ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM (from l-r): Mike Gussis (vocals/guitar), Darrin Wolf (drums), Josh Parlette (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Describing themselves as “three old men who still like to play rock music“, Chicago three-piece Escape Is Not Freedom combine elements of rock, noise, sludge and grunge to create a catchy, melodic sound reminiscent of Nirvana, Soundgarden and The Melvins.
Having last year released their debut album, ‘Goldsmith’, to much success, the band have joined forces with Israeli rockers dusK Village for a split release, out next month.
To tell me more about this, as well as themselves, was the trio’s frontman, and former guitarist of progressive doom metal outfit Arctic Sleep, Mike Gussis.
How did the band get together?
Darrin and I have been in various forms of bands together for about 12 years now. We share an affinity for heavy music with a strong emphasis on melody. Josh came along about two years ago now, and has been a great addition to our band.
From where did the name Escape Is Not Freedom originate?
The name manifested from experiences that everyone has had in the band. It also reflects the dark sense of humour we all have. The grass is never greener.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Our approach has always been based on a melody or riff that can draw the listener in and provoke an emotion. Heavy music doesn’t necessarily have to mean loud, down-tuned, distorted music; it can also mean emotionally heavy.
What inspires the band lyrically?
To be honest, addiction is the focal point of the lyrics.
Last year, you released your debut album, ‘Goldsmith’. How was the reaction to that?
For those that have heard ‘Goldsmith’, it went over pretty well. There are a few metalheads that don’t really understand what we do, but for the most part, the reception has been pretty well, especially live.
Next month, the band will be bringing out a split release with Israeli rock outfit dusK Village. How did that come about?
Well, the drummer from dusK Village was in a band called Rabies Caste, which for me, are one of my top three favourite bands of all time. They are the perfect blend of sludge/grunge/doom/rock and have had a significant influence on my approach to writing.
So, when I saw that his other band, dusK Village, was interested in putting out a split, I contacted him right away. I can’t mention enough how much of an honour it is for us to be on a split with them.
You will be joined again by vocalist Emily Jancetic, who collaborated with you on ‘Goldsmith’, for the single ‘You’re Wrecked’. Would you be looking at making her a permanent member of the band in the future at all?
Well, the balance that we have in regards to working with Emily has worked out pretty well so far. She is a permanent member and, of course, we love working with her and what she brings to the table.
How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?
Playing live is awesome, and we’ll be looking to play out more once spring and summer come along.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
We’re going to write a bunch of more material, and we may put out a double LP on vinyl in the distant future if everything goes well.
ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM’S SPLIT RELEASE WITH dusK VILLAGE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE ON FEBRUARY 23. PRE-ORDER IT NOW THROUGH THE BAND’S BANDCAMP PAGE escapeisnotfreedom.bandcamp.com
AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM’S FACEBOOK PAGE www.facebook.com/EscapeisnotFreedom TO FIND OUT FURTHER INFO ON THEM.