by Jay Tilles
Ronnie Radke is a survivor.
Originally the lead singer of screamo band Escape the Fate, the Falling in Reverse frontman’s rock’n’roll lifestyle found the singer caught up in a violent 2006 altercation that resulted in a young man’s death and five years of probation for Radke, who did not commit the crime but was charged with battery in the case. Cue a parole violation that landed him behind bars for over two years, as well as the unceremonious ousting from Escape the Fate while behind bars.
When he got out, Radke started his own band, Behind These Walls, which would eventually become Falling in Reverse. Combing the aggressive, post-hardcore sound of such bands as Underoath with catchy, decidedly pop-leaning hooks, Falling in Reverse signed to Epitaph to release their 2011 debut, The Drug in Me is You.
With Falling in Reverse’s recently released sophomore LP, Fashionably Late, Radke has ratcheted up the pop end of the band’s sound, infusing hip-hop beats and even catchier melodies to songs like first single “Alone,” which boasts a glossy music video thick with exotic sports cars and private jets that pushes the singer’s outsized persona to a new extreme.
During a recent interview with Radio.com, Radke was thoughtful and forthcoming on how his unabashed love for pop music continues to influence the evolving sound of Falling in Reverse, personal critics be damned.
“People will say that I’m a sellout, but that’s what kind of music I like,” Radke said when asked about his affinity for artists like Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift. “I want to do what I want to do, so technically it’s not really selling out. It’s doing what I want to do, not what someone else is making me do.
When queried about his all-time favorite artist, it’s a certain Detroit rapper he reveres above all the rest.
“I love Eminem. That’s my favorite person in the world,” Radke admitted. “Over rock and roll, over everything. That guy is like the new Elvis. He’s the best. I would love to meet him…He raised me, pretty much. From The Slim Shady LP up, I know all the lyrics.”
“I can’t even discuss it because of the legal thing, but she’s just a liar, taking advantage of this music thing and the media,” he said, presumably alluding to his 2012 domestic abuse charges. “For the sound of it, I wanted to do Japanese pop. I haven’t really heard anybody do that lately.”
Falling in Reverse will play the upcoming Monster Aftershock 2013 events this September in Sacramento. The group is also set to take the stage at Epicenter 2013 in Irvine, Calif., alongside such acts as The Offspring, Pierce the Veil, and Bad Religion.