Interview with All Time Low guitarist/lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth
Warped Tour 2007
S&S: Word on the street is that your new album, “So Wrong, It’s Right,” is going to blow up when it is released in September. Do you think that you will still stay as grounded as you are and keep interacting with fans as much as you do now if All Time Low becomes huge?
Alex: We will always be the band that thinks of any way we can to keep close with our fans. So, hopefully, we’ll always be able to maintain that.
S&S: What is your favorite song off the new album and why?
Alex: My favorite song is “Stay Awake.” We played it a couple of times on the acoustic tour. It’s a conversation between Peter and Wendy from Peter Pan. As I was writing it, I noticed that it relates really heavily to a conversation I would have with myself, like the sensible side and my more childish side. Obviously, I think that’s what the Peter Pan story was about. It all correlates to the human psyche, which is why I like that story so much. Yeah, it’s my favorite song for sure.
S&S: You have some UK dates with Plain White T’s coming up right after Warped. Will it be your first time going overseas?
Alex: It is. We’re really stoked. It’s going to be amazing. I was actually born in the UK. I moved to America when I was seven. My whole family lives there. So, it’s finally a chance for me to be like, “Check out what I do.”
S&S: How do you feel when people only concentrate on your looks and not your music?
Alex: I think that is a reality with any band. There needs to be a face for the music. It is kind of a bummer to think that people would like us more for our looks than our music. Obviously, we are doing this for the music, not to be pretty. I don’t hold grudges against anybody if you listen to us and support us for whatever reason; that’s awesome. I welcome it, but I would definitely hope that most people like us for the music.
S&S: How many identical hats have you been given since you lost yours a while back?
Alex: I was never given the one that I actually lost, but I have been given a ton of hats. I have all of them in a closet in my room. It’s insane how many I have. My parents laugh at me, because all I have in my closets are hoodies, fitteds and Nikes. People give me a hard time.
S&S: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done, either on or off stage?
Alex: We’re all kind of crazy. We do a lot of weird things. A few of the cooler things we’ve done recently on stage are we tell people to take off their clothes. It’s really fun and intimate. [We tell them] to throw their clothes up in the air at the same time, and it looks really cool. Then, everyone’s naked, so it’s pretty sweet. Off stage, I don’t know. We’re very strange people. Most people would just think we’re huge dorks.
S&S: Do you guys pull pranks on each other and if so, which has been the best so far?
Alex: All the time. We have a recurring prank because we’re on a bus now. There is this joke of what annoying thing could you leave in somebody’s bunk, so when they open their bunk, they’re like, “What the hell?” So, we’ve left things from dirty laundry to a huge bike tire. It’s not even that funny when you talk about it, but if you could imagine somebody going to their bunk randomly and opening it, and there’s a bike tire in there. It’s the full wheel with all the spokes and everything.
S&S: What is the most creative gift you have ever received from a fan? Do you wear jewelry, clothing, etc. that is sent to you?
Alex: Yeah, all the time. We get Life Savers a lot. We get a lot of cookies, which is always cool. I am completely overloaded on Milanos now from that video. Everybody felt bad that Ryan stole my Milanos. So, it’s become a trend, and we have so many Milanos. I cannot eat another Milano.
S&S: When are dates going to be posted for your fall tour with Boys Like Girls?
Alex: I think they went up on Absolutepunk. If it’s not up yet, it will be up very soon. It’s all confirmed and everything.
S&S: You guys started All Time Low while you were still in high school and gained a respectable fan base from touring. What advice do you have for young bands trying to do the same and get signed?
Alex: Network. Make as many friends as you can, because they will teach you and help you. Tour. If it sucks, you’re probably doing the right thing. If you’re crammed in a car, and you’re sitting on your equipment because you can’t afford to buy a van, you’re on the right track. Everybody has to do it. It’s that kind of determination that pushes you over the edge. So, do it and have fun!