author Debra Kate Schafer


I recently had the utmost pleasure of interviewing one of the sweetest people in the music industry and I couldn’t be happier about it. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low has always been kind and open with his fans; not to mention his always fun, positive approach to the music he and his friends make. It wasn’t until I picked up the phone and interviewed him for this piece that I got to experience that kindest and honesty firsthand. All Time Low is an Aquarian Weekly sweetheart, a personal favorite of mine, and a legendary pop punk band with a fierce fanbase.

  Their up-tempo songs, slick melodies, and clever lyrics are just some of reasons why their music has, in the words of Gaskarth, “stood the test of time.” You can’t go wrong with good music — and when good people are the ones behind it, it’s pretty much impossible to break down — hence why they sell out tours year after year…like they are doing right now with co-headliner Dashboard Confessional.

This summer you guys are touring with Dashboard Confessional. This headline tour is a huge deal for us pop punk nerds, let me tell you. How did the tour come about?

  The tour came about actually when we were both working on our albums respectively. We were in the studio kind of putting the finishing touches on Last Young Renegade, which is the album we put out about a year ago, and they were simultaneously working on a new record for Dashboard after I think like a seven year break. So I had heard about it because they had signed with our label, Fueled By Ramen, obviously, so it was kind of exciting that we were becoming label mates. They were doing a bunch of the album with our producer Colin Brittain at the time, so it was just kind of a lot of roads that crossed simultaneously.

  That was sort of the moment that we conceptualized this tour. We realized that it had a really great throwback vibe since both of our bands were sort of active in the 2000s. We were just getting started then and even grew up on Dashboard. They were a band that we really looked up to in that world and seeing that they were getting back together was kind of an exciting thing, so we just decided to meld our worlds together.

It seems like fate!

  Yeah, it totally was!

This tour is different compared to last year, because you toured with some more up and coming bands like SWMRS and Waterparks. Did you see a lot of yourselves in these bands?

  You know it is really cool and really fun touring with those younger bands and kind of getting to see where their heads are at, coming in with a fresh perspective. They are still kind of learning the ropes. SWMRS had been touring a lot since they were really young, but Waterparks were still kind of getting their sea legs when we first met and toured with them. It is really cool to see these bands and these kinds of bands evolving and growing and coming into their own. It was a really exciting time to get them on the road with us. We got to take Waterparks to Japan for the first time, which was really cool!

  Yeah, you know, I see a lot of us in them. I think it is like that with any band that has been doing this for a long time; I remember kind of being in their shoes. It is really fun to kind of get to be on the other side of it now.

Absolutely! Did you give them any tips on how to stay sane in the music industry for a long period of time?

  You know, we are not really ones to like sit there and be like “Come here, let me teach you the ways.” It wasn’t so much that. The touring world is interesting, though, because I think you really learn by example and lead by example, as well. So that it is kind of how it always really works for us. We got to tour with some of our heroes back in the day, like Fall Out Boy gave us a chance and took us out years ago. Touring with Blink-182 and Green Day and Third Eye Blind and bands that we grew up listening to, it was seeing how they did it that taught us how to do it ourselves. I think that same thing goes for when you take out younger bands. All you have to do is pay attention.

Of course! Learning by experience is definitely something that helps.

  For sure, for sure.

Let’s talk about “Birthday”, which is stellar, by the way.  It’s a bit different, I think a little more laid back compared to some of your music catalog. Where did the inspiration and idea for this song come from?

  Thank you so much! It’s a funny story, actually. I was writing on the road, I think somewhere in Europe — maybe Sweden? I was just bored on tour one day and I was writing a bunch of little guitar parts. I ended up recording one of these guitar riffs into my phone, my voicenotes, and about six months later when I kind of started writing again in the studio, I dug up that voicenote and it ended up being the main, kind of lead riff in the song — the backbone of it. I had also been sitting on this lyric, “I want you in the worst way/I need you like cake on my birthday.” I had basically been sitting on this lyric for probably like three years.

Wow!

  Yeah, because I thought it was too ridiculous to put in a song. I was really unsure about using it, but we had this music going and suddenly it felt like fit the sentiment of that line. We tried it out and sure enough it was kind of the perfect storm of subject matter and music. It all kind of just came to be!

  You know it was really cool, because like you said it was laid back, and the process for that song really did feel laid back. I think we wrote it in like a day. It was just very quick and natural and fun. Sometimes when those song come together, I find it is some of our best music. We wrote “Weightless” in kind of the same way and that went on to be a strong one for us. It’s just fun. Whenever a song just has a good, natural energy like that without trying, it usually feels like it will be a fan favorite to us. We kind of knew we had something and we just wanted to get it out and summer felt like the perfect time for a song like that.

Definitely! I have been listening to it nonstop, I know fans are loving it. It seems to be perfect for this time of year.

  Aw, that’s good! Well, thank you so much.

No problem! And just a few weeks prior to the release of “Birthday” you released “Everything Is Fine”, which actually has quite a nostalgic vibe to it  — kind of like the other side of the coin. Are these going to be the sounds of a new record like where are these vibes coming from and what are they leading toward?

  It is hard to say! I mean, right now, we are kind of unsure. I think that is kind of the beauty of it. Whether it ends up being an album or just some songs to kind of get us through the summer, it feels like it’s just sort of here for the moment. We had these two songs and we felt like that kind of fit together, but we also kind of felt like it didn’t fit the last record, which is why we didn’t want to do a deluxe of Last Young Renegade or something like that. Last Young Renegade felt like it stood on its own and was just its own thing. This just felt like a really good stepping stone and a way to bring us toward the next thing.

  To be honest, the beauty of where music is right now is that you can just put out a song and see where they land, that was kind of our foray into that world. We had never really done anything like that before release wise, so we just thought that it was All Time Low’s turn to test the waters.

I think you guys are doing that pretty well. Good timing, good music…definitely can’t complain!

  [Laughs] Good!

Being that we are a Jersey-based paper, this past December you celebrated the 10th Anniversary of So Wrong, It’s Right at Starland, our hometown venue. Did you guys always know that you were going to do a celebratory show or a tour dedicated to that milestone for that record?

  I don’t know that we always knew, but the closer we got to the 10 year mark of the record, we sort of saw people asking for it, and it just made sense. That was the record that defined us and gave us our start to put us on the road we are on now. We knew we wanted to do something special for it and New Jersey was such a staple place for us in our coming up as a band. It was kind of one of the first markets that welcomed us and accepted us as if we were a hometown band. It gave us a place to go outside Baltimore when we began doing more shows. It felt really formative. It felt like it had a lot to do with this band becoming successful. It was the perfect venue for that show. Starland always stood out to us as kind of being just a great punk rock venue. We have always had some of our favorite shows there with the most energy. People from up and down the east coast can come out and we knew it was going to be like the perfect mecca for that concert.

I mean, you did do three shows that we all sold out for a reason! Your fans really wanted to come out and hear these songs again and just hear the record played out in full.

  It was really cool. It felt so special. We had never played that record all the way through like that. There were some songs on that record that we had never even played live, so it was really cool to get to share that with people. It was a very special reminder to us of where we came from and it was cool to just pay tribute to that. A lot of people who have been coming out for years to shows came out for them, so there were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd and that is always really cool to share with people. We had a blast. We walked away from those shows feeling really amped up.

I can only imagine that! Like you said, you see all of these familiar faces and so many of your fans have really grown up with you guys. What is that feeling like knowing that you guys and your music are really shaping people’s adolescence?

  It is incredible. None of us ever expected that, you know? We started this band for fun in high school and we didn’t know, by any means back then that these songs were going to stick and have any sort of lasting impression on anyone. It’s amazing, because we just feel so happy to create something that connected with somebody and resonated with somebody.

  At the end of the day, we really do this for the live shows. We love getting on stage and performing and playing for people. The fact that our songs have kind of stood the test of time and bring people together…It’s like it has spanned a couple generations now, too, I guess. We have fans that learned about us over 10 years ago and we have fans that are kind of just learning about us now. It’s really cool to see that all come together and we have realized that there truly is some longevity in what we have done. It’s more than anyone can ask for when you are in this industry, because it is a crazy one. I have seen a lot of bands come and go in our time and we are so, super grateful to keep doing it.

I saw you guys back in, I think 2011? And here I am now, like seven years later, going into music journalism and having the opportunity to interview you — fulfilling so many dreams. It’s crazy, it really is.

  That is so rad! I love that! That is exactly what I am talking about. It’s amazing to see people who kind of came up on the music and now they are in the industry in some way. It’s incredible how interconnected it all is. I see people that used to come to our shows and now work at our label. It’s a crazy path that everybody is taking to get where they are now. It’s rad to just see people who are super invested. It’s crazy to think, also, about the kind of impact that it can have on people’s lives. It’s the same for me, I mean, the music I grew up on…it’s the reason I am here now.

So I only have one more question for you before I let you go back to your rock star life.

  [Laughs] Yes?

As Warped Tour veterans yourself, how you feel about this being the final curtain call, so to speak, for the iconic rock tour?

  Oh man, it’s sad. It is very bittersweet for us, because, again, that was another tour that gave us our legs and established us as a band in this world. We spent several of our early years and our summers on that tour kind of figuring out who were, how we were going to play, learning from the other bands on the tour, and really cultivating a following on the Warped Tour. We are all very grateful for what the Warped Tour did for us in the scene and what it did for the scene in general.

  It is sad to see it go, but everything has its time. I’m just super grateful that we got to be a part of the last one. It was a shame we couldn’t do the whole thing, but we did get to do that weekend and sending it off the way we did was very, very special to us. If we hadn’t gotten to at least be a part of the last one I think we would have hugely missed out. We got lucky and we got to be a part of it and it was great!

I bet it was! I know fans were really glad you could do even just a little bit of it. It meant a lot to them and I guarantee that it meant a lot to Warped Tour as a whole.

  It was sick! I think all the bands that are doing it are having a blast, too. It was cool to see everybody on the tour and it felt very much like it did years ago when we were starting out. The comradery was there, the bands were looking out for each other and just kind of in general hanging out outside of playing the shows. That is always what made that tour special. It kind of became your little family away from home for the summer and that was all still in full affect. It was very cool to see and be a part of.

Catch All Time Low live August 17 at Skyline Stage at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, August 19 at Pier 17 at South Street Seaport in New York, and August 26 at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park.

source: https://www.theaquarian.com/2018/08/15/all-time-low-shaping-lives-and-standing-the-test-of-time/

From their inception — playing covers of bands like New Found Glory and Blink-182 in the suburbs of Baltimore — to crafting original tracks, dropping two EPs and their debut album, it was All Time Low’s sophomore record, So Wrong, It’s Right, that catapulted the band to pop-punk fame. The album’s second single, “Dear Maria, Count Me In” peaked at No. 86 on the Billboard Pop 100, and three of the tracks’ music videos frequently graced television screens via MTV.

author: Jenna Romaine


Fast-forward 10 years, five more albums, global tours, and a VMA nomination, and this Maryland quintet have managed to not only maintain a loyal fan-base, but continually push their musical boundaries and genre limits to progress and thrive. In the face of remaining pop-punk mainstays and their break into the mainstream, So Wrong, It’s Right has acted as an enduring representation of All Time Low’s beginnings and journey. To celebrate the nostalgia of 10 years and all that’s followed, the band are playing the album in full for three back-to-back nights at Starland Ballroom. Lead vocalist, Alex Gaskarth, took some time to talk to The Aquarian Weekly about the past decade, what brings these Maryland natives to New Jersey, and So Wrong, It’s Right’s lasting impact.

It’s been 10 years since So Wrong, It’s Right dropped. Is it that weird for you? Does it feel like it was that long ago?

Oh, man. Honestly, no. The whole thing has been such a whirlwind, such a ride, you know? When I really think about it, it certainly doesn’t feel like 10 years. Ten years sounds like such a long time when you kind of talk about it in context, but no. It’s been a blur, so it’s kind of a weird thing of looking back and reflecting. When I actually stop and think about it, it does like, we were so young then. We were 18, so it’s pretty wild to see how far we have come and what we have been through since then. But no, living in the moment, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

Is there anything in particular that you remember that sticks out to you from the recording and producing process of the album?

I mean, it was our first big recording experience with a producer and being in a studio that wasn’t like someone’s basement. [Laughs]

There were so many kind of massive new experiences happening all at once. At the time, I remember Matt Squire had been recording with bands like Panic! At The Disco, Hit The Lights, The Receiving End of Sirens, Cute Is What We Aim For, and all of these bands that — to us — were further along in their careers than we were, and the bands that we aspired to be more like. So, I remember that when we first kind of confirmed that we were going to make an album with Matt, it was really exciting times for us, because it was so validating that someone at Matt’s caliber would want to work with someone like us.

And yeah, we were also just thrown into the fire. We had never, like I said, made a record the right way before. We had never gone in and written songs in a production room and taken it to that level of professionalism. We were sort of thrown in the deep end for sure. It was a lot of learning.

Yeah, I can’t even imagine. And did you ever think that you would be here, 10 years later, still recording as a band, putting out albums, and touring?

If you asked me back then I probably would have said, “I have no idea!” We very much had no clue of what we were aspiring to do or be. It was so developmental at that point. I think we were just happy to be making an album and going out on tour — like a real tour.

Yeah, I really don’t know! I think if you would have told us then that we would last 10 years that we would have been ecstatic. That was always our dream and we never wanted to be a flash in the pan kind of band. We always had aspirations to have a long life and not fizzle out. So yeah, it is pretty exciting that we still get to do this.

Absolutely! And, if you don’t mind me asking, how did it end up that you guys are going to be playing your anniversary shows at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey?

Starland is kind of just the perfect venue for that sort of show. It’s actually a pretty big venue, like it holds around 2,000 people, I think. And so it’s not just the perfect size venue, but it also… that venue in particular we played a ton of times. And it always feels really intimate despite being big, and so we thought that room had the perfect balance of being able to fit the amount of people to make it feel inclusive, but at the same time not take it into rooms that felt like they were too big for that album and that era. Does that make sense?

Yeah!

Also, New Jersey has always been like a second home town to us as a band. It was one of the first states outside of Maryland that we started booking shows for ourselves and trading shows with other local acts from New Jersey. It was kind of the one place that, after Maryland, really broke for us before we were a national touring band. So it’s got a warm place in our hearts, as well.

For sure! I mean, I remember you guys, when I was like 15, playing Starland with The Maine and Every Avenue and Mayday Parade.

Yeah, exactly! It’s in a place that we have sort of been through a billion times and it just feels very stable to us, and a lot of those venues have disappeared from Maryland at this point. So, obviously we thought about doing it in Baltimore, but there are not a lot of those old venues left from the time that we started out. There are plenty of new ones that have a similar feel and capacity and stuff, but they don’t have the same kind of sentimental value to it. So, Starland felt like a really good place for it.

What are you most anticipating about the shows?

I think just energy, the overall crowd energy, the fact that the shows sold out in a matter of hours and days really says a lot to me. I feel like a lot of people have really been wanting this this year and really pining for those sort of nostalgia shows, and I am happy that we can be a part of it! I think I’ve said it in interviews before, you know, we don’t want to play to it too much because we don’t see ourselves as a nostalgia band.

We don’t want to dwell on album one, we don’t want to forget about the fact that we are still putting out new music and are trying to grow this band even further. But, it just feels like a really special time to go back and kind of pay tribute to the record that gave us our start really. So I’m just excited about the energy, the anticipation. I think it is going to be just a completely nuts show.

Now, you guys released your new album, Last Young Renegade, this year, which you’ve been touring for, and you obviously still play songs from So Wrong, It’s Right in your sets. But are there any songs from the album that you don’t normally get to play that you’re excited about playing?

Yeah! There are quite a few songs off of that album that we have actually never played live. I don’t think we have ever played “Come One, Come All” live. I’m trying to think of what else is on this album, right now. Off the top of my head, I’m just pulling up a blank. [Laughs]

But, yeah, there are several songs off that album that we have never played and there are a lot that we played, maybe back in the day when we needed the songs the fill the set, but, you know, now we have seven albums, and obviously we do play sort of the key songs from that record. But there are a lot that we haven’t played in many years. I am looking forward to kind of diving back into it and just getting those familiar again; relearning and re-experiencing that energy.

Is there anything in particular that you want to say to the fans coming out to any of the three shows?

Just thank you for selling these shows out so fast! To anyone that is coming: I think it is going to be an amazing time, and I am so happy to know that people are just as excited for it because we are really looking forward to it. We were basically, all this year, trying to figure out what to do for the 10-year, so suddenly this kind of just manifested and I am really looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun!

Catch All Time Low’s 10-Year Anniversary show

source: https://www.theaquarian.com/2017/12/20/all-time-low-so-wrong-its-right/

Heading into their 10-year anniversary, All Time Low has plenty to be excited about: a new album, huge tour, and wedding bells. Wait—wedding bells? You’ve got it. These rockers aren’t the youngsters we fell in love with 10 years ago. Does anyone else feel old yet? But, if it helps, All Time Low doesn’t seem to be slowing down whatsoever. After all, their newest album, Future Hearts, has sent them running head-first into yet another lengthy tour.

author: Samantha Curreli


Of course, they’re usually out and about playing somewhere in the world. They’re now known for playing a handful of performances one week, chill the next, and then set out again for another round. According to All Time Low’s lead singer, Alex Gaskarth, he prefers it that way, which is understandable—who really wants to be cooped up in a tour bus for months on end?

As they prepare for yet another bunch of performances in our neck of the woods, Alex had some time to talk about the group, their newest album, and what we should expect from this pop punk band later this year and spilling into 2016. Oh—and provided a little inside scoop about the process of filming their newest music video for “Something’s Gotta Give.”

When on tour, what’s the hour before going on like?

            You know, we don’t really do anything that crazy. Like, we don’t have any cool rituals. So, I guess the biggest thing we do is warm up. We’ll start warming up my voice and stuff, but aside from that, we’ll listen to music, get loose, but nothing too wild. We wanna put on an energetic show, so it would be unfortunate to burn out before we play.

You’re on tour now, traveling through Canada; will you guys keep the current setlist, or are you planning to switch things up?

            Yeah! When we get into the Back To The Future tour, I think it’s gonna be a new set. I don’t wanna give anything away, but, we put a lot of emphasis on playing stuff off the new record and this record has had the best reaction that any of our records have ever had. So, we really want to put a lot of emphasis on those songs. But it’s really, really fun and we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves.

Hey, that’s good! Why do you think this record is getting so much more attention?

            I don’t know! (Laughs) I think the big part is that we’ve gained some new fans, which is a lot of it, but I also think that this band has finally figured out what it’s supposed to be. And so, I think that’s really played a factor in our music. We were trying to figure out the point of All Time Low, and I think that the quality of the music has gotten a little better. It’s pretty cool for us. It’s been a growing experience for us and this band. We started as kids and with practice, good things happen.

You have so many records and so much material to choose from, how on earth do you guys pick songs to play?

            It’s pretty f***ing hard! (Laughs) We have a lot of songs and we’re in this place now where we have plenty of songs from our past that have been kind of career-defining for us, I guess. So, we obviously try to play those. But I think it’s cool that our fanbase has grown with us and we can play new songs and people are familiar with them. It’s not like those situations where people just wanna hear the first record or whatever, so it’s nice to be able to plan a tour—like the Back To The Future tour where we’re focusing on new material and have the response be really positive. So it’s really cool for us to be able to grow as a band and have others support that. But we can’t really play all of our songs, which is a bummer, because it’d be a three-hour show.

As the band grew, did you guys notice your audiences grow with you?

            Yeah! It’s kinda interesting but strange for us because we have those younger, newer fans and then we have those fans who’ve been coming to the shows for years. It kind of depends on the city. Some places, there’ll be a younger audience, and then others, I’ll look into the crowd and they’ll be a little bit older, but I like to see the wide range.

It must be nice. Do you have any memorable shows, or venues?

            Aw, man. We’ve played so many shows at this point! But actually, more recently, we just played a show in Reading in the UK and that was the best feeling we’ve had at those festivals. That was a pretty amazing experience. We played later in the day, and there were a lot of people there. But yeah, it was pretty special.

Wait. You were just in the UK. Now you’re in Canada, heading for the U.S., and then you’re going back to the UK?

            Uh, yeah! Yeah, later this year. Or, in February, actually. But, the funny thing about the UK is that it’s not a giant country. So, it’s not like doing the U.S. tours where we would do, like, 30, so it’s a very short tour.

But you guys tour year-round; don’t you get tired?

            (Laughs) Uhm… It can be [tiring], but we usually take pretty good care of ourselves and we’ve been doing this for a while now. So, not only are we used to it, but we know how to handle it. But we get rest when we can, and we go hard just when we need to, so that’s just sort of the way it is. But we love doing it. We love playing shows, so that keeps us fueled. It’s hard to burn out when you love what you do.

Yeah, I’ve noticed that no one’s left the band, so you must all love it.

            Yeah, it’s pretty wild. I mean, I love the guys in this band and we’re family. But I think the big thing is, that we’re all pretty close and we’re all doing this for the same reason. We’re all really passionate about our music and we love interacting with our fans… It’s pretty crazy to think about because a lot of bands come and go and a lot of others have member changes and stuff and it’s hard to keep a band together, so I’m very grateful that we’ve managed to keep it going all this time.

It’s a gift. Now, on this upcoming tour, you guys are playing with Sleeping With Sirens and a couple of other bands. Have you guys toured together before?

            Uhm, I think we played Warped Tour with them? Maybe? I don’t think we’ve played much with them. We’ve definitely been on shows together, or something like that, but no—we’ve never done a tour together, so this is a first. And I’m excited. It’s exciting! It’ll be nice to hang with those guys and they’re pretty interesting dudes.

It sounds like it’d be a great time! I was watching your music videos and was wondering—what’s the filming process like?

            We just kind of have fun with it. Music videos—we’ve never taken them too seriously. I think we just have a couple, but we just really use them to show off our personality and the songs are what they are. You hear the song first, and you’ll know what it’s about. But music videos are just something for entertainment. That’s the biggest thing.

Yeah! I love “Something’s Gotta Give”—especially the zombie part.

            (Laughs) Yeah, it’s got a funny twist to it. It was definitely something that caught our attention. Out of all of the ideas we were reading, that one really got our attention. It was fun, but after being in that costume for two days… I don’t know. But it was really worth it.

I saw somewhere that you prefer touring over recording; is that true?

            Uhm… I wouldn’t say that I “prefer” it… It’s hard to say because they’re two very different things. I love being on the road, but we have to record music so we can go on tour. There are some bands who live to be in the studio, and that’s where their focus is. But we write music and make records so that we can get out and tour. I think that’s what I mean when I say that; I don’t dislike being in the studio, because the creative process is incredible. I love making records. But, ultimately, like I said, we make records so that we can tour.

They go hand-in-hand. But, what’s a typical day on the road like?

            It depends. You know, some days we have band obligations where we go out and we do interviews like this, or something else. But other times, we have nothing really going on during the day, and it’s just like hurrying up and then waiting for the show, so on days like that, we try to find things to do because it’s really easy to fall into that habit of just sitting around and not doing anything. That feels like a waste, especially when you’re in different cities every day. But, even if it’s just as simple as going out and finding a local coffee spot, or finding a really rad burrito place, it’s just fun to get a feel for the city.

Yeah! If you’re there, may as well experience it all. Have you ever tried writing on the road?

            I seem to have a hard time doing it; I’ve been talking about lately wanting to put more of a focus on writing with some of that downtime that we have, but in the past, it’s been kind of tough. There are a lot of distractions, there’s a lot going on, so sometimes it’s hard to find a nice, quiet spot to get creative. But I’m gonna make more of an effort, so we’ll see how it goes.

Good luck! Now, once this tour is over, what do you have going on?

            At some point, we’ll be getting into new music. Future Hearts is still pretty fresh to us, so we’ll wanna play those songs some more, but yeah, there’s always new music on the horizon; we always have new ideas. So, we’ll have more music and with that, we’ll have more tricks up our sleeves. So yeah, there’ll be more touring, more writing, uh… I’m getting married, so that’s when I get rid of my life (laughs). But that’ll be happening next year. So lots of exciting stuff!

 

Don’t miss All Time Low as they make their rounds on Nov. 21 at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Nov. 22 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, and Nov. 24 at the Theater At Madison Square Garden in NYC. The band’s newest album, Future Hearts, is available now through Hopeless Records. For more information, go to alltimelow.com.

source: https://www.theaquarian.com/2015/11/11/an-interview-with-all-time-low-challenge-accepted/

With catchy lyrics, energetic shows and a loyal fanbase, it comes as no surprise that All Time Low, a quartet from Maryland, have gained international success. Not so far into the past, the band released their fifth studio album, Don’t Panic, and have embarked on a nearly sold-out tour with Pierce The Vail. Vocalist and guitarist Alex Gaskarth was kind enough to have a chat with me about Don’t Panic, their current tour, and the return to Hopeless Records.

author: Roz Smith


How was it different writing and recording Don’t Panic as opposed to 2011’s Dirty Work?

The process was really different in that we self-funded the whole record—we were unsigned at the time. We chose to do it with one producer this time around. For the previous two records, Dirty Work and Nothing Personal [2009], we kinda split up the job with different producers that we wanted to work with in the past, but for scheduling or monetary reasons, we couldn’t lock them in for the whole record.

So with Don’t Panic, we felt really comfortable going with Mike Green, who we worked [with] on the record before. We just felt like it was the best way to get a solid, clear vision and a concise sound throughout the whole record. We learned a lot working with a lot of people, but I think the biggest drawback with working with a lot of people is that you end up with different signature sounds on each song, which made the record feel a little bit inconsistent. Not in a bad [way], but in a way we didn’t want to replicate for this new album. That was the biggest difference, just sitting down and doing 14 songs with one guy.

Fan funding has been a big thing lately. Did you think about that when you were looking to make Don’t Panic?

No, we didn’t want to go that route. I guess while it’s a cool idea, there’s something to me about Kickstarter that it feels a bit strange to ask the fans to fund what you’re doing. I get it, it’s a cool symbolic thing—we didn’t want to approach it that way. I guess we figured that, if we fund it ourselves, that hopefully we’ll make it back after the fact. I think we were in a position that we were fortunate enough to do that and Mike Green made a lot of exceptions by giving us a break financially by making the record first and then following it up once we found our new home with Hopeless Records. It worked out well.

How has it been to be back on Hopeless?

Hopeless Records was our first label; we spent several years with Hopeless Records before we signed to Interscope. It was coming back to familiar ground is really what it was. We signed with Hopeless because nothing has changed. Everything felt awesome and familiar and I think that was a big part of the reason why we re-signed with them. It’s great! As far as I’m concerned, it’s great to be back with a label that understands us and works well with us.

The album art for Don’t Panic is pretty interesting. How was it decided on?

We worked with a guy who we worked with previously on some artwork for tour art, and he’s an animator and illustrator from Canada. We loved the work he’s done in the past and we felt like it’d be really fun to do something graphic, and we knew that his ability would be able to stretch beyond anything we’d be able to do with photos or anything like that.

We had an “end of the world” concept in mind and [to] just take it easy, and bring it in for the end of the world was this theme that we came up with for Don’t Panic. He just killed it! He came up with all the ways the world could end happening at once. I think one of the big things is that we wanted this album artwork to be unique and we wanted it to pop and be memorable.

It definitely does stand out! After all, the end of the world is a big thing.

And the record came out right before the Dec. 21 thing happened, so we were playing into that, too.

Did you guys have an “end of the world” party?

Of course!

What is your favorite song off of Don’t Panic to perform?

Right now, it’ll have to be “Backseat Serenade.” We haven’t actually played the whole record live, so there are still some songs that I’d like to incorporate into the live set. But out of the ones we started playing recently, “Backseat Serenade,” the reaction has been amazing and we’ve had a lot of fun with that one. So I think that is my favorite right now.

Why are you holding the rest of Don’t Panic back?

No real reason other than we don’t want to swamp the set with too many new songs. We’ve been playing five new songs live and we typically play an hour and a half set. We have so many records at this point a big part of it is wanting to play enough material from the back catalogue to keep fans happy.

There are a lot of songs that people want to hear when they see us live, and it’s not all new material. We try to balance it. It was always a problem for me when I’d go see bands and they’d only play songs off the new album. We like to keep it varied.

What are your expectations for the tour?

I’m really excited. It’s going to be amazing. It’s been since this past fall that we’ve toured the States so I think it’s going to be great and full of big shows—everything is selling out! It’s a new look for us touring with a band like Pierce The Vail, I think that’s going to be really rad. Maybe the merging of two worlds? I think the fact that a band like us can tour with a post-hardcore band, that’s really rad. We’re excited to try something new and try a new lineup. And from a personal standpoint, we’re all really close with all the bands on the bill. From day one I think it’s going to be a really good time.

You’re also heading over to Europe! Are your European fans any different than your U.S. fans?

I don’t know if it’s super different. I think the biggest thing is that the rest of the world is a little less jaded on music. The United States, right now, it feels that everyone is overloaded with too much shit. I think one of the big things we experience when we go overseas is acceptance of all different styles of music, whereas over here people really limit themselves to what they listen to. They pick one or two genres to get into and they classify and identify themselves by just those scenes.

When we go to Europe, especially when we play the festivals, the people over there will embrace a band like us and then walk away and watch Macklemore, and then walk away and watch Iron Maiden. It’s kind of cool that you get these people with really eclectic tastes just coming to see music, which I always really appreciate. I think the U.S. would really benefit getting behind that mentality of listening to music for music rather than having to fit into a certain scene.

Lyrically, what do you think is the band’s strongest song in its entire collection?

That’s a tough question to answer. I think the songs that have stuck with people the most are the strongest. I think the songs define themselves at our live shows and how people react to them at shows over the years. “Dear Maria, Count Me In” went gold for us, so that’s always been a real favorite song in our catalogue. A song like “Weightless” has really come to define who the band is. If I was to introduce someone that has never heard a song by All Time Low, I think I’d chose one of those two songs to start off.

This is kind of what set the foundation for the band. A lot of our songs are really growing. Songs like “Remembering Sunday,” some of our slower stuff and even all the way to the newer stuff like “Somewhere In Neverland” has been embraced by our fanbase. It’s cool how our new record has become a real staple of this band and sort of redefined this band and who we are and what we can do.

It’s great to see the group grow!

I think it’s important to try new things, and not all of them work—and that’s part of being a band. As long as you completely alienate your fanbase, it’s good to try out different sounds and try out different twists on our genre. Otherwise, it just gets pretty stale writing the same music over and over again. It’s a big deal to step outside of what you’re comfortable in.

Other than touring, what do you guys have planned for the rest of the year?

A lot! We’re thinking of video stuff right now, so I think we’re working on a few more music video ideas. There’s always a plan on the backburner to try to follow-up our DVD [Straight To DVD, 2010]. I think it’d be really fun to make a sequel. There’s a lot more to the story of All Time Low than what we got to tell on that. That sorta told the origin and where we’re going and I think it’d be cool to show our worldwide audience and show where we’ve been and how we’ve gone around the world and all that. I think there’s another chapter to tell on the DVD side of things, so that’s probably a possibility. And after that, just unique ways to kind of get in front of our fans. So I think really unique shows and unique ideas we’re going to try out as a band.

 

All Time Low play the Best Buy Theater April 24 and 25, and The MAC At Monmouth University April 27. For more information, go to alltimelow.com.

source: https://www.theaquarian.com/2013/04/24/interview-with-all-time-low-rising-to-the-top/

From the moment that they dropped their pants and revealed their tighty-whities for a photoshoot at the time of their second album, So Wrong, It’s Right, back in 2007, All Time Low have become that band you cannot escape. And apparently a lack of clothing is also something they haven’t taken off the menu. While you may not expect any troubles to cross path with singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson, who all seem to be the ideal chill, pop-punk band; sometimes lighting strikes.

author: Alison Kopki


Shortly into their current run on The Bamboozle Roadshow, ATL stirred some controversy. At the Arlington, Texas, stop at the Six Flags Over Texas, fans rushed the stage and allegedly security stepped in and used mace on some fans in order to exert crowd control. It would be something that Gaskarth would comment on via his Twitter. A few days after, it was released that ATL would not perform at the other two Six Flags stops of the tour.

With things behind them, it’s only full speed ahead for ATL, who even with their current release, Nothing Personal, having come out last year, are already hard at work on the next. After filling a short tour break with label meetings and a red eye to their next tour destination, Gaskarth spoke on his view of things and the many people in ATL’s corner.

I was told you were in meetings yesterday with your new label. How’s the switch from Hopeless Records been?

Yea, we did. It’s been good integrating over to Interscope and getting everything geared up for releasing our new album and for the future of this band. Everyone’s really stoked on it.

Are you guys seeing any differences with being on a major over an independent label?

Different levels of resources, different sizes like of the team that’s behind you. The decision was just, it felt like on the indie label, we reached the highest point we could reach and trying to tackle things like getting radio and things like that was sort of becoming harder and harder based on the fact that the label hadn’t really done it before. We thought that maybe we hit a ceiling so, it’s to make something work for every party involved and also to launch us to the next stepping-stone.

You mention the next record. How far are you into writing that?

As of right now, we’re halfway through. We have seven songs that we’re recording with Mike Green (Paramore, Set Your Goals). After this tour in July, we’ll be coming back to solidify the second half of the record with Matt Squire (3OH!3, HIM). It’s awesome. So far it’s such a good direction, it blows the last record out of the water in terms of depth and song writing and you know, it’s progress. We’re all really stoked. It’s probably going to come out, we’re thinking early next year probably.

You mention two, but are you going to have more producers like how Nothing Personal had five?

The record is kind of split between Mike Green and the other half is Matt Squire and then Neal Avron is mixing the record. It’s definitely a dream team for sure and we’re really excited about everyone involved.

It feels weird asking about the next about when your current album feels like it just came out.

Yea, exactly, it definitely feels like Nothing Personal never really had it’s full lifecycle yet, but we are trying to get all the songs done and have the thing ready to go, but we’re not ready to throw it out there.

With all the touring, when do you find the time to work on things?

Before this tour started, we did have quite a bit of time off. In that time, I basically was in L.A. writing and once we felt like we had a batch of songs that were good to go, we started recording them with Mike Green. So yea, we have half the album good to go and then the second half will come along in July.

Right now you’re on The Bamboozle Roadshow. How’s the tour been?

Tour’s been great, a lot of fun. I would say every band on this tour has been acquainted; it’s been very social.

The big question pertains to you guys being unable to be at the New Jersey date of the tour. Can you explain a little why you can’t perform on our stop of the tour?

Yes and no. I’m not really allowed to talk about too much at this point—we definitely want to do something to make it up to the audience who we can’t play for that day, but at the same time we don’t want to take away from the other bands’ show. [Which they are at the Freehold Raceway Mall.] In the meantime, all we can say is, we’re sorry we’re not there, but with the way it panned out, I think it’s for the best at the end of the day.

I did read up on your Twitter updates concerning the incident. Do you feel that what you said came back to bite you in a negative way in the end?

Not at all. I said what I said and no, I definitely don’t think it came back to bite me. At this point, it’s more for legal reasons that I can’t talk about things or go into much more details. I stood up for what I believe in and I think at the end of the day I think I did what was right and I don’t think anyone can really argue that. It’s not that I feel that I messed up, I think I did what I should have done. I think everything’s going to play out for the best.

You guys just released a DVD titled Straight To DVD. How does it feel to get it out to fans, especially those who haven’t seen you guys live?

It’s great, it took a long time to make that, so it’s great to see it all come together as well as it did. I think it’s a window into the world of the band and what we do. For the audience that doesn’t really know us, it’s a good way to get into everything that we do.

Any special things you guys did for that show?

It’s laced with everything. It’s backstage footage, it’s the performance in New York, it’s really everything you could possibly want and more. Maybe a little too much nudity.

Did you guys need an R rating then?

Everything’s blurred. I don’t know how it works, but a music DVD doesn’t follow a rating system, so we don’t have to do anything about it.

Speaking of naked bands, I read you were in the studio with Mark Hoppus again about three months ago, what were you guys working on?

Mark and I wrote a song together almost two years ago for our last record and that song never really saw the light of day. So what happened is that Mark has a new project now, which I believe is going by the name City Comma State. Basically we re-hashed that song and they’re using it for that project and I did a little bit of writing on a few of the other songs on the album. It’s something fun that Mark’s doing and it’s an awesome band. The record is awesome and it’s really fun being involved and getting to write some of the jams for the record.

Catch All Time Low at FYE Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, NJ, on June 24 and at Nassau Coliseum with the Bamboozle Road Show on June 26.

source: https://www.theaquarian.com/2010/06/22/interview-with-all-time-low-grin-and-bare-it/