ESCAPE THE FATE / Countdown to „Ungrateful“ / Interview with Craig Mabbitt

Craig (Escape the Fate) by Dennis Rowehl

There’s a great excitement in the air, the new album „Ungrateful“ is almost ready to be released and it took a long time … the change of the label, of the management and the crew, getting back older recordings to mix them again and in a different way, writing new material in a new direction and putting eveything together. This year ESCAPE THE FATE will be busy playing a bunch of big festivals like Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, touring with PAPA ROACH and even BUSH. I met Craig to talk about the new album, politics, society, the new direction of the band, private stuff, serious issues, the American society and fate.

Interview: Dennis Rowehl / Photo (above): Dennis Rowehl; photo (below) by courtesy of the record company Eleven Seven Hi Craig, welcome to Germany …

Craig: Thank you very much. You’re from Phoenix, the band’s originally from Las Vegas and some of your guys live in California. Isn’t it difficult to rehearse?

Craig: Well, first when I joined the band I used to live in Vegas, then I moved to L.A. and now back in Phoenix cause I’ve got a six years old daughter, she lives in Phoenix with her mom, my whole family lives there, too and when we finished a tour with the band and I went back home to L.A. … it didn’t make sense cause I missed my daughter and so I went back to Phoenix. Anyway … the recordings are done and we’ll spend the next time on tour, so I don’t need another place in L.A. So, Vegas is like a sin city. Do you like Las Vegas?

Craig: First I thought it was cool but after one week I figured out that I couldn’t live there. It’s good for a visit, but that’s it. One of your new tracks called „Chemical love“ reminds me a little bit of the new Depeche Mode stuff …

Craig: (laughing) I like that! Yeah we had some new ideas in this direction and especially our female fans really like that kind of shit, man. Lots of American bands are not that much interested in politics. What about you?

Craig: As I’m getting older I’m starting to be more interested in politics. When I get into the band life I was about 16 years old and I thought: Hey let me out of these things, I concentrated upon my stuff, was rebellious, wanted to have fun … in a Punk Rock sense … I’m a little concerned that especially American bands don’t have any political statements …

Craig: I know what you mean. When I write songs I want the people having fun. I want to talk about other issues, about how people feel about their personal lives, the kind of issues you go through. If you take a look back, parts of society and politics were blaming Rock bands for playing the devil’s music … so the bands had to react on this … and these things don’t happen these days. You just get this advisory sticker on your album and that’s it. The only persons writing about politics are Eminem and Marylin Manson because some people try to stop them to make music and so they react on this. So if the govenment comes along telling me not to make a record I’ll tell him: „Kiss my ass“. We still have the freedom of speech in the USA. What do you think about Obama’s campaign of enforcing strict firearms laws?

Craig: You know, the problem is when somebody wants to do something in a country and the people do not understand why he wants to do this, they just complain. You have to see both sides. In the US there have been so many mass shootings in school, in the cinema and so many kids have been shot. How many mass shootings did we have in the last 10 years? So we have to think about our gun rules. There are so many people with more than 15 guns … so we’ve got to do something to stop kids shooting other kids and teachers in the movie theatre or in Columbine. I’ve got a daughter and that’s why I’m concerned about what’s going on. In America we have so many shootings and it’s rediculous that you can go in a Wall Mart Shopping Center and get yourself a gun … shopping for the whole family. „You want a gun, Sir … There you go, see you later“ (laughing)! This is very stupid. So if I get back to the lyrics of our new songs … I have a voice to stand for something and I want to help kids to get through things I was going through. The older we get, the more we have to talk about. The first albums have been about parties, getting drinks, girls and stuff like this. Now it’s more about serious issues, so I’m very excited about this album because this album is about serious stuff, not politics and religion but even not longer about ex girlfriends like „Baby, you broke my heart“ and shit like this. But you still party when you’re on tour?

Craig: Sometimes … well, you know … sure we party a lot but not as much as in the early times. You have to take care about playing a good show and if you drink too much you should’t do it the next night (laughing). What’s the best part becoming more and more a rock star?

Craig: This is what I always wanted to do. Touring the world with great bands, headlining is pretty cool! It’s cool hanging out with so many awesome bands at the Festivals. I love it, meeting so many interesting and cool people, being busy all the time, I like keeping myself busy playing my music and stuff. Oh, the last time we’ve been out here in a club in Cologne I saw the coolest guy I’ve ever seen who gave a shit about anything and he just did what he wanted to do. The party was awesome and this guy was dancing and I recognized that he was missing his legs, so he had fake legs but he was dancing and he put lights into his fake legs. Awesome! Other people would say: „Oh my God, what can I do in my life without legs“ but this guy gives a shit and put lights into his legs (laughing), this was so amazing! Here’s my last question regarding your band name ESCAPE THE FATE. Do you believe in fate?

Craig: Mmhh, I don’t know if I do, man. I mean, we’re all supposed to end up somewhere. You make different choices and there are some alternative paths, so I think you can escape some certain fates but I think sometimes it can be that some things are predetermined. My mother believes that. Well, if you think you can fall into shit you’ll fall into deeper shit. Everybody has shit in his life and I also had bad times but I have better things to do than deeling with shit! So you think you can become the master of your own fate, in a way?

Craig: Yes. You know, when I was a kid I needed a breathing machine because of my bad asthma and I had to go into a special class cause of my speech, so I had a strong breathing problem and a speech impediment and now I sing for a Rock band. How could this happen? I always wanted to be in band and I was pushing and pushing and now I’m a singer of a rock band. This is so awesome, man! Absolutely. Well, Craig … nice talking to you. Good luck and see you the next time you play in Germany.

Craig: Thank you!

Escape_The_Fate_Road (Photo by David Jackson)