Escape the Fate is back. The Las Vegas metal band has been off the grid since 2011, but after the release of “Ungrateful” and the alarming video to match it, one must ask what happened during the break?
Reverb spoke with vocalist Craig Mabbitt about the new album, the video for “Ungrateful” and why he’s excited about getting back to work.
Escape the Fate announced Tuesday that the band is scheduled to headline the Marquis Theater in Denver on May 26.
Reverb: You guys haven’t put out anything for two years? Why the long break?
Craig Mabbitt: I wish I could tell you. I mean, we released our self-titled on Interscope then our bass player went to rehab, our guitar player didn’t want to be on tour with our bass player, he went home and it ended up being me and my drummer trying to be out on the road with fill-in members—trying not to let it fall apart. Shortly after that I’m like, lets do other s***, let’s work on a new record. We did a whole overhaul, new management, new label, new everything and finally, finally, we’re here.
How is this record different than previous Escape the Fate records?
Well, we did the majority of it ourselves—that’s definitely different. And you know, I feel like there’s a fire inside of everybody. We had everything and it all fell apart because some people were a little, I mean no pun intended—ungrateful. That’s why the album is called “Ungrateful,” because our guitarist is one of those people that was like, ‘I’m going to be a stay at home guitarist, I’m going to write the music, I don’t want to be on the road.’ It’s like, we didn’t make it, we’re not f***ing Metallica. We didn’t even scratch the surface and these people are getting ahead of themselves. It’s very easy sometimes for people to get a big head and that’s why our guitarist came back. I had a different title for the album and he was like, “No, I want to call it “Ungrateful” because I never want to be ungrateful like that again.”
Are the majority of the tracks on “Ungrateful” about getting out aggression from the last two years?
I mean, definitely. We really wanted to touch on real issues because we’re pegged as a party band and we’ve done a lot of party videos. That’s all fun and games, and I’m sure we’ll do that again in the future, but there’s been a countless number of times where I’ve had kids come up to me on tour and say, ‘you saved my life, your music gets me through the day.’ We just wanted to do something for them and let them know that guys, you’re not alone. And we’re not saints, we’re not the coolest people you’ve ever met — like thank you for supporting us, but we’re human beings too and we’ve gone through the same s***. Either we’ve been the victim or we’ve been the culprit behind the whole bullying epidemic. And it’s not something that was popular in the ‘90s—it’s something that still goes on today.
When you saw the finished version of the “Ungrateful” video did you expect it to be that intense or was that what you were going for?
That was definitely what we were going for. I’m the one that came up with the concept for the video and our director, Frankie Nasso, really committed to it. I said I want there to be a cycle, I want people to see that there’s a reason this kid is getting picked on. When I saw the revised edition of my storyline my mind was blown. I know it’s a little brutal—but its reality.
How does it feel to get back on tour?
It feels…I don’t know. It feels great. I’m sitting here at the airport right now. I haven’t sat at an airport bar waiting for a flight in so long. It feels like I’m finally back at work, you know what I mean?
Now that Escape the Fate is back, what are your expectations for 2013?
My biggest goal in 2013 is definitely to get back on board and wave our flag and show people that hey, we had a long time off but we’re still a band and that we’re still here. My other goal is to get our message across through our first track. We’ve always done these party videos, but to really address a message and help people out and let them know they’re not alone—that’s what music is all about.