is. I’m not gonna try and act like the 14-year-old scene kids aren’t the ones that love us, because they are, and there’s always a new crop of them attached to what we represent and what we do. Quite frankly, doing some of that stuff feels like a waste of time when it doesn’t work. Sometimes you’re like, “Well, it’s cool to hear us on the radio when you’re driving by.” And you realize, “Wow, we did make a lot of fans off of this.” You meet a fan who says, “My favorite bands are Three Days Grace, you guys and Stone Sour.” It’s like, “Holy crap! Really?” Because I’m used to fans saying Bring Me The Horizon, Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria. That makes sense. That’s what we get scared of. We don’t wanna get away from that. As artists, we’re gonna do what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna make the music that we wanna make. We’re gonna play shows the way we wanna play them. We’re gonna dress how we wanna dress. We’re not gonna change that, and the label knows that. Our fans know that.
You’re going into pre-production?
MABBITT: I’m pretty excited for it, man. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about an Escape record, to be honest. I come up with a lot of melodies in the shower or when I’m driving by myself in the car, and it just feels good to come up with some random verse and send it to Kevin, and he’s like, “That’s dope. I’m gonna write some music around it.” I feel like we’re just all in, and we’re all writing as a band again, and it feels really, really good.
What is the next direction for Escape The Fate?
MABBITT: It’s gonna be something fresh that people haven’t heard before. Although we’ve had three different records, I feel like some of the songs can get kind of repetitive. I would even go into the studio and compare a new song to one on the previous record. I would go, “Yeah, this song is like the new ‘Gorgeous Nightmare,’” as far as “Chemical Love” on the new record. With “One For The Money,” I was like, “It’s kind of the new ‘Issues.’ It’s kind of the same structure.” With this new record, it’s all completely fresh; it’s all completely new. I think that’s not only exciting for us but for our fans.
ORTIZ: The band have always been in a state of chaos or disarray. Sometimes we thrive on that—sometimes it hurts us. Like I said before, we have no choice but to keep on trying, and if it completely fails, well, whatever. We’ve gone through so much already that I’m immune to it. The way I see it, a lineup or whatever can all be eclipsed by a great live show, a great album and a lot of hard work. To me, it’s just about getting it done. People are gonna like it, and they’re gonna forgive you for who used to be your singer or who used to be your bass player. Or they’ll just not care because it’s good music. Or they’ll be one of those haters on the internet, and they’ll listen to the first album, and they’ll still go to your show, because they wanna hear some of the old stuff.
MABBITT: When I joined this band in 2008, I came in and I tried to resurrect the band. I saw the excitement on Robert’s face when we were finally allowed to leave the country. I took this band global, and we were finally able to finish our first tour, because when I joined the band, they had never completed a tour. They always dropped off early or got kicked off. At this point, I’ve invested so much time and energy and effort into this, and I still got Robert by my side, and I still got people in the band who are supporting it, and they wanna go for it, and they wanna fight for it. I’m still playing shows, and I’m seeing fans scream songs I’ve written at the top of their lungs. Until that stops happening and until I’m completely unhappy, I’m gonna keep going for it. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to be by my side. At the end of the day, it’s the music that’s gonna speak volumes. I just wanna get the new record out there as fast as possible. ALT