It’s typical to see a band confess the explicit truths behind the hardships of fame years after their prime on a True Hollywood Story-type program, but for Escape the Fate drummer Robert Ortiz, he is unafraid to speak now, and speak candidly about the turbulent struggles of living the rock star dream.
In this interview with PopCounterCulture, Ortiz lets fans take an imitate look inside his life as he shares with us the band’s journey to album number three, his responsibilities to the fans, and how Michael Jackson had it right.
To begin, Ortiz walks us through the bands first two albums and how that road led them to their third due in stores early next month. He says of making the first record, “When you start a band, you’re eager and you’re hungry, young and excited. You have two songs and a thirty-minute set so you write more…a couple of those songs actually turn out pretty good.”
Flash forward to the second album. Ortiz describes, “You’re on the road. You’re not really writing, but just trying not to kill the person next to you…We just put something out just to keep the train moving so the band doesn’t self destruct.”
For the new album the boys knew it was time to get it together and make their masterpiece. It didn’t hurt that the band was now more experienced instrumentally. Ortiz says, “This album is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. It’s epic. It’s awesome. And it’s going to make people feel something that they never felt before since a long time. We’re the real deal and this album is that.”
What may be construed as arrogance on Ortiz’s part is finely balance with such a strong sense of definite conviction that it’s hard to hold it against him. The new single “Issues” has already been making rounds over the Internet, but what the die-hards are really waiting for is the new Guillotine III.
Ortiz explains, “It’s called The Aftermath. We’re jamming like old school garage styles. We said with this song, let’s not have any strings attached. Let’s make it the craziest song we can and play the hardest we can.”
The pent up pain and passion behind Ortiz’s fervour shows a rare sincerity that is barely ever recognized in this age of over-produced rock. As emotional as some of the songs sound, Ortiz appears somehow attuned to his fans, to the brutal effects of their lives and the power of music to heal those wounds.
Ortiz pulls out an American dollar bill a fan gave him earlier on this tour. The dollar bill says, “You were my inspiration in the hospital while I was getting chemo.” Ortiz explains, “You know what my goals are? I don’t care about money. I want to affect the whole world.”
He continues, “Michael Jackson had it right. He got it and that’s why I think he was so big. He didn’t care about money. He belonged to the world and he gave them something to reach and be. It’s memorable. It affects you. That to me is my ultimate goal. I don’t care about being cool. I just want people to feel good.”
How ever happy or sad and easy or hard, having a job as a rock star comes with responsibilities the average listener won’t necessarily think twice about. In some ways then, Ortiz is a down right martyr. He ends this heavy and emotional interview with, “I want to affect the whole world…I hope I can.”
Escape the Fate is Craig Mabbitt, Max Green, Monte Money, and Robert Ortiz.