Robert Ortiz and Craig Mabbit Celebrate Escape the Fate’s New Album, ‘Out of the Shadows’ – ‘This Is Our Most Honest Work’
There's no question that Escape the Fate have been through a lot over their nearly 20 years of existence.
"It seems like the band, every four years, goes through some major disruption that would break up any other band," frontman Craig Mabbitt told Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights Wednesday night (Sept. 6). "But we're still kicking it."
Drummer and original member Robert Ortiz concurred with his bandmate during the conversation. "We have gone through a lot of member changes. That's well documented. It's part of our story. And because of that, it takes you time to find yourself. And for whatever reason—whether it's the collection of guys we have now—there [is] a cohesiveness."
That cohesiveness is powerfully captured on Escape the Fate's latest album, Out of the Shadows. This marks the band's eighth studio album and their first with guitarist Matti Hoffman and bassist Erik Jensen, two new members to the "collection of guys" Ortiz mentioned.
Escape the Fate Search For Hope in the Darkness
Out of the Shadows doesn't only capture a renewed focus for Escape the Fate, but it finds them exploring the darkness of the world around them—and coming out the other side with at least some glimpses of light and hope.
For Ortiz and Mabbit in particular, the journey out of the shadows is deeply personal—and they both agree that the new album is the band's "most honest work."
"Craig got sober during [the COVID-19 lockdown]," Ortiz said. "He reprogrammed his life."
As Mabbitt heard that phrase—"reprogrammed his life"—he told Chuck that it's been interesting to be on this side of sobriety while still singing songs he created in his previous life.
"When I listen to those old songs or when I was gearing up for tours and familiarizing myself with the music again, I was getting really emotional because it almost felt like the songs I wrote years ago—it was like I was speaking to myself," he admitted.
"It was like, I was crying out for help all these years and now listening back to it, I can hear myself doing that. I know there was something in the back of my head that's like, 'You gotta get this under control. You gotta get this under control.' I could never do it. I was too weak. So to revisit some of those songs and play them live, it's almost like I have more of a connection to them now ... It's incredibly powerful."
Robert Ortiz and His Journey Toward Killing His Old Self
As Mabbit embarked on his journey toward sobriety, Ortiz had his own opportunity to experience something new in his life.
"[The lockdown] gave me a chance to spend time with my kids when they were very young," he said. "I've only had kids for a few years."
In addition to being grateful for the "blessing" of having significant time with his children, Ortiz also encountered something a bit more divine.
"I'll just say it straight up, I gave my life over to Christ," he confessed. "In that moment, I realized that I killed my old self off. It wasn't like, 'Alright, cool, this is the new me.' No, this was an entirely new person."
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Ortiz called it a "rebirth" and said the experience led him and the band to create the opening track on Out of the Shadows, "Forgive Me"—a song saturated in the theme of being reborn.
"Every lyric that I wrote or every lyric that TJ [Bell] threw in or whatever, it was like, we're saying it. We're doing this. We're being reborn. We're a new man, we're a new band, we're a new mission."
What Else Did Escape the Fate's Craig Mabbitt and Robert Ortiz Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- Why they invited Ice Nine Kills' Spencer Charnas to be their special guest on album closer "Cheers to Goodbye"
- Their "whoa" moment on Out of the Shadows
- What it's like working with John Feldmann, who produced Out of the Shadows and their previous album, Chemical Warfare
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Craig Mabbitt and Robert Ortiz joined Loudwire Nights on Wednesday, Sept. 6; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream Out of the Shadows at this location and then check out Escape the Fate's full tour schedule.