author: Paul (Punktastic)
PAUL: Hey! Please introduce yourself and your role in All Time Low.
ALEX: What up, what up? I’m Alex Gaskarth and I sing and play guitar for All Time Low.
PAUL: Can you please give me a brief history of ATL from day one to today!
ALEX: All Time Low was formed in our freshman year of high school. About a year later, after riding out the talent show and party circuit, we finally decided to take everything a little more seriously, signing with indie label Emerald Moon Records. The owner, Matt, encouraged us to release our first EP, and then our independent full-length, “The Party Scene”, which brought on a good amount of the online buzz that I believe resulted in us signing. It all happened so fast, once it came down to it. Somehow we’ve made this a full-time thing, and I couldn’t be happier.
PAUL: Which bands are currently rocking the ATL stereo?
ALEX: Boys Like Girls new record, along with the new Over It record are spinning constantly. I rediscovered The Ataris‘ “So Long Astoria” which is also an amazing album. I’d definitely say that The Ataris are partially responsible for this band doing what it does and being where it is – we were avid listeners at the time we formed this band, but the key elements for us were Blink-182, Greenday and New Found Glory.
PAUL: How did the deal with Hopeless come about?
ALEX: Hopeless found us through our label-mates Amber Pacific. We played a show with them back when we were in our Sophomore year of high school and immediately took a liking to one another as people and as musicians. We kept in touch from that day on and as we started gaining some momentum with our later release, they saw it fit to pass on our music to Louis, the owner of Hopeless/Subcity records. He immediately contacted us and the fit was like two matching puzzle pieces.
PAUL: Why did you decide to re-record and remix a few old songs for the EP you’ve just released? Why not go straight in and release a new album? Was that your decision, the labels or a mix?
ALEX: The decision to release an EP was agreed upon by ourselves and the label. We felt like it was a good way to put something out quickly – to break the ice with new fans. We all felt that before writing an album, we should take the time to tour for a while and gain some experience on the road, (keep in mind that until now, we were in school for the majority of each year, leading up to graduation, so touring only happened during Spring/Summer breaks.) Now we’ve got things to write about, you know? We did however, throw in a few new songs to keep returning listeners satisfied (aka. Coffee Shop Soundtrack and Jasey Rae.) We’re heading into the studio this winter to record the full-length for y’all, so fear not, its coming relatively soon.
PAUL: Which song on that EP would you recommend people check out first if they are new to All Time Low ?
ALEX: Coffee Shop Soundtrack is the stand-alone song on the EP, I think… If you don’t like that song, chances are, you won’t like us… But I could be wrong. 🙂 Guess you’ve just got to listen to the WHOLE thing. Ha-ha!
PAUL: You’re all young guys – was it a difficult decision to drop out of going to school and become a full time band? Were your parents keen on what you decided to do? Is it something you’d recommend to other bands?
ALEX: The decision wasn’t difficult at all. We all knew that we wanted this more than anything else in the world, it was just a matter of making it happen. We’ve been so lucky in the sense that everything has come together quickly enough to take the stress off of the parents. Hah. At first they were skeptical, but as they saw things coming together for us, they became much more supportive of the idea that we might not be going straight to college. Its always there if we need it, you know? A record contract doesn’t come along every day. Carpe diem, n’ shit.
PAUL: You’re doing a few Warped dates I think…how’s that going? For many of us in the UK we;re not lucky enough to ever go, so describe what it’s
like from a band’s point of view.
ALEX: The Warped Tour was an amazing experience for us…Busy as hell, but amazing. Its an all day event, so playing is just part of what comes along with being on the tour. A baby band like ourselves generally have to bust ass promoting the time and stage on which they play, to get as many kids out as possible… It can actually be really entertaining – Jack and myself put on short shorts and ran around with fliers all day. People see that and think, “Ok… What the fuck? I want to see what this is all about.” It definitely helped us play in front of some larger crowds each day of the tour. After playing, its all about selling CD’s, which is basically the same concept as flyering but with a persuasive, manipulative, disgusting salesman twist. Sinister, I know, but you’d be amazed at what an Ipod and some jazz-dancing can do.
PAUL: How receptive have the crowds been towards you?
ALEX: The crowds have been absolutely amazing… They welcome us as if we are their own, and for that, we can’t be more grateful. I just hope it stays that way everywhere we go. Haha.
PAUL: So what is the plan for the rest of the year? have you got enough songs for a new album yet? Do you have concrete plans to record it this year? Have you decided on a producer?
ALEX: We’ll be touring the US until November, at which time we’ll be finishing up the writing process before entering the studio with Matt Squire in December/January to record the full-length. We’re all really excited to get back into the studio.
PAUL: Will we see a change in sound or more of what the EP has introduced us to?
ALEX: Without a doubt there will be a change; hopefully a fresh dynamic and a new spin on the way do pop-punk. We’re not going to drastically change the concept, we know what kind of music we want to play, but seeing as how most of the songs on the EP were written one or two years ago, I think its safe to say that there will be a difference in the songs. Guess you’ll have to wait and see, huh? 🙂
PAUL: With bands like Cartel, Hit The Lights and Valencia all doing very well, and bands like Fall Out Boy and now Over It on major labels, do you think it’s ‘cool’ to like pop punk again?
ALEX: First off, I think that liking a band based on whether a genre is “cool” in the scene is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve always loved pop-punk, and always will. I think its sad that entire demographics will shun a certain style of music just because fashion-hair and screaming is the in thing to do. Unfortunately, that’s they way music works; in trends. As stupid as it sounds, there are so many “closet-listeners” out there, and it needs to end. I’d like to think that the emergence of bands like Cartel, HTL and Valencia is the beginning of a new age of pop. Hey, its catchy… Anyone can love it. Ask any wannabe hardcore kid what they listened to four or five years ago and they’ll tell you New Found Glory… I’d bet money on that. Ha-ha! And just to avoid any confrontation on the matter, keep in mind that, though I am ragging on the hardcore trend that everyone’s come to know and love, I’m a fan of all kinds of music… I listen to virtually everything, including bands that throw their guitars, flex their egos, and scream like champions. Its one of the most entertaining things to watch live, too.