Robert Ortiz chats about Uproar Fest and current album Ungrateful

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Interview: Robert Ortiz(Drummer)
Band: Escape The Fate
Date: 8/29/14 (Uproar Fest)
By: Joshua Lowe

       This past Friday 8/29/14 we headed down to Simpsonville South Carolina to cover the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, and besides getting to see some amazing rock and roll bands, we had a chance to sit down and chat with Escape The Fate drummer Robert Ortiz. Here’s what Robert had to say about their last record “Ungrateful”, Uproar Festival, and some new music they’re working on.

SPR: Robert tell us a little about Escape The Fate, who are you guys for our readers who may not know who you are:
Robert: We are a hard rock/heavy metal band with that scream vibe to it. We pretty much like Riffs, solos and double bass, with aggressive vocals, that’s what we’re all about. We’ve been doing it for a long time now, the band is a very contiversal band, we’ve gone through a lot of different ups and downs and such, and we’re still here and we’re kicking A** and we’re on a great tour here with Uproar.

SPR: “Ungrateful” came out May of last year, which has had great success here in the US, peaking at #27 on the Billboard top 200, # 2 on the Top Hard Rock Albums and #7 on the Top Rock Albums. Tell us a little about this record.
Robert: Yea “Ungrateful” has been out a while now, it was a bit of a mess creating the record and promoting it as well. But we still love it, we’re still rocking it, the fans really responded to it and us, we brought back a lot of old fans that may have stopped following us, or stopped paying attention to us. We had different song content; the first sngle we had came out swinging was “Ungrateful” and our video we wanted to go outside the box of what Escape the Fate has always done, which was a video typically involving with half naked or fully naked women, and it’s not that we don’t like to have fun anymore, it’s just we felt now that we had something stronger to say. An that’s what we did with Ungrateful and the video, we decide to go with an “Anti-Bullying Message”, and it’s not a straight up Anti-bullying or F**K Bullies, cause that’s how the song started,. It started with a F**K Haters type of mentality to it, the it evolved into something bigger than that, to how do we really get around to stopping it. In the video there’s a cycle of it where everyone is guilty of it, and the cycle stops with you. So we looked more internally with that one and it was cool. Then there was “1 For the Money”, the next single, went back to the roots, it’s not about anything special, that song has no lyrical content value at all, there’s nothing profound about it, it’s literally just a Pump you up song. Then we have “Picture Perfect” out now deals with a loss and I just lost my Grand Father earlier this year, so that song is really hitting home. We’ve all gone through stuff and we put it into song and that’s what “Ungrateful” is all about. That’s why we’re still out promoting it, cause it means a lot to us.

 SPR: Are you guys currently working on new material or is the band’s primary focus still just promoting “Ungrateful”?
Robert: Our focus right now is shifting to new material. It’s going to be a challenge; it’s going to be different than anything we’ve ever done in our career.  Me and Thrasher who’s been in and out of the band for the last 4 years, have talked a lot about how we’re going to approach  the writing of this record, and a lot of it has to do with getting back to our roots, collaborating and jamming and being a band like we started out, cause we are a rock band. I think a lot bands, especially a lot of younger bands fine themselves sending hours behind a computer, which is fine you know whatever it takes to get good sounds across, but we’ve kind of grown tired of that, we’re just like lets play, lets just feel it out, then we’ll get on a computer and make it sound good, but first we want to get together and jam it out first and vibe off each other first. Which we’re really excited about that, cause we are a rock band, and we’ve already started writing down ideas. We’ve got like 30 different riffs and 30 different song ideas.

SPR: What can we except from the new record? Will it  follow the same sound as “Ungrateful” or are you guys looking to do something different on this record?
Robert: It’s going to be similar, but I’m going to say it’s going to be a little more metal, because we want to focus on our guitar riffs, the solos and guitars will be a lot more prominent, they already were, but this time it’s “Let’s see how far we can take it.”

 SPR:  We’ve talked about your current record “Ungrateful” and we’ve talked about upcoming music, now let talk about Uproar Fest. How the tour been so far?
Robert: It’s been great, it started out a little strange cause we hadn’t played in a few months, and anytime you take sometime off it gets a little weird, but we’ve hit our stride and we’re rocking it. It’s not even halfway through the tour yet and we’re loving it, every band out here is great, we’re fans of virtually band on the bill. There are a few bands I’ve not had a chance to check out yet, just because of interviews and things like that. Godsmack is amazing, Seether, we’ve had out problems with them in the past.  The singer Shaun, he’s not a fan of ours AT ALL, I don’t know if he’s changed his ways or thinking, but he defiantly F**King Hated us and everything we were about. He was pretty much an A*****E the last time we toured with them on the last Uproar Festival in 2011, he was straight up an A*****E. I haven’t talked to him on this tour yet, so maybe he’s cool, maybe he’s still that way, I don’t know. But I like Skillet I think they’re awesome. Me and Kevin watch them almost everyday. They’re awesome at what they do, it’s need an honor to share the stage with a bands like Skillet, Godsmack and Pop Evil who are friends of ours. Its been a great tour, the crowds have been great, everything’s been cool, I’ve really been enjoying it.

SPR: Who is one band that is on Uproar other than Escape the Fate, which our readers need to check out, if they’re planning on making it out to one of the remaining dates of the tour?
Robert: I’m absolutely going to say Skillet. I wasn’t a huge fan of theirs coming into the tour, I had heard enough of their music, that I liked them, but watching their stage show is UNBELIEVBALE. There’s just a passion to what they do and it’s inspiring to me, because their drummer is a girl, and that’s important because you don’t see that many female drummers and their guitarist is also a girl and they F*****G rock the F**K out.. They’re also a Christian rock band, I believe as well, so you they don’t rely on gimmicks, they just are who they are, they rock, they just want to be an epic band. They write songs that are passionate, and I get this sense when I’m watching them and listening to their music live that they’re trying to save their souls or change the world with their music and I feel that, and it’s inspiring to me, I love that band so much. Every time I make sure I watch that band cause I know the next day I’m going to push myself that much harder to do my best.

 SPR: Thanks for talking with us man, is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Robert: If someone is reading this that’s not had a chance to make it out to an Uproar show, come check it out, it’s a good time, get here early check out all the bands from beginning to end, it’s an amazing show. Be on the look out for our new music next year, we’re going come back swinging. Escape the Fate is here to stay and we’re going to keep rocking it.

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Photographer and Editor of Soundlink Magazine, A Father, A Husband and a Martial Artist. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

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