Controversy: Escape the Fate’s No. 1 Fan

Laura Lofgren

Credit: DKS Editors

Credit: DKS Editors

Escape the Fate’s newest frontman Craig Mabbitt has been in the band for less than a year-and-a-half, but he says the band is making more progress than ever considering everything it’s been through in the past five years.

“Everything (on tour) is going better than I expected,” Mabbitt said.

Real quick:

Escape the Fate

playing with Black Tide, William Control and

Attack Attack!

at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland

Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.

How Much: SOLD OUT!

Being on stage in front of large amounts of fans was overwhelming at first, Mabbitt said. But feeling the energy the fans give at each show eases the stress and makes for a great show.

“We’ve packed venues and even sold out a few, which is awesome,” Mabbitt said. “It makes us feel a sense of accomplishment.”

The post-hardcore group’s accomplishments all stem from the original lineup of Escape the Fate, which was formed through the powers of MySpace, connecting the group’s members to each other via friends.

Shortly after forming and compiling songs, Escape the Fate won a radio contest in Las Vegas, which was judged by My Chemical Romance. Escape the Fate was awarded an opportunity to open up for MCR on a headlining tour alongside Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect.

Escape the Fate signed with Epitaph Records in 2005 and released its first full-length album, “Dying is Your Latest Fashion,” in September 2006. Prior to the release of the album, an EP titled “There’s No Sympathy for the Dead” was released in May. Both albums received low review scores, according to an review.

“Escape the Fate is going to ‘burn our cities’ and ‘turn this to a ghost town’ — all in a whiny falsetto,” the review said.

At the time, the band’s then frontman Ronnie Radke had allegedly racked up a number of narcotic-related run-ins with the Las Vegas law and eventually ended up in jail for battery, according to, the band’s record company site.

In May 2006, Radke was involved in a fight, which led to the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Cook. Radke did not pull the trigger, but his friend did. Radke pleaded guilty to one charge of battery with substantial bodily harm and was sentenced to four years in jail on Aug. 4, 2008, according to the site.

Mabbitt said he did not know when Radke would be released and declined to speak further on the issue.

After pleading guilty, Radke was officially kicked out by Escape the Fate’s other members in order to keep the band moving forward.

In 2008, Mabbitt, formerly from blessthefall, joined the Escape the Fate lineup. Originally, Mabbitt was to become the new lead singer for A Skylit Drive, but he said he accidentally dialed the wrong number and got in touch with Escape the Fate’s manager, Joey Simmrin.

Want to hear what Escape the Fate sounds like? Check out to listen to the band’s latest album, “This War is Ours,” and to view the music video of its single “Something.”

“He (Simmrin) just kinda put everything else together. It just kinda worked out that way,” Mabbitt said.

Escape the Fate’s sound has changed with the subtraction of Radke and the addition of Mabbitt. Current members of the group are Bryan “Monte” Money, who leads on guitar, rhythm guitar and backs up Mabbitt’s vocals; Max Green on bass and backup vocals; and Robert Ortiz on drums.

“(We’re) old-school arena anthem rock with hardcore influences in there,” Mabbitt said.

In the recently released “This War is Ours,” Mabbitt said there’s diversity in each song.

“Every song on the album is different than the next,” he said. “We really accomplished what we wanted to on this record.”

Taken from “everywhere and everything,” Escape the Fate’s influences range from everyday life to the music of Motley Crue.

“We can’t really pinpoint one thing,” Mabbitt said.

According to a write-up on, the band was called “controversial.” When asked about this statement, Mabbitt simply replied, “I just say Escape the Fate’s No. 1 fan is controversy.”

Contact all reporter Laura Lofgren at [email protected].