Interview with Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft from Escape The Fate

By: Morgan Bates
Welcome to Rockville 2016

Escape the Fate is a tough metal rock band that has known its fair share of haters. These guys have directed all of their thirst for the blood of all the naysayers into the creation of what could possibly be the strongest album of their career “Hate Me.” This album is aggressive, deep, and diverse, while remaining uplifting and all about standing up for who you are and who you want to be. Nothing will bring these guys down!

After getting the chance to talk with songwriter and guitarist Kevin Thrasher Gruft, I realized how much hard work went into this album and that there is more than just the typical “screw you haters” vibe being brought to it. Though fast-paced and heavy, there is humility and an uplifting feel to it all. When brought to life on stage, Thrasher creates excellent guitar riffs as deep lyrics expose every word you ever wanted to say to those that have brought you pain. You are given the courage to refuse to let anyone but you, be in charge of your life.

These heavy rockers are turning their haters into fans, dreams into reality, and pushing the limits by facing any obstacles that cross their path with passion, aggression, courage and not letting anything stand in their way.

Congratulations on all of the success for “Hate Me” I know you guys are so proud of the album. Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

Yeah! Well hate me is an record that we just released in October. Right now were pushing the single “Remember Every Scar” that we just did a music video for. Yeah were just super stoked on this record. We wrote about 40 songs for it. We used one of my old apartments and the whole band just stayed in this one room. And I was just demoing out every single song.

Wow! I bet you were exhausted after all of that!

Yeah I didn’t sleep for a few months but its all good! Then I got to work with my dream producer Howard Benson. He has an amazing engineer Mike Plotnikoff so it was really fun to work with those guys and really what Howard did was inspire us to continue writing and work out our songs and make them the best they could be. So its awesome! We’re so proud of the way it came out! The record came out great!

For some that has never heard your music before, how would you describe the vibe of “Hate Me”?

The vibe is hard rock, guitar solos, singing, catchy choruses, aggression, action, blood sweat and tears. All the good stuff that goes into music.

A lot of people turn to music to help them get through all types of emotions. Was there a life event or any people or anything like that that helped inspire you?

Each song has its own personal story. Some lyrics that we wrote together, we all base those lyrics off of our own personal experiences. For example, I wrote this song “Live for Today” which is the second song on the record and that’s from when I was going through a dark time but, I wanted to write an uplifting song at the same time about being courageous, standing up for one’s self and ya know living in the moment and really appreciating life. So that’s the second song on the record but, the first song’s called “Just A Memory” and Craig wrote the lyrics to that and that’s more about people that have fucked you over in the past and telling them screw you.

Hey! We’ve all wanted to say things like that to the people that have screwed us over!

Yeah! And the music is very aggressive and fast and there’s shredding with double base patterns and stuff like that.

You were talking a little bit about the creative process. Do you all just get together and bounce ideas off of each other, or like you said life happens. Were there life events and things that happened that brought inspiration?

Yeah of course. I demoed out all of the songs and the guys would come up to me with different riffs and we would put together each song and form the all together and see what we thought about it and then we would make little changes here and there.

You’ve been on tour for a little while now what’s that been like?

Yeah we’ve been on tour for about 2 weeks now and we’ll be on tour until mid June for this tour. We’re about to start with HellYeah and From Ashes to New. Which are both on the same label as us, which is Eleven Seven. We are super stoked about that tour. Its going to be amazing and shows are going to sell out and that great!

That’s fantastic! Congratulations!

Absolutely. Thank you!

Are there any fun stories from being on the road? I know you guys have only been on this tour for 2 weeks now.

Well really we’ve been on the road for the past 10 years of our lives with sometime in between off to live our lives. There’s a story anywhere we go. Last time we were in Jacksonville was actually in the Vans Warped Tour and it was raining and it was very muddy out. I saw some mud fights and there was even a couple fooling around in the mud so that was pretty interesting.

Oh wow! Your music really moves people in more ways than one!


You said you got the opportunity to work with your dream producer. Have you met anyone else super interesting on the road whether it be a fan or a celebrity?

Yeah, we got to tour with Our Heroes and Avenged Sevenfold, which was amazing! And then there are shows like this today, I know Disturbed is on the bill, SIXX A.M. and a bunch of our inspirations. Its cool to be on the same bill and check out those bands.

Where would you say your favorite place to play a show has been?

Mine was The Philippines. We played it last year in front of 60,000 people in an arena and were one of the main bands. It was our first time over there and was a cool experience.

Do you get to travel outside of the U.S. a lot?

Yeah our last tour for this was a whole European tour and the U.K. We got to go to Venice, France, and Italy. All over!

Did you get time to visit? Or were you just there, play the show and on to the next?

Yes. Its totally a hustle because you want to wake up, you want to try to find a gym so you can be fit on the road, find some good food, and then do your sound check. Then run out of sound check to go sight seeing and then you run back for your meet and greets and then you play the show. And then at night we try to go see the nightlife of the city.

You guys are obviously very successful. How would you define success in this industry and what do you think has been a big contributing factor to your success?

I would define success as music being my only career. Music is everything to me. When I’m not on the road I produce bands and I write songs for other people. It’s just such an honor to be out here doing what I love to do for a living. It’s very humbling.

Who are you most excited to see today here at Welcome to Rockville?!

I’m excited to see Disturbed, SIXX A.M., our friends in Asking Alexandria. There are a ton of bands here! Pop Evil is great! We’ve toured with them a few times. There are a lot of people that we haven’t seen in a long time that are here today!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today! I know you are crazy busy but, I truly appreciate it! Congratulations again on all of your success!


For more about Escape The Fate, check out their website and be sure to get a copy of their new album “Hate Me”

*Photo credit: I do not own any rights to the photo featured. If you know who this photo belongs to please comment so that I may provide proper photo credit. Thank you!

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