Interview with Alex Gaskarth of ALL TIME LOW October 27, 2011

November 4, 2011 by: admin

October 27, 2011


Interscope Records

Alex Gaskarth (Vocals, Guitars)

Baltimore, Maryland

By: Shauna O’Donnell

Hi  Alex, how are you?

I’m doing well, how are you?

I’m doing very well.


I met you guys one night at The Music Box in Hollywood. We were up in the balcony and on the rooftop. It was amazing to see the number of girls that showed up to see you guys. It was impressive. I remember every time you stood up they would scream from down below.

Oh, Right On!

What happens when you try to do everyday things like go to the mall? Is that something that has become almost impossible?

It’s not too bad. It depends on where we are and what is going on. Locally, it can get kind of crazy, depending on if it is the weekend. It depends on how many teenage girls are there. It’s not too bad, we don’t take it that seriously, so if people want to come up and grab a picture it’s fine. If they are our fans then we want to give them what they want. It is our fan base and we care about them a lot.

That is very cool. You have come a long way in a short period of time. What has been the biggest help in getting your name out there?

I attribute most of it to the internet. I think our ability to network using the web has been massive. It’s really made a difference in terms of how we’ve made ourselves stand out. It has played a big role in communicating with our fans and spreading the word about what we have coming up. It all really factors in.

Do you think you get more popular with each album you put out?

I’d like to think so. It seems that way. Record sales are not good right now for anyone, so it’s hard to judge based off of that. There’s the old traditional way of saying “Are we doing well?” “Yeah the record is selling well, so we are good.” It’s really not that cut and dry anymore. I think it’s more about if you are pushing tickets and if there is an overall hype and sense of people caring. I think that is what really makes a difference, but it seems like now more than ever we are doing quite alright, especially overseas. Our overseas crowds have really grown.

You guys were on Conan recently. How did it go?

Yeah we were and it was really cool. I was super nervous and I wasn’t super excited about my performance when I watched it later. I thought I could have done a little better, but it is hard to do when your nerves are going. You get one shot and it is live. It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but we had fun. We had a great time and everybody there is just so nice. The staff is really cool and Conan is really cool. It was rad!

Is that the only late night show you have been on?

That was actually our second time doing Conan. We did Conan about a year and a half ago when he had just taken over Jay Leno’s spot. We did it then as well. It was a little bit more disorganized because they had just moved in. We have also done Jimmy Kimmel, years ago. That show is fun.

Yes it is. Around four months ago you released your fourth studio album titled Dirty Work. What is the significance behind the title of the album?

The title is really meant to deal with how sometimes it feels like what we are out doing is a little bit dirty. We are on the road living this ridiculous, fast paced lifestyle and leaving everyone else behind in the dust, like the people we care about. It starts to wear on you like “Why am I not there going through the same problems that they are going through? They care about me. Am I not showing an equal side to that?” It sort of deals with the give and take of that relationship.

Which of you does all the writing or do all of you write?

On the past two records it has been co-writing because it is typically me and whoever is producing the song. Just based on time it worked out a little better for me to just be able to get in there and get the gears turning. A lot of the time it would be me and a producer. We would work out the backbone or demo version of a song and then the rest of the guys would come in, give their thoughts, their contributions and then it would develop from there into the final product.

It is an incredible album.

Thank you

I noticed that you had a number of producers working on this album.

Yeah I felt weird going in and writing these songs with producers and then I would have felt weird taking the songs and walking to someone else, handing them over and being like “Okay, here we go.” It was really a product of that. There are a lot of producers on the record, but it is fun to do though. We did it for Dirty Work and for Nothing Personal before it. It’s a cool way to learn. I feel like we learned a lot from the different writers and producers. I feel like it is something that we can take away, move forward and use later on in our careers.

Well, each album is a learning experience in itself. Did you try out different techniques and/or sounds this time?

Exactly! Yeah on Dirty Work we did. We kind of pushed ourselves beyond the pop/punk boundary a little bit. I think this of all our records is the most different sounding. I think it was attributed to the fact that we didn’t want to keep making the same record. We were in a place where it felt right to do. It felt right to go on these little tangents and write. We still feel like they are great songs, but they may not be in line with what we were doing seven years ago necessarily to the outside listener. I think they are close enough that they are still All Time Low. It’s just a slightly different version of All Time Low.

The first single off the album is “I Feel Like Dancin.” That song was co-written with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. How did it come about that he worked on it with you?

It was really random. The band Weezer was on Interscope. It was kind of just a shot in the dark. I sort of reached out and asked if he’d be interested in doing a song together and sure enough he was doing a lot of production and co-writes at the time. He had heard of our band and was into it, so we sat down in a room together and wrote that funny little song. It was so much fun, he is a great dude.

The song “Just the Way I’m Not” was a homage to Def Leppard. It’s a good song. Tell me a little about it.

We wanted to go for that big drum, big spacey production. I was working with Butch Walker on the song and he definitely came from that background, so it was fun to combine that sound and those sensibilities with a pop vocal in a kind of tongue in cheek approach. Again, it was another really fun one. Those are a couple of the more fun songs on the record for sure.

They were one of my favorite bands growing up. What was it about that specific band that inspired you?

I think it was really more about the sound at the time. Def Leppard was one of the bands that really defined it. They were one of the ones that did it the best overall, so they were the ones that we referenced. We actually used one of their snare sounds from their record. We sampled it in to get the full effect.

There is also a video for “Forget About It” which I loved. It really shows all the up sides to being in a rock band. It looks like you have a lot of fun. Will you be making any other videos for this album?

Yeah we actually just shot another video for our new single “Time Bomb.” It should be coming out in the next couple weeks. We filmed it last week and it was an incredible experience. It is our first serious video, which is kind of cool. I wrote out the story board for it and it is going to be really cool.

I can’t wait to see it. You guys just got finished touring in Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia. Those are places that a lot of bands do not get to go.

Yeah seriously.

What were some of the high points of touring over there?

I think at the end of the day what it really came down to was just being able to play for those crowds and reach out to an audience that is very passionate about our band. A lot of bands don’t get to go and visit. It was a big moment for us getting to go and see people on the other side of the world that care about what we do. It was very cool.

The ‘Rise and Fall of my Pants Tour’ is underway. I know this is a silly question, but I saw that you guys had taken a picture in your underwear. Was that picture taken for the ‘Rise and Fall of My Pants Tour’?

No, that picture was actually taken years ago. We have never been able to escape from it.

Well when I Googled you, that picture popped right up and I was thinking it might be for the tour because it kind of matched the theme of the tour. Was that terribly uncomfortable for you to take the picture?

No, we don’t care. It was just fun.

Well that’s cool then. This is a North American tour that winds up on November 19th. Are you looking forward to getting off the road and enjoying the holidays with your families?

Yeah, absolutely, I think it is going to be amazing. Right now our heads are so into this tour because we just started. We are having such a blast on it. It has been very cool. It has been two shows and it is already an amazing tour. We are really excited to get off and spend the holidays at home with family. We have been on the road now going on 300 days, so it will be nice to have a little bit of a break. This year has been so much fun though. It feels like it has flown by, it has been crazy.

What have been some of the highlights for you?

We went and had a great tour in the UK at the beginning of the year. We headlined two nights at the Brixton Academy in London and it ended up being 10,000 people, so that was crazy and a big moment for us. Going to Japan was amazing as well as going over to Southeast Asia. The U.S. tours have been really fun and successful this year as well. We have just had a good time being out on the road. Obviously, putting out Dirty Work was a big one. It is always a good feeling to put out new albums.

In January you will be going overseas once again. Where is your favorite place to go over there?

My favorite place ever is Japan. I love the culture and the country. It’s one of the raddest places in the world. The UK is really cool for me because I’m originally from the UK. It’s nice for me to go back over there and catch up with family and see people I haven’t seen in a long time.

Oh cool, how old were you when you came over here?

I was seven.

There is a date on December 10th also. The Unsilent Night 4 Music Festival. I have not heard of it.

It’s a radio show I believe. It’s something that one of the radio stations puts on every year. It should be cool. A lot of radio stations around the states do Christmas concerts and stuff. We are doing a couple of those this year.

Would you like to give a shout out to The Hustler Club? Tell everyone what that is and what some of the benefits to joining it are.

Yeah sure, we love our Hustlers! It’s kind of just a deeper group of fandom, a deeper level of fandom. It’s for the diehards that want to be a part of something a little bit bigger than just a casual fandom. It’s a membership program where you sign up and get a lot of perks and bonuses to the All Time Low experience. You get first access to pre-orders and pre-sales as well as meet and greets. We do a meet and greet everyday on tour. We meet with groups of the Hustlers from that city or state. We just have good times. It’s fun and the website is really cool. We have random chats that we do, like video chats. We have a cool web community with message boards and stuff like that. It’s for the people that want to go that extra mile.

It is good to hear that you are that involved with your fans.

It is really important I think. It helps to build the community around the band. It is a pretty positive thing. I get really stoked when I find out that people have met friends and rekindled relationships because of our fan club. It is always pretty cool to hear about.

Thank you so much for the interview. Best of luck to you. Would you like to add or say anything before I let you go?

To anyone checking out the interview, thanks for being interested in our band. We are really happy that you decided to give us a minute of your life and we hope to see you live sometime.

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