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Interview: All Time Low - 06.01.12
 

All Time Low - 06.01.12

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All Time Low - 06.01.12One of the biggest bands in the "scene" today, All Time Low, has certainly had a meteoric rise to success. After a handful of full lengths and EPs, the band recently dropped a huge bomb when they let us know they are currently unsigned. Alex Gaskarth, the frontman of the band, has taken some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about what the band has been up to. Thanks to Alex for doing this!

1. The band went dormant for a bit, slaving away at a new record with a different method than your last two records. Why did you decide to stick with one producer and no co-writers for this record?

The more and more I think about this, the simpler the answer becomes; It was time. I learned so much working with so many different people on the last couple of albums, but we as a band have reached a point where we need to flex our creative muscle to it's fullest, and really show people what we're capable of when we're left to our own devices. We had a great connection with Mike Green while working on what I felt was the stronger portion of Dirty Work, that when it came time to pick a producer, it was a no-brainer. He understands All Time Low and what we've always wanted. In the past, some people have come close, and some people have dropped the ball completely, but it's always hind-sight that gives us that kind of clarity. When you're in the studio with some big name writer / producer, and you have some label telling you everything you're doing is a "smash", it's really hard not to fall into a, "I'm just stoked to be here" mind-set, and not question the results. With Green, there was a clear objective, and a clear vision of what we were setting out to accomplish. I'm proud of every song we've ever released as a band, but some certainly fit the "All Time Low" mold more than others. I think, for the first time ever, this record nails it through and through. I don't think we're throwing as many curve-balls as we may have last time around.

2. You guys have a countdown on your site launching the artwork for the new single. When can we expect to hear new music?

No official statement yet, but that clock is counting down to something we're all extremely proud of.

3. Can you give us any details on the new record?

It's really tough to do this right. Whatever I say now will be scrutinized and debated whenever the record comes out. I can sit here and say that it's more like our old stuff, or that it's something we've never done before, or that it's going to change everything for us, but I just don't know that for sure. People will form their own opinions. What I know is that it's hard hitting, dynamic, and has a ton of heart. Everyone gave it their all on this record, because we were doing it for ourselves, unsigned, and with nobody telling us that we need a "game-changer." We're not here to change the game, we're here to prance naked across the field until we're tackled by the authorities.

4. Awhile back, Jack mentioned the band made some demos that sounded like it was So Wrong, It's Right-era material. Listening to the songs you finished now, can you still say it has sort of that older ATL vibe?

Jack has a really good ear for things like that. I have a hard time telling whether or not our new material sounds like our old material, or something completely different, because I'm in it from conception to final print. I think it's fair to say that the album contains many elements of our older material, but combines that with my favorite elements of our newer albums as well. For the first time, rather than letting myself be influenced by bands I was into in the moment, or a time period, etc. I really went ahead and referenced everything we've done as a band in the past, for direction on where to go in the future.

5. Lyrically, are there any topics that you cover on the new record that you haven't in the past?

A good chunk of this record deals with our signing, and eventual split with Interscope. It was the usual story that we promised ourselves we'd never let happen: Band signs with label, label throws everything into the making of band's new album, team working the record gets fired or moved to another office, record gets delayed, record loses steam, band leaves label.

I don't fault the folks at Interscope for any of this. The people we worked with were amazing, and really believed in us. Even the people who eventually came in to try and pick up the pieces left in the wake of massive restructuring, were genuinely trying to help. Unfortunately we got lost in the mess of big business and higher-ups making deals. Lesson learned. No hard feelings. It's not for us. We asked to be released from our contract, and they understood why.

The other, and more important theme of this record, is self discovery and confidence. It's about being sure that you're not sure, and being OK with that-- realizing that life is an adventure, and to face it boldly and unabashedly. I think this theme even plays into the former quite a bit; Don't let anyone mess with you aspirations.

6. Not sure if you can legally discuss it but what's your label situation now?

We are unsigned. After we parted ways with Interscope/DGC, at the end of 2011, Dirty Work was kind of dead in the water, which is why we started working on the new album so soon. We haven't made any decisions as far as what label the next record will be released on. The objective was to make this album ourselves, and for us and the fans, with no outside opinions diluting or influencing the vision. If and when we sign again, you'll know.

7. What are your goals/expectations for the record?

I really don't know what my expectations are. My goal is to continue to grow as a band, and as artists, and to continue to draw listeners in, new and old.

8. I know you tend to discuss it a bit, but does it ever bother you when fans (Particularly the older ones) disregard your new music in favor of older stuff that you wrote primarily when you were in high school?

My favorite Blink record is Enema. My favorite Fall Out Boy Record is TTtYG, I think folks will always be fondest of the music they initially fell in love with. What sometimes bothers me is that people don't look ahead. They don't realize that a band isn't going to keep writing the same album again and again, (unless that band is Nickelback.) I try to go into every band's new record with an open mind and take it for what it is, rather than weighing it against former material. Does it bother me if people don't like our newer music because it just isn't their thing? No. Does it bother me when the only reason they don't like it is because it isn't Coffee Shop Soundtrack in the different key? A little. But no harm no foul. Can't always win 'em all.

9. Can we expect to hear any new music on Warped Tour this summer?
There's a distinct possibility!

10. Speaking of Warped Tour, despite your appearance at Virginia Beach last year, has the band been discussing its set yet? Considering you're only getting 40 minutes for a set and your stage banter takes up a fair amount of time, are you going to be cutting down on talking to fit in more music or just condense your set down a bit?

It's been a point of contention within the band-- Haha!
We're coming up on ten years as a band, and that means we've got quite a lot of material to choose from. We've spent a lot of time playing sets that are an hour or more for the past two years, so it's definitely going to be strange having to trim down the content. That said, it's pretty clear to us what most people want to hear in a shorter set. We try to include a good mix of songs from each record, old and new. I think the banter may take a bit of a hit, but we'll do our best to still make as many lude and offensive comments as possible between songs. The main focus is the music.

11. There's going to be some fantastic older Warped bands on this year which will appease the older crowd and a lot of younger bands that brings in new faces. How do you find a balance to keep both parties happy?

I honestly think that this is the best lineup the Warped Tour has had to offer in years. I think it's bringing in every necessary element, and a good mix of genres. It isn't swaying TOO pop, or TOO heavy. There's something for everyone, older and younger. I'm stoked to be a part of it.

12. Who are you looking forward to seeing on the tour?

I'm most excited for the bands I used to go and SEE on the warped tour before we could drive ourselves to the show; Yellowcard, The Used, TBS, NFG. It's a throwback to my early teens and I couldn't be happier.

13. Anything else to say?

I think the most important thing to say is thanks. Thanks for everything. It's a tough crowd on this here site, and a lot of you have stuck with us through thick and thin. We're so happy doing what we do, and we're happy that you guys still enjoy it, (or at least the old shit, before we sold out.) ;)
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 80
07:17 AM on 06/01/12
#2
Playsw/Squirels
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We're not here to change the game, we're here to prance naked across the field until we're tackled by the authorities.

Great analogy hahaha Honestly haven't been so excited yet nervous for a record in my life probably. I know this is gonna kick ass. Cant wait for 5 oclock

Edit: Also, September 25th. So Wrong Its Right 5 year anniversary. Im calling it for the new album release date
07:24 AM on 06/01/12
#3
Steveb
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Awesome!
07:44 AM on 06/01/12
#4
Thomas Nassiff
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Props to the band for having the clarity of mind to see that Dirty Work was dead, and to move away from the label and start a new album.
07:48 AM on 06/01/12
#5
Born_For_This
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I love how aware Alex is, and that he doesn't really take it to heart. The little nod to the "sell out" suggestions that were everywhere after Dirty Work made me laugh for sure.

As for that album in particular, it just didn't connect with me at all. It was just all a bit mid paced and dull except for a few tracks. I would say to them don't worry about Dirty Work, pretty much every band has an album that doesn't do well, or the fans don't like, it's just part of being in a successful band. You just need to the find the balance between the sound you started with and the experimentation you want to try.

Also, I'd love to see them live again, I saw them headline the Kerrang! Tour when Nothing Personal came out and I missed them earlier this year. Come UK again!
07:49 AM on 06/01/12
#6
Manufactured Dreams
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Props to the band for having the clarity of mind to see that Dirty Work was dead, and to move away from the label and start a new album.

This. I do respect that.
07:53 AM on 06/01/12
#7
jusscali
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Sounds really genuine, and I liked the read. Just hoping I can find something to enjoy on this record. Which songs was Greene responsible for on the last record?
07:57 AM on 06/01/12
#8
providence36
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Good interview, excited to hear new material. Definitely some great tracks on Dirty Work so I'll keep listening
08:00 AM on 06/01/12
#9
Playsw/Squirels
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Sounds really genuine, and I liked the read. Just hoping I can find something to enjoy on this record. Which songs was Greene responsible for on the last record?
Heroes, Guts, Under A Paper Moon, Do You Want Me Dead, Daydream Away I think.

Heroes I think Alex wrote with John Feldman, but recorded/produced by Green
08:02 AM on 06/01/12
Kowther
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Great interview! Looking forward to new material, also glad they gave up on Dirty Work.
08:05 AM on 06/01/12
Playsw/Squirels
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I love how aware Alex is, and that he doesn't really take it to heart. The little nod to the "sell out" suggestions that were everywhere after Dirty Work made me laugh for sure.

As for that album in particular, it just didn't connect with me at all. It was just all a bit mid paced and dull except for a few tracks. I would say to them don't worry about Dirty Work, pretty much every band has an album that doesn't do well, or the fans don't like, it's just part of being in a successful band. You just need to the find the balance between the sound you started with and the experimentation you want to try.

Also, I'd love to see them live again, I saw them headline the Kerrang! Tour when Nothing Personal came out and I missed them earlier this year. Come UK again!
I agree with a lot you've said, especially about the mid-pace aspect. But people dont realize the album reached #6, was huge with their younger demographic, and was still fairly successful for them, even if it wasnt huge and Interscope dropped the ball with the album.
08:05 AM on 06/01/12
providence36
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Heroes, Guts, Under A Paper Moon, Do You Want Me Dead, Daydream Away I think.

Heroes I think Alex wrote with John Feldman, but recorded/produced by Green
so the best ones
08:06 AM on 06/01/12
lianna_cohen
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love him to pieces for saying all of this
08:07 AM on 06/01/12
PengusNiugnep
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This is making me even more excited for the new album. He seems like such a genuine guy.
08:09 AM on 06/01/12
Playsw/Squirels
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Exactly.

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