Ever look at something and think, “that doesn’t quite belong?” Well that’s how it felt the first time I saw All Time Low in a city other than Baltimore, this summer at Warped Tour. What made it even weirder is that, the hundreds of kids screaming for them thought it was a perfect fit. Rumor has it—a large portion of the country agrees. What happens when our hometown boys aren’t just ours anymore?
Sitting in a black van in a college district of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I sat with the boys of All Time Low, and tried to make it all make sense. As I said, the boys were on the legendary Vans Warped Tour all summer, and as I witnessed in city after city, these boys weren’t our little secret anymore. They won the Energizer Contest to play ten minutes longer in Boston, over the Boston natives, Boys Like Girls. Also, pretty strangely there was a huge crowd in Colorado? One thing I was curious about is where there wasn’t a huge crowd. “Fuck You, Boise!” they said, obviously they didn’t do to well there.
“I think we’re taking most of December off,” Rian says. Right after this tour with The Starting Line, they’re heading right back out on tour with their friends in Boys Like Girls. The annual All Time Low Christmas show looks like it’ll still happen, and you could see a few surprises this winter.
Like Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance, All Time Low has become the band everyone hates to love or loves to hate (check out last month’s issue if you don’t believe me), either way they sell a lot of CDs and have some of the loyalist fan bases I’ve ever seen. Some kids when they toured Europe went to 8 of their 10 shows.
Another instance of fan loyalty is the story I’m sure you’ve all heard this by now, the guys have a set of new promo shots where everyone can see that they’re… big boys now. A girl was suspended from her middle school for displaying it. Not only did Alex deliver a public statement, but they hope to be able to do something nice for the girl. Obviously, All Time Low must be doing something right, and in my opinion those pictures are one of the best publicity stunts I’ve seen since that bubble…
“We get a lot of hometown love… It could be our worst show, and I think people would still love us.” “We still get a lot of hatred for not playing the old stuff.” Last time I saw All Time Low at Recher, you couldn’t hear Alex singing over everyone in the crowd screaming the words. Baltimore loves their boys, but don’t hold your breathe about hearing “Last Flight Home” (my favorite All Time Low song ever), but they know their roots, and maybe we’ll get to hear “Noel” a few more times.
“Matt Squire’s wife came up with the idea for the name, she said ‘It kind of seems like everything you guys do are sort of questionable at times, morally and ethically… but it works for you.’” “So Wrong, It’s Right” does fit All Time Low’s persona well, and they say they tried to incorporate everything they did involving the album around that title. Unfortunately it also spawned “So Wrong, It’s _________” myspace names for the last month, but I guess we can live with that.
Alex’s favorite bands are Blink 182 & Jimmy Eat World, so obviously they listen to them on the road, in addition, when I asked I got a lot of friend promoting, Paramore, The Starting Line.” Oh and randomly enough… Kanye West. “If our album doesn’t outsell 50 & Kanye… combined we’re actually going to become a folk band…”
“It smells like ass back here,” Rian chimes in. Jack and Rian sat in the back reading the two newest issues of the Scene Trash, and eating the snacks I had just given them. Zack sat on the floor with his cell phone in hand, texting away. Matt Flyzik, their tour manager and almost as well known as the band itself from his days in Underscore, sat in the front seat, throwing out a few words here & there.
“Do you guys keep up with the locals back home?” “We try as much as we can.” Jack pulls out our new compilation I had handed them earlier in the day, and they asked who was doing well in the area and I could tell they really were curious to know. I dropped the usual names, and through out a few more they should check out, they even thought about heading out to a few shows when they get back home.
At the end of the interview we sat around for a while and laughed at all the categories they won in the Scene Trash Awards, from most overrated to best looking to best vocalist. I’m proud to say these boys are from Baltimore, and haven’t let the fame go to their head. They’re still the boys you knew and loved when you spent your weekends sober at churches. Oh and if you didn’t know them, then they’re the type of boys you want to know, and not because they’re “famous” or “hot,” (don’t get me wrong they are both of those things) but because they’re fun, young, “zesty” (their words not mine), and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
“Any chance of moving up to a major label?” “We’ll see.”