By Eric Wendt
Escape the Fate is a paradox. They have rabid, die-hard fans the world over, yet many people have never heard of them. Judging by the name of their current co-headlining tour, “This World is Ours,” it looks like the band is aiming to change that. Synthesis spoke with the post-hardcore 5-piece’s frontman, Craig Mabbitt, about Escape the Fate’s upcoming record, the downsides of being in a rock band and dealing with line-up changes.
I’m always curious when a band releases a self-titled record down the line. Why was the most recent record named after the band?
We felt that it was the record we always wanted to make, like we finally achieved our sound. The record represented everything about us at that particular time. However, like any other artist, we are so stoked on the music we are about to unleash on the world.
What was the reasoning behind leaving Epitaph for Interscope?
Epitaph is a great label. They do it right. But we felt like we wanted to go bigger. We thought a major label could take us to the next level. The landscape of the music industry is very different now. So the major label thing didn’t exactly pan out like we wanted. But we are just very ambitious. We’re proud of our music and we want it to reach as many people as possible.
The band has had the opportunity to tour all over. What are some places that really stuck out for you guys?
Different places stand out for different reasons. Some places are memorable for the incredible shows. Like Australia and South America. Some places give you a total culture shock, like Japan and South America. They simply don’t live life by the same rules that we do in the U.S. I saw people living in shacks in Chile. It gives you a new look on life. Some places are just beautiful. We went to the top of a pyramid in Mexico and saw the most amazing beach in New Zealand.
Everyone hears about the awesome parts of being in a touring rock ‘n’ roll band. What are the worst parts?
The worst part by far is the fact that you have to rely on other people and they rely on you. Our old bassist could not get his life together. He is incredibly charismatic and a great showman, but the dude just stopped showing up. We go through life together in such a small space but not everyone is on the same page. Guys will get tired and want to go home at different times. People change their lives at various times
The band’s fourth record is slated for release sometime this year. What can you tell us about the new release?
There are definitely songs on there that have the biggest potential to touch people’s lives. We have a ballad that is the best song we’ve ever written. I don’t give a fuck if we have to change our whole career to make that song reach people. I feel that these songs are what we truly are destined to be. They are the perfect culmination of what we want to be. They are better songs. I think we got really excited about the production of our last one. We got super into sounds and vibes and all that. This time it’s all about the songs. What do they mean, how should they feel? Do they make you dance, do they make you sing, do they make you want to cry or break something? Do they stay in your head? They aren’t more raw, they are more focused.
The band has gone through some serious line-up changes. How difficult is that for the group to go through?
It’s extremely difficult. It’s scary. I fucking hate it. The bottom line is you have to move on. When someone isn’t pulling their weight, you have to let them go. We tried and tried with Max [Green, former bassist]. I wanted to quit the band so much because I didn’t want to watch him die. He is a great friend; he has a good heart. But he does not care about life anymore. He has a serious drug problem. I pray to God every day that he will be alright. But I can’t keep putting my emotions through that. We need to be a team; we need strong people that want to make music and take it to the masses. I cannot sit there and watch him die. I just can’t.
Why should people come out to the show?
Because Escape the Fate is about excitement and drama. You never know what you’re going to get. You may be witnessing the best show of your life or the end of something that could have been great. Why would anyone want to miss out?