Forget everything you know about Las Vegas metal-core act Escape the Fate. Forget the band’s absurd Mötley Crüe-esque “stripper teachers in high school” debut music video. Forget ex-frontman Ronnie Radke’s prison sentence for narcotics and battery. Forget all this and just listen to the Fate’s new self-titled third album, its first for Interscope. It’s a dark, gothic, even (yikes!) artistic effort, especially compared with the band’s first two CDs. Safe to say the Fate has grown up?
“I don’t know about that,” says guitarist Monte Money during a phone interview after the band’s recent Hot Topic signing in L.A. “I think the new album is more theatrical, like a movie soundtrack. It has fun, horror-film vibe. Making this one, we were influenced by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, music you don’t hear anymore.”
For Money, writing Escape the Fate also involved revisiting his earliest musical heroes—Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne—and reconnecting with an older guitar-shred attack that centered on flourishes like pinched harmonics, fretboard-tapping and whammy dives.
“We dug back into our roots to find what we really loved all along,” he says. “To me, [ex-Ozzy guitarist] Zakk Wylde is the sickest. I wanted to reclaim that.”
The new horror-laden Fate is evident in the band’s grim “Issues” video, which ends with singer Craig Mabbitt’s neck snapping in a noose. In the video, pitchfork-carrying townsfolk kill the Fate.
So does the Fate feel like jumping from punk indie Epitaph to the giant Interscope means critics and fans are gunning for them?
“Oh yes,” Money confirms. “It’s the overall theme we wanted the video to reflect. But it’s also about how, despite anything we say or do, before we even made this record, people thought we were devil-worshippers. If there’s a message in the video, it’s that people should worry about themselves instead of others.”
Forget Satan. These days the Fate is more likely to be slagged for aligning with the teeny-bopper store, Hot Topic. “Look, Hot Topic offers kids a place to find cool music, cool clothes, when there aren’t a lot of places to find them in many parts of this country. I still love Hot Topic, and they support our music. For me, that’s what counts.”