Escape the Fate Talks Touring, Interscope Records, and Crazy South American Fans

Escape the Fate is currently headlining “The Dead Masquerade” tour with Alesana, Motionless in White, GetScared and Drive A.  The tour kicked off on January 20th and continues through March 12th in San Diego.

Their self-tilted album Escape the Fate is heavier than the previous two releases.  It’s songs from the self-titled album like “ Massacre,”  “Issues,” “Zombie Dance,” and “City of Sin” that show off their harder edge.  The band  has been around since 2004 and has dealt with more issues that break bands apart and somehow still have managed to grow stronger and bigger with time. We had the opportunity to talk with Robert Ortiz and it provided a look into how personal and passionate he takes his work. Plus, this is not a band that looks to just “make it,” but to grab the music industry by the neck.

The Dead Hub: How is the headlining tour going so far?

Ortiz: “Actually, it’s been pretty incredible, Dude. I like to think that our own worst enemy is ourselves because the only thing that could possibly stop us from reaching this crazy level is ourselves. People are digging it; they love it and it’s huge, Dude. I can’t believe it. We were at a point where we asked ourselves, ‘Will this even work out?’and now it’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it’s working!’ People get it, people love it, and they really grasp what we’re doing. People are coming out because they want to see what the big deal is, and now, they’re hooked on it.”

DH: Is there anything different with you headlining; anything different for your prior fans to your new ones?

Ortiz: “I’ll just let you know that what we do is that we put everything we got, when it comes to financially or whatever it is, we put everything we have into our show. We just got signed onto Interscope and we’re milking it for all it’s worth; not just go home and chill and get a nice house. That’s not what we’re about. We want to bring the biggest show and spectacle that we can. We have crazy lives; big setup. It’s probably too big for where we’re at right now, but it’s like ‘Fuck it dude, we have to do it.’ It’s incredible to see that there are clearly new fans and clearly old fans. It’s pretty incredible because there’s fans that kinda sit around and listen to the old stuff, and then there’s fans that maybe, not really have heard old stuff, but have heard our newest single and are like ‘Hey man, this is awesome!’ It’s been good but it’s definitely interesting to see how far we’re come.

DH: Speaking of changing to Interscope, your album you have out now, Escape the Fate, seems like it’s a little harder. Is this something, being with Interscope has allowed you to do?

Ortiz: The cool thing is that when we signed the Interscope, our whole thing was that we wanted to take the next step up and we told them, ‘We got our thing going on. Don’t fuck it up.’ and they said, ‘We’re not gonna fuck it up, we like what you’re doing, we’re gonna push it, keep doing what you’re doing and let us help you.’ That was the whole thing with signing the band, but they definitely have allowed us to do our thing. As far as production, that’s all us. Bryan “Monte” Money, our guitarist is a genius; he’s creative and he just reaches and finds sounds. Most of the production and sounds  you hear on the album, he created it on his laptop from Garage Band. I want people to be sucked in like a movie when they hear this thing, whether it was a heavy song or a ballad. The attitude was, ‘let’s make everything sound as big as possible.’ They gave us a bigger budget to work with and we were all ready before we signed with Interscope. We even started recording drums and all that, before we were even signed on. We were doing it on our own dime. We were just that passionate and that much in a hurry to get our vision out because you know, you have to strike when the iron’s hot. Interscope has definitely helped us and allowed us to see our vision too, but they have also pushing our vision, but it’s all us.

DH: It’s a great album.

Ortiz: Thank you. Thank you.

DH: As far as growing up, what were some of the bands that influenced you and your style of drumming?

Ortiz: I’m old school, man. I love fuckin rock and metal; that’s my core. I listen to everything. Now that I’ve grown up, I can appreciate all sounds of music, from rock and metal, to country, to pop music and all kinds of stuff. I love it. I can appreciate just about anything if I really take the time to understand where the artist is coming from. Growing up, I was really shy and very sheltered, so I grew up listening to metal stuff, pissed off little kid. I didn’t have any friends. I always looked at drumming as my way to impress people. I thought this way people were gonna like me. I’m gonna have something to give the world and when I looked at bands like Megadeth and Metallica, I felt like, they were singing to me, they were telling me they have the same story. They were definitely an influence. I grew up and actually did start to get that attention; started hanging out with the cooler kids. They showed me the drums and I thought that was the best sound ever. Travis Barker is the best drummer ever. WTF! Lars from Metallica, he’s probably one the biggest influence as far as drumming, but he also for many other reasons. He doesn’t concern himself too much with all the technical aspect. He’s not clean, he’s not pretty, but he cares about the song. To me, he cares about how he influences everything, and a lot of times, less is more. I love that approach. The guitar sounds so much bigger when the drums aren’t competing with them. Sometimes, I love guitar more than drums because it has that ability to move you and the drums are what should be pushing it.

DH: I know you guys toured many countries, but you toured South America. How did that audience compare to American audiences?

Ortiz: I’ll level with you Man. South America was an experience that has changed me as a person. I started to notice that the bands far from a point of success. In my eyes, I see that there’s people working for me and getting things done, but all I have to do is play drums and it feels great. You start to lose sight of the little things in life. You lose sight of the fact that you have to appreciate what you have. We’re always bitching about something. South America was a crazy experience for me. I always used to think America is great, but those people, you don’t even have to let them know they’re poor, just let them be happy. I didn’t realize that people down there know that shit’s not right and so for them, any audience we play for, they go, they spend their money, it’s because they’re longing for that escape. It’s going out and having a good time. It’s escaping any other woes that there is and I share that with them while I’m on stage. In South America, it’s just that much more important to them. It’s like, ‘I need this and I know that you’re probably not gonna go back there for another 2 ½ – 3 years, if you ever do, so we’re gonna soak you in a much as we can.’ They smothered us, literally, physically, they smother  you. They’re grabbing and picking my shit because they wanted to grab any piece of us that they could. They followed us to where we eat; they found our hotel room and were calling us. They couldn’t get enough, like, they knew this was their chance. They’re desperate over there and that’s the feeling I got and it made me appreciate what I’m doing so much more, whereas before it was like, ‘Yeah, I’m cool, you guys should like my music.’ The world needs people like me and my band and they want me to deliver. It changed my outlook on life a lot.

DH: As far as festivals in 2011, I know you’re doing Rock on the Range, but is there anything else you guys are gonna do?

Ortiz: FestivaIwise, I don’t know about the States, but we’re definitely gonna be doing some of the bigger ones. It should be good. I don’t know the names of them, but definitely a lot of European festivals.

DH: A lot of fans are looking forward to hearing you at Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH.

Ortiz: We were supposed to do it last year, but the truth is, we were smack in the middle of our album, and we were so into it and fired away. I don’t remember what we said back then, if we were honest or not, but we were just so into it that we couldn’t leave it to go do something else and focus. We had to give our full focus to performing because our focus was in writing and recording the creative process. Now that our album is out and it’s time to perform those songs and give people something to see, now it’s time to go do Rock on the Range.

DH: You’re gonna be coming to Chicago/Milwaukee. Is there anything to gear the fans up to? In such a huge market, what is there for them to look for?

Ortiz: Chicago is our fuckin home. That place is narly. It’s whatever we can do and as big as we can possibly make it. And you know, Chicago is a bigger place, so it’s gonna be huge, trust me. I don’t know, we really don’t plan that far in advance. It’s just like, ‘Let’s do this.’

Escape The Fate tour dates

2/11      Hartford, CT @Webster Theatre
2/12      Worcester, MA @The Palladium
2/13      Montreal, Quebec @Club Soda
2/14      Toronto, Ontario @Phoenix Theatre
2/16      Buffalo, NY @Town Ballroom
2/17      Royal Oak, MI @Royal Oak Music Theatre
2/18      Grand Rapids, MI @The Orbit Room
2/19      Milwaukee, WI @Rave Ballroom
2/20      Chicago, IL @The Vic Theater
2/21      Sauget, IL @Pop’s
2/23      Minneapolis, MN @The Cabooze
2/25      Denver, CO @The Summit Music Hall
2/26      Salt Lake City, UT @In The Venue
2/27      Boise, ID @Knitting Factory
3/1        Spokane, WA @Knitting Factory
3/2        Portland, OR @Roseland Theater
3/3        Seattle, WA @Showbox at the Market
3/5        San Francisco, CA @Grand Regency Ballroom
3/6        Sacramento, CA @Ace of Spades
3/8        Reno, NV @Knitting Factory
3/9        Fresno, CA @Crest Theatre
3/11      Anaheim, CA @The Grove of Anaheim
3/12      San Diego, CA @Soma

written by Peter Lizano

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