The Great European Escape by El Escapado

El Escapado is the true story of how one band transformed make-believe into a real-life international vacation

Hi Abraham. Can you please introduce the El Escapado project to our readers?

To begin, I believe it’s important to note that El Escapado was never intended to be a “real” band. KD (bass player and Stik Man Records owner) and I joked about forming a one-and-done band to go on vacation. Years of meandering through the slums of rock-‘n’-roll made us acutely aware of the fact that we may never earn real money by making music. But why should that stop us from pretending, right? We decided on the band name El Escapado (The Escape), we recorded our first EP (The Getaway), KD booked a 30-day tour, we made shirts, and other merch all within the span of 4 or 5 months. We came home from a great tour and the band was suppose to dissolve.

Tell us something about your last album called “Here’s to Eternity”!

Here’s to Eternity” is evidence that, somehow, El Escapado became a real boy. Everyone in the band brings ideas when we begin writing new music. Personally, I wanted Here’s to Eternity to be a fun record while also pushing my creativity outside of the comfort zone. I don’t think I would have written or sang in this style in my other bands. Frankly, I’m astonished it worked. I’ve spent decades in punk rock while trying to perfect my songwriting abilities. It’s the “make-believe” or “vacation” band that allows me to tour. This band receives more fan response and critical-acclaim than ever before. Now I’m scratching my head and trying to discover what that means.

How do you compose and where did you get inspiration for your music? Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?

For the rest of the band, I can only suspect that their punk influences come from any song faster than 200 bpm’s. I’ve been in punk rock for 26 years and that has given me time to appreciate a wide spectrum of punk styles. I’ve grown to believe that melody is the most important ingredient in a song. So, I almost always have my ears open for a unique take on melody. Whenever I do listen to music, that is outside of punk rock, it may be from the Frank Sinatra era. I might also play some Beach Boys or listen to the lyrics/styles of Willie Nelson. Though, nothing makes my hair stand up quite like the song Generator by Bad Religion.

What do you think about the North American punk hardcore scene today?

I believe there are probably a handful of cities in the USA that still have a dedicated scene. The rest of the country is peppered with small clusters of Punker’s who hold true to the nature of punk rock. Here in the Southeastern US, a show promoter will be ecstatic when 50 people attend their event. It’s tiring to slam-dance until midnight, on a Wednesday, when you have to stack pallets at a factory the next morning. I wouldn’t say the scene has “died”, but it may be slithering underground again-which is probably a good thing. Although, punk rock is like a virus and you never know when a new strain will emerge. I have the impression that a fresh group of kids will soon infect the scene with new styles and ideas. And that’s exciting!

I know you are planning a European tour. Tell us something about it!

El Escapado has done two U.S. tours. Naturally, Europe is the next great vacation. KD owns and runs Stik Man Records which has provided him with the ability to book U.S. shows with relative ease. Europe was a challenge for KD due to his limited list of contacts in that part of the globe. He is competitive and loves nothing more than a good challenge. I never doubted he’d pull it off, but I think the stress took a few years off of his life.

What about your next shows?

Tomorrow we’re playing with Voodoo Glow Skulls and we have one show at Cobra a week before we fly to Dublin. We are booked on some festivals in the summer, but most of our focus is on writing for our new record. Eliott (lead guitar) owns Shed Recordings; a studio here in Nashville. Eliott is very creative and working beside him in his own studio gives us an edge, I think. It’s an enjoyable experience to have and it allows us freedom to tweak our sound.

What’s the coolest live act in Nashville?

A few Nashville bands that will bend your ear are Stuck Lucky, Tank Rats, Thundertaker, Lonesome Town Drifters, Soul Radics, and No Loves.

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?

We played with Sloppy Seconds a few months ago. I have been a fan of that band since I was around 16 years old. I was content with having been booked on the same bill, but I was most excited by getting to see them perform again.

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.

Our first tour was a 31 day vacation. We received a VIP tour of the Rock-‘N’-Roll Hall of Fame. We visited Niagara Falls. We ate lobster on the banks of Maine and ate sushi in Chicago at 4 A.M. I sang ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ with a jazz band in New Orleans. The list goes on and I’m certain that the teenage version of myself would be jealous.

We have some wonderful stories from 2016 as well. That tour was spectacular, but I’d say there are likely to be a few traumatic memories as well. So, I find it’s better to focus on the good times and push the bad memories deep inside.

What do you think of

What a great resource, right? Live Trigger is a wonderful support for music fans, musician, and promoters. I have been communicating with Abbo and I can sense that he has a true passion for music. It’s a relief to find folks who still care about encouraging people to connect through their shared love of music. I hope Live Trigger can celebrate great success in the near future. It’s shocking that the concept hadn’t flourished 10 years ago. Luckily, Live Trigger is on the right track.