"Next year is going to be all about is going after the throne we thought we should have already"
The members of Escape The Fate are hoping that their upcoming Bury The Hatchet tour with former singer Ronnie Radke's band Falling In Reverse will get the new year off on a karmic foot after a trying 2013.
During the past year or so ETF has gone through a couple of lineup changes -- including two new guitarists and the return of founding bassist Max Green -- a record label switch to Eleven Seven Music and an overhaul of its business operations. It also released a well-received fourth album, "Ungrateful," in May that drummer and co-founder Robert Ortiz tells Billboard will get an even more intense push in 2014.
"We're looking at next year with a lot of hope, a lot of great things happening," Ortiz says. "2013, in the midst of our album, has been a rebuilding year and rebranding ourselves and restructuring everything from our personal issues to business and financial issues, everything that goes on behind the scenes that I don't want our fans to know about. All they should know about is what we create in terms of our art. Obviously we keep striving for something more and something greater; that's always been the way this band has operated. There's always been turmoil, always been road blocks, and you've just got to work past them. So what next year is going to be all about is going after the throne we thought we should have already. We have a lot to look forward to."
Ortiz says the Bury The Hatchet tour, which kicks off Jan. 15 in Los Angeles, will tie up some loose ends and unfinished business dating back to Radke's dismissal from ETF in mid-2008 after being sentenced to jail for parole violations. "We sort of figured this kind of thing would never happen, that we'll always hate each other," Ortiz says. "Ronnie and myself and Max go back to when we were kids, and basically your best friends are the ones that can hurt you the most." Ortiz credits Radke with making the call and reaching out to ETF in order to make the tour happen. "I think I had kind of moved past it," Ortiz says. "I didn't hate him. I wasn't rooting against him and didn't want him to fail. I just wanted him to do his own thing and not worry about me. But Ronnie still had something inside him he needed to get off his chest, and we all finally said, 'We're over it. Let's be civil again. Let's be friends again.' We finally all put down our guards, removed the barriers we had built for each other and put our egos aside, which was really hard, and said, 'Let's go for it.' "
Ortiz says there's been "some exciting back and forth" about what the tour will be like, and though any collaborations are planned to be a "surprise," the drummer adds, "You know what's going to happen...and it's gonna be fucking insane. The reality is that first album (2006`s 'Dying is Your Latest Fashion'), we only did one tour for that and didn't even finish it. That was such an important record for that scene, and it always bothered me that we never got to do a proper tour for it. So now it's an opportunity to do the tour for the fans they never got to have."
But, Ortiz adds, ETF is also looking forward to showcasing "Ungrateful," too. "This album's not done," he says. "The main singles are yet to come. There are songs that are really going to reach people and, I think, can take us to new places. We want to make sure we really show people what's there." Ortiz promises more touring for ETF after the Bury The Hatchet Tour wraps Feb. 14 in Pomona, Calif.