In the ten-plus years since the start of hard rock outfit Falling In Reverse, larger-than-life frontman Ronnie Radke has seen various levels of success – one of them being the recent news of his band’s debut album The Drug In Me Is You selling over 500,000 copies and becoming gold certified by the RIAA.
In celebration of this news, Radke and Co. have decided to embark on a full US headliner playing their beloved 2011 record from front to back. To make matters even more special, Falling In Reverse has invited The Word Alive as well as Radke’s former band, Escape The Fate, to play alongside them on the Noise Presents The Drug In Me Is Gold Tour.
With just a few days to go until the highly anticipated trek kicks off, as you can probably imagine, the charismatic vocalist has a lot of feelings heading into the upcoming tour.
“It’s super ironic that I’m bringing Escape The Fate on tour because [The Drug In Me Is You] was me singing about how angry I am at them and they’re coming on this tour to celebrate the record that I was talking shit about them,” Radke explains. “So we’re all just gonna laugh about it, you know?”
Radke later went on to say there’s no ill will between the two scene staples stating, “I never really hold grudges for too long even though that was like a huge deal in my life that they kind of turned their backs on me and kind of bad-mouthed me while I was in jail and stuff. But like, I’m not a guy that holds grudges for too long. I mean, that was the longest grudge I ever held, you know? But over the years, it kind of just disappeared. I’ve known most of the guys since high school. So it’s almost like an unconditional love kind of thing.”
For more from Radke, including the Drug In Me Is You song that was the most challenging to relearn, as well as what the future holds for Falling In Reverse, be sure to read our in-depth Q&A below. Afterward, if you haven’t already, make sure to grab tickets to see Falling In Reverse, Escape The Fate and The Word Alive out on tour here.
The Drug In Me Is You going gold is obviously an incredibly huge accomplishment. What does it mean to you personally?
RONNIE RADKE: I mean, in this day and age, it’s such a big deal to me. I mean, I have another [record] that’s going gold – it’s pretty close so that’d be a total of a million sales. So for a band that’s like a Warped Tour scene band, like generalized as that, it’s a pretty big deal because I look at all my peers and I try to see if anybody else has actually had a full record go gold and it’s pretty rare. So it’s a huge accomplishment for me, for sure. Especially, because it’s an entire record and not just a single like most of these bands. Like the successful bands will [usually] get a gold single or two but not the entire record. That’s crazy to me.
Looking back on the record nine years after its release, what stands out the most to you about it now?
How stupid some of the lyrics are [laughs]. Straight up. I mean, not stupid. I guess I was young, you know. So I guess it was growing as an artist and becoming more self-aware and stuff like that – singing old lyrics about like, you know, how angry I am at somebody. It’s just funny, actually. We laugh at rehearsal. We’re like, “Can you believe I said this!?” And we just laugh.
You’re getting ready to play The Drug In Me Is You in full out on tour. Are there any songs you’re most excited to bring back and play live?
Yeah. It’s super ironic that I’m bringing Escape The Fate on tour because that record was me singing about how angry I am at them and they’re coming on this tour to celebrate the record that I was talking shit about them. So we’re all just gonna laugh about it, you know? But um, it’ll probably be like “Tragic Magic” because that’s a song that’s like, completely directed at Craig Mabbitt. I might even have him come sing on it or something just to be funny.
That has to be pretty special to get to celebrate this accomplishment with Escape The Fate. Is it nice looking back and thinking how much you’ve progressed as a person to be able to put all that stuff in the past?
Yeah, I never really hold grudges for too long even though that was like a huge deal in my life that they kind of turned their backs on me and kind of bad-mouthed me while I was in jail and stuff. But like, I’m not a guy that holds grudges for too long. I mean, that was the longest grudge I ever held, you know? But over the years, it kind of just disappeared. I’ve known most of the guys since high school. So it’s almost like an unconditional love kind of thing.
Yeah, and looking at all the recent events with Kobe Byrant thinking about his feud with Shaquille O’Neal and now Shaq is totally willing to let all that go… like, it’s 2020. Time to let those beefs go.
100%. Yeah, we’ve been cool for a long time. Like, it’s been years. Some people on Twitter still think we don’t like each other. It just blows my mind because there’s like pictures of us hanging out. We tweet at each other, we follow each other. It just blows my mind sometimes.
So back to The Drug In Me Is You. Was there a song that was challenging to relearn at all?
So funny you’re saying this because yes. Yes, I was stressed actually. Super stressed because of a song called “Don’t Mess With Ouija Boards,” which is literally the dumbest song. I just think it’s so funny because it’s like the lyrics are so dumb to me. They’re cool for a scene band but they’re just, you know, I don’t know. It’s like that cringy kinda look back when you had that emo haircut. Did you ever have an emo haircut?
Sadly, no. I was close with long hair though.
So you never look back and like cringe at old photos of you with long hair or anything like that?
I think I used to rep a bandana at one point so now I’m like, “Hmm probably not the best look.” So yeah, definitely cringeworthy.
[Laughs] Yeah. So pretty much those [“Don’t Mess With Ouija Boards”] lyrics are really funny. We’ve never played that song live at all. Like, not one time in the entire history of the band. So people are looking forward to me playing that song the most. And that song’s like four different tempos. Like it shifts between four different tempos so we have to put these cues in the tracks where we have to slow down drastically and then speed up drastically. So that was a bit challenging. I didn’t realize how challenging it would be but we got it now.
As for Escape The Fate’s set on this upcoming tour, we imagine they might play songs off Dying Is Your Latest Fashion. If so, would you want to join them on stage at all?
If they play Dying Is Your Latest Fashion?
Yeah, if they play songs off that record.
No way, that’d be dumb if they did that. I really hope they’re not going to do that.
So you haven’t had any conversations with them regarding those songs?
The reason I say that is because if they played Dying Is Your Lastest Fashion, there’s pretty much no original members in Escape the Fate. So they’d literally just be covering me before I go on stage. I was going to do it though and then I would bring a couple of their members out on stage with me – which would make more sense. It would actually be hilarious if they performed my songs before I went on stage. So who knows [laughs].
[Laughs] Maybe they can warm the crowd up first to get people ready then you do it second and everyone would be happy.
That would be sooo funny. That’d be so awkward but that’d be funny.
Definitely. So lastly, as you look ahead seeing the success of singles like “Popular Monster” and “Drugs,” what excites you most about the future of Falling In Reverse?
Just the day-to-day kind of thing [where] you just never know what’s going to happen next I guess. Like that’s what I love about being able to be in that position now. Because a lot of bands, you kind of got to have growing pains in order for people to look at you that way. Like, the “you never know what you’re going to get” kind of thing instead of like, “We know what’s going to happen with this band. When they put out their next record, it’s gonna sound like this.” I would much rather it be like, “What is he going to put out next? It could be anything.” Instead of like, you know, the same old same old kind of thing that you’re expecting. So you just never know. I mean, it could be like a fucking jazz song, I guess, or a country song. Who knows.
Do you see yourself continuing to go the single route for the next few, maybe months or so?
Yep! For a long time, yeah. It’s so funny because a couple other big bands like big, big bands – I won’t name their names – but like I heard them saying “We’re gonna go the single route.” I was like, “That’s so funny because I’m doing that and no one ever talks about me doing anything.” They’re just like, “I’m the one that’s doing it.” You know? I guess I just don’t really talk about doing it I just kind of do it and not really say anything about it.
Well, guess this is your opportunity then. You’re going to do some singles for a while and see how that goes?
Yeah, I started the singles with “Losing My Mind.” I don’t know even how long… has it been two years? A year and a half? Something like that. And then I just kind of connected all the songs and videos together and then the next one and then the next one and then the next one. I feel like I’ve just honed in more because we’re an ADD nation. All we do is look at our phones all day and we get everything instantaneously [and we get] instant gratification by clicking on things. Songs are getting shorter because people’s attention spans are getting shorter. So why would you release a full album when you can just hone in on one song and drop that every three months with a music video? That way the viewer is satisfied and their ears are satisfied at the same time – like sensory overload – and everything is focused on one thing. And then three months later, it happens again. So [that’s the plan] instead of giving somebody an album where they like three or four songs and they don’t listen to the rest of the album. It’s just what’s happening nowadays, you know?