Escape The Fate was not wanting for drama during the interim between it last album, 2013's "Ungrateful," and the upcoming "Hate Me."
During that time the group lost three of its five members -- one, bassist Max Green, for a second time. And frontman Craig Mabbitt acknowledges that he and drummer Robert Ortiz, the only original member left in the lineup, had their doubts about carrying on.
"You can get really lost in all that," Mabbitt, 28, says by phone from a tour stop in Spokane, Wash. "You can focus on the negativity and everything could go away. And there's a moment me and (Ortiz) sat down, and we said, 'Hey man, is it time to hand in the towel?'
"And we were talking backstage at a show and then all of a sudden we heard the fans start chanting our (band) name. I said, 'Y'know what? Let's go back in. Let's do another album 'cause are fans are still listening, so we should still be there for them. Let's not be quitters.' And we went and recorded one of our favorite albums we've ever done."
ETF certainly upped its game on "Hate Me," which comes out Oct. 30. It recruited longtime cohort Kevin "Thrasher" Gruft as a full-time guitarist and songwriter, along with Thomas "TJ" Bell playing rhythm guitar. And it recorded the album with mainstream rock hitmaker -- and noted taskmaster -- Howard Benson, who Mabbitt says helped channel ETF's angst, and anger, into a broad-ranging set of songs that range from hardcore grind to melodic anthems, led by the first single "Alive."
"We enjoy being a diverse band," Mabbitt explains, "and by that I mean we like doing those heavy songs, and we like doing the rock kind of pop chorus songs and we love doing the ballads. We just like being that band. And the problem we ran into in the past with our records is that we struggled with trying our best to make them sound cohesive -- 'Is this song too heavy for the album?' or 'Is this song too poppy?'
"And on this go-around we just said 'F it. If we want to do a heavy song, let's make it the heaviest song we can. And if we're gonna do a poppy song, let's make it the poppiest song.' Why not? Let's just write the music we like, and if we like it let's put it on the album 'cause it's our song and a good song is a good song, no matter what genre it's in.
"So that's what we did this time, and we love how it turned out."
Nightmare on Pike Street with Escape The Fate, A Skylit Drive,, Sworn in and more
Monday, Oct. 26. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show.
Call 313-882-7100 or visit thecrofoot.com.
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