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Interview: The Escape Engine

The Escape Engine

New Jersey post-hardcore group The Escape Engine are back and will have their reunion show this Friday at Maxwell's. Caught by A Lion and A Balance Between are set to open. Tickets for this show are going fast so be sure to get yours before they're gone. Vocalist Dominick Lettera and guitarist George Leontaris took some time to discuss with us their current endeavors, memories and the upcoming reunion date. Check out what they had to say below.


1) What has everybody been up to since we last heard from The Escape Engine?

Dominick Lettera: aside from bar tending I did a lil touring with some friends bands just for kicks and played in a couple short lived bands before starting my current band The Death Of Me. I've been singing in this band for about a year and a half now (along with Mike carroll also ex TEE) and that pretty much is my main focus at this point.

George Leontaris: After the break-up (that sounds so dramatic. LOL!) I went back to college to complete my degree in finance at Montclair State. My career got a nice jump start. I work a lot so I was only able to work towards my degree part time. I married my beautiful wife Cori. We have a 5 month old son, Nico, with one more on the way.


2) How did the reunion come about?

Dominick: a bunch of show promoters had brought it up to me at one point or another and we had discussed it a couple times but it never really seemed to work out for everyone for one reason or another. but a couple months ago it got brought up and it kinda just seemed to work out for everyone so we decided to do it.

George: We've all been talking about it for a while. I guess the stars are all aligning with our schedules and whatnot. Personally, I felt like it was something that had to be done. These guys and girl were my family for so long. It was an emotional ending for everyone, so it's really nice to bring it back to a place where we can feel good about the band and our personal relationships as well.


3) What were some of your favorite memories of performing in T.E.E?

Dominick: I dont even know where to begin. We definitely had a lot of crazy times on tour (especially with The Sleeping) but some of the best times were right here in jersey when we would come home off the road and just play a sick show and everyone would flip the fuck out. like they missed us so much ya know? and it felt good cuz we'd miss them too.

George: It was about the time we spent together, more than the actual music. That may sound weird, but only 45 minutes of the day is spent playing when you're on the road. The rest is sharing time, traveling, smoking cigarettes, laughing, fighting, meeting people... TEE was the common denominator that tied our friendship together. It was like a cult. You remember the whole Waco, TX thing? There was like that main Charles Manson dude that they all loved and worshiped. Well that was the spirit of TEE. We all loved and worshiped it. We believed in it. If it wanted us to leave home with $50 in our pockets, we did it. At it's peak, nothing could get in our way. It's an amazing to be a part of something you believe in. That energy can make a pretty big impact on a person. I know it did for me. 


4) What can fans expect from the reunion show?

Dominick: A fucking party!! We def are just ready for a good time! Play some songs everyone knows and have a blast with a bunch of old friends we haven't seen in a while ya know? that's prolly what I'm most looking forward to!

George: They can expect to see us having a lot of fun. The #1 reason why we started the band and the piece we lost that caused it to end it.

5) The band is also set to release a brand new record. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Dominick: Well it's actually not a "new" record. It's called "When You Dance With The Devil" and it was recorded in 2006 right before we broke up and was never released. A handful of ppl def got their hands on it but were gonna have some actual copies of it on hand as well as make it readily available for download. however, as psyched as we are to put it in peoples hands finally, we don't wanna bore anyone with songs they don't know at the show so we'll prolly just stick to the first record and who knows, maybe we end up doing another reunion down the line and if anyone gives a shit we'll play some stuff off WYDWTD

George: We wrote the record and toured it for a while. We shopped it around. Equal Vision looked at it for a bit. Apparently we were a hard band to "market". The band was at it's peak as far as song writing is concerned. We were tight as a fuck, we were better musicians and we had matured as people. If there is a theme to the record it's "desperation". There isn't a track that album where each of us is spilling their fucking guts out. It was go big or go home. It's a very powerful and I think Jesse Cannon (producer) captured that well. More so than the first record, he really let the music speak for itself. There are some intense vocal parts on that record that Dom just crushed. No joke, I get the chills today when I listen to it. It's a shame people didn't get the opportunity to really feel those songs. It still frustrates me to this day.

6) What are you most looking forward to about this show?

Dominick: I think I kinda already accidentally answered this, but honestly I'm definitely psyched to play those songs again and just have a blast!!

George: Rocking the fuck out with my friends! Oh and the hummus at Maxwell's.

7) Is this reunion a one time thing or will there be more shows in the future?

Dominick: As of right now it's def a one shot deal, but ya never know!

George: I'd do whatever everyone wanted. I don't believe the band died. It just had it's time. But we are older now. We're having fun doing this. If people really want to see it every once in a while, let's do it.