ESCAPE TO EVERYTHING Interview + Photo feature

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Boston based music photographer, Marissa E. Kramer, sat down with Mike and Fred of Escape to Everything for a photo + interview double feature!


[ marissa ] : First off, why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little about yourselves…
[ mike ] : I am Michael Scapicchio, but called “Scaps” most of the time. I’m the drummer for Escape to Everything.
[ fred ] : My name is Mike Nota, otherwise known as Fred. I’m the vocalist for Escape to Everything.

[ marissa ] : How would you describe your musical career up until now? What experiences have stood out to you along the way?
[ m ] : Slow, but steady. The name, Escape to Everything, has been in the Boston local scene for about nine years, almost. We’ve had to deal with a lot of issues as far as replacing band members over the past nine years, so we’ve finally found a solid group of guys to keep the band going. That’s why it’s been slow but steady, because we still have a good fan base and good shows, but it’s just tough keeping members in the band, basically.

[ marissa ] : You guys recently released your newest album, Devil’s Playground, in June. How do you think this album is musically characterized, differently than the albums you’ve released before it?
[ m ] : In my opinion, our two most successful albums are the one that we just released, and the one before that, A Story Untold. The reason why this one’s different from all the rest is because it’s more modern metal. We’re very hard and very catchy with Fred’s good vocals but there’s a lot of great guitar work, especially on Ronnie’s part. It’s just really different from the all other albums because it’s just a little bit harder.

[ marissa ] : What musical influences have helped or influenced you during the writing and recording process of Devil’s Playground?
[ m ] : Well, we all have our own different styles. I’m like an early-2000 and late-90’s drummer, with Coal Chamber and Sevendust being some of my favorite bands. Ronnie listens to a lot of Lamb of God and very hardcore metal bands – those are some of his favorites, so a lot of those mixtures were able to create this album.
[ f ] : Honestly, I kind of wasn’t listening to anything. All the writing for that album came out of nowhere. It was almost trance-like, the way that album and all the writing came together as perfectly as it did. It’s actually kind of doing that now, again, which is kind of cool. Nowadays, I’m listening to Motionless in White, Faith No More, and even some Tomahawk. I don’t know, sometimes it just happens like that.

[ marissa ] : If you could do anything differently over the last five years, what would you change?
[ m ] : Nothing. Actually, I probably would’ve held off on that tour that we did, haha. Other than that, there’s really not much I would change. I mean, we wrote a couple of great albums and played a bunch of great shows. What we need to do now is just keep writing singles and post ‘em up and hopefully something works out that way.

[ marissa ] : Fred, go ahead and tell me more about Escape to Everything. Mike mentioned earlier briefly that the band has endured a number of changes to the bands’ roster over the years. Besides the two of you, who else is currently in the band?
[ f ] : Ronnie DiSciscio and Al Capone are our guitarists, and Steven LaGrassa, is our bassist, but everyone calls him Lagz. He’s been with us, Scaps and I, the longest, ever since we released the second album, Outside the Lines, in 2005. Scaps and I are basically the two that have kept the band going for as long as we have, and at this point, we’re the only two original members remaining. We’ve gone through guitar players like Spinal Tap goes through drummers, haha.

[ marissa ] : Mike also mentioned that you guys have gone on tour at least once before. What was that experience like? What states did you go through? Do you have any stories you could share?
[ f ] : Well, for our first tour, we went with Bobaflex as their direct support, and that was really fun and exciting. We got to see and experience how other places differ from what we’re used to, since we’ve all lived in and around Boston for all of our lives. For example, in some places the people from that area didn’t know what “last call,” meant, because there was no such thing as a “last call,” or the bars only closed from 5:30-6:00am. So basically, you could go grab coffee and something to eat, and then go back to the bar and drink at 6am. Little stuff like that. Seeing Amish people playing croquet. That was pretty cool actually. I thought it was pretty cool going on tour, playing in front of a different audience, and having people experience for the first time. Stories? There’s way too many to even begin telling. I’d have to write a book to be able to tell all of them.

[ marissa ] : Looking back over the past nine years together, is there a show or concert that stands out for you specifically that left an impact on you as a musician?
[ f ] : Playing in front of 45,000 people was pretty cool. I’ve played in front of 20,000 and 30,000 people before, but I think playing for 45,000 people at Locobazooka in Fitchburg Airport was really just amazing. I mean, it was amazing playing in front of 30,000 people, but this was different. It was really special to have the guys from Bloodsimple and Dope watching our set from the side stage, especially afterwards when they all talked with us and said we were awesome and had a great stage presence. That whole show was really a great experience.

[ marissa ] : So, I’m sure you’ve had many interactions with your fans over the years, but is there a particular fan or experience that stands out to you, or left an impression on you?
[ f ] : They all have. I mean, the fact that we have fans that keep coming out to shows and keep listening to our albums, year after year, It’s kind of like, because we left an impression on them through our music, they have left the greatest impression on us by being so devoted. At shows, I like to take that energy they bring and throw it back into the crowd when I’m on stage.

[ marissa ] : Seeing as it’s only the beginning of March, do you have any idea what plans the band has for the rest of the year? Any recording planned, or new albums coming out this year?
[ f ] : Well, right now we’re in the process of writing new stuff. Myself, I’ve been coming up with guitar riffs and writing vocals to go along with them, which is a little different from before, but makes me think the new stuff we’re doing will be better than before. I just look at it as, as time goes on, you get better at singing, and in the same way for the rest of the band, as time goes on, you get better at writing. You just kind of, grow up. We definitely plan on writing a lot this year, and I know we have a couple of songs we’ve been working on that we’re planning on releasing as singles. That’s the plan for now at least. Maybe eventually we’ll end up having more songs than we know what to do with, so we might end up releasing another album, but for now we’re going to focus more on just releasing singles. We’ve been offered a lot of pretty awesome offers to record with some amazing people, but we’re going to keep our options open. I can’t really speak much more in depth about that kind of thing right now, but you’ll definitely be hearing some new stuff from us this year.

[ marissa ] : Who are some bands you’re listening to right now that you think we should check out?
[ m ] : Thurkills Vision, Silent Season, Last Regret. Of course, Escape to Everything. Death Rattle, Carolina Burn. Hope Lies Within is a great band. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
[ f ] : Motionless in White. Emmure. Parkway Drive. Unearth. Mike Patton. I’ve started getting into We Came As Romans lately.

[ marissa ] : What would you tell a young, aspiring musician coming into the Boston local scene right now?
[ m ] : I would tell them to keep at it and be patient. Don’t expect every show to be a sold out show. Stay in school. Make sure you have a job. You don’t become a rock star overnight, definitely not. The Boston local scene is a tough, tough market to build a fan basis so just keep playing shows, no matter how big or small. And just make sure you know it’s what you want to do, because especially in the Boston scene it can very easily discourage you from wanting to keep playing music.


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