Our lives would be some kind of disaster without All Time Low’s ‘Wake Up, Sunshine.’

author: Mackenzie Hall


Pop-punk stalwarts  All Time Low  are no strangers to reinvention—they’ve been doing it for the better part of two decades. With their latest record,  Wake Up, Sunshine , the boys are eager for you to hear what they’ve been keeping secret for far too long.

At the time of this interview,  Alex Gaskarth  is recovering from the flu. He’s at home in Baltimore, coming off a three-day run of underplay shows with the rest of his All Time Low bandmates. “It was the worst fucking timing,” he says of the sickness. “It sucked. I was all medicated up and trying to fight through it.” 

It’s not the first time a lead singer has fallen ill for an important performance, but this is a special set of circumstances. All Time Low were in the midst of promoting their new single, “ Some Kind Of Disaster ,” and—though fans didn’t know it at the time—their upcoming album, Wake Up, Sunshine.

But the band didn’t arrive there overnight; their January-long teasing campaign practically drove fans to riot in the streets. The journey to Wake Up, Sunshine took all of 2019—as well as their collective mental and emotional well-being.

 “We weren’t feeling super-enthusiastic about making another record when we wrapped up the  Last Young Renegade  cycle,” Gaskarth says. “All Time Low historically haven’t taken a ton of breaks, so this came at a great time. It allowed us to step away and explore some things that were unexpected but pleasant surprises.”

He’s speaking, of course, about the myriad of enterprises All Time Low have taken on in the last year.  Jack Barakat , guitarist and jokester foil to Gaskarth, began the emo-pop project  WhoHurtYou  with frequent All Time Low collaborator Kevin Fisher. Drummer  Rian Dawson  continued to build up clientele at his recording studio in Nashville. Bassist  Zack Merrick  currently lives in Hawaii and organizes regular beach cleanups in addition to his musical stylings. And Gaskarth himself teamed up with his childhood hero,  blink-182 ’s  Mark Hoppus , to create the dream-pop project  Simple Creatures .

“Alex had called us all separately and told us he would be doing the project with Mark Hoppus,” Barakat says, speaking from his home in Los Angeles. “He was probably surprised to hear my answer of, ‘Well, maybe we should take a break.’ I was a little burnt out from touring. At some point, you’re like, ‘Well shit, I just missed my entire 20s.’ Well, not missed, but I toured my entire 20s.”

For the first time in years, there wasn’t a rush to start the next project.  Fueled By Ramen  hadn’t set a deadline to get in the studio, so for the moment, the band let Last Young Renegade sit. It had already been one of their most ambitious projects—a darker, more moody All Time Low than 2015’s  Future Hearts  or 2012’s  Don’t Panic . “To be honest,” Barakat says, “at the end of Last Young Renegade, for the first time, it felt like we didn’t know what was next for All Time Low. There wasn’t a clear path or an obvious answer.” 

While the question of the band’s future might have been a difficult one, even more mind-boggling was what the members would do with themselves. 

“It’s always difficult for me to take a break,” Gaskarth says with a sigh. “That’s when my mind wanders, and I go to a weird space, mentally.” He admits that part of the reason he dove headfirst into Simple Creatures was his eagerness to fill idle hands just as much as it was a new creative outlet. “When you have some time away from [the band], you actually have a bit of an identity crisis,” he continues. “‘Well, what do I do now? What am I doing with myself? Who am I? What do I mean in this big world—if not the person onstage playing shows for people?’” 

Barakat agrees, adding, “All Time Low are such a big part of our own personal identities; we’ve been doing it since we were 14 years old. We’ve been doing All Time Low longer than we haven’t been doing All Time Low. So when you take a break from that, you lose yourself a little bit. Or at least, I did.” 

Far away from the day in, day out of call sheets and set times, the members of All Time Low floundered a little. The only marks on their calendars were for  Slam Dunk  in May 2019 and possibly  a string of anniversary shows around their 2009 album   Nothing Personal . The rest was wide open. Other bands might see this as a chance to drift apart, maybe consider calling it quits for more than just a year. But, according to Dawson, that was never a possibility. 

“What I didn’t count on was missing the guys so much,” he says. “You’re not away from them for more than a couple [of] weeks, maybe a month at a time. That was what I realized the most: ‘Wow, I miss these guys when I’m not with them.’ Being in this band for 17 years, not everyone can say that. We’re very fortunate.”

They didn’t even have the intentions of writing any real body of work—just getting together and jamming, like they did back in high school. Luckily, Dawson had an all-inclusive recording studio just across the country. In January 2019, Gaskarth, Dawson and a few regular All Time Low collaborators debunked to the honky-tonk capital to start All Time Low: Phase Eight.

Along for the ride was producer  Zakk Cervini  (blink-182,  Waterparks ), with co-writer Andrew Goldstein ( blackbear ,  5 Seconds Of Summer ) joining the Palm Desert sessions, both of whom have rich history with All Time Low. (The former produced Future Hearts, while the latter produced Last Young Renegade.) Thus, it didn’t take long for everyone to get writing. 

“The first [complete] song we wrote was ‘Some Kind Of Disaster,’” Gaskarth says, speaking of the anthemic lead single that kick-started Wake Up, Sunshine. “That was the moment where we all said, ‘Well, this sounds like it could be the next version of what we’re going to do.’” It is, simply put, a fantastic All Time Low song. Opening with just Gaskarth’s vocals and the strum of a guitar, you can hear the way it’ll travel from the walls of underplay clubs to the edges of festival fairgrounds. It rings out the way “Something’s Gotta Give” or “Backseat Serenade” do on previous All Time Low albums—an immediate hit that fans grip on to for years to come. 

For a band who had just booked some studio time on a whim, this was a welcome win. There weren’t even whispers of putting together an album—at this point, they were lucky to be cranking out songs. But after the success of “Some Kind Of Disaster,” they were ready for more.

“By the time Nashville was over, we had a record,” Dawson says. “Well,” he clarifies, “I mean…we had 15 songs. But we were fortunate to have the time to step back and reassess.”

With that, they headed to  Coachella . We’re kidding. But they did go to Palm Desert, one town over. It’s a popular vacation spot for Angelinos, two hours inland (six with traffic), with plenty of fancy Airbnbs and upscale taco spots. All Time Low found a spot to stay in August 2019—the only requirement being a pool—and got to work, this time with the entire band.

While the bones of Wake Up, Sunshine had been formed in Nashville, Palm Desert was where they started to assemble the album. Almost seven months later, they could look at what they had made with fresh eyes. But through it all, they kept the DIY feeling close.

Even if the writing was done, the work wasn’t over for All Time Low. After a quick jaunt up to Big Bear Lake, California, to wrap up the last of the production, they finally had a finished record. Then it came time to organize and execute the string of Nothing Personal anniversary shows, still with the secret of Wake Up, Sunshine in their back pocket. Shortly after the release of “Some Kind Of Disaster,”  they announced a series of underplay gigs , some at venues they hadn’t played since their teenage years. 

“We hadn’t played shows in so long,” Barakat says. “We thought, ‘Let’s reinvigorate not only the fans, but ourselves.’ It was a way to get the die-hard fans super-stoked but also [give] a present to them. Thanks for everything. And thanks for sticking around.”

It’s a statement that’s consistent throughout this camp. Throughout all three interviews, everyone is careful to acknowledge just how long the All Time Low phenomenon has sustained. It’s not by accident. The band don’t wallow in schmaltz—Barakat is too busy cracking them up with dick jokes—but they know that this is a special thing. On the record, one track stands out to Dawson as the beacon for how far they’ve come. 

“‘Basement Noise’ is probably the best closer we’ve ever put on a record,” he says. “We’re talking about my parents’ basement—it’s where we would practice [in high school]. I played it for my mom, and she teared up.” All Time Low are known for powerful closers (from “Lullabies” to “Therapy” to “Afterglow”), and “Basement Noise” follows through yet again. The chorus simply repeats “They’re just stupid boys making basement noise/In the basement/Noise in the basement” with an acoustic guitar. For all the talk of DIY aesthetics, it zaps you back to the early aughts, with tighter jeans and terrible haircuts, with four teenagers lying on the floor of a basement, dreaming about the future.

“It feels like such a beautiful way to close the record,” Dawson continues. “We started in 2003 in ninth grade in my parents’ basement. Between marching band practice and me working at Rita’s, we’d sneak in our practice.” He pauses and takes a breath. “Now we’re playing all over the world.”

But right now, it’s just a normal Monday morning. Well, what passes for “normal” for All Time Low. And Gaskarth is just at home—not too far from that first basement where he found the chords for their first record. “Now we’ve been making records our way,” he says, reflecting on the process of Wake Up, Sunshine. “Here is the inherent risk: This record is just us, for better or for worse.” 

He pauses, then laughs. “Well, I think it’s for the better.”

This feature originally appeared in AP #380 with cover stars Palaye Royale.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/all-time-low-wake-up-sunshine-interview/

 

Ten years ago, All Time Low were on top of the world—or at least to those peering in from the outside. After great success with their Put Up Or Shut Up EP and So Wrong, It’s Right, the band began work on a third release, Nothing Personal. Finally coming into their own sound, the four-piece pulled in a plethora of producers, delivering long-standing scene favorites in “Weightless” and “Therapy.” However, behind the scenes, they were battling label woes all while trying to put out the most pivotal album of their career.

author: Rachel Campbell


Days out from the release of the rerecording of their second full-length, It’s Still Nothing Personal: A Ten Year Tribute, and year-ending anniversary shows, frontman Alex Gaskarth revisits the album that started it all.

What immediately comes to mind when you think of this album?

It was a pretty seminal record for us. This was the one that felt like it truly connected on a different level with people. So Wrong, It’s Right was a staple album for us, but I think Nothing Personal felt like the record where we went from being everybody’s back-pocket band to the band people were on to before people were on to us. Nothing Personal solidified our place in the genre and in the scene that we were developing in. 

What do you think it was about the record that solidified your place in this scene? 

We started to sound like ourselves—like All Time Low. There was a perfect storm of developing from what we had already been doing on our EP and So Wrong, It’s Right. Those records were very raw. It was songwriting that was a little bit unhoned and unpracticed, but the energy was there. Nothing Personal was where we turned a corner and started learning how to craft a song. We even became a little bit experimental. There’s a few songs on that record that, at the time, were very weird to people. I remember when we first released “Weightless,” people were tripping out online because we started it with electronic program drums. I remember a lot of the immediate reaction was like, “This sounds like Death Cab. What’s going on? Why are All Time Low suddenly an electronic band?”

Continuing with “Weightless,” that song was very well received, especially throughout your career. When writing it, did you have any sort of feeling that it would have this widespread appeal?

No, we had no idea. I think we tried our best to put together a really great record. We wrote some really cool songs with a handful of amazing producers. I think another part of this album that was unique was that we worked with five different producers on the record for a handful of songs. And again, for the time, that was kind of unusual. Everybody was doing pop and hip-hop and rap and other genres, but it wasn’t so common in our world. Usually, you picked one of the big rock producers. You went in, and you wrote your album and made your album, and that was it. So I think the staying power was definitely not something we expected. You can never predict that. You make songs that you love and you want to play live. We got really lucky that people latched on to it. It fit a moment. I think that was the biggest thing. It spoke to what was happening at the time and in the scene.

This was your third release on Hopeless. What was the goal when you went in to start writing songs for this record? 

We just wanted to polish our sound a little bit and learn from all these producers we were working with. It was really a time for me as a writer where I felt like I was just starting to understand how to crack the code on writing songs, and so I was intent on going in and just learning from the producers—all of their tricks, what they brought to my raw ideas and how we as a band could step up our sound and do things a little bit different rather than just playing fast and loud. Don’t get me wrong: There’s still mostly that on the record, but there it was how to figure out how to refine that sound a little bit and polish it. So that was a big thing for me. And really, we were just having fun. I think at the end of the day, this band have really always just been about connecting as the four of us and having a great time and making sure that other people connect with that great time and in turn, also have a great time.

What do you think people would be surprised to learn about that era?

I mean, it was a pretty complicated time. The record was pretty tumultuous when we got going. We were already talking and fielding offers behind the scenes from other labels, and there were conversations about us being upstreamed and bought out by major labels, so we were being pulled in a lot of different directions internally and still trying to focus on this record. I think some people may not know that it was a pretty bumpy ride to get to the endpoint. 

Wasn’t there a song that was written about that bumpy time that didn’t make the album?

Yeah, there were a few. There were a few songs that didn’t make it, but yeah, there’s one that lived in the ether because I think there’s some videos of us playing a part of that live or something that I always still get.

I was actually at one of those shows. You played it in Pittsburgh.

Oh, that’s wild. That’s so crazy. Yeah, we still get asked about that to this day. There’s definitely the passionate fan from all the way back then that’s like, “Whatever happened to that?” That goes hand in hand with the process and some of what was going on back then. But these things come and go, and it wasn’t right for the record. To be honest, I’m glad it didn’t go on the record because it was a pretty fiery song that really didn’t end up fitting the vibe.

Was there anything else on the record that did make it or something that you wish you could have changed?

There are always things looking back at albums that I wish I could change, and it’s usually pretty minor stuff. Time and perspective are always something that I think the creator of any piece of art is going to have to live with. We all look back at our old work with a new perspective and go, “Hey, I probably wouldn’t do that today.” So there’s definitely things that we would change, but specifically, no. That record had such a crazy life, and it continues to. I really wouldn’t change anything at this point because it got us to where we are now, so you know, “No regrets,” I guess as they would say. I think the coolest thing to us is that we just had no idea that those songs were going to connect with people on such a deep level in certain cases. “Weightless” is always something people cite as the song that really means a lot to them and then also “Therapy” being a song I wrote from a very personal place, but it resonated with a lot of our fans and has fixed itself as a staple of just connecting on a level that I, back then, never could have comprehended that it would.

Are there any other songs that fans still talk about that you’re surprised had such a long-lasting effect on them?

I think “Sick Little Games” is one that always surprises me because we never played that live a whole lot. We played it on a couple of tours, but we’ve just recently gone back and actually rerecorded a lot of these songs for a tribute release that we’re putting out [this month]. I think going back and playing that one, it really resonated with us, which was an interesting thing. We got in the room and started playing, and we were like, “Damn, this is one of the better songs on the record. We slept on this one.” I think that’s always funny when you have so many songs like we do now, and you sometimes forget that you may have overlooked one that was a really strong contender just because that’s the way things work out sometimes. But it’s been fun for us to rediscover what connected.

With the rerelease you announced a few months ago, what are you planning to do differently with the rerecording?

We play the songs as we would play them live. The beauty of it is it’s this amalgamation of a live record meets a rerecord. We have to do everything over from scratch. And so we went back and reimagined a lot of the secondary sounds—a lot of the programming, a lot of the keys and stuff like that was all redone. I think it stays pretty true to the songs. But, at the same time, there’s enough new information there to keep it interesting for people. It was a tricky balance because I think if we went back and did a full reimagination of the songs and changed it drastically, people may be like, “Well, this [has] lost the charm of what made them 10 years ago.” So we were very careful not to go too far but also not to just make carbon copies because obviously, some of those songs we played on live DVDs before, and they exist out there already, so we wanted to bring enough new information to the table to make [it] cool.

Are you working with David Bendeth again? I thought I saw him in the teaser.

We got really lucky with this one. We actually managed to get a bunch of the producers to sit down and do interviews. [They] talk about their memories of when we made the record 10 years ago. I think most of the producers are on the documentary speaking to the same things we were speaking to. We actually self-produced the music side of it, so we didn’t work with the producers again on it. But it’s really cool to see what all the producers had to say. [Matt] Squire’s on there, Butch Walker and yeah, David Bendeth. 

Typically, artists celebrate albums with reissues or tours. For you to rerecord it, why did you think that was the perfect celebration of Nothing Personal 10 years later?

We just wanted to do something different. It didn’t take us much to do something extra. We just felt like it would be an exercise in something that a lot of people haven’t really done yet.We can still do the shows, [and] we can still do all the stuff that we’ve done before and other artists typically do, but this one just felt like such a special record to do something a little extra for it. We just want to give people something different, and thinking of those things when you’re 15, 16 years into a career isn’t always easy, so [we’re] just trying to figure out what that was, and that’s what we came up with.

Looking back, is there any advice you would have given yourself 10 years ago now that you’ve lived through it?

There’s definitely things that I probably wouldn’t do now on a song that I did then. I was trying things and wanting to make stuff work. And other things were a little bit of a lack of knowledge of how to correctly write songs. I probably wouldn’t chant the names of a bunch of cities again if I was being honest. [Laughs.] But that song was fun actually because we, so “Hello Brooklyn,” we’ve literally never played live. That’s one we really had to dig in on and get right as we played it again for this rerecord.

Is that the only song that you’ve never played live off that record? 

No we’ve never done “Walls” either. I think those are the only two.

That’s surprising. 

Yeah, that’s another one. That and “Sick Little Games.” “Walls” and “Sick Little Games, were the two that we were like, “Damn, we snoozed on these like way too much.”

Where do you think Nothing Personal sits in All Time Low’s legacy?

There’s an argument that it’s our biggest record—sales-wise [and] how it’s performed over the years and still consistently to this day. [It’s] a very crazy number of copies every week. It just recently went gold. It’s one of our biggest records, and I think it really resonated with a lot of people. I think it was [the] right time, right place and right sound for All Time Low to live in that place between rock and pop and punk. And it very much married [those]genres in an interesting way unintentionally. I think it just came to define this band in a lot of ways.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/all-time-low-nothing-personal-interview-alex-gaskarth/

All Time Low have just released a new song, “Dirty Laundry,” and announced their signing to Fueled By Ramen. We chatted with frontman Alex Gaskarth about the synthy new direction of the song, signing to one of their favorite labels and what’s next for All Time Low.

author: Mackenzie Hall


It’s obvious from the song that you guys are taking a few bold steps in a different direction. What inspired that?

I think one of the big things as we were working on the record was just pushing ourselves forward. When we put out Don’t Panic we hit the reset button on the band, and we started looking at Don’t Panic as if it was our first record out of the gate as a more realized version of All Time Low. Then [there was] Future Hearts, and that felt like we started pushing the envelope forward and trying to expand the sound and grow. “Dirty Laundry” is a continuation of that. It’s taking the idea from the last album and continuing to push it forward and explore new things.

Future Hearts was written from a perspective of us talking about our youth, and all the things that got us to where we were then. So it was written from the perspective of if we were a lot younger and all these stories about wanting to grow up and get out of Baltimore and chase after our dreams. With [“Dirty Laundry”], we’re writing it from the other perspective. We’re taking more of a nostalgic approach.

One of the things with that we wanted to explore [was] some darker tones, and I think “Dirty Laundry” got to try out some different moods and different feelings. [It talks] about the guilty conscience and the mistakes that you’ve made and coming to terms with those and wearing them as badges. It was a really fun concept to explore and it really became one of the cornerstones of the album. We wrote it right in the middle of writing the whole record and it shaped the rest of the album. I think there’s a lot of reflection on this record. I think the songs speak to that. It continues to go down that road, for sure.

We always like to keep things hopeful, and that’s become kind of a staple in All Time Low—having a positive take [in our] records. But I think we definitely go a little bit darker than we ever have, lyrically and content-wise, which is fun because it can be therapeutic. It was tying some of those stories [together].

Was this a track you wrote during touring or were you able to take some time off?

We finally did take some real time to ourselves to reflect on everything and to figure out how we wanted to make this record and what we wanted to write about. We didn’t have any deadlines, we didn’t have any due dates to turn anything in. I feel like that goes a really long way in the creative process. It can be helpful sometimes to have the deadlines and things because you don’t linger, but at the same time we had plenty of time to do a lot of reflecting and soul-searching. We went up to Big Bear and Palm Springs [California], and stayed on ranches and locked ourselves away for weeks at a time. Basically all we did was eat, sleep and breathe music. That was really fun because we haven’t done anything like that in a really long time. So that alone was really constructive and helpful for shaping the record that we ended up with. “Dirty Laundry” kinda came in the middle of that—it was actually while we were at the ranch in Palm Springs, and we were working on four songs that day at the same time. We took a departure and the first thing that happened was the opening riff for the song. We laid that in and trapped it real quick and it became this really neat soundbed and [we] built on it from there. There was a lot of indirect ’80s influence on this album, and we had a lot of fun with analog keyboards.

Obviously the whole band contributes and writes together, but you’re known for being the key lyricist. If this is going in a little bit of a darker direction, is there anything you do to get in the zone creatively and think in that mode?

For the most part, I think it tends to come naturally for me. That’s just where I was. Not to say that I was in a dark place per se, but I was reflecting more on my demons this time around, and that’s something that I don’t speak to often. And I think it [has] made for a really cool writing experience and the record really shows that. Sometimes getting that stuff off your chest, however you do it, goes a long way.

You’ve also made the big move over to Fueled By Ramen. How did that come about?

It’s pretty crazy, actually, because the first label we ever showcased for was Fueled By Ramen when they were down in Florida, so signing with them now was 10 or 11 years in the making. What we’re really grateful [for] is they’re such a good family. We’ve always loved Fueled By Ramen, we’ve always been fans of the bands on the label. After our last record, we were unsigned and we needed a new label. It was the perfect opportunity to partner up with a team that we had been fans of for a really long time. They really let us be who we want to be. There was no one there trying to shape us or guide us or direct us where to go from here. It’s kind of like, “Look, you guys already know what you’re doing. Let us help you, let us facilitate that.” To me, that’s a sign of a great partnership.

So what’s next for you guys?

From where we are now, it’s exciting because we’ve been flying under the radar for a little while, and I don’t even necessarily know that people are expecting new music. People know that something’s bubbling, but I actually think people are gonna be really shocked when they realize that there’s a single and a video and a new label! It’s exciting times, I’m pumped. So I’m really excited to fire back out. I’m really looking forward to it.

source: https://www.altpress.com/news/all_time_low_talk_dark_nostalgic_new_track_dirty_laundry_signing_to_fu/

Jack Barakat, guitarist for All Time Low, is a longtime fan of pop-punk legends Blink-182—ATL have even commented that they were originally a Blink-182 cover band. The first time he saw Blink was at Hershey Park venue in 2002. Tonight, he’ll play that venue—opening for the very band that inspired him to be a musician. In this exclusive with AP, he shares the experience from that first show and what it means to tour with his idols.

author: Jack Barakat


photo by: Willie Toledo

May 23, 2002.

 
The first actual tour I ever attended, I was 13 years old, about to graduate 8th grade and my mom had to give me her credit card. Blink-182 and Green Day were going on the Pop Disaster Tour, and I wasn’t going to miss it. To be honest, at the time I was purely going to see Blink, even though Dookie was the first album I ever got, thanks to my brother. I was a big Green Day fan, but I was a Blink-182 fanatic. I pierced my ear because Mark did it. I analyzed the Enema Of The State and Take Off Your Pants And Jacket cd booklets through and through. I was as diehard as you could possibly be.

I went to the show with my buddy John, who I started playing music with. He is also the man I attribute to helping me start a band—without him, there would be no All Time Low. Ironically, we ended up kicking John out because he couldn’t play the solo from “Rollercoaster” by Blink and Rian could (teenagers can be vicious).

We went as bandmates but mostly we went as best friends. My mom took us because we were young as shit. As soon as we got to Hershey Park Stadium, we noticed they weren’t checking wristbands to get down into the GA section. We asked my mom if we could go down there and join the pit. My mom obliged “as long as we checked in every so often.”

We watched Green Day’s set with our eyes wide open. It was a crazy experience watching one of our favorite bands, and one of the world’s biggest rock bands, perform. (Turns out that years later I would tour Europe with this band, as incredible as that experience was, it wouldn’t come close to feeling as good as what was to come.) Green Day’s energy was unparalleled to anything we had seen. Also, the smell of weed was rolling through the air, and we were stoked.

After a short changeover, the lights dimmed. I remember the butterflies in my stomach before Blink came out. This was a band I had studied: videos, CDs, pictures, websites. To me, they didn’t exist outside music videos and DVD footage. I had done all my research. I didn’t just love the music; I loved the lifestyle. I was balls deep at this point.

Anyways, I can’t remember whether it was a kabuki drop or curtain opening. But I remember the snare roll and the guitar beginning “Anthem Part 2.” I don’t remember a lot of the details, but I remember feeling numb, kinda floating. It was an out-of-body experience. It was that moment I remember looking at my drummer/best friend John and saying, “This is what we need to do.”

I think about that night every time I walk on stage. It’s the reason why I play music. It’s the reason why I continued pushing my friends to join and start bands. I never was big into writing songs—I always help a little when I can. We have three other guys who are exceptional at it and always have been. My thing has always been performing and that has never changed.

Today we will take the stage at the same venue, opening up for the same band that brought me here all those years ago. I realize that we won’t have the curtains, light show, pyro and crowd that Blink had that night. But even being mentioned in the same sentence as them has made this all worth it.

We have been on tour with Blink for a few weeks now, and all I can say is that we have never been treated better on a tour. The guys have been so great to us. They have set an example for how all headliners should treat the openers, and it makes me want to follow it.

Needless to say, hanging out with your idols is nuts. Fuck man. Dreams don’t always come true, I won’t lie and say they do. But when they do, nothing can prepare you for how great it is.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/i_think_about_that_night_every_time_i_walk_on_stage_jack_barakat_on_first_t/

At night, you’ll find Rian Dawson holding down All Time Low’s rhythm section with his airtight drumming. But before the lights go down, the 27-year-old musician is likely holed up backstage working on a different sort of passion project. For the past few years, Dawson’s become a budding producer and engineer, the product of an ever-inquisitive disposition and time spent rubbing elbows with the likes of John Feldmann (5 Seconds Of Summer, Good Charlotte) and Grammy-winner Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins). He recently signed his first management deal with Self Titled Management—who helm the careers of fellow producers Casey Bates, Rob Freeman, Brandon Paddock and Ace Enders—and is eager to fill downtime on tour with production and mixing projects. Backstage at the Back To The Future Hearts tour in St. Louis, Dawson chatted with AP about his emerging new career behind the boards, and how an exercise in staving off boredom actually saved some of the best tracks from All Time Low’s Future Hearts, from ending up on the cutting-room floor.

author: Evan Lucy

What was the moment for you where you went, “Oh, I could do that”?

It was never the moment of, “I can do this.” It was the moment of, “How the hell do they do this?” It was when we finished Put Up Or Shut Up, we started playing to backing tracks. Back then it was a tambourine or shaker, stuff like that. We had to get the guys who mixed it, Zack [Odom] and Ken [Mount], to send me the tracks. I remember me asking all these questions: “How do you actually do this? Do you have to pull it from the song?” I just had no idea what went into making a record. At that point, I got interested in how the pieces fit together.

You guys were really young at that point.

Back then it was just a real juvenile interest. I didn’t know what Pro Tools was, didn’t know anything like that. But as the years moved on, I’d figure out what I loved sound-wise about my favorite albums. I’d listen to Enema Of The State and that drum sound. I loved Jerry Finn’s style. Then Take Off Your Pants And Jacket came out, and I’m like, “Jesus, how do they do this?” I really just dove in and tried to find out on my own what I really liked about this sound, what did I like on this record vs. that record. That led to more and more research.

Eventually I started fiddling around with Pro Tools on my own. I’d take a track that was already mixed and mastered and figure out what EQ did, what compression did. That really took hold when we were doing Future Hearts, and I wanted to take a crack at mixing some of the songs just for fun. We’d recorded a song called “Kids In The Dark,” but it wasn’t going to go on the record. We didn’t think it had the energy, so I took a crack at it thinking it would be a B-side. I mixed the song—it wasn’t mixed, but it wasn’t a demo; it was just raw, and there wasn’t a ton of life to it—and I guess Alex and our manager, Keith, heard my mix and decided it needed to be on the record. It ended up being mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, so not my mix, but it was a really cool feeling.

[Future Hearts] is the first album I’ve ever been listed as an additional producer on songs. The ones I mixed originally—“Kids In The Dark,” “Dancing With A Wolf”—were ones we weren’t sure were going to make it, so I took a stab at them out of boredom. When you’re in the studio with the band, John Feldmann and his engineers, you don’t say all of your ideas. Nothing against John—he’s very open, and so is Alex, more so than me. But you’re still kind of reserved. I’m still nervous around John Feldmann; he’s made some of my favorite records and is an amazing songwriter. I knew these songs weren’t necessarily going to be on the record, and when you’re sitting with the song by yourself for six hours, you kind of get these ideas. I’m lucky enough to have the ability to put the ideas into the song. I sent those songs over to Alex, and we decided we were going to do them for the record. When they went to Chris Lord-Alge for mixing, you always send a reference, and that reference was my mix. As it went along, he said, “Hey, there’s a few things from your reference that I don’t have in the track.”—yeah, that’s my production, and CLA wants it! That’s going on my tombstone.

And it’s kept building from there?

I kept going at it. I’m one of those guys who hates being still. I love working. When I’m home, I can play drums, but I’m not going to play drums all day. I started building a studio about two or three years ago and I’m just always in it. I help out my girlfriend [Cassadee Pope], so I decided to open it up to other bands to take a crack at it. I openly tell them, “If you can afford someone better, get someone better.” I charge what I think is fair. I don’t take my name into account or anything like that. I know it is a benefit; Twitter followers alone, it’s a benefit [Laughs.] I make sure they know what my sound is, that I love a big pop-punk, energetic production. It’s been really fun, man. It takes up a ton of free time on tour, too. The room we’re sitting in now is dubbed “the Pro Tools Room,” so every day I have a dressing room that I can mix in from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is when our first meet-and-greet starts.

You’ve got a lot of projects in the works?

Yeah, right now I’m doing this band called the Everyday Anthem. They took a chance on me, and I took a chance on them. They didn’t have a ton of music out at the time, but they covered “Something’s Gotta Give” acoustic, which a lot of bands don’t do. I heard it and thought, “Damn, these guys are good.” I think I put out a tweet saying I’d love to mix some records, and I saw their name. They sent me some songs and it was really rough, but I was lucky enough that the songwriting was there. At this point, I’m sure a lot of the projects I’m doing will need a lot of work. But I’m finishing up an EP of theirs right now, and I’m really stoked on it.

You’re moving to Nashville in the near future, which will probably open a lot of doors.

Luckily, moving to Nashville lets me pursue this as a career, because the guys in Nashville… I feel like I could work at producing and engineering for the next 50 years and not get close to what they can do. It’s the best of it. I’m always eager to learn. I’m lucky to have our sound guy, Phil [Gornell], who runs a studio out of Sheffield, England called Steel City Studio. He’s a phenomenal mixing engineer, so he’s been a big help. I have no pretense about how good I am; I know I have a lot left to learn. It’s exciting to be around people who are willing to teach. It seems like this world of engineers and producers want to help each other out to an extent. At the end of the day, it is competitive, but you’re always sharing secrets. It’s like a secret club of magicians who only share with each other. I’m lucky to have had conversations with Chris Lord-Alge, Neal Avron, John Feldmann. I’ve got a huge advantage in that aspect.

As a drummer, how do you avoid wanting to keep the drums way up in the mix?

[Laughs.] It’s definitely tough, man. Generally the first mix note I get back is, “This is fucking great, but maybe turn all the drums down about 3dB.” [Laughs.] It’s so true. Modern-day rock recordings—not so much in country, which I’m also really interested in—have a ton of the drum energy up front. I’m pretty lucky in that aspect, but on “Bottle And A Beat,” which is a song I mixed on the Future Hearts deluxe edition, I knew I was going to mix it from the start. I had Alex come to my place to do mix revisions, rather than emailing me and being, “It’s the third line of the chorus on this part…” The first thing Alex says is, “I’m sorry, man; drums have to go down a lot.” He said down by 5dB, we agreed on 3dB. We got it back from mastering, and the first thing I thought when I listened on a real stereo system was, “Wow, the drums are pretty fucking loud!” [Laughs.] He still tells me he can barely listen to it because the drums are just so loud.

But it makes me realize the audience doesn’t just want to hear drums all the time. Even the way I play, you almost don’t want to know the drums are there until they’re gone. A lot of audience members can’t tell when I’m hitting the kick or the snare, but you take the drums away and the song is gone. I’ve learned to mix like that: Accent the parts where the drums should be showing, and otherwise strip them away as much as possible. But for all I care, take out guitars and bass! [Laughs.]

What’s the biggest difference between producing and mixing?

The production work is a lot more creative. I see mixing as algebra: There’s a solution and a way to get there. You can’t go too far outside the box or the song is gone. The pieces are all there for you. With production, you’re creating those pieces, and that’s something I’ve never really been that good at. I’ll openly say I’m not the most creative drummer or songwriter—and that’s okay, because I have Alex who is nothing but creative. With production, it’s a scary thing, but it’s a lot easier for me to sit in a day for eight hours without anyone looming over my shoulder. I’m very new to the production aspect, but everything is a step in the right direction for me.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/twiddle_knobs_not_fingersall_time_lows_rian_dawson_on_his_budding_producing/

Last week, the ABC Family movie Fan Girl wowed audiences with its humorous take on what it means to be a fan in the modern age. Fictional Telulah Farrow [played by Kiernan Shipka] is obsessed with All Time Low, wears Glamour Kills clothing and just doesn’t want to do her film project.  Can you relate? AP caught up with vocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth to talk the new movie, new tour and how he feels about being a professional actor.

author: Mackenzie Hall


How did All Time Low get involved in the production of Fan Girl?

ALEX GASKARTH: It kind of came out of nowhere for us. It was brought up to us as: This movie’s been written, the script had been written based on the person who wrote the script, her daughter and the fact her daughter was a fan of the band. So she had this idea for the movie, but then it turned into this broader story and narrative about this high school girl. It was basically pitched to us because the movie was written around our band—and I guess the band would have been interchangeable, had we turned it down. But we just thought it was something different and cool. It was rad to be a part of.

How was that acting experience different from what you’ve done in the past, as opposed to music videos and being on camera in a band sense?

Well, the performance part was pretty similar, to be honest. Obviously the focus was a little more on the actors and a little less on us. But [performing] felt pretty much like familiar territory. I mean [in terms of acting] it was such a small part—it was a lot of fun to do it and everybody was very cool about the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing. So, like I said, it was something different to do and it’s always fun to try out new things.

Did you have any problems getting into the character of yourself?

[Laughs.] No, they kept it easy on me. The fact that we just got to be ourselves helped, for sure.

What do you think this movie will mean to both All Time Low as a band and our scene at large?

It’s pretty hard to say whether it will have sort of any long-standing consequences. For us, we’ve been a band for 12 years, and it’s cool to be recognized as something more than a band that only a few people know about. It’s really cool to get to be a part of something like that. As far as what it does for our band: The coolest thing is it introduces us to some new people. There were definitely people tuning into the movie [who] watch ABC Family that weren’t familiar with our band. So from a standpoint of reaching new people, I think it was great. And obviously, it helped us out tremendously that our music was so heavily a part of the film. There were songs that were constantly playing in that movie, along with some other bands’ songs. It helps the bands, but it also brings the genre of music into the forefront, which is great because this genre of music has been tucked away for a little while. It was very, very cool that they embraced the scene as a whole. It wasn’t just about All Time Low—which I think made it feel a little bit more real to all of us. If it had just been solely about us, then it could have felt contrived. But the fact that they did their research and they were very much aware of aspects of the scene, I thought that was really cool.

How much of that was originally written into the script? Did you guys get to contribute anything?

We didn’t do much with that. A lot of that stuff was actually already in there when the script was given to us. Which I really commend, I think they did a great job of really knowing their facts and having a lot of that stuff already in there. We didn’t have a whole lot to do with the creative process. We were the band that the script was written around. [Directors] asked us if we wanted to do it and we were super-down.

It’s no surprise All Time Low have a predominantly young, enthusiastic, female fanbase—who I’m sure were avidly watching this movie specifically for you guys. What do you want them to take away from this movie?

I think it’s just a nod to the scene. I don’t necessarily think the movie’s trying to make any bold statement. It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek. I think that even down to just the title. It’s kind of a critique, but also a commentary. It’s a commentary on where some people are at in their life. I think the message of this film would be to not completely lose yourself in obsession. [Telulah, main character] takes her obsession and applies it and turns it into something creative and awesome. I think that’s something people could take away from it as far as getting more involved and taking your passions and making them into something productive.

Regarding Back To Future Hearts Tour, what sort of cool new stuff are you guys bringing for this tour that fans can anticipate?

The big thing with this tour is the focus on the new record. Until now, we’ve been playing maybe four or five songs off the new album. What we really wanted to do this time around was give a complete and fully rounded out experience of the record. One of the things we noticed with this album was how passionate people were for the new music. More so than ever before, people [were] saying, “ We want to hear the new songs, we want to see this song live,” etc., etc. So, we had this idea to play the majority of the record and we’re still touching on all of the songs that people would want to hear from our past. But it’s pretty awesome for us to be able to come out here 12 years into a career and people want to hear the new material…that doesn’t always happen. It’s really cool. It’s one of the biggest tours that we’ve ever headlined in the States. From a production standpoint, we’re doing a lot of cool things—the show looks amazing, the light show looks incredible. I’m really excited for people to just see it. It’s definitely taking the stage show to the next level.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/it_was_rad_to_be_a_part_of_alex_gaskarth_talks_fan_girl_movie/

Guitarist, bra collector and… bar owner? It may surprise fans at first to learn that Jack Barakat is now in the nightlife business, but once you think about it, it makes perfect sense for the All Time Low guitarist. From their onstage personas to their music (“Poppin’ Champagne,” “I Feel Like Dancin’,” “So Long And Thanks For All The Booze”), everyone knows ATL are no strangers to a good party. Barakat recently became the co-owner of the Rockwell, located in Baltimore’s historic Fell’s Point neighborhood. Along with co-owner Bryan Burkert (who’s also the owner of Sound Garden, a well known Baltimore record store), the two are offering something new to the area: a purely rock ’n’ roll bar. Barakat is also offering fans a chance to host their birthday parties at the Rockwell, complete with a free bottle of champagne and a round of shots, plus a signed custom birthday card. We talked to Barakat about the ins and outs of owning the Rockwell, what he looks for in a good bar and his bartending skills (or lack thereof).

author: AP Magazine


How did you get involved with the Rockwell?
The bar’s actually been open since earlier this year, and I’ve quietly had in an involvement in it. More recently, my involvement’s been bigger, and I’m part owner now. It’s just a rock bar, you know? It’s kind of a rare thing to find these days.

I started to go to this bar a lot just because I liked the music they played, and the owner, Bryan, is a friend of mine. He approached me and was like, “I want you to come in on this. I think it’s something that you’d really be interested in. It’s right up your alley. It’s something that I think together we could make a pretty awesome place.” Bryan is also the owner of the Sound Garden, which is one of the most successful record stores in the U.S.

What was it that attracted you to the bar?
I go out a lot; I have a good time, I like to party. There haven’t been that many bars I go that have a rock ’n’ roll vibe like there used to be, kind of a craziness to them. It’s all about hip-hop and pop and mainstream music. I was like, “Let’s fucking do a bar that plays old ’80s rock and metal, new rock, old school, whatever it is—just plays good music. We don’t leave that genre. We don’t have a night where we do club night or whatever. We just want it to be purely a rock bar.

When bands come through Baltimore to play, there aren’t that many places to go out—for rock bands. that is. When bands come through we want to have them do DJ sets, and have a place for them to go after the show.

Do you guys think you’ll be doing any DJing of your own?
Yeah, I know Aug. 30 we have a party, and Alex [Gaskarth] is going to be DJing it. I’m going to try to do my own party once a month. I’m going to be there often obviously, just hanging out when I’m in town, but I’m going to try to do an official party once a month, just to have an event that’s recurring. It gets pretty rowdy there. I’ll definitely go behind the bar and pour everyone shots. It’s definitely a good time. I know one thing I’m going to try to concentrate on is having our fans have their birthday parties there. I know we’ve always had this party vibe onstage—we all sing about partying, we obviously do it in our music videos, after the shows—I know a lot of our fans have always wanted to be a part of that, but some of them are younger. But now that we’ve been around for eight to 10 years, a lot of our fans are starting to be 21, and I’m starting to see them out at the bars. If you have your birthday party [at the Rockwell], I’m going to give you free champagne, and we’re just gonna rage. It could be one of those things that sounds like a good idea on paper and ends up being a shit show, but I think it’s gonna be pretty fun.

So are you going to hang any bras in this bar?
Actually, that’s a great idea. [Laughs.] I never even thought about it. The vibe I want to do is kind of like Coyote Ugly, in the sense that there are no rules. I’ve jumped off the bar a couple times; people just kind of go crazy and hook up in the photo booth. Shit happens, and that’s what I like about it. There aren’t many bars like that anymore, you know?

You mentioned that you’ll go behind the bar and pour shots. How are your bartending skills?
Just fucking terrible. You think someone who goes out a lot would pick up some things—nah. It’s not as easy as it looks. Bartenders deserve to make more money, I gotta give it up to them. Also, it’s hectic back there, like people yelling at you. I’m just like, “All right, I’m going to pour 30 shots and just buy shots for everyone right now because I can’t understand the orders. Everyone gets the same thing.”

When you go out—whether you’re at home or on tour—what do you look for in a good bar?
Music is a great thing. I like to do cocktails, so I look at what kind of drinks the place makes. Also, a lot of it is the crowd, like who’s going to the bar. There are definitely a couple bars in Baltimore that are nice-looking places, but I wouldn’t go there because the clientele is just douchebag bros or whatever it is. We try to stick together and go to places that are a good vibe, no fights or that kind of stuff.

What’s your go-to drink when you’re at a bar?
I’m a whiskey guy, so Jameson.

For you, what’s been the toughest part of owning a bar?
Fells Point, there are tons of bars down there. There are probably 30 bars in a three- or four-block radius. You see people walk by your bar sometimes, and you’re like, “Why didn’t they come in?” So you just kind of try to separate yourself and make our bar appeal to everyone. Once you get people in there, it’s easy, but getting people to come to a new bar is difficult, especially when they’ve been going to the same bar for so many years.

When you go out, what are you listening to?
Anything by Mötley Crüe is usually pretty good. The interesting thing about the music that’s played at the Rockwell is, you’ll hear Taking Back Sunday, the Starting Line and old Blink-182—things that you really would never hear anywhere else. It’s kind of similar to what they do in Europe, especially in England. You can drink when you’re 18 there, so the crowd is a lot younger. You go to bars and they play all these pop-punk bands that aren’t mainstream bands, and I just love that. You don’t have to play these massive Top 40 hits, and everyone can still have a good time. And if the bar doesn’t care that it’s not a popular song, I appreciate that they would go out on a limb.

The Rockwell, 702 S. Broadway, Fell’s Point

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/jack_barakat_the_rockwell_baltimore_2014/

Of all the performances at Monday’s AP Music Awards, All Time Low definitely had the most scene-packed set. The Baltimore band performed a medley of songs including their own hit “Dear Maria, Count Me In”; Yellowcard’s “Lights And Sounds” with Ryan Key and Sean Mackin; and New Found Glory’s “All Downhill From Here” with New Found Glory’s Jordan Pundik and Chad Gilbert. They closed it with their Song Of The Year track, “A Love Like War,” featuring Pierce The Veil’s Vic Fuentes. The band took home two Skullys that night for Song Of The Year and the Artist Philanthropic Award. We caught up with frontman Alex Gaskarth to discuss the band’s performance and how they’ll top it at next year’s APMAs.

author: AP Magazine


What was your favorite part of the night?
I have to go with our performance; that was such a blast. Fifteen-year-old me was freaking out inside. I think if anyone had told me in high school that one day I’d be playing at an award show with Yellowcard and New Found Glory, I don’t think I would have believed that.

Did you guys get a chance to rehearse it all together beforehand?
We didn’t rehearse all together until that morning. I had come up with a loose plan of what we were going to do, and on Sunday, the four of us went over it ourselves, just to make sure we had it down and it was sounding right. Then Monday morning the other guys from the bands came in, and we ran through it all together. It definitely felt like the chemistry was there right away.

Was there a different vibe playing at the APMAs compared to playing a regular show?
Yeah, just the excitement. There was a lot of hype; there was a lot of build-up. It was kind of nerve-racking. There were a lot of great performers and a lot of legendary artists there. You don’t want to go up and blow it in front of Joan Jett. [Laughs.] I think we really brought the energy; I think that was really the key of our performance: going out there and showing everybody what bands like ours, Yellowcard, New Found  Glory and Pierce The Veil are all about.

There were a lot of big names there Monday. Was there anyone you were starstruck by?
It’s pretty amazing to see people like Joan Jett and Billy Corgan who are massively influential in music. It was very cool to see them hanging out. I think it’s really cool for those [different] generations of bands to come together like that. It’s rare that that sort of thing happens.

Were you surprised that nine months in, people are still reacting so positively to “Love Like War?”
Yeah, I mean, that song has been really special to us. It gave our record a fresh set of legs to keep running. The song itself has done really good things for us over a long period of time. In this day and age, where it feels like songs are just a flash in the pan because there’s such an overload of information in music all the time, it’s cool when you find one that has longevity like that.

How do you guys top your APMAs performance?
That’s a tough one. I feel like we’re gonna need a year to come up with it. Maybe we get a floating stage, and we come in on a speedboat performing. That’s what you guys need to do next year: You need to float the stage in the harbor. If you figure out a way to float it, and then every time someone gets an award, they have to jump in the water.

I’ll submit that to our marketing team, and I’ll let you know.
[Laughs.] You gotta let me plan this thing. It’s gonna be great.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/all_time_low_apmas_alex_gaskarth_apmas_interview/

The Spring Fever Tour, featuring co-headliners All Time Low and Pierce The Veil along with Mayday Parade and You Me At Six, has been shriek-inducingly anticipated from the moment of its announcement, and it’s finally here, much to the relief of fans who had been holding their breath. We caught up with ATL and PTV frontmen Alex Gaskarth and Vic Fuentes a week into the tour for this quick update.

author: Cassie Tucker, Brian Kraus


Which band were you most excited to link up with on this tour?
ALEX GASKARTH: That’s a tough question! We’re good friends with all the bands. It’s pretty exciting just to do this sort of tour with Pierce The Veil because we’ve never really done a look like that. They’re a bit heavier; they come from a slightly different scene, but doing Warped Tour a few times with them we realized that we really share a lot of fans. We just thought it was something new to try, and it offered something different to the kids, you know? Coming to pop-punk shows, coming to post-hardcore shows, or whatever it was—it was kinda like taking the best of both worlds, or at least trying to, and smashing them together.

VIC FUENTES: Yeah. We’ve never really considered ourselves a super-heavy band. We’ve kind of traveled around in different directions, so we have heavy parts, but we also have a lot of poppy parts. So yeah, it kind of just seems to work out. It’s not too far off, you know?

I can’t really even say [who I’m most excited to play with], because, like, Mayday Parade, we’ve known them the longest. They’ve been our boys since we were all way younger bands. I kind of say this onstage, too: I tell the kids how we booked the tour. It wasn’t booked with any politics involved. It was all by us—you know, by the bands—because I met Rian [Dawson], All Time Low’s drummer on Warped, and we were just talking backstage, and we were like, “It seems like we have a lot of the same fans, and I think we should maybe try to tour together,” and that’s how the tour formed. It was just from that talk, and then after that, it was just a matter of asking our best friends to see if they would do it. All the bands on the bill, they can each do their own headlining tour. They don’t have to open for us, but they did it because they’re our friends, so we’re really thankful that they’re all involved.

You’re now a week into the tour. How is it going?
GASKARTH:
It’s been amazing. It’s really cool. I think it’s definitely paying off, everybody’s going down really well. You Me At Six and Mayday as well. I feel like it’s just such a strong bill. It’s like going to a festival, there’s something for everybody. That really translates well.

FUENTES: It’s been pretty amazing so far. This tour is kind of a next-level feeling for us because we’ve never had this much production and been playing in these big of rooms and have this big of a crew. The shows have been sold out, and kids are going crazy, so it’s been great.

The only bad thing is, the first day, I blew out my voice, and I had to go to the hospital and get some medicine to help me, and that sucked but other than that, I’m getting through the shows, and it’s been really fun.


I was originally supposed to interview you that day, so I’m glad you’re okay now.
FUENTES:
Yeah, it sucked, but whatever. We’ve been on tour for a long time and haven’t had a lot of breaks, so it kind of happens.


Alex, you mentioned it was a strong bill—the shows are all selling out or close to it—so how do you tell if one city is “going off” harder than another?
GASKARTH:
You gauge that from the live environment. Once you hit the stage, you know how it’s gonna be. Like I said, so far it’s been amazing. The first two nights were nuts. Lot of crowd surfing, mosh pits, lot of rowdiness. And that’s the cool thing: There’s just a genuine excitement for the tour.

Are you planning any mischief or surprises for these shows?
GASKARTH: We don’t really plan much. Other than our set, it’s kinda all spur of the moment. So any, like, shit… Any antics that go down are always sort of like… impromptu.

We’ve already had people come up onstage and forced them to dance for the audience. It’s really just about shaming people. That’s what it’s all about.

FUENTES: As the tour goes, I think we’ll definitely start messing with each other onstage and doing some fun stuff, and there are always end-of-tour pranks that are always pretty fun.

Other than that, as far as surprises, we’ve got a lot of new production and stuff that I think is really going to… It’s something I’ve never seen any band do, and I think some of the stuff that we have going on is pretty different and fun. Just keep an eye out for it.


We dug up a fan “petition” with 3,000-plus notes on Tumblr for All Time Low to play “Remembering Sunday” and have Vic do the female vocal parts. Would you consider that?
GASKARTH:
Holy crap! I haven’t even seen that. That’s nuts. Maybe we could add that song in. Yeah, that’s crazy. It’s definitely something we’d consider. There’s a place for it in the set, so it could happen, for sure.

FUENTES: Oh, my God… Yeah, maybe. I think it would be cool to do a little collaborating onstage. Actually, I sing with Mayday Parade already on their Punk Goes Pop cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” and I’m all about doing stuff like that. So, you never know. Maybe somewhere during the tour, we’ll work it out.


On the topic of guests, Alex, do think you could ever convince Jason Vena of Acceptance to take the stage again?
GASKARTH:
I would love to think so. Yeah, he lives up in Seattle.


I noticed the tour isn’t hitting Seattle this time.
GASKARTH:
Yeah, it’s a bummer, but I think we’re all dying to get out there now that we’re playing “Outlines” on the bill. We’ll at least ask, you know? Why not?


What part of the set do you think fans will be buzzing/talking/tweeting about at the end of the night when they’re all sweaty and leaving the show?
GASKARTH:
We have a pretty fun intro. I think it’s going over pretty well. Our merch guy Vinnie comes out and does a little bit. It’s definitely something I’ve never seen before, so I think people will walk away from it being like “that was new!”

FUENTES: Honestly, I think there’s going to be so much to talk about when they leave the show. That’s kind of the goal of any of our shows, and it’s not just with us this time: Us and All Time Low went all-out with our shows. Since it’s a co-headline, we both wanted it to be as awesome as possible. Each of our bands have these completely different ideas, and it’s almost like all the shit doesn’t fit on the stage, because we have so much crazy stuff going on. So, when kids go home from this tour, they’re going to have a million things to talk about.

Can you give a little, cryptic teaser of something you’re bringing to the shows?
FUENTES:
[Laughs. Hesitates.] We have a bit of, like, a… It’s like a big kind of Nightmare Before Christmas-y factory deal going on, and it’s actually a working factory.


Is there anything else you want to add?
FUENTES
: Thanks to all the fans that have already sold the shows out. I’d say 90 percent of the tour is already sold out, so thanks to everybody for grabbing tickets, and we’ll see you at the shows. It’s gonna be an amazing experience. I can’t wait! 
 

Catch the bands on the Spring Fever Tour now through mid-May. Full dates and ticket information are available on our Spring Fever page. You can now download the AP official Spring Fever tour program.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/interview_catching_spring_fever_with_alex_gaskarth_and_vic_fuentes/

Zack Merrick isn’t just the bass player for All Time Low (whose new album, Don’t Panic, comes out today). He’s also a kick-ass designer for his own tee and accessories line, Amerrickan, distributed by Kill Brand.  We caught up with Merrick while he was prepping for ATL’s World Triptacular global release event for Don’t Panic and “The Rock Show At The End of the World” tour to ask him some burning questions—like how the hell does he manage to run a clothing line while touring the world?

author: Carrie Tucker


How did Amerrickan start?
I was really into taking photos on the road and making prints of the images, [that were] kind of cluttered, but still one complete image.  I’m friends with Jonny Smith, the owner of Kill Brand, and he always talked about how much he loved the pictures and wanted to try to use one for a T-shirt design. I let him, and the tee was picked up by [the online clothing retailer] Zumiez. We were calling it the “Zack Merrick collection by Kill Brand”, which was obviously too long. At the time, Ryan [Ogren] from the band Runner Runner made a joke that we should write I AM-MERRICK-AN on a shirt. That actually birthed the Amerrickan name. 

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from whatever just pops in my mind. Ironically, some of the things I have said in interviews we put on T-shirts, and people seem to really like them. I mostly wear plain T-shirts, so it’s fun to try and design something on a blank canvas. Whatever I think is cool or funny, the Kill Brand designers can make in a few hours. I like ketchup, so it goes something like this: “Hey, let’s try a shirt with a cat wearing a beer helmet, and instead of beer we put ketchup bottles in the helmet and have it say CAT-SUP.”  We actually did that.

Who are your “Amerrickan role models”?
I think having a strong will inspires me. Do anything you want and don’t be afraid to go for it. Recently, I went to the Baltimore Ravens football practice and was watching Ray Lewis. I was really inspired and moved because he is a very motivated guy and a leader. He does not say no, he does not give up, he just keeps going.

What do Amerrickan’s clothes say about the person wearing them?
Usually if someone is wearing an Amerrickan shirt, they’re a loyal All Time Low supporter. It’s like patriotism toward the brand. I hope that people feel cool when they wear it, like they are part of something, since Amerrickan is not a huge, corporate clothing line. 

What is the best thing about having your own clothing line?
The best part is I get tons of free clothes!

You have a new line and a new album coming out within days of each other. How do you balance the band and Amerrickan?
I say this a lot: make time! It’s like every situation in life–a wedding, a kid’s baseball game, or even going to the gym. At the end of the day, you can do whatever you want if you put in the effort.

Any funny moments involving ATL and Amerrickan that you can share?
Not to bring up the Ravens again, but it is football season. The other day at the Ravens practice, Bernard Pollard and Rian [Dawson, ATL drummer] ended up having a drum off.  Also, it’s well known that Jack [Barakat, ATL guitarist] can’t drive very well, so I said at one point [during the practice], “We didn’t wanna die, so we didn’t let Jack drive,” and we made that a shirt design.

What does the future hold for Amerrickan?
We have stuff coming out at least every two months. Kill Brand keeps me on my toes, keeping everything fresh and limited edition so we don’t saturate the market. We just put out Halloween designs, and this week we start the VOTE AMERRICKAN. We are selling everything on iamamerrickan.com (http://iamamerrickan.com) for now.  I’m just livin’ day by day.

What fashion trend do you wish would die a slow, painful death?Bright neon shirts with zebra patterns that say “party” on them.

What advice do you have for kids who want to do what you do?
If your really want to do it, you can make it happen; just give it 100 percent and anything can happen.

FIVE FAVES as chosen by Zack Merrick
1. Amerrickan Ravens crest tee, $20
“’Cause I love football and the Ravens. I just thought it would be a cool spoof tee to give to the band and my friends to wear to games. This is our yearrr!”

2. Amerrickan Skull logo tank, $14
“We have a skull logo with guitars under it that I really like, but we added the weights to match what I do: I work out. I just said that like LMFAO.”

3. And That’s What’s Up unisex tee, $14
“Kill Brand dudes noticed that I say “That’s what’s up” about anything I agree with, or that we are gonna make. They made me a shirt as a joke, and I ended up using it.”

4. Amerrickan Anchor wallet, $15
“This wallet is cool ’cause it’s custom made. I have a stealing-hotel-room-keys problem, so the extra pockets are great for stashing my stolen keys.”

5. Sugar Skull logo tee, $22
“This is our newest shirt. I just think it’s a cool design. We did this for Halloween, so it’s limited edition.”

Want more? Yeah you do! Get 25% off your entire purchase (and that means EVERYTHING, not just Amerrickan) at www.killbrand.com until October 31st by using the exclusive AP code “alternativezack” at checkout.

Don’t forget to pick up Don’t Panic and buy tickets for “The Rock Show At The End of the World” at www.AllTimeLow.com.

source: https://www.altpress.com/features/interview_all_time_lows_zack_merrick_talks_about_his_new_clothing_line_amer/