PropertyOfZack got the chance to speak with Craig from Escape The Fate just last week and the interview turned out great! Craig and I discussed the band’s shift to a major label, their new album, an upcoming world tour, a new summer release, as well as Ronnie Radke’s comments towards the band in his post-prison interview. You can also click here to enter a contest we’re holding with the band by February 14th to win an Xbox 360/Kinect. Read up and enjoy it, it’s a good one!
For the record, could you state your name and role in Escape The Fate?
My name’s Craig, and I sing for Escape The Fate.
It was announced during the summer that the band signed to DGC/Interscope Records in order to release your new record. How has the relationship been between you and the label so far?
It’s been really, really good man. They’re so many different people, so one person works specifically with this band and another works specifically with that band, so it’s a whole team. I really like it. I really love everybody at the label.
Epitaph is obviously the major label of the indies, but is there a noticeable change being on a real major label now?
Definitely. I’m definitely a lot busier. I talk to people at the label everyday. They call me everyday even if it’s just to see how I’m doing. They’re always calling to see what they can do to make this or that happen or to brainstorm about ideas to get the band out there. It definitely now feels like a job more than it ever has before.
Escape The Fate released its self-titled record in early November. How was the reception been to it in just the past few months?
It’s been really great. We just back from London yesterday actually. We did two shows over there and we played the longest set list that we’ve ever played, which was like 16 songs I think. More than half the songs were off of the new album and the crowd response was just incredible. I’m excited to hit the road for this headliner.
POZ: Were there any nerves before playing those new songs for the first time?
Craig: We were a little nervous beforehand, but it all came together really, really well. We were surprised
How was it working with Don Gilmore in the studio?
He’s a really like, laidback kind of producer, but at the same time is very hands on. He kind of gives suggestions here and there, but he just lets you do your own things and just sits back. I really like working with him because it made me feel like I got to open up as an artist a little bit.
Were there any big differences in the writing process this go around from prior releases?
Yeah, definitely. We’ve definitely been together longer for this last record. The one we did before it, it was kind of like, “Hey, let’s get this to work out” and then we jumped into the studio to put the record together in two months, which surprisingly did really, really well. We definitely felt like we had our shit together a little bit more this go around.
POZ: Was everything just more natural this time?
Craig: Yeah, it’s all super natural. The record was already done. We already had all of the songs, so it was pretty much just getting in the studio and professionally recording it. We have so much extra material leftover that we could use.
POZ: From the recent studio time?
Craig: Yeah, we still have a ton of songs that we didn’t use. We’re planning on doing something with them.
The band unfortunately had to pull out of a European tour with Bullet For My Valentine in late-2010 due to bassist Max Green entering rehab. That obviously happened very quickly and just after the album was released. How difficult of a situation was that to go through? And were fans supportive?
The fans were really supportive, which I think was a good thing for him going through rehab and stuff. We tried to be as supportive as we could be. It was definitely a bummer for fans and us alike who were hoping to see us at shows. That was going to be a really huge European tour for us, and that was a really good opportunity that we missed. The Bullet guys and fans were really understandable. The band is a lot healthier now. If Max didn’t get help at that time, I think it would’ve been very detrimental to the band in the long run because he was getting really, really bad. He needed help ASAP.
POZ: Was he able to make it out to those London shows?
Craig: Yeah, he made it out to the London shows. Not only was it the first show back from our hiatus, but it was also the first show with him getting out of rehab. The shows went really, really well.
Escape The Fate will be heading out on The Dead Masquerade tour, which is a massive three-month run, in just a few days. How much are you looking forward to it?
Man, words can’t describe. There’s nothing better than touring in your home country. You’re not walking down the street trying to find something to eat that’s not like a cow tongue. There’s always a Taco Bell right around the corner, and I’m a huge fan of Taco Bell. There’s nothing better than touring in the States. I’m good friends with a lot of these guys that we’re taking out. I only don’t know one of the bands, but I’m sure we’ll get along. I’m stoked to start playing these new songs. I’m also excited for our stage setup. I’m so excited for people to see us.
POZ: Will the set list be similar to the London shows?
Craig: Yeah, they are going to be very, very similar.
Are there any nerves for being out on the road for such an extremely long time?
We’re the kind of band, and I don’t like saying this because it’s a little ridiculous, but we hardly practice, which I think is something we need to start doing [Laughs]. At the beginning of a tour the first show is usually a little off, the second show is tighter, and by the third show we’re just raging, we go on forever. I think the road is really healthy for a band like this. I’m excited to be out for that long.
To get fans excited for the tour the Remix EP for the song “Issues” was released last week. When did that idea come together? And are you happy with how the tracks turned out?
I’m really happy with it, it definitely did what it was supposed to do. I read some iTunes comments and somebody was like, “I’ve never heard of this band before, but I’m a fan of the DJs who did the remix and I feel like this EP did what it needs to do because now I’m introduced to a new band that I enjoy.” It’s definitely doing its justice in that perspective. The idea came about when we started getting remixes from all these different artists to include one of the remixes on a deluxe version of the album. There were so many of them that I personally liked because I had been getting into a lot of the dubstep kind of music lately, so there ended up being another four or five remixes that I really enjoyed. The label pretty much was like, “Why don’t we throw them on an EP and release them for other people who might be fans of it.” We put it together and the people who like that stuff really like it, and some kids who have no idea think we turned into a techno band. They don’t understand that it’s a remix EP. They think it’s like a brand new EP and that we’re a techno band now.
I can only assume that you guys will want to take off a little bit of time after that tour to rest your bodies, but when would you ideally like to get back over to Europe to make up for those cancelled dates?
The US part of the tour goes until March and then we’re planning on extending the actual tour and maybe taking some of the bands who are on it, if they’re available, and right after the tour’s done we’re going back to Australia and Japan. After that we’re doing a bunch of festivals in the UK, and then after that we’re going to do a headliner through the UK and Europe. I think we’re going to stick with the same tour name and everything. This is going to turn into a world tour.
POZ: So that will take you through the summer right?
Craig: Yeah, that’s for sure.
POZ: Is that a really exciting idea for you guys?
Craig: It is kind of exciting because we’ve been to all these places and on every tour we always have a tour shirt with the dates on the back, which are always cool. Those are fan favorites. I’ve always wanted to have something that says “World Tour” with all the different dates. I’m pretty excited.
Like you said before, you guys have a ton of material left. Could we see an EP with those extra tracks in the summer?
Yeah, of course. We’re already talking about a way to release new material. You look at different hip/hop and rap artists and stuff and they release new albums, but they’re busting out songs all the time to keep their fans interested by giving them what to hear, which is more music. We’re trying to figure out a way to do that with a rock band.
To finish things up, Ronnie Radke, the bands original vocalist, did an interview with AltPress after he was released from prison, which I’m sure you’ve seen. In it he repeatedly called out the band, including yourself. There was a large reaction from fans on both sides of the fence. Did you guys get some bad feedback after that?
That’s something we dealt with almost three years ago now. It’s just something we don’t even pay attention to really. It’s really not a big deal anymore. Sometimes our fans get really into it and try to talk to me about it and I just tell them that we’re okay and they don’t have to worry about it, it’s no big deal. He obviously has a bunch of pent up stuff that he wants to say to give him his peace. So let him say it and move on. I think that’s what’s happening.
Is it water under the bridge for you at this point regardless of how many times he went to address you personally?
Yeah, it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m not going to bring myself down to a lower level. All the guys and me are on a much higher plane right now and we’re all happy. Even responding to something like that is bringing yourself down to a lower level. We’ve all grown up and matured over the years, so it’s pretty much water under the bridge for us at this point.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add or that we should be on the lookout for?
Just thank you to whoever is interested in reading. I appreciate it.