Punk group All Time Low have topped the charts, sold over 1.5 million albums worldwide, chalked up 100+ million views on YouTube, have 5+ million social media followers, and have sold out London’s Wembley Arena.
The Baltimore group had local band, Openside, open for them in a high-energy concert in Auckland last night.
The group played their only show only at Auckland’s iconic Powerstation on Wednesday 10th May before heading to Australia for their biggest run of headline shows ever.
Wal Reid got to chat with singer Alex Gaskarth about their upcoming new album Last Young Renegade
Wal. What’s the band been up to lately?
Alex: It’s been great man, exciting times, wrapping up, putting this new record out its busy, a little hectic it’s awesome. It’s always exciting getting ready to put out new music.
Wal: Tell me about the new album. How proud are you?
Alex: So, proud (laughter) Proud every time. We worked hard on this record, we put a lot into it and tried a lot of new things. It was a blast making this record, we worked with a lot of really good friends on it. I’m excited to share it with people, I think it’s some of the best songs we’ve written as a band which I probably say that every time, but, it does feel that way genuinely. I hope people love it as much as we do.
Wal: Any songs on the album that are quite personal to you?
Alex: Yeah, a lot of the songs on the record are written from a personal place. I think a lot of it deals with what I’ve been dealing with over the past few years kind of the ‘ups and downs’ of this ‘lifestyle’ the overall struggle of coming to terms with the world as you get older and realise that sometimes things get a bit weightier and ‘growing’ into that, becoming stronger because of that. It’s kind of the theme of the album to be honest.
Wal: Real heart on sleeve stuff?
Alex: It’s a little heavier than stuff we’ve done in the past but I don’t think it’s ‘heavy handed’ at the same time. At the end of the day we like to have hopeful music, it’s always a way for me to work things out in my own head when I’m writing, it’s very therapeutic.
Wal: Any Trump references on the new album or don’t you really care?
Alex: We definitely care. I think its interesting times over here to be sure, with that in mind the band has never really leaned political, we’ve always stayed away from it in a way or never tried to force our opinion by anyone, but I think there’s always an overall message of acceptance and hope, compassion in our music that we always strive for, that’s something we’ll always continue to push.
Wal: It’s no secret you guys tour a lot, what do you do in your downtime?
Alex: Yeah, we’re kind of all over the place, as we’ve grown up and gotten a little bit older everybody has their own thing going for them. Zachery’s got Hawaii and I split my time between Baltimore where we’re from, and L.A. where I work. Jack lives out in L.A. and Rian is in Nashville now and has a studio, so we have our own stuff going on when we’re not on the road, but we see each other all the time, it makes getting back together that much sweeter.
Wal: Tell us about the new album?
Alex: So, we worked with a good friend of ours Blake Harnage who did some of it and Colin Brittain who co-produced who we’ve written a lot of music with him in the past. We did all the pre-exploratory stuff with Blake and we had Colin round everything out, create the sound and form it together with us and come up with the whole concept of what the record was going to be all about.
Wal: What are the new music videos coming out?
Alex: We’ve got three out so far, we’re releasing them in volumes up until the album release. The first song was Dirty Laundry, it’s kind of one of the more sombre tracks, but it touched on the tone of the album. It’s about dealing with these struggles and coming to terms with who you are; then that led into Last Young Renegade which is a little more on the ‘light hearted’ side as far as songs go, more like the style of music people are familiar with us from years past, it kind of reflects on us in our younger days. The song that just came out was Life Of The Party, its about chasing ‘hollow’ truths or cheap thrills, its kind of about the pros and cons of that.
Wal: How do Kiwi & Aussie crowds fare compared to overseas audiences?
Alex: Australia holds it down. We’ve always been really well accepted there from whether coming over there to play or headlining our own shows or festivals, I think we’ve always been really warmly embraced by everybody over there. I remember once we had a guy come up on stage fully naked, which that’s only ever happened in Australia, its a good sign.
Wal: Are there any places you still have never played?
Alex: There are so many places we have left to go. We’re still trying to work it out as we go along, we’re seeing where we can get. We’d love to go to South Africa, there’s all kinds of places in the Middle East, we’ve still never played a show in Korea, there’s a million other places we haven’t played that we’d love to play if the opportunity ever came up.
Wal: Any features or collaborations on the new album?
Alex: Yes, one of my favourites we’ve ever done on the record called Ground Control and we feature Tegan & Sara on it. I’ve been a fan of theirs for so long, we wrote that song and it fit them, it fit the world that they come from. I’ve never really met them before and took ‘a shot in the dark’ and reached out and they came in and did the part and absolutely nailed it, it made that song really special.
Wal: Have you guys done much here besides playing in New Zealand?
Alex: We had a pretty incredible time in New Zealand to be honest. The first time we came over we were in and out of the place in under 24 hours but we ended up staying up all night because we were all jet lagged and it didn’t make sense to sleep after the show. We ended up going out with the show promoter after and went on this beautiful tour of the countryside that was maybe an hour from where we played and it was night time, the stars were out and everyone took bottles of wine, liquor and we all toasted up and watched the sun come up. It was pretty incredible, it was my first taste of New Zealand and it set the bar pretty damn high!