Hell’s Addiction (United Kingdom)8th November 2023
Interview with Michael Beck (vocals)
Phoenix, Arizona melodic hard rock act, Escape The Hive‘s debut full length album, This is Gonna Sting, has been released on 15th September through Shock Records/Vanity Music Group. Though new as a band, frontman Michael Thomas Beck is no stranger to the scene, having cut his teeth with former members of Leatherwolf, Kings Of Dust and Red Dragon Cartel. Recently, I arranged this interview with Mr. Beck where we spoke about his continuing musical adventure and the new ETH album This is Gonna Sting.
Metal Revolution: Hey guys, pleasure talking to you. How are things nowadays in Phoenix, Arizona?
MB: Hey, I’m Michael Beck. Singer for Escape The Hive. Thanks for having me! Things are going great! Getting ready for our next string of tour dates. Included are shows near Phoenix with Faster Pussycat and one in Los Angeles at the famous Whisky A GoGo with Burning Witches! You can find ticket links on our linktree account at: https://linktr.ee/escapethehive
MR: For those of our readers still not familiar with your music, how would you describe your sound? Am I wrong if I say ‘melodic hard rock sound of the 70s’? Please introduce your band.
MB: I think that’s right on the money. We definitely wanted something in that 70s rock vein. But wanted to add a little 80s flash. Really happy with the way the record turned out and the way it’s been received.
MR: This is Gonna Sting is your debut full-length, released through Shock Records/Vanity Music Group? What can fans expect from your new album? Can you please introduce it song by song?
MB: “ I Can See It”, it’s a song about when you’ve been wronged or lied to. And then once you step back far enough to see what was actually going on. It usually gives you the perspective that you should’ve had all along. And can finally “see it” for what it is.
“Separate Lives”, this one is definitely about decisions. And what would’ve happened had you made a different one in the past. Whether it be love, life, career, or whatever. There’s always a bit of wonder after time has gone by how things would be different had you not made the choice you made.
“In Between”, this song is really about social media in general. When the Internet reared its head, we all thought it was going to be this great thing that would help us as a society. And it’s really done just the opposite. Things like Facebook, and other social media just continue to divide us. And most of the opinions are the far end of whatever subject. The bulk of the people in the middle are in between.
“I’ve Seen Future”, this song is about history repeating itself. And then, if we don’t learn from what we’ve gone through, history will be made again in the same way. Because when ever your looking at the future, your really looking at something that has happened in the past.
“It’s Not Alright”, sometimes, when you look at someone’s life, they seem to have everything going for them. And if you just dig a little deeper, you’ll find that that’s not always the case. Sometimes when people say, “you doing all right? “,as a pleasantry. Usually the answer is, I’m all right. But sometimes, it’s I’m NOT all right. It’s just not the first thing that comes out of their mouth.
“Something”, normally I wouldn’t think of re-interpreting a Beatles song. But we added this to the record at the last minute. It was an arrangement that we felt made this song fit in with the rest of the record.
“Watching You, Watching Me”, this song is about two people, basically watching their life unfold in front of them. And how, as time goes by, you’re watching each other and not just yourself.
“Roll The Dice”, this song is about taking chances. In everything you do. You don’t normally get the things you want without doing it. No matter what it is. If you don’t take a chance in life, you’re never gonna get the things you want. Sometimes you just gotta roll the dice!
MR: There’s eight tracks on the new album, do you have any personal favorites?
MB: Picking a favorite for me would be hard. It seems to change dependent on my mood. As with most music from a music fan. As the singer and lyric writer, each song is kind of a little emotional time capsule for me. And not just my songs, But songs in general. I think most music lovers listen to music that way.
MR: What are some of your other activities in order to promote your debut?
MB: Our new release is on CD. And available in most record stores. It’s also available for download or listening on most digital platforms. And this fall will be available on vinyl! So you can get us anywhere you want us! (Laughing). An and of course we will be continuing to tour in 2024. Hope to see everyone at a show.
MR: I’ve seen your new single “Separate Lives”, can you tell us a bit more on this particular song?
MB: This song is our current single and the full video is available on YouTube. The actor who plays the younger version of me, is actually my son Jake! in the video, we took the option of choices as making a choice between a relationship, or being a career musician. Which I think a lot of people can relate to. Even if you’re not a musician. That choice between a relationship and career. And I really love the way it turned out. And having my son involved was definitely a bonus!
MR: How does your creative process work – do all members contribute equally or is there one main songwriter? What’s the creative process like when you make a new song?
MB: It’s definitely a collaboration. And we are always continuing to write. We already have material that we’re playing live, that will be on the next record. And as we continue as a band, that seems to grow as well. We have a new record out and already can’t wait for the next one! (Laughing) It’s a great place to be.
MR: What other artists or bands do you draw inspiration from? My initial thoughts were that it has some of the elements of the likes of Foreigner, Deep Purple, Bad Company and Night Ranger. What’re your thoughts on that?
MB: I would say all of that hits the mark. We knew we were going to push the 70s angle. A lot of bands are doing that these days. Which I think is great! I’m a big fan of BlackBerry Smoke, Rival Sons, Dirty, Honey, etc.. But instead of borrowing from the Led Zeppelin side of things, we wanted to do something a little more on the Foreigner/Boston side of classic rock.
MR: Where was This is Gonna Sting recorded?
MB: It was recorded in my studio in Mesa, Arizona. SoundVision Recording. My job when we are not touring is as a recording, engineer, and producer. But I don’t believe in bands producing their own material. I think you get lost if you try and do it on your own. So I tried to kind of separate myself from being a singer until the vocals were ready to be recorded. My wife is actually a former opera singer. So she took the producer reigns thru that process. And I really relied on the rest of the band as a guide through the rest of the recording and mixing process.
MR: How long did it take?
MB: It took about six months from the from the initial writing of the material until the record was finished.
MR: Utilized any new recording techniques when recording this one, compared to the things each of your recorded earlier in your career?
MB: Every record is always a little different. We did a lot of editing in the songwriting process as we were recording. So they were kind of written in the studio. We just had the main parts written goin in. And then honed in on the ideas while tracking. As a musician, you are usually going into the studio very prepared on what you’re going to record. Because studio time can be expensive. So even though I have owned a studio for a while, and have been a producer for a while, i’ve never actually done a record like that. It was kind of cool being able to take the time to do it that way.
MR: What obstacles or challenges do you encounter when it comes to getting your music out there and heard by potential new fans?
MB: From someone that had record deals back in the late 80s and 90s, it’s definitely a different landscape with both good and bad points. There is a lot more music in the marketplace because there can be. But the other side of that coin is that it’s harder to get to things sometimes because there’s so much out there. One good thing about the label system of old is that they worked as a bit of a gatekeeper. To at least keep a lot of the music at a certain level when it was released. Now, a listener has to wade through sometimes a lot of crap to find something that they can really get behind as a fan.
MR: Are you pleased with the reaction from media and fans?
MB: We are absolutely overjoyed about how the record has been received. Some really great reviews. You always go into writing and recording a record to hear what you would want to hear as a listener. It’s great when it’s received as intended on the other end.
MR: How was the general reaction to This is Gonna Sting?
MB: The whole project has come together very organically. These are all guys that I really wanted to play with and do a record with. And the fact that we all get along as well as we do is just the icing on the cake. That’s not always the situation you’re in when you’re in a band. Music is a business and you can’t always like or trust. Everyone you’re in business with. Thankfully, that’s not the case with an Escape The Hive. This is a band. I am truly happy to be standing Music is a business and you can’t always like or trust. Everyone you’re in business with. Thankfully, that’s not the case with a Escape The Hive. This is a band. I am truly happy to be standing in front of!
MR: I hope it will not end with This is Gonna Sting, so instead I’ll ask you where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
MB: Me too! (Laughing) Like I said, we are already writing material for the follow up to our debut release. I would guess sometime next year. But you can hear some of the new material if you come see us live. I love being able to play the new material live before we go in and record it. When you’re on tour and playing those songs constantly, they tend to evolve a bit just from being played on stage. And we are definitely taking advantage of that.
MR: What can we expect next from Escape The Hive?
MB: We will be touring more in the new year. We have another single and full video coming out just before the end of the year. An and then a new record sometime next year. Lots of work ahead of us. But very much looking forward to it with this group of guys. Great players, and great people. It’s a pretty rare combination.
MR: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Would you like to add anything to the readers of Metal Revolution?
MB: Thank you so much for having me! We so so appreciate the opportunity. If you’re digging our debut release, hopefully you’ll get a chance to come see us live and throw it down!