As I listen to the elevator hold music that is playing preparing to speak to Robert Ortiz, an original member of American giants Escape The Fate, I begin to think to myself ‘why has it been so hard to catch this guy?’ This is our third, hastily rearranged appointment in the last two days and it’s already running late.
Robert gets on the phone and sounds like a man who is in need of some RNR – not rock n roll but rest and relaxation.
Just now got home from a month and a half of touring, then about two days with my family in El Paso, which is right on the heels of the next tour, so life’s pretty alright you know. I get excited by touring and what it represents in my life, although man, I wanna chill haha.
Sounds full on, tour, home for five minutes, then tour again?
Yeah that’s what happening, though after this tour we should be off for a good two months with nothing. We’re gonna do some music videos and stuff in June, we’re going to do some different types of promotional stuff and then we’re going to head into something else; which we are not a liberty to discuss just yet but real soon.
While Robert teases what the future may hold for Escape The Fate, attention naturally turns to the upcoming Australian Tour celebrating the ten year anniversary of the breakout album This World Is Ours.
We are all artists and saw an opportunity to celebrate it. It does feel weird but the longevity of this album man, we wanted to give the fans something special. We definitely wanted to choose Australia because that was the first place we toured when Craig joined the band. We toured Australia before we toured The States, so we want to celebrate it, this album that launched it all for us.
So is this a world exclusive tour for Australia then?
We have thrown the idea back and forth but for now Australia is officially the only place. Fans have asked for it but obviously we’ve just released a new album so we want to give that enough attention as well. We don’t want to overload it with nostalgia but we do want to keep it special. For now though, Australia is where it’s at.
So while Rob pleads the Fifth Amendment, I asked what appearances can we expect from the new album I Am Human?
If we look at numbers, this album is reacting, people are listening, people are loving it. New song Broken Heart is easily the biggest song we’ve had in six/ seven years across three albums. Which is amazing and refreshing, we don’t want to let that momentum go.
Robert is on a roll and for him it’s personal.
When I saw my aunt crying when I played one of the new songs for her about my family, seeing that emotional, visceral reaction. The look in my wife’s eye when we play the songs, she’s crying. You can’t replace that, that reaction is real, that reaction we need to pay attention too. We don’t know how long it will be until we’re back so it would be a crime if we didn’t play stuff from that album.
The song Harder You Know has two versions, will we see the acoustic version?
When we wrote it, the idea was being a power ballad, this emotional break up song. Beautiful sounding big November Rain standing outside a church guitar solo, it’s not that obviously, that’s one of the best solos ever, it was kinda our attempt at it [Robert roars with laughter]. We play the rock out version however it’s something we could talk about.
Rob is the last remaining original member of the band, surely he’s seen a few changes in thirteen years?
Holy shit, it’s has been that long! That’s insane! It’s been the level of maturity, we still act like idiots sometimes, but we explain to each other why we’re angry. We handle problems one step at a time. We realise that we are humans and be smart, love each other and move forward. It just comes with age.
While the band have been crazy, what the craziest thing fans have done?
Man there is some weird stuff….
With that, we wrap up the conversation. A few more jokes are traded however Robert has plenty more interviews to do. That’s the point, Robert Ortiz could speak about his band all day. He loves them, his fans and most importantly his family life. This is why he’s running late, this is why things postponed. It’s because he wants to talk, wants to laugh, wants to share his band with anyone who will listen. After all, he is human and his musical world is yours.
Interview by Iain McCallum
Catch Escape The Fate on the following dates…