It's been about 5 years since All Time Low stormed on to the scene with their album The Party Scene. Since then it's been a complete roller coaster ride for the band reaching new levels of success as every year passes. With their latest album dropping last summer, the band signed with Interscope Records and have been touring non-stop. Despite theme park troubles and a hectic schedule, the band continues to push forward and still give just as much back to fans as they receive. This is what vocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth had to say when I talked to him last night at the Bamboozle Roadshow in Mansfield, MA.
Yeah, itís really, really good, a lot of camaraderie. Made friends with a lot of bands like I never thought I would make friends with.
Like Third Eye Blind?
Yeah absolutey. Thatís one of my favorite bands for a long time. Itís very cool to not only share a stage but get to know them as people and see how they work on tour.
Speaking of tours, you said you were going on tour in the fall which is supposed to be a small gig tour like last year?
Yeah exactly, we have sort of done a lot of the same recently. Like headlining tours at House of Blues-size venues and a little bit bigger and whatnot. We just felt like if we were going to headline again, we didnít want it to get stale. So rather than try to go any bigger or do the same thing, we decided to take it back to small packed, sweaty, gross rooms with small stages and a lot of problems. Itís going to be awesome. I think the biggest venue of the tour is going to 800, so itís going to be really cool, really intimate and back to basics. Yeah, it will be fun. I think weíll open it up to the fan club first and then keep it very core. It should be a good time.
How long of a tour is it going to be?
I think itís about a month and a half. Itís not too long.
Like the whole US?
Yeah, weíre shooting for the whole US. Weíre trying to do mostly B-market stuff. Itís not a whole lot of major cities. Itís going to be good. Weíre going to do the Recher Theater in Baltimore which is kind of like where we started, so itís going to be really cool.
So the new album is coming out in what, January?
Yeah, thatís what weíre shooting for at least.
Is it finished or mostly finished?
Mostly finished we have about 8 songs done now. Avron started mixing everything. Weíre all going back out after this tour in July to finish the last 4 that weíre tracking. Itís coming along really well. Weíre kind of just honing in on what songs are going to be on the album. Basically what is going to make the record be the best record it can possibly be. Iím stoked, itís nice to have such a long time to really work on the whole thing. In the past weíve had to cram it in between tours a lot of the time. This time we took some time off to write and made sure the songs were there first and then started tracking. Then take a break, step away from it, look at the songs for a minute. Then go back and make sure everything's perfect.
Would you say itís going to sound like Nothing Personal or more of a mix of things?
I donít know what to say about it. Iím sure some people would say itís a mix of things. With Nothing Personal I felt like, at least my lyrical content was very tongue in cheek and it fit the vibe for that record. But I sort of wanted to get a bit more genuine with this one. So it it takes a step in a different direction lyrically and conceptually. But the music is still basically what it always has been, just upbeat and fun. We definitely tried to step it up musically this time. Thatís another thing I felt suffered on the last record. We focused so much on just song that we sort of forgot about instrumentation a little bit. We paid a lot of attention this time, trying to write cool parts and make the record interesting throughout.
Like more riffage?
Yeah, more riffage, less unnecessary cheese and more just like ďOh thatís coolĒ, stuff like that. Thereís not going to be a shit-ton breakdowns, weíve never been that kind of band. But itís definitely thought out music.
Have you decided on an album title yet?
No! Thatís becoming the hardest part with this record, I have no idea what to call it. Weíre still naming songs, figuring out what the overall theme of the album is and everything. Weíre honing in on it, which is good, weíre getting closer. basically the plan is to have the songs done and mixed by the end of August and then turn it into the label in September and have it out by January. Iím sure more and more will start to unveil as the year goes on, itís still early.
Do you have any crazy marketing deals like you did with the last album? Because that seemed to really work.
To be completely honest that was a fluke. That wasnít something that was planned out. We named the record, thought it was kind of funny. Started that little twitter thing between one another and then we were like hey letís get a few other friends in on this. Before we knew it, it just blew up and went way out of control. That day that we released ďWeightless,Ē that night, that was all spontaneous. I called our label, I called Ian at Hopeless and I was like ďDude itís probably a good idea to release a song maybe, this is really blowing up.Ē So it just kind of all fell into place with that one. Hopefully something similar happens with this one, itís good to have a natural reaction, you know?
I think the site crashed didnít it?
Yeah, it was gnarly. It was all kind of strange. It all just kind of snowballed in that one day.
That was crazy, that blew up.
Yeah it did really good things for the record, which you canít ask for anything better than that. We were really lucky.
Is there any chance The Party Scene will get re-released or if you will play some songs live?
Yeah, there is a plan to put some songs that no one owns the rights to on some bonus CDís. Like doing certain songs for each store. So if you go to Best Buy and buy the record it might have ďCirclesĒ on it and if you go to Hot Topic and buy the record it might have ďLullabiesĒ or something like that. Weíre definitely trying to do something outside of the box. Some of the CDís might definitely have bonus content that goes back to the original record. Like I said weíre still throwing it all together and seeing what works.
What about live?
Honestly, I would love to say we can bring some songs back. Maybe the fall tour might be the time to do it. Being that I think itís going to be an intimate crowd. Itís going to be a crowd that would know that kind of stuff. The issue that we have right now with playing stuff like that is that weíll do it and weíve done it before. Like a headlining show and a third of the crowd will know it and then thereís a bunch of kids standing around like ďWell what is this? This isnít what I came to seeĒ kind of thing. So itís like you want to cater to everybody so you donít want to alienate people by playing all these obscure songs. But for the kids who love those songs it really does make a difference. So hopefully in the fall that will be the time that we bust out some of our older stuff.
What do you have to say to the people that say you ďsell outĒ because the sound is a little bit more pop than it use to be. I think that comes with becoming a bigger band and expanding your sound. I feel like if you stay the same it gets old.
I donít know if I equate us sounding more pop to us getting bigger though. I sort of equate it to my musical tastes changing a little bit and expanding. Like I listen to a lot of pop like Iím wearing a Lady Gaga shirt right now (Laughs). I legitimately listen to like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga for song writing influence. I feel like pop songs have something about them that their so simple but they are so able to connect with such a wide audience, I think thereís something genius about that. I think a lot of it is that it has had a pretty big influence on how I write. To be honest I donít think itís necessarily a product of us getting bigger. I donít only listen to Blink and New Found Glory anymore. Thatís what I listened to when we wrote the first record and now I listen to a lot of other shit.
The changing of times and the changing of sounds.
What was up the census that you put out a couple weeks ago?
It was just kind of a funny thing that we wanted to do to start a database. We never really had a mailing list or anything like that and when we signed to Interscope we sort of realized that. We were like ďWow, we have no way aside from Twitter and Myspace, we have no way of knowing who our fans are.Ē We have the fan club but outside of that we had no way. So really it was just a way to kind of figure who was listening to us and what people liked and what they didnít like. Really to just gate a gauge on where everyone was. This band has always tried to be about that connection with the audience, almost a personal connection. We donít want to lose that as the shows get bigger and the band gets busier and busier itís kind of hard to keep up with all of that. So it was sort of one phase to reconnect with people who may of slipped to the wayside. Itís a building block in a bigger plan.
What about the song that you did with Mark Hoppus not too long ago, whatís up with that? Is it going to be on the new record?
No, not on our record. It is going on a record though, Iím proud to say. Mark has a project with some friends of his; the band is called City Comma State. I donít know how much I should announce, but I went back and did some more work on the song with Mark and actually worked on another song with Mark and I think both of those songs are going to be used for that project. Itís exciting, the band seems like itís going to be really cool. Itís flattering to even have him approach me to use a song we did together on something heís involved with. Iím really, really pumped for it.
So should we be expecting news from that soon?
Yeah, I donít want to say too much because I donít know how much they have announced. I know he hints at it in some of his interviews and stuff. But if they are gearing up for something I donít want to blow it. But yeah, Iím sure you will hear more about that as time goes on.
Future plans after the tour and album?
Like I said, once this tour is over, today (laughs) we are going back to LA to finish the album. Then we have all this stuff in Europe and Asia, some of itís with Blink actually which Iím really excited about. Weíre doing reading and leeds this year on the main stage which is going to be insane. Then the fall tour and then I think itís going to be a lot of that hopping around to get radio to play us. We still havenít managed it, so I think itís going to be a lot of that. I donít see this band slowing down anytime soon. We have always been about constantly touring and being out there and working our asses off and I donít think thatís going to change. Thatís just what we like to do.
I would have to say to rerecord Lullabies for a bonus track wouldn't be as cool as songs from The Party Scene. Lullabies was redone for Put Up or Shut Up obviously, so that's a recent version (for anyone who doesn't know, it was never released before that, but there is a The Party Scene era demo of the song).