Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Interview with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low.

Q: In the beginning, do you think you guys were just looking for a career or was music just a hobby for you guys?
A: We started the band when we were pretty young, we formed the band in our freshmen year of high school and we never looked at it as a career or a potential career, it was just something to talk about between weekends. We sort of did it because they bands we looked up to, looked like that had so much fun doing it and it was just something that stood out to us and tired out and eventually with hard work and a lot of luck, we developed it into something much bigger and in our senior year in high school we signed a contract. So it was like one of those things where it started out as fun and then it turned into a career.

Q: I'm aware that you guys traveled a lot when you were in high school like during your own breaks so I was wondering how you would compare your touring then to your touring now?
A: Back then, we were probably 16 and 17 and most of us didn't have our own driver's licenses and so on our breaks it consisted of us touring with a parent, driving us or in the vehicle, and then they started following us to certain cities, so that we can actually check into hotels because we were too young to rent hotel rooms. It's definitely different it's not the rock and roll story you would expect.

Q: Why did you decide to name the band All Time Low?
A: The name actually comes from a song by New Found Glory called "Head on Collision." It's a band that we admired so we kind of took that line and it stuck.

Q: Who writes you songs, what is the topics for most of your songs, and will the topics change over time?
A: As far as who writes the song it’s kind of a joined effort among the four members of the band. I write all the lyrics, and musically it’s sort of a collaborate effort. As far as content goes, I would say the average content of all our songs is a summary of what goes on in the life of a 19 to 21 year old who is living the lifestyle of being in a band, doing all kinds of crazy, crazy things that get thrown at you, and it’s sort of songs about feelings, experiencing things for the first time and really just enjoying it all through the whirlwind.

Q: What does this new album signify to you?
A: To me, this album is the most thought out and mature album that we've done to date and I guess I could say that is the most "realized" album in terms of our writing. We really figured out where we wanted to be and found of nitch of writing songs that anyone can get into and it stays true to the roots we came up in which was sort of that pop-punk genre. It's basically the next step up the ladder to me.

Q: What is the meaning behind the title of the newest album, “Nothing Personal?”
A: It comes from the whole online phenomenon of being able to make fun of everyone anonymously. And that everyone can just constantly pick on each other from the safety of their computers. So the joke was even though we have a lot of critics that didn’t like our new stuff, this album was just a dismissal that says we’ll just stick to ourselves and we don’t care what you guys think.

Q: Have you ever been pressed by your label to make a certain type of music?
A: No, because we've been fortunate to have signed to Hopeless Records and now to Interscope Records, we've been surrounded by people who love what we're doing as a band, so we’ve never had to deal with anybody threatening to not put out our record.

Q: How do you think your band is different from other bands out there?
A: There are two things; I think it’s because we’ve always been genuine and make a really big effort to be as close with our fans as possible. Whether that be talking to people online or doing web chats or opening up our fan club. We just try to keep an open door to people who become interested in this band. Also I think our sense of humor and personalities.

Q: Why do you guys like performing on Warped Tour?
A: It's one of our favorite tours and we've done it four years in a row and it basically feels like summer camp to us. And it's nice to go back and see familiar faces and it's a pleasant environment to be in.

Q: Has there been any disappointments in becoming big?
A: Not a whole lot in this career. I think what bums me out is when there is a tour potential and then it doesn’t work out because recently we wanted to tour with our good friends in Good Charlotte. But we’ll try to work something out in the future.

Q: What has been your biggest mishap on stage?
A: Something that I tend to do is blank on the lyrics, and that's a problem because I sing for the band. And I usually sing the wrong part or stop singing completely, and then I'll have to find someone in the crowd who is singing the song so then I remember what I'm supposed to be singing. I tend to fall over a lot too.

Q: Have you ever had an experienced with over-crazed fans?
A: Yeah, there are times when people forget that we're just people and treat us as we're just a face in a picture. It's gets weird because we don't know what to do with it because we're not used to it. It's it's weird when people are screaming or crying in your face. Although it's flattering, sometimes we just have to runaway and hide. The craziest thing they've probably ever done was show up at my house.

Q: What has been your most awkward situation on tour?
A: Um, I think I’ve seen Gabe Saporta naked more times than I’d like to admit.

Q: Do you have a favorite song that you've written?
A: A sing that has always stood out to me is "Jasey Rae" from our 2007 EP, its' just a kind of song where the lyrics really reach out to me, and that songs means a lot of a lot of people.

Q: What was it like working with Mark Hoppus of Blink 182?
A: it was awesome, he's such a big influence on us and to sit a room and talk to someone that I have idolized for so many years was an enlightening experience.

Q: Is there any band you'd like to do a collaboration with that you haven't done yet?
A: I would love to do a collaboration with Jimmy Eat World. I love those guys.

Q: Have you ever worked with someone outside of your genre?
A: For the song on our new album, "Too Much," we worked with Tricky and The Dream who has wrote the songs "Umbrella" for Rihanna, and "Single Ladies" for Beyonce and they usually work on hip-hop and r&b songs. So it was a step outside for me and for them and it was such a good experience.

Q: You guys have worked with a lot of people like Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship, and Butch Walker. Who do you think has had the biggest influence on you and do you have any favorite people you’ve worked with?
A: Butch Walker is actually one of my favorite collaborations because that dude just knows everything about what it is to write a song and has an impact on people. One of my favorite things about working with him is he is so open minded and really relaxed about the whole process of writing a song.

Q: What do you guys like to doing when you're not working on the band?
A: We're just sort of very normal people, we love being home with our family and friends. Me and Rian live together so we are constantly hanging out and having people over. We go golfing and stuff like that.

Q: What advice would you give people that are trying to get into the music industry?
A: Some things to focus on would be trying to get your music out there. Whether it be internet, playing local shows, just whatever to get your music heard. And really just avoid people who want to use you for the wrong reasons.

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