Interview with All Time Low: Grin And Bare It

From the moment that they dropped their pants and revealed their tighty-whities for a photoshoot at the time of their second album, So Wrong, It’s Right, back in 2007, All Time Low have become that band you cannot escape. And apparently a lack of clothing is also something they haven’t taken off the menu. While you may not expect any troubles to cross path with singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson, who all seem to be the ideal chill, pop-punk band; sometimes lighting strikes.

Shortly into their current run on The Bamboozle Roadshow, ATL stirred some controversy. At the Arlington, Texas, stop at the Six Flags Over Texas, fans rushed the stage and allegedly security stepped in and used mace on some fans in order to exert crowd control. It would be something that Gaskarth would comment on via his Twitter. A few days after, it was released that ATL would not perform at the other two Six Flags stops of the tour.

With things behind them, it’s only full speed ahead for ATL, who even with their current release, Nothing Personal, having come out last year, are already hard at work on the next. After filling a short tour break with label meetings and a red eye to their next tour destination, Gaskarth spoke on his view of things and the many people in ATL’s corner.

I was told you were in meetings yesterday with your new label. How’s the switch from Hopeless Records been?

Yea, we did. It’s been good integrating over to Interscope and getting everything geared up for releasing our new album and for the future of this band. Everyone’s really stoked on it.

Are you guys seeing any differences with being on a major over an independent label?

Different levels of resources, different sizes like of the team that’s behind you. The decision was just, it felt like on the indie label, we reached the highest point we could reach and trying to tackle things like getting radio and things like that was sort of becoming harder and harder based on the fact that the label hadn’t really done it before. We thought that maybe we hit a ceiling so, it’s to make something work for every party involved and also to launch us to the next stepping-stone.

You mention the next record. How far are you into writing that?

As of right now, we’re halfway through. We have seven songs that we’re recording with Mike Green (Paramore, Set Your Goals). After this tour in July, we’ll be coming back to solidify the second half of the record with Matt Squire (3OH!3, HIM). It’s awesome. So far it’s such a good direction, it blows the last record out of the water in terms of depth and song writing and you know, it’s progress. We’re all really stoked. It’s probably going to come out, we’re thinking early next year probably.

You mention two, but are you going to have more producers like how Nothing Personal had five?

The record is kind of split between Mike Green and the other half is Matt Squire and then Neal Avron is mixing the record. It’s definitely a dream team for sure and we’re really excited about everyone involved.

It feels weird asking about the next about when your current album feels like it just came out.

Yea, exactly, it definitely feels like Nothing Personal never really had it’s full lifecycle yet, but we are trying to get all the songs done and have the thing ready to go, but we’re not ready to throw it out there.

With all the touring, when do you find the time to work on things?

Before this tour started, we did have quite a bit of time off. In that time, I basically was in L.A. writing and once we felt like we had a batch of songs that were good to go, we started recording them with Mike Green. So yea, we have half the album good to go and then the second half will come along in July.

Right now you’re on The Bamboozle Roadshow. How’s the tour been?

Tour’s been great, a lot of fun. I would say every band on this tour has been acquainted; it’s been very social.

The big question pertains to you guys being unable to be at the New Jersey date of the tour. Can you explain a little why you can’t perform on our stop of the tour?

Yes and no. I’m not really allowed to talk about too much at this point—we definitely want to do something to make it up to the audience who we can’t play for that day, but at the same time we don’t want to take away from the other bands’ show. [Which they are at the Freehold Raceway Mall.] In the meantime, all we can say is, we’re sorry we’re not there, but with the way it panned out, I think it’s for the best at the end of the day.

I did read up on your Twitter updates concerning the incident. Do you feel that what you said came back to bite you in a negative way in the end?

Not at all. I said what I said and no, I definitely don’t think it came back to bite me. At this point, it’s more for legal reasons that I can’t talk about things or go into much more details. I stood up for what I believe in and I think at the end of the day I think I did what was right and I don’t think anyone can really argue that. It’s not that I feel that I messed up, I think I did what I should have done. I think everything’s going to play out for the best.

You guys just released a DVD titled Straight To DVD. How does it feel to get it out to fans, especially those who haven’t seen you guys live?

It’s great, it took a long time to make that, so it’s great to see it all come together as well as it did. I think it’s a window into the world of the band and what we do. For the audience that doesn’t really know us, it’s a good way to get into everything that we do.

Any special things you guys did for that show?

It’s laced with everything. It’s backstage footage, it’s the performance in New York, it’s really everything you could possibly want and more. Maybe a little too much nudity.

Did you guys need an R rating then?

Everything’s blurred. I don’t know how it works, but a music DVD doesn’t follow a rating system, so we don’t have to do anything about it.

Speaking of naked bands, I read you were in the studio with Mark Hoppus again about three months ago, what were you guys working on?

Mark and I wrote a song together almost two years ago for our last record and that song never really saw the light of day. So what happened is that Mark has a new project now, which I believe is going by the name City Comma State. Basically we re-hashed that song and they’re using it for that project and I did a little bit of writing on a few of the other songs on the album. It’s something fun that Mark’s doing and it’s an awesome band. The record is awesome and it’s really fun being involved and getting to write some of the jams for the record.

Catch All Time Low at FYE Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, NJ, on June 24 and at Nassau Coliseum with the Bamboozle Road Show on June 26.