Most bands drop bangers. All Time Low – they drop cakes. Cakes, and bangers. We caught up with frontman Alex Gaskarth to find out what the hell the band are up to.
author: Steven Loftin
Imagine receiving an entire cake from your favourite band wishing you Happy Birthday. Perfect, right? That’s what All Time Low thought too when dropping their new track, the aptly-titled ‘Birthday’.
“We thought it was time for something fun, something summery. Time to open up the lemonade stand so to speak,” Alex Gaskarth enthuses.
‘Birthday’ is All Time Low kicking up the dust – filled with positivity, fun and a bit of cheek. A care-free bop that gives the sense that maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be alright.
“It’s been awesome because I think we caught everybody off guard with [previous single] ‘Everything Is Fine’, and a lot of people didn’t know what was going on,” Alex says on the surprise activity. “They didn’t know if it was a tease to a deluxe album, or if it’s us setting up a new record. It sparked a lot of questions as to what’s going on in the land of All Time Low.
“When we followed it up with ‘Birthday’, it just continued to spur on that excitement. What I love about it is even we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just putting songs out.”
“I think we caught everybody off guard” – Alex Gaskarth
The refreshing nature of All Time Low’s approach to this new material proves they’re in a good place. The nature of the stunt in itself was entirely new territory for the Baltimore four-piece.
“We’d never done anything like that before,” he starts. “Everything we’ve ever done, as far as releases go, was always tied to a record, or something more official. So being that this felt disconnected, and like it’s own thing, it allowed us to do something fun with it. I love the idea of someone getting a cake out of the blue, and it says it’s from a band they listen to.
“If it were me, and the roles were flipped, and someone sent me a cake, I’d be more confused than anything else?” he adds, laughing. “All Time Low is going fully into the baking business now! It’s straight to the consumers’ mouths.”
“We realised we could do something a little bit detached, and different,” he says of the initial idea. “We have this tight-knit group of fans, and through our fan club we have a great way accessing people all over the world, and so that was the premise of it; let’s find someone in every region of the world.
“I think we sent two cakes to Japan, a couple to Australia, Europe, the UK and a few in the States. It was a really fun thing, every time one would pop up it was fun to see who it was; what their story was, what was going on in their lives – it felt like a nice way to get direct with our fans.”
Keeping in touch with their fans has always been important to the band. “We’ve tried to have a more personal relationship with our fanbase, and to try and connect as best we can with everybody that cares about us. The fanbase, and the way it grew so organically over the years is such a big part of why the band has stood the test of time.”
Speaking of time, it feels like All Time Low couldn’t have come back so positive at a better time, what, given the current state of the world.
“It just felt like the right moment,” Alex declares. “The last record we put out, ‘Last Young Renegade’, touched upon a lot of dark themes for us [and] was about our dark places. It felt like coming off of that we needed something that went the other way and brought more of a positive spin and had that unique energy that All Time Low delivers in a lot of the music that we put out. These felt like they captured that again.
“At the end of the day when you’re trying to go for a sound, which in this case, let’s put something out that sounds high energy, you run the risk of forcing it. Any time we’ve done anything that was forced, it never felt right, and it’s never really stood the test of time for us,” he admits. “The stuff that’s connected with the fans the most is the material we’ve been wholly invested, and these two songs checked those boxes.”
With no real plan set in stone, the future is All Time Low’s for the taking, and who knows what baked goods could be turning up at your doorstep soon.
“What’s awesome about where we are right now is there’s no pressure on us to deliver any one thing,” Alex finalises. “All Time Low could go so many different directions right now, and that’s what we’re happiest about. It’s figuring out what that next step is, figuring out where the sounds could go, where we want to take it, what we want to do with the future. It feels incredible – and freeing – to have that mindset going in. The future feels wide open.”
Taken from the September issue of Upset.