Escape the Fate is an American post-hardcore band from Las Vegas, Nevada formed in 2005 and originally from Pahrump, Nevada, they are currently signed to Eleven Seven Music. The group consists of Robert Ortiz (drummer), Max Green (bassist and backing vocalist), Craig Mabbitt (lead vocalist), TJ Bell (rhythm guitarist), and Kevin "Thrasher" Gruft (lead guitarist).
They have released three EPs and four full-length studio albums. Dying Is Your Latest Fashion was the band's debut album and only album to feature vocalist Ronnie Radke. This War Is Ours, released on October 21, 2008, This album departed from the band's earlier emo, darker sound, to a more hard rock, mainstream sound. Less screamed vocals are used, and the album was cited to have a varied, mixed sound changing from track to track. It is the first Escape the Fate album to feature former Blessthefall singer Craig Mabbitt on vocals, the album debuted at No. 35 on the Billboard 200, selling 13,000 copies in the first week. Their self-titled third studio album was released worldwide on November 2, 2010. It was the band's first and only album released on DGC/Interscope following their departure with Epitaph and the second with vocalist Craig Mabbitt. The album charted No. 25 at Billboard 200, No. 1 at Hard Rock Albums, No. 4 in a Rock Albums, No. 3 in Alternative and Independent charts and No. 18 in Digital Albums Chart. The album is heavier than the previous album and features a darker sound. Upon release, the album has received generally positive reviews, and is Escape the Fate's most successful album to date. It is the band's last release to feature bassist Max Green. Their fourth album Ungrateful was released on May 14, 2013 by Eleven Seven Music, and charted at No. 27 on the Billboard 200, with 17,000 copies sold in its first week. The band has sold over a million records worldwide.
Formation and Dying Is Your Latest Fashion (2004–2006)
Before forming Escape the Fate, the vocalist Ronnie Radke, lead guitarist Bryan Monte Money, bassist Max Green, drummer Robert Ortiz, keyboardist Carson Allen, and rhythm guitarist Omar Espinosa were in multiple bands all together. Later, in 2004, Monte Money created Escape the Fate with Max Green and Ronnie Radke, then inviting Robert Ortiz and Omar Espinosa, and later recruited Carson Allen.
In September 2005, Escape the Fate had won a local radio contest judged by My Chemical Romance. The gig awarded them the opportunity to open a show on the band's headlining tour with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect, which subsequently led to Escape the Fate's record deal with Epitaph (this is also because of Escape the Fates demo album). Following their record deal, the band released their debut EP titled There's No Sympathy for the Dead. in May 2006 which included two songs that were later on their full length album, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion. The EP was produced by Michael Baskette and helped earn the band attention from record labels and fans alike. After the EP's release, keyboardist Carson Allen left the band to join On the Last Day (Which he had also left to start another band called Me vs. Myself).
Later in September 2006, the band released their first full-length album, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, which charted moderately on Billboard's Heatseeker and Top Independent charts. In November 20, 2007, they released the Situations EP, it was also the last extended play that Ronnie Radke and Omar Espinosa made with the band.[better source needed]
Departure of Espinosa and Radke (2007-2008)
In 2007, during the Black on Black tour, rhythm guitarist Omar Espinosa left the band due to personal issues and started a band called Perfect Like Me (after leaving The Black and White City). Later, Ronnie Radke was involved in an altercation in Las Vegas that resulted in the fatal shooting of 18 year-old Michael Cook. While Radke did not shoot Cook, he was indicted on battery charges, while the man who shot Cook claimed self-defense. These charges against Radke, combined with Ronnie's past troubles with narcotics and rehab, led to a sentence of five years probation. Radke failed to report to his parole officer and was arrested in June 2008, where he was sentenced to two years in prison. Radke was officially fired from Escape the Fate in mid-2008. As stated by Max Green, "First we couldn't tour out of the country, then out of the state." Radke was released from prison in December 2010 and is now in a new band, Falling in Reverse.
Mabbitt's arrival and This War Is Ours (2008–2010)
After Radke was sentenced to two years probation for battery charges, Escape the Fate went on a search for a new lead vocalist. Radke would later be sent to the High Desert State Prison for violating his probation. The band turned to Craig Mabbitt, who was searching for a new band after leaving Blessthefall and he is best friend of Max Green. Mabbitt had played with Escape the Fate on the Black on Black Tour, while with Blessthefall. After several trial shows he became the official new singer and they entered the studio to record their second full length album, This War Is Ours. The album was released on October 21, 2008. It was the first Escape the Fate release to feature Craig Mabbitt as the vocalist.
On October 1, 2008, the band released "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)" for download.
Copies of the album were made available to buy on their tour with Chiodos and Silverstein, even before the album's official release date.
The official video for "Something" was released to MTV on January 12, 2009.
The video for the album's third single "10 Miles Wide" was released June 9, 2009.
"This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)" is the fourth single off the album. The video was shot in Santa Ana, California on January 9, 2010. The video was released along with the deluxe edition of the album on April 27, 2010.
The album debuted at No. 35 on the Billboard 200, selling 13,000 copies in the first week. Before the tour for This War Is Ours, the band had never completed a full tour. The band later went on the This War Is Ours tour with Attack Attack!, Burn Halo, William Control, and Black Tide. The band then joined Hollywood Undead and Atreyu on their 2008 tour and toured Europe during December.
In 2010, Epitaph Records announced they re-release of the This War Is Ours album in deluxe CD/DVD edition with a bonus disc with many different features not seen before. The CD included two new never before heard songs, later identified to be "Bad Blood" and "Behind the Mask", an acoustic version of "Harder Than You Know", and an unreleased remix of "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)" called "This War Is Mine", remixed by the Shawn Crahan. It also came with a DVD that featured the new music video to "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)", as well as "Something", "The Flood", and "10 Miles Wide", as well as a world tour documentary and a behind the music feature. It released April 27, 2010.
Escape the Fate spent the rest of 2010 touring Australia on the Soundwave Festival and then Extreme Thing in the US.
Self-titled album (2010–2011)
Escape the Fate began writing a third record in early 2010, which eventually became the self-titled Escape the Fate, which was released in November 2010. For the album, the band left Epitaph and signed to major label Interscope and had the record produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Hollywood Undead, Bullet for My Valentine). Max Green commented on the album, saying, "This record is the cure for the modern day music epidemic, We are wiping the slate clean and re-writing rock music as you know it.” The album spawned four singles: "Massacre", "Issues", "City of Sin", and "Gorgeous Nightmare".
The band had been working on the album since the release of This War is Ours in 2008. Being able to completely form the writing and recording process with the current lineup for the first time, the band felt that the album would be a great representation for the band. This is due to the fact that when Mabbitt first joined the band, he felt very rushed to write a record and fit into an already established band. In addition, the debut on a major label also led to the band choosing to self-title the album. Lyrically, the album is heavier and darker than previous efforts, according to Mabbitt. In an interview, he explained the choice of direction for the album in that they were, "figuring out what we enjoy playing live, what we enjoy listening to on our record." Mabbitt feels that the past two albums have been working up to Escape the Fate and that this direction will continue with future releases. For writing, Craig Mabbitt expressed that he believes it is more important to focus on what the band enjoys doing rather than copying other bands for success. "[We] definitely could have been like, ‘Oh, let's throw another minute-long solo, let's do a chugga-chug here, let's scream over this, and let's sound like every other band and put the same song on the record ten times so that we have a one song, ten different track album.'... we just like to be very diverse..." On working with producer Don Gilmore, the band said that he helped them "find themselves" and continue to push different parts of the song until they formed a record they were satisfied with. Mabbitt also praised Gilmore for his ability to perfect the album without affecting their music. Commenting on the album, Mabbitt feels that "This record has the heaviest song the band has ever written, it has the softest ballad the band has ever written, it has the craziest solo Monte has ever written. The whole record just has everything in it."
For inspiration, Craig Mabbitt said that he drew experiences from many things, stating, "I wanted to write about every emotion that you can get from life, everything that kind of happens, every kind of story I've heard that really upset me." The track "Lost in Darkness" tells the story about one of Mabbitt's friends who was dragged out of her home and raped at gunpoint. Mabbitt stated that, "[She] was screaming for help and nobody helped her at all. Everybody just turned the other cheek. That was something that really struck me, and I see that happening a lot, just people not wanting to lend a helping hand to people when somebody is hurting... That's definitely where I went with that song." The second track, "Massacre", is about Mabbitt's past addictions and the things he did to overcome them. The ballad track "World Around Me" takes a broader view and was written about life in general. "[World Around Me is] about relationships with my ex and my child, everything accumulated into one song." The closing track, "The Aftermath (G3)", is the third song under the title of "The Guillotine" for Escape the Fate. The original Guillotine was sung by Ronnie Radke for Dying Is Your Latest Fashion and was about the video game series Halo. When Mabbitt joined, a song entitled "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Part II)" was included on This War Is Ours and was also about Halo. However, the second Guillotine was written as well to relate to real-life soldiers in battle. For the self-titled album, Mabbitt wrote a third Guillotine track but did not want to base it off of Halo again. Instead, he wrote a more personal track about his father who was in the military when Mabbitt was a child. "[The] chorus, ‘Now I'm coming home,' is an ode to my Dad and an ode to all the soldiers out there who are fighting a war for us and waiting to come home to their families." As a whole, Mabbitt feels that, "every track has a completely different underlying story to it."
Vocally, Mabbitt experimented for the self-titled album. On both tracks "Lost in Darkness" and "Liars and Monsters", a track that appears on the Deluxe Edition of the album, he sang at the lowest pitch he has done yet for a track. On the track "Zombie Dance", Mabbitt described the recording process and that he recorded five layers of vocal harmony for the final mix in addition to little sound effects. He explained it was difficult to achieve the high harmonies and right pitches right for all of the tracks. Another difficulty he experienced while recording was boosting the endings of songs for an epic feels. Despite this, Craig stated he enjoyed experimenting and that he "can't wait to keep on going back into the studio and experimenting on a ton of different things."
Rather than have eleven tracks for the regular version of the album, the band wanted to include both "Liars and Monsters" and "The Final Blow" from the deluxe edition on the album. The decision to put them as bonus tracks were encouraged to keep the length and tracks on the album to a manageable size. Mabbitt jokingly stated that the band recorded so much material, almost two albums worth, that he "just want[ed] to record everything and just release a 20 track album." There were at least six or seven tracks recorded that did not make the cut for the album. Two ballads and about five heavier songs were cut because the band had to decide "Which one is the strongest one? Which one do we have most vocals to? What's going to fit in the diversity of the record?" This was to give the fans variety rather than having a straight, one-genre record. On this, Mabbitt commented, "We could have thrown those songs on there and not put "World Around Me" or "Gorgeous Nightmare" or "Zombie Dance" or "Issues" or anything like that. It would have been more like a straightforward record. That's not what we like to do. We like to have a lot of that diversity in our sound." Another track, entitled "Dream" was fully recorded and mixed for the final cut of the album. Before finalizing, however, Monte Money decided to rerecord the guitar part with a lower tune to change the sound of the song. After rerecording, the band agreed they liked the original version better but the deadline for the record did not allow them to finish the song in time so they are going to keep it for a later release.
In an interview during Warped Tour 2009, bassist Max Green stated that the album will feature a song co-written by Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, who approached Escape the Fate to collaborate on some songs, but later was revealed that they decided against putting the song on the album and saving for a future release. Max Green also confirmed through Formspring that there will be a song co-written by guitarist John 5 of Rob Zombie, later seen to be "Liars And Monsters".
On April 23, vocalist Craig Mabbitt stated via Twitter, "off to vegas today to finish out last minute badass demos with monte, then off to bamboozle, then studio time", giving the notion that the band will begin recording their studio album directly after The Bamboozle, and release it mid/late Summer 2010. Soon after, Mabbitt stated through his Twitter account that the band had a few more songs to record, and that the new album will be coming sooner than expected. He has also hinted towards there being a "Guillotine III: The Aftermath" track on the album, which was later confirmed as true.
During early recording, Max Green was questioned on Formspring about the band possibly changing record labels. Max responded by saying that he will reveal all of that at a later time. This would make the record the first to be released without Epitaph Records.[full citation needed] On July 26, Escape The Fate confirmed that the new record will be released through major record label, DGC/Interscope Records. Craig Mabbitt stated that the band had no issues with Epitaph but the appeal to bring their music to a wider audience led to their signing with Interscope. The band was initially worried about switching but were pleased that neither the new label or the new producer wanted to change or control the band. "Interscope was hopping on board with us, instead of us hopping on board with Interscope." In the same press release, they have listed Don Gilmore as the album's producer, who has worked with bands such as Linkin Park, Bullet For My Valentine, and Hollywood Undead. A November 2 release date was also confirmed. Speaking about the album, Max Green commented, "This record is the cure for the modern day music epidemic, We are wiping the slate clean and re-writing rock music as you know it.”
Starting July 24, 2010, they set off on tour for South and Central America, the country's toured are Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. Escape the Fate were set to take on a United States, Canada, and Europe tour prior to release of the album, with Bullet for My Valentine, Drive A and Black Tide, but later forfeited their spot due to Max Green admitting to rehab.
In May Escape the Fate jumped on the second half of the Raid The Nation tour headlined by Papa Roach with the absence of Max Green on bass. With no statement by the band on his replacement, it was later recogegnized by many as TJ Bell, who was at the time the current rhythm guitarist for the band Motionless In White. In later interviews with the band after Green's departure, it was clear his absence from the tour was due to his addiction with drugs. Bell would go on to fill in for Green on many subsequent tours before replacing Green permanently in 2012.
On January 11, 2011, the band performed live in "Tues Show" (Fuel.tv) the song "Issues" and "Gorgeous Nightmare" with the special collaboration of Kevin Thrasher (of Lovehatehero). On August 19, 2011, the band announced via Facebook that Monte Money would be taking a break from touring but will still be in the band. Kevin Thrasher, who has worked with the band in the past, substituted for Monte. It was also announced that Max Green returned to the band after taking a break through the first half of 2011 to recover from his addiction with drugs through rehab. “I’m feeling great and am glad to be back with my band. Escape The Fate is my life. This is where I belong.”, Max Green said. After they played a couple of shows on the 2011 Uproar Festival, Max, again, left the band and Zakk Sandler, from Black Tide (who was also playing Uproar), filled in for him. TJ Bell, currently bassist of Get Scared once again filled in for bassist Max Green in early 2012 on the band's UK tour with Funeral for a Friend, who had previously filled in for Green on their tour with Papa Roach.
Ungrateful and line-up changes (2011–2013)
In mid-December 2011, the band re-entered the studio to work on the production of their fourth album. Initially, the album was planned to be produced in full by John Feldmann and was scheduled for release some time in 2012.
Mabbitt commented that since they are recording their fourth album with John Feldmann again, who they worked with on their second album,This War Is Ours, the style of the upcoming album will be similar to This War Is Ours but will also have elements of their self-titled album added in. He also announced a tour, later revealed to be the This World is Ours Tour in South America with metalcore band Attack Attack! as well as supporting acts The Word Alive and Mest. The tour would later be continued in the United States and Canada. He revealed on February 7 that Escape the Fate is working with Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump. It was later revealed that they made the song "Painting" together, which will be on the upcoming Escape the Fate album and ultimately on the album was titled "Picture Perfect".
On March 4, 2012, Max Green stated on his Twitter account that he is no longer playing in Escape the Fate. He did not give any specific reasons for his departure, but summarized that it was mainly due to personal and musical differences. He later announced that although he is no longer part of Escape the Fate, he is still continuing making music. Mabbitt hinted in an interview with Alternative Press that Max Green's departure was due to drugs. Despite the sudden departure, Green and Escape the Fate remained on good terms, to the point where Green even attended a recent show by the band in Los Angeles. Green joined the band The Natural Born Killers and released their first song "Last Day".
The band announced that their South American tour with Attack Attack! will be delayed until June because of Attack Attack! member Andrew Wetzel being diagnosed with pneumonia.
In the aforementioned interview with Alternative Press, the band officially announced that touring members TJ Bell and Michael Money will join the band as official members. Mabbitt commented that Michael Money would have already been an official member, but certain members of the band (who are now former members) refused to let him in. “When the band became a four-piece we still wanted rhythm so he was never officially given a spot in the band [because] some other members that aren't in the band anymore didn't want him to be,” he continues. “It got to the point where we were on a tour and he was playing behind the stage, then we got to Warped Tour and he was restricted to this little box and I'm sure it had some effect on Monte as well, [his brother] being in a band but not being an official part of it, so to see them happy and see that camaraderie, it's nice. We'll be stronger moving forward,” Mabbitt said. Along with this, the band also revealed a possible September 2012 release date for their fourth studio album, and the band will be playing a new track from the upcoming album on the This World Is Ours tour, later to be revealed to be titled, "Live Fast, Die Beautiful".
Robert Ortiz announced in an interview that the band is in the process of switching record labels, explaining that Interscope had too much creative control over the band and the band was unhappy with it. On December 17, 2012, the band released a short clip of an upcoming track titled "Ungrateful", along with the official statement regarding joining Eleven Seven Music. Mabbitt commented on joining the label, saying, "We are excited to be working with Allen and all the people at Eleven Seven Music and having Monster partner with us in 2013! We are stoked to get shit rolling again and we are thankful for all our fans that have stuck with us during this down time. We hope everyone is ready to go hard with us in 2013." Eleven Seven Music EVP Joe McFadden added, "We are extremely excited to have signed ESCAPE THE FATE. We've been watching them for some time now and we look forward to working with them as they define the future of rock and roll."
The band headlined a free show in Hollywood, California on January 6, 2013 to continue promoting the album. Supporting acts included Eyes Set to Kill, As Thick as Thieves, and ex-Attack Attack! vocalist Caleb Shomo. During the show, the band performed four new songs from the upcoming album, including "Ungrateful", "Until We Die", "You're Insane", and "Live Fast, Die Beautiful". The show was attended by over 1,000 people. The concert will be available on DVD on the deluxe version of the upcoming album.
The first single, which is also the title track of "Ungrateful" was released on February 12. The song was made available for free during the first 24 hours of the release on the Alternative Press website, as a thank you to the fans. They also shot a video for "Ungrateful". It was released on March 7 and deals with the issues of bullying and the circle of violence/vicious circle. The video ends with the simple message, “Violence is a vicious cycle that has taken many lives…”. This message is followed with the pictures of six teenagers who actually committed suicide as a result of violence and bullying, one being Amanda Todd. The clip concludes with the statement, “End the cycle now”.
To further promote the album, the band will partake in several music festivals in 2013, including Rock on the Range, Rocklahoma, and others.
On March 18, the next single, "You're Insane" was also made available for those who pre-ordered the album, and on April 1 the music video was released as well.
Line-up changes and current events (2013–present)
In July 2013, Max Green performed on stage with Escape the Fate playing bass.
On September 16, 2013, the band issued a statement from their Facebook page stating that Monte and his brother had refused to go on the "Wrong Side Of Heaven" tour with Five Finger Death Punch, and that they would be replacing them for the tour. Along with this it was announced that TJ Bell would be moving from his position as bassist to rhythm guitar and former bassist and original member Max Green would be returning to the band for the tour but not as an official replacement as of yet. It was later announced in an Alternative Press video featuring lead singer Craig Mabbitt that Max Green would be returning to bass permanently, as would Kevin Gruft as the new lead guitarist.
The Dead Masquerade (2011)
The band realizes for the first time, a headlining tour, for the promotion of its new self titled album, bringing along Alesana, Motionless in White, Get Scared and Drive A, across U.S. and Canada that initiates in January and ended in March.
A second leg of their headlining tour, the Dead Masquerade Down Under, was added during mid-tour, announced a small tour in Australia, bringing along Pierce the Veil as co-headliners.
Raid the Nation (2011)
After the conclusion of their headlining tour, The Dead Masquerade, and announcing a number of festivals, including Rocklahoma,Rock on the Range,Lazerfest, Download Festival, The band also announced through Twitter and Facebook that they would co-headline on the 2nd half of the "Raid the Nation" tour with Papa Roach and special guest Pop Evil, from May 2011 for 2 weeks across the east coast of the U.S.
Uproar Festival (2011)
From August 26 to October 14, Escape The Fate opened on the main stage of Uproar Festival with bands Bullet for My Valentine, Seether, Three Days Grace, and Avenged Sevenfold.
From October 23 to 30, Escape The Fate co-headlined a European tour with Funeral for a Friend, along with special guests The Amity Affliction, The Bunny the Bear, and Straight Lines.
This World Is Ours Tour (2012)
Escape the Fate announced on February 6, 2012 that they will be embarking on a spring co-headlining tour starting in April with Attack Attack!, with support from The Word Alive, Secrets, and Mest, going through North America.
South America (2012)
Escape the Fate announced they would be co-headlining a four date South American tour with Underoath and special guests Protest the Hero. Concluding the tour, the band will play a few shows in Mexico without support.
The Connection Tour (2013)
In March Escape the Fate announced that they would once again be direct support to Papa Roach while on their U.S. tour supporting their new album. Joining Escape the Fate as support will also be Otherwise
Ungrateful Tour (2013)
Shortly after the announcement of the Connection tour, Escape the Fate announced they would headline off dates of the tour with support from The Color Morale, Glamour Of The Kill, and As Thick As Thieves.
House of Blues Tour (2013)
Escape the Fate announced they would be direct support to Hollywood Undead on the House of Blues Tour with All Hail The Yeti and 3PillMorning.
The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell Tour (2013)
From September to October 2013 Escape the Fate was direct support to Five Finger Death Punch on their headlining arena tour with support also coming from Miss May I and Gemini Syndrome.
Bury the Hatchet Tour (2014)
Escape the Fate are one of the lineups to play on the Bury the Hatchet Tour along with Falling in Reverse, Chelsea Grin and Survive This!. The tours setlist will include on stage collaborations with Escape the Fate's founding former lead vocalist Ronnie Radke.
Co-headline tour with Pop Evil (2014)
Escape the Fate and Pop Evil launched a co-headline tour for April through May 2014.
Musical Influences and style
Their music has been described by critics as, post-hardcore,emo,screamo, and hard rock. The band's influences include: Marilyn Manson, Guns n' Roses, Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe, Greeley Estates, The Used, Cannibal Corpse, Danzig, Thursday, Linkin Park, Korn, Eminem, Metallica, Blink 182, Journey, Buckcherry, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Underoath, System of a Down, DragonForce,Michael Jackson, Queen, Van Halen, Dio, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith.
Craig Mabbitt has stated he draws inspiration from almost all types of genres. He said in an interview, "These days, a good song is a good song, and are always influences, whether it be old or new".
Ortiz stated that there is a huge variety in the band's influences from metal bands Metallica and Iron Maiden to the newer bands that they currently tour with, movie scores, or top 40 and rock songs.
- Studio albums
- Dying Is Your Latest Fashion (2006)
- This War Is Ours (2008)
- Escape the Fate (2010)
- Ungrateful (2013)
- Extended plays
- There's No Sympathy for the Dead (2006)
- Situations EP (2007)
- Issues Remixes (2011)