Why Escape the Fate is Touring with Their Formerly Estranged Ex-Vocalist Ronnie Radke

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Jeremy Saffer
Starting soon and continuing for a little more than a month, Escape the Fate will perform with Falling in Reverse, the band that features Ronnie Radke. Which is surprising, given that the singer was unceremoniously dumped from Escape the Fate back in 2008. Robert Ortiz, drummer for Escape the Fate, sounds pretty convincing as he explains the concept of his band's upcoming tour.

"I think what we are doing is possibly a first," Ortiz says. "It's a tour that I have wanted to do for a long time. I've wanted to play with Ronnie. I wanted to play those songs for the fans. It is a dream of mine. 2016 is the 10-year anniversary of our first album. I've had these ideas in my head how we would go about this. That's why I say we are making history."

This history is a long time coming after some bitter and acrimonious back-and-forth between Radke and his former bandmates over the past five years.

"It's all bad feelings," Radke said in an interview in 2012. "There are not really any original members in that band anymore. All of the original members left. I don't know why they are still playing under that name anymore."

According to Ortiz, the bad blood is behind all parties involved. All it took was a simple phone call.

"It came from Ronnie. He is the one who broke the ice," Ortiz says. "We had gotten everything off our chests. We had said the bad things we were going to say about him. We can't take those back. We have grown up and moved on."

Ortiz says Radke's animosity stems from not being able to properly vent due to a couple years spent in prison. The remaining members of Escape the Fate got their best shots in while Radke was doing time. Ortiz claims that Radke needed extra time to come to terms with being ousted from the band he helped form.

"There was years of pent-up aggression inside him," Ortiz says. "You got to look at it from his point of view. His old band got successful and no small part of that was the [debut] album that he was on. He was a major part of the success that we enjoyed. And he is sitting there watching it all go down. He was in prison and he was pissed. When he got out, we were over it. But he had two years of catching up to do. You're talking years of bad stuff."

Judging by remarks made in 2012 and others made later, Radke needed more than a couple of years to get over it. Even when Falling in Reverse were greeted with rapid success, Radke still sounded like he had an ax to grind. Ortiz says such is understandable.

"He formed a new band," he says. "He had this whole resurgence and he still had things to say, things to get off his chest."

Once Radke released his demons, he made the call. But surprisingly, he didn't call Ortiz.

"Ronnie called [his replacement] Craig [Mabbitt] and said, 'Let's fucking do this,'" Ortiz says. "He said we should do a tour together. He called us and said that he wanted us to know that he had done a lot of thinking and he wanted to let the animosity go."
So the aptly named Bury the Hatchet Tour was booked to start in L.A. on January 15, make a quick trip across the United States and end back in California on Valentine's Day.

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