Most kids finish high school and kick it for a few months before shipping out to college… All Time Low got in the van and they haven’t looked back since.
With one of the most well received pop punk albums of 2007 under their belt and a trip to Australia in the not too distant future, we caught up with vocalist Alex…
Interview w/ Alex Gaskarth
(Vocals/Guitar) of All Time Low
By Cameron Chambers
How are you today Alex?
I’m doing well man, how are
Yeah, I’m great man.
Right on! I’m driving with
my cell phone so the line is pretty bad.
That’s cool. We’ll make
Ha ha, alright.
It’s only recently that All Time Low have started getting some press here in Australia,
are you able to tell us a bit about how the band got started,
if you’ve had any line up changes etc…
We started in our freshman
year in high school but we haven’t actually had any line up changes.
All of us had played around in different bands before All Time Low
but once we officially became All Time Low that was it. It was
just the four of us.
It was started as a joke…
it gave us something to talk about school while we were waiting for
the weekend to roll around so we could go to shows, ha ha.
Since then it’s turned into
something a lot more than that. It’s all such a blur with everything
that’s happened in between. What started as a small joke has now turned
into a big joke! Ha ha
You guys signed with Hopeless Records before you’d even finished high school. How did the deal come about?
Were you actively seeking a more established label that could push you
further or did they come to you?
When we signed to Emerald,
who is the small east coast label who released our first record, even
the guy that runs Emerald wanted to see us grow. He was into
doing it for the passion and helping out bands that he believed in.
Ultimately we wanted to sign
to a label that could take us further. It was always a goal to get our
CD in stores and just take the band as far as it could go!
Hopeless also created Sub City Records, so their bands had an avenue to get involved
with charity work and various non profit organizations. Is that
something that All Time Low has been or will be a part of at some stage?
Hopefully! We haven’t really
had a chance to do anything on that front because we were more worried
about getting established first and getting people familiar with the
We would love to do something
with Sub City because they’re one of the main reasons we signed
with Hopeless. They allow you to be more than a band and to actually
give something back.
“Put Up Or Shut Up”
was your first release on Hopeless and contained primarily re-recorded versions of your older songs. Was
the purpose of the EP to give those earlier songs another chance or
did yourselves and the label want to get your
name out there and get you out on the road as soon as possible?
Basically what happened…
we felt we should put out the EP with some older songs because we didn’t
want to come straight out with a full length. We believed there were
some good songs that we’d put out with the smaller label.
We just took what we thought
were the best couple of songs from our previous album and wrote a couple
of newies to keep it fresh for the people who’d been following us
for a while and then we’d go from there.
We put the EP out with the
intention of pleasing as many people as possible.
You guys pretty much hit
the road as soon as you got out of high school, was it a massive learning
curve becoming a full time band at such a young age?
Definitely man! We were always
one of the younger bands in our scene, even locally. We’d already
learned from bands that’d been at it for a while. When we started
to tour on a larger scale with bands that’d done it on a national
level for years… well, it forced us to learn and grow a bit faster.
In the end it made us more
Have you ever had any cases
where people – such as other bands and promoters
– didn’t take your band seriously based on how young you are?
Yeah man. When we started off
we were all under 18 and we were booking all our shows ourselves. We’d
show up to the venue and they’d ask for our ID and find out that we
weren’t of age. We’ve run into the issue that we weren’t old enough
to play in the club even though we were booked!
It was always interesting though.
One night we had to leave right after we played because we weren’t
old enough to be in the bar.
It was weird and surreal but
it was never too bad. At first we were… well, people looked down their
noses at us. They were sceptical that people our age could do what we
were trying to do.
Recently though there’s been
more bands proving themselves at a younger age so we got very lucky!
“Put Up Or Shut Up”
was well received but the reaction to your debut full length has been
absolutely massive. Did you think the record would do as well as it
We have never expected any
of our releases to go as far as they have! Every week we get the Soundscan numbers and it just blows me away!
“So Wrong It’s Right”
was recorded with Matt Squire, who’s worked with everyone from Panic! At The Disco to The Receiving End Of Sirens. What
made you choose him to be at the helm
of your first album?
He’d actually taken an interest
in our band from Point A, at the same time that we were getting interest
from Hopeless and other labels. He was there guiding us and giving us
a helping hand.
When it came to the full length
it just made sense. He was a guy who’d been there from the beginning
and had a great track record with other bands that he’d produced and
we just had a great chemistry!
You began recording
“So Wrong It’s Right” in April 2007 and the album was released
by September, which is a really quick turnaround compared to most band’s
schedules. Can you tell us about the recording process? Was
that the first time you’d worked with a producer?
Sort of… we’d worked with Paul Leavitt on the full length as well and he’s actually worked
on all our past releases too. It was good to have a familiar face in
the studio. I guess it was a comfort thing.
He’s really good in the studio.
He’s a great engineer and he’s able to get really cool sounds and
such a unique tone. Working with Squire was cool because we got
to sit down with someone who had a formula. He has a system to develop
songs and we hadn’t seen that before. It was such a learning process
but he helped the songs a lot.
What did Matt bring to the record that may have been missing if he wasn’t
I think he brought in a sense
of singularity… or wholeness to the record. Some of our ideas had
been a bit all over the place because we hadn’t worked with a producer
before so we were just doing things the way we’d always done them…
which isn’t a bad thing but when you’re writing any kind of pop
inspired music there’s definitely a formula that’s required.
He helped bring some of our
songs together and he’d introduce new ideas and if we had any ideas
that were too bland then he’d spice things up!
There was just good chemistry
all round so we were able to bounce ideas off each other!
As I mentioned earlier your
record is doing really well, both in the US and overseas. Have you had
to change your live show up at all to accommodate a larger and less
We no longer play any music
so we play to backing tracks and dance naked. It’s slightly different
but it entertains everyone a bit more… ha ha.
That’s probably the best
answer I’ve ever had, ha ha.
Ha ha ha.
It’s just been announced
that you’ll be headlining the Rockstar/Alternative Press
tour this year. Will these be the biggest
shows that you’ve played so far?
That tour has some pretty big
rooms so I guess we’ll see how many kids actually show up, ha ha.
Ha ha. I’m sure you’ll
be fine man.
Hopefully! We’re doing a
smaller headlining tour in January to warm up though which will be cool.
Five kids could show up to
the House Of Blues though, so you never know! Ha ha
A headlining slot obviously
means a longer set. Do you guys include any covers in your set or will
this give you a chance to play some of your older songs?
It’s going to be a mix of
everything. There’ll be a couple of oldies but we want to focus on
playing the majority of the new record.
We have been known to throw
in a Blink cover every now and then but I’m sure we’ll come
up with something new.
All Time Low are
hitting Australia as part of the Soundwave Festival in February
and the line up is absolutely huge. Why should kids go and check out All Time Low as opposed to one of the other 40 international
bands on the show?
I don’t know… coz we don’t
get to Australia that much because, you know, it’s kind of far away!
If you’re after a unique experience and a general party then come
and see us!
Apart from the festival
dates you’ll also be taking part in some sideshows with The Starting Line. Do you guys prepare for a club show differently
to a festival?
Not really. We just act like
arseholes and it seems to work for us, ha ha.
Nice, ha ha. Which bands
will you be checking out during the tour?
I’m pretty stoked to see The Offspring. It’s going to be awesome! Oh, Incubus too!
Incubus are a great band…
Both headliners are pretty
massive man. I’ve never seen Incubus before and I’ve only seen The Offspring once. They were one band that was around while we
were growing up so I can’t wait.
2007 was obviously a huge
year for you guys but what was the biggest highlight?
Going to the UK for the first
time and just heading overseas. It was our first time touring overseas
so that was a huge thing for us and putting out our full length as well.
What are your top 3 records
from last year?
Jimmy Eat World, Big Casino. No wait, Chase This Light… no Chase This
Light was the single I think?
It’s definitely the album
Ah, I’m stupid, ha ha.
So… Jimmy Eat World
with Chase This Light. Paramore and their Riot
record and…. The Starting Line’s latest album!
That wraps it up Alex, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Not really man. Thanks to our
fans in Australia! We didn’t know that you existed so we’re stoked!