US pop-punk kings All Time Low are in the middle of a global tour playing seminal album So Wrong It’s Right in full, 10 years after it was released. Venita Cutler talks to lead singer Alex Gaskarth about going back to your roots and looking to the future.
How have you found the So Wrong It’s Right Tour?
It’s been really rewarding to get to explore the first thing we ever did followed by a ‘real’ show. I feel like we embody our younger selves when we do the So Wrong It’s Right set and then we get to grow up a little bit and do a fully-fledged, thought-out show. I think seeing that dynamic take place separated by 30 minutes is really cool for everyone. So yeah, it’s been fun.
Were you initially surprised by how many fans wanted you to bring the So Wrong It’s Right tour to the UK?
Absolutely. We knew there were going to be people excited about the idea of it, people have called for it before, but it was pretty overwhelming, once we had done three shows in New Jersey, just how many people around the world wanted it. I’m really glad it worked out because we weren’t originally going to do this. An opportunity presented itself and we thought it would be a really cool thing to bring here and try it for the first time.
How would you describe your most recent album, Last Young Renegade?
I would describe it as a really eclectic mix of all the sounds that we’ve explored in the past. We took it a bit more electronic, but sort of did it in an analog way. We really wanted to harp back to some of the older artists that we’d been listening to at the time when we were writing Last Young Renegade, a few of our musical heroes who just passed away, like Bowie and Prince.
I had been going back and listening to a ton of their work and that got me on this kick of listening to all the similar artists from that era. We then thought, What would happen if we brought some of that to our music? We started using old keyboard sounds and similar things that were the bread and butter of artists back then, and we thought what we came up with was really amazing.
The result is a fresh new sound that isn’t typically synonymous with All Time Low for the latest album. Have your fans received it well?
I think so. This show has been really telling to that because we’re playing seven songs off a 10 song album, and people are singing along to every word. It’s really cool to see what the responses have been like.
People weren’t sure what to make of the new music at first, so it’s nice that almost a year later people are starting to get it. We’re one of those bands that feels like pushing and changing and growing is important, and it’s been really cool to see people grow with us.
You guys moved from Hopeless Records to Fuelled By Ramen for Last Young Renegade, are you going to stick with that?
We are super happy on Fuelled By Ramen and right now that’s where we’re at. They’ve been amazing to work with. It’s really cool to have a creative team behind us that fully understands where we wanted to take this record and get the vision. They’re happy with allowing us to grow beyond where we already were.
Hopeless Records were amazing to us for so many years, but sometimes it helps to change creative teams and then get with a family that can bring some new things to the table.
What do you think about the importance of music institutions like BIMM to budding musicians?
I think any institution that bases some of its education around music is really important to the music business. The entire world of music benefits from having places that encourage it – and the arts in general – and lets people go down those avenues.
I think with all fields of art get neglected at a higher education level because a lot of people think you don’t go to school for art. But you do, you absolutely do. There are millions of people who want to pursue those things and I think being able to have an avenue to go down and explore that creative side is very important.