author: Brandon Herbel
So I first off want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions for us here at AbsolutePunk.net.
No problem at all, I’m excited to have the opportunity to sit down and answer some questions for you guys.
Can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band?
My name’s Alex Gaskarth and I sing and play guitar in the band All Time Low.
You recently just released your EP off of Hopeless Records. How have the fans been responding to it?
So far the response to the EP has been mind-blowing. We never would have expected to sell as many copies as we have, as quickly as we have. It was a very warming surprise to find out that all these people are supporting us. All we can do is be thankful.
What made you decide to record just an EP instead of a full-length?
Hopeless Records suggested that we start by releasing an EP, rather than jumping straight into recording a full-length. I whole-heartedly agree with them at this point. It gives new listeners a chance to get to know us as a band, while giving us time to tour and develop musically. We didn’t want to feel pressured or rushed going into the full-length, so at the time, releasing an EP just made the most sense as far as where we were and what we wanted to do. Having just graduated high-school, we hadn’t had much experience in the way of touring, so that was our priority. Now we’ve got things to write about, you know?
Can we expect to hear any of the songs on the EP on any of the future albums?
Probably not. A good amount of the EP already consists of songs that we had previously released independently, so with the full-length, we’ll definitely be looking to come out with completely new material for everyone.
Was there anything that was a big influence in the writing of the songs or did you have most of them before entering the studio?
As I mentioned, five of the seven songs on the EP had been written, recorded and released before we signed to Hopeless. When we decided to put out the EP, as a taste of what we were offering musically, we also chose to throw in a few new jams, just to keep listeners who had been with us from the get-go interested. Our aim was to give everyone a taste of what is to come, new listeners and old.
Who did you have produce the EP?
The EP was produced by Paul Leavitt and ourselves. We love that dude. Expect big things from him in the future, he is yet another talented producer/engineer coming out of the Baltimore/Washington area.
The title of the EP is “Put Up Or Shut Up”. Is there any significance behind the title?
Besides being a line from one of the songs on the EP, Put Up or Shut Up signifies a desire to achieve more, to actually strive for something. There’s not a whole lot to it, honestly; no deep, underlying message. Its just a cry out to anyone who may be indecisive in the way they go about living their lives. Either do something with what you’ve got or quit wasting time, because you only live once. There shouldn’t be a gray area in the way people go about their business. This pertains to everything. Have conviction and stand up for what you believe in, or you’ll be walked all over for the rest of your life. Word.
I feel that the songs really flow together and are very easy on the ears. Do you ever have a hard time trying to come up with new songs or do you guys write all the time?
It’s always a challenge when you’re writing new material, especially when you’ve got ears to please, but I think in our case, it’s that sort of pressure that encourages us to produce the best music we can. Most of the material on the EP was written more than a year ago, so we are more than ready to stretch our creative muscles again for the full-length. The ideas we’ve got brewing for the next studio session are really getting us excited.
On the topic of influences. What are some of your biggest influences musically?
Blink-182, Green Day, and New Found Glory got us doing what we’re doing today but I think that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Haha.
I heard that the band is mostly 17/18 years old and I was just wondering if the age thing was ever a problem with touring and being a full-time band?
Well, we were all still in high-school when things started getting really busy for us as a band. There was a constant demand for us to get out on the road, and prove to everyone that we were capable of doing what they wanted to see us do, but at the same time, we had our obligations at home. Luckily we managed to balance everything (touring, school-work, ect.) really well… Our parents were really supportive in the process, although a little worried at times, I think. We’re all 18 now, everybody graduated, and we’re ready to do this as a full-time thing. Bring on the rock.
As I said earlier, you are signed to Hopeless Records. How has it been signed to them and how did you guys go about getting signed?
Being signed to Hopeless Records has been amazing. Everyone working for the label and all the label-mates we’ve met so far have been nothing but friendly and supportive. It’s a really good fit for us. As far as how it came to be: Well, it started when we met Amber Pacific a few years back at a show in Virginia Beach. We all took a liking to one another and kept in touch from that day on, so as we (All Time Low) began to attract the attention of certain labels, Amber Pacific took it upon themselves to pass our music on to Louis at Hopeless. We heard from him very shortly after that, and the rest is history.
What do you feel has been you biggest accomplishment this year and why?
It’s always been a dream of mine to walk into a record store and see my band’s CD sitting on a shelf… That dream has recently come true and there are no words to describe the feeling.
You are out on the AbsolutePunk.net tour and I was just wondering how the band usually goes about getting ready and prepared for going out on tour?
Well, first we all have a big slumber-party where we do facials and manicure/pedicures. We shampoo and condition our hair, and brush until you couldn’t tell the difference between our hair and the silk pajamas that we’re all wearing. Then we pig out on our favorite ice-cream and watch movies like Can’t Hardly Wait long into the night. Hehehe. Nah. We don’t really do anything extra-special or unique before leaving for tour. Its just a matter of making sure you have everything you need; clothes, toothpaste, laptop and all the rest. It’s a lot like a vacation … with much worse hygiene.
What are your thoughts of going out on tour and being able to go to a new town every day?
Touring has always been a blast. This time around we’re sharing a bus with the dudes in Amber Pacific, so not only is it going to be our first bus-tour, but we’ll be sharing the experience with some really good friends. I’m very excited.
Now I know that we had a couple of staff review the EP and I was just wondering if you would like to share any thoughts to the staff members and what you thought of their reviews.
A review is the opinion of one person, is it not? That means that their take on something is no more credible than anyone else’s, right? So Gabe is entitled to his opinion, and Steve is entitled to his. We don’t hold any grudges or bias towards anyone for what their take on our EP was. Some people are going to like what we do, and some people aren’t. That’s just the way things work. I just hope that the conflicting reviews encourage people to go out and listen to the EP for themselves, and decide what they think of it from there. I actually thought it was really cool that ap.net released two conflicting reviews. Controversy is fun!
Who are some of your favorite bands to tour or play with?
To date, Hometown Anthem, Transition, Boys Like Girls, and Cute Is What We Aim For. All amazing people.
What are some personal and band goals to you guys have for 2007?
I’d really like to see us tour in Japan. It’s another dream of mine. I’d also like to write a pop-punk masterpiece … but who doesn’t? Ha-ha.
Are there any other tour plans after the AbsolutePunk.net tour?
We’re going to be making our way back to the East coast with Hit The Lights, just as the AP.net tour comes to an end. Following that we’ll be doing a small leg with Lucky Boy’s Confusion before entering the studio in the winter. Its a busy year for us, but an extremely exciting one as well.
Do you guys have any cool tour stories that you would like to share with us?
I hate this question, because I never know WHICH story to talk about. So many memories. Oh man, there was this one time when we were staying in a hotel by the beach, and the room had a door on either end – one that opened into the hallway, and another that opened directly onto the beach. It was pretty cool, but when we opened both doors, it created this ridiculous wind-tunnel effect … it could literally blow you over. We spent at least an hour whipping open both doors at the same time, and hurling random objects into the path of the gust that would come through, sending everything flying out into the opposite hallway. I think we woke a good amount of people up that morning. Good times, though, and a great demonstration of aerodynamics … and Mom said I should have taken physics class more seriously. Pssh.
Well that’s about all the questions I have for you guys. Is there anything you would like to say to any of the fans and readers out there in AbsolutePunk.net land?
Only that we love you for having an interest in what we’re doing. Thanks so much for being a part of the ongoing adventure, without you guys I’m pretty sure we’d be lost at sea. Arrr maties. Also, a big thanks to AP.net for doing this interview. We love y’all.