Alter The Press!


Interview: Escape The Fate

Whilst in the UK for a string of shows in London, Alter The Press caught up with Craig and Robert from Escape The Fate and spoke about their new self-titled album, joining Interscope Records' roster, the band's recent remix EP and more.

Alter The Press: How is it to be back in London?
Craig Mabbitt (vocals): Great. It's cool this time because it's a double show thing. We got into town, had the night off, played a show the next day, had the day off, and then have the show tonight.

Robert Ortiz (drums): We haven't had trouble with the jet lag this time round. Craig: It hit me yesterday, actually. I wanted to go out at 3pm yesterday, and I just passed out.

ATP: This is your first time over here, with the release of the self-titled album. It got to number 25 on the Billboard 200. Were you expecting this?
Craig: You’ve got to go out there and confidence is the ‘big thing,’ especially if you’re in a band, or the entertainment industry at all. Confidence is key and women like confidence for sure. We have it, but when things like this happen, it's always a nice, awesome, feeling.

Robert: I believe in this record a lot and I just want people to hear it.

ATP: How would you say the feedback has been, so far?
Craig: Been really good and positive. Just like any band, there are twelve-year-old kids who think they are professional reviewers, but you can't pay attention to that shit.

Robert: Personally, I tend to become homesick on the road, and after a while you get tired, but you feel at your most when you're playing for people. The other night, our first show with our record out, we played a lot of new songs. We're now going to be a playing a lot more new songs, in celebration of the new album being out here. The response so far is incredible. People are already singing along, and they are already asking us to play some of these new songs. It's the best thing you can hope for.

ATP: This is your debut release so far on Interscope. How are you settling in to your new label?
Craig: Pretty easily. They are a lot more personal than you would think. There is this whole team around us, and they really believe in us. It feels really comfortable but it's definitely a lot more work, moving up to a major label. There are a lot more opportunities but you also have to do a lot more work in order to get them; e-mails everyday saying we need to do this and that etc. It's definitely starting to feel like a job, but I'm enjoying it so far. It's the best job I could ever ask for.

Robert: They push the shit out of you, that's for sure. They want you to do everything. The one thing where it gets a little tricky, is where they want every opportunity to expose your music. At some point, you have to pick what is going to taint your art because they will put it everywhere. Sometimes we have to be like, 'This is not appropriate for what we are doing,' and sometimes you have to say no. But fact you have the option, is incredible. They genuinely believe in us and really motivate and push us.

Craig: To put it into perspective, we were kids in garages trying to start a band. We did everything ourselves. You get offered to record a shitty ass EP, and when you record it, you think it's the greatest thing you've ever heard. After that, you get to the point when you have your own tour bus, crew, you start relaxing and you're like, 'Dude, I fucking made it!' as you’re playing Warped Tour. You get to do all this amazing kind of shit, and you think it’s the biggest you can go. But then a major label steps in and they're like, 'You guys haven't even scratched the surface. These are your fans: 2- 3000 fans a night. Whilst here is another artist we have, like Eminem, who is playing 75-80k fans a night. You guys aren't even there yet.' You become a small fish in a big pond, and it's like you have to start all over.

ATP: It's a reality check.
Craig: It's like getting a slap in the face, and being told not to be so full of yourself.

ATP: Going back to the self-titled album, I would say the sound of the band has definitely progressed. You have a tighter sound, but it's still an Escape The Fate record. Would you agree with this?
Craig: I would. That's what I love most about it. It's like we took the last record, and added this overall dark feel to it, which we always wanted to do. I think we accomplished that. Our guitarist really worked hard on it. He would sit at home, on the back of the bus, just doing everything on Garageband. I would ask to hear a track, but he wouldn't let me listen to it until he thought it was perfect. Robert: He was obsessive about it. It was incredible.

ATP: What was the reason for the album to be self-titled?
Craig: When we did the last record I had just come into the band, and a week later we were in the studio. We definitely felt unprepared. Since then, we have had 3-4 years to get to know each other better, work together and just experience life together as a band. Combine that with the move up to Interscope, and the album being the first record we've wanted to release as an introduction to us; that is why we named it after the band name.

ATP: You just released the 'Issues' remix EP.
Robert: I'm not going to lie; I hate that shit.

Craig: He just hates dubstep and techno music.

ATP: Why did you guys do it?
Craig: The label said they wanted to do a remix EP, for people to spin in the clubs and stuff. They said it would be a chance for us to get our songs out to other people, so they sent it to a bunch of people. I've been getting into dubstep recently, and I like a few of them. We picked one to go on the album and the label suggested putting a few together to release a remix EP. It's more material for people out there, and it's doing its job. I went on iTunes and saw a few comments, like a guy said, 'I've never heard of this band but I like the artist that remixed this song and feel like this EP did its job, because now I like this band.'

Robert: The label finds ways for more people to listen to your music and it works. To me, it's like, 'Fuck that, I don't want people to hear our music that way', because when I hear techno remixes, they take out vocals and everything that we worked hard on.

ATP: But you had the option to say no, right?

Craig: Probably. If we don't want to do something, it doesn't have to be done, but there are some people that were into the idea.

ATP: You should put a disclaimer on the EP saying, "THESE SONGS WILL NOT BE PLAYED AT THE SHOWS".
Craig: I know! There’s a bunch of kids who don't understand it, who say, 'Why did Escape The Fate go techno?' Bring Me The Horizon released a whole remix album, not by them.

ATP: Good Charlotte did the same.
Craig: But Good Charlotte are a completely different band from what they used to be for sure.

ATP: When you go back to the US, you kick off 'The Dead Masquerade Tour'. Did you pick the bill yourselves?
Robert: We argued over it.

Craig: There were a lot of arguments over that bill.

Robert: Not with the band, but with management, booking agents.

Craig: You want to bring out those bands who helped you open up for first, but they don't want to do it because they have too much fucking pride or they just don't like you. It's like they're going to ask for too much money etc.

ATP: Do you have plans to come back for a full UK tour at some point?
Craig: We do have plans, but it'll be when we come back here for festivals. Whenever the festivals are over here, that's when we'll be doing a full headline run.

ATP: Thanks guys. Anything else you would like to add?
Craig: Thanks to anyone who is reading, and thanks for sitting down and talking to us.

'Escape The Fate' is out now through Interscope Records.

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