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Metal band not escaping Rock on the Range performance

05 p.m.

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Metal bands tends to play precise and technical music at high speeds. Therefore, Escape the Fate’s drummer Robert Ortiz, was less than pleased to hear the temperature in Columbus on Wednesday dipped into the 40s.

“It f—— sucks man,” said Ortiz, who will appear with his band at Rock on the Range at Crew Stadium Saturday. “We thrive in the heat man. We shred. It’s tough to do if you can’t move your hands.”

Fortunately for Ortiz and his band mates, weather.com expects temperatures approaching 80 degrees this weekend.

Escape the Fate is a Las Vegas metal band that blends aspects of various subgenres of metal. Like metalcore bands such as Killswitch Engage, vocalist Craig Mabbitt blends clean, melodic vocals evenly with more typical screaming. However, unlike many metalcore bands, Fate guitarist Bryan Money is no stranger to rapid soloing.

The group released its third self-titled album in 2010. How great the record is depends on which member of the band you talk to. They all think it’s pretty good, however.

“This record is the cure for the modern day music epidemic,” bassist Max Green told Alternative Press magazine. “We are wiping the slate clean and re-writing rock music as you know it.”

Ortiz was not quite as emphatic as Green, but he concurred “Escape the Fate” was the band’s best effort to date.

“I have to agree with him, in that, we’re just proud of the record,” he said. “It’s the album that we’ve been wanting to do.”

One way of gauging the quality of the album is to look at the tracks that didn’t make the cut. Two big-name rockers that contributed tracks that were ultimately dropped from the album were guitarists Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe and John 5 who is currently touring with Rob Zombie, formerly of Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. Ortiz said he and the rest of the band were thrilled.

“We were totally like ‘holy s—,'” he said of working with Mars. “If there’s ever been a real rock star, it’s him. Even with the partying and the stories, the truth is that they didn’t get that far without working hard.”

Even after going to his house to work with the guitarist, the band opted to keep the track produced from the album. Ortiz said it “just didn’t work with the rest.” He said the song might be pulled from the shelf for a future recording.

John 5 had a little bit more luck. At least his song, “Liars and Monsters,” made the deluxe edition of the album, even if it didn’t make the cut for the standard.

Ortiz admitted he wasn’t all that familiar with the guitarist previously.

“I didn’t really know who John was,” he said. “I wasn’t a huge Marilyn Manson guy.”  

He said removing it from the standard release was a tough call, “We kinda wish we put it on the album.”

Star guitarists weren’t the only ones taking notice. “Escape the Fate” debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200, and that success allowed the band to go on its first “real” headlining tour, this year’s “The Dead Masquerade,” which toured in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“Technically it wasn’t our first headlining tour,” Ortiz clarified. “But you can call it whatever you want, but this was the first real one where we put pride into it.”

The work paid off, and now the group will open for F.Y.E. stage headliner and punk legend Glenn Danzig on Saturday. Gary Spivack, a representative for Right Arm Entertainment, the group promoting Rock on the Range, calls Escape the Fate a band to keep an eye on in the future.

“We are all really excited about Escape the Fate,” he said. “Bands like them and Asking Alexandria are the future headliners of Rock on the Range.”

Those sort of expectations would put pressure on any band, but right now Ortiz is still caught up in the weather.

“When does winter end in Ohio?” he lamented. “Whatever man. You gotta do what you gotta do.”

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