Livin’ The Dream
By Alex Distefano
“I can’t tell you what the scene in Vegas is like now but I can tell you what the scene in Vegas used to be like,” said Robert Ortiz, founding member and drummer of the band Escape The Fate, a metal/hard rock group that formed just shy of a decade ago, but has been gaining popularity and a solid fan base by touring whenever and wherever possible, and utilizing social media marketing when it means the most.
“When we were starting out growing up there it wasn’t easy because we had no classic, smaller type venue,” Ortiz said. “We came out when MySpace was taking over so it was easy for us to make fans without having to play shows first. We’d have the fans before we were waiting to play our first shows, and we came up before Vegas had all these other bands. Now Vegas is kind of hot, because of bands like The Killers, Panic At The Disco and Imagine Dragons.”
Ortiz told the Weekly that despite some inner turmoil the band has had, (which included parting ways with band members due to substance abuse problems) Escape the Fate is now back with a new album, entitled Ungrateful which was released May 14. “This album is a statement in our career—straight up,” Ortiz said. “We put all of our emotions and poured our hearts into each and every song. We went to different producers and put so much work into not half-assing it.” Ortiz said that by far this album has “a lot less frill, and a lot more attitude; less glossy shine and sound effects.”
As a band on tour most of the year, Ortiz admitted that Escape the Fate found it difficult at times to make friends on the road, but has bonded with several bands. “It isn’t easy to make friends for us, for whatever reason,” Ortiz told the Weekly. “But we’ve become good friends with Papa Roach; they are really open-minded for what we do; they are good people. We’re also good friends with Alexandria, and Hollywood Undead, since we’re on the road together a lot.”
Ortiz said that he and the rest of his band, which includes vocalist Craig Mabbit, brothers Bryan and Michael Money and TJ Bell are all beyond thrilled to be sharing the stage with the mighty Iron Maiden and Slipknot later this summer and the Download Fest in the UK.
“You’re talking about childhood idols, this was our dream,” Ortiz said. “We had these bands’ posters on our wall. Iron Maiden is legendary, and Slipknot is the next generation of metal bands. In our minds, it goes Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer and then Slipknot for the younger generation of metal bands.”
Ortiz said that the band loves being on the road, and loves to travel all over. But his favorite spot is Florida. “We all love to play Florida, it’s so beautiful out there,” he said. “Usually I’m the uptight one in the band, but when we go to Florida the rules don’t apply: we party and go to the beach to have fun until we have to leave. I go right from partying on the beach to the stage.”
The band is ready to put in some time on the road to promote this new album and share music with the fans. “If you’ve seen us before you know that we bring a hell of a show, and we kill it every time,” he said. “Unfortunately that went away for a while but now we got the fire back and we’re excited to be back on the road, giving the best performance we can each show we play.”
Escape the Fate at The Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802); www.theglasshouse.us. Sat, June 1. 7PM. Tickets $20. All ages.