Rolling Stone interview



All Time Low recently talked to the magazine Rolling Stone to reflect on their career. You can watch a video of them describing a few of their first times and read the article below.



In 2007, the four members of All Time Low hadn't even hit the legal drinking age when a couple of boyishly goofy songs about girls began to push them beyond their local scene. Signed to the taste-making indie label Hopeless Records, the Maryland quartet released their scrappy but hopeful sophomore album So Wrong, It's Right, and suddenly pop-punk had a new band of skinny-jeans-wearing heroes with frosted, side-swept hair.

A decade later, the band sits around a table in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, settling in for a late-afternoon round of bowling at the dive-y Gutter. Clutching beers and fresh off a day of press for their new and seventh album Last Young Renegade, the group of longtime friends – singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson – talk over each other with polite excitement and the type of easy comfort that comes with having been performing and writing with one another for nearly 15 years straight.

"It's kind of crazy how adult we've become," Barakat reflects. Between tours, the members have each found time to move away from the suburb of Towson, Maryland, where they grew up; currently, the four are spread between Hawaii, Los Angeles and Baltimore. With brief brushes of tabloid fame behind them – Barakat was most famously linked to Playmate Holly Madison and actress Abigail Breslin – the rockers are beginning to settle down. Gaskarth married his longtime girlfriend Lisa Ruocco last spring, while Dawson proposed to country singer Cassadee Pope earlier this year.
Even as they approach 30 and launch new families of their own, the experience of spending their twenties in the limelight makes the band feel as if they're stuck in a "maturity purgatory," as Barakat describes it.
"You're thrown into situations at a young age that people that age usually aren't exposed to," Gaskarth explains. "So on that hand, it kind of matures you, sometimes before you're ready for it. At the same time, as you get older, there's less expectation for you to act mature. So you get stuck in this limbo between growing up and not having the same kinds of responsibilities as people who don't live life on the road."

All Time Low's maturity purgatory comes with some perks: They can release their most "serious" album yet and still relish every minute of pre-release anticipation. Bowling against one another allows them to indulge in a bit of the harmless chaos that made them stand out in the first place. They pose obscenely, rib each other lovingly, and even though they're keeping tabs on the scores, they prioritize having a good time over actually winning (though, for the record, Merrick, the band's quiet jock, racks up the night's highest score).

When it comes to sales, too, numbers aren't everything to the band. Though, for the record, their previous album – 2015's Future Hearts – debuted at a career-high Number Two, while Last Young Renegade marked their fifth Top 10 debut, a hot streak for any artist.
"The chart stuff is great, but we don't rest everything on it," Dawson says. "We care more about the career span, so to think about one day as a make-or-break, or anything like that, would be silly for us."
"But I still think about it every day," Barakat jokes.
"We're not gonna be the people at the Oscars that are like, 'Oh, no, we don't care about these awards at all,'" Dawson adds.
"Oh, we want those awards," Barakat chimes in again.
"We'll take an Oscar," says Gaskarth as the group erupts in laughter.
"An Oscar ... can we?" Barakat offers innocently.

In the mid-aughts, All Time Low were part of a boom of young pop-punk bands becoming boy-band-level icons for even younger listeners in search of equal parts angst and irreverence following the success of Fall Out Boy. With So Wrong, ATL provided exactly that: Two of the most popular songs from the album are a tune about a stripper ("Dear Maria, Count Me In") and a moving breakup power ballad ("Remembering Sunday").

Onstage, the band was rambunctious, mimicking the lovable immaturity of their heroes Blink-182 by making dick jokes, climbing up to theater balconies and displaying bras on their microphone stands. Their combination of confidence and cluelessness made them both awe-inspiring and relatable to the even younger kids moshing in the pit. At first, the naughty banter was a defense mechanism for a young band that feared an empty room as much as they did a sold-out one.

"When there's 25 people at a VFW hall and only three of them are there because they like you and the sound is terrible and the songs aren't that great, you have to figure out ways to get people to look you up later on MySpace or PureVolume," Gaskarth says of their early stage style. As crowds grew and they began to expand outside of the United States, the naughty-joke mentality aided them more than ever when they would play in front of "30,000 Rammstein fans" at European festivals. "It's like, 'OK, what can we do besides play our show that will maybe have these guys be like, "This band isn't that bad"?'" Dawson continues.
In the time since that magical pop-punk renaissance from which All Time Low emerged, most of their contemporaries have broken up, reconfigured or moved on entirely. All Time Low, on the other hand, have only gotten bigger.
As the band gets older, their fans remain the same age, with hordes of teenagers filling out theaters around the world. New rock overall has become increasingly less prevalent on radio and the charts, though young pop-punk acts still generate buzz and cult followings. Many of the new generation of young, spunky rock acts – such as 5 Seconds of Summer, SWMRS and Waterparks – cite All Time Low as their biggest influence.
"I'm not just saying this to sound nice, but we're never going to get used to people saying they started a band because of us," Dawson says. "Whether it's a high school kid or a 30-year-old saying Jack inspired them to play guitar or whatever it is, it doesn't quite feel real."
"You know that never happened, Rian, but thank you for making me feel good," Barakat jokes.

For Last Young Renegade, All Time Low have settled into their version of adulthood. Off Hopeless again, they've joined Fueled by Ramen, a label with a roster that resembles an Avengers-style lineup of mid-2000s rock mainstays who can still fill arenas and top the charts, like Paramore and Panic! At the Disco. Much like those two bands, ATL have found a way to broaden their sound without jeopardizing what has made them so appealing to young listeners for more than a decade. A bit darker than their past work, the quartet's seventh LP sounds like one of their most carefully curated statements yet. Gaskarth's writing and singing are at the sharpest of his career, and the songs overflow with big pop hooks. His personal improvement is a product of years of heavy touring and and a tight album-release schedule, with the band having issued new LPs every other year since 2005.
"We kind of know what we're doing now," the singer says with a laugh. Recalling the sessions for So Wrong, Gaskarth notes how songs often arose out of random moments and spurts of inspiration. Matt Squire, who produced So Wrong, would refuse to let the singer back into the studio until he had lyrics to go with the sketchy instrumental arrangements that would come out of their spur-of-the-moment sessions. Now, the band has more focus and vision than ever before.
"It would be unfair to ourselves and unfair to our fans to not push ourselves to try and change and do things that people wouldn't expect and haven't heard before," Gaskarth continues. "Sometimes the easy road is to keep repeating the pattern."
Touring with bands like Green Day and Thirty Seconds to Mars inspired All Time Low to pursue more of an atmosphere they can reflect in a live show. For the mood of Last Young Renegade, they looked back to move forward: Instead of reverting to the youthful, party-centric vibe of their early releases, the band reflected on their lives and careers as well as the road they took to get to this point. The concept of nostalgia weighed heavily on the band while writing their new material. Gaskarth dug even deeper into his history and cites pre-band childhood memories – watching Ghostbusters and John Hughes movies, for example – as just some of the early moments from his life he used as inspiration.
"A lot of it became about that vintage feel of ," he notes. "I thought that would be a cool way to present that emotion musically and sonically, so what we ended up doing was go back and find these analog synths and weird pedals that we dug out of strange equipment rental spaces."

A year of major musical losses also served as inspiration. The band went back to listening to Prince, David Bowie and George Michael and studied the sounds and qualities that made those artists such icons both in and beyond their time. "We'd key in on a sound or a pad and just a tone and try to take that and pop it in and see what happened," Gaskarth explains. "It ended up transforming all the songs into what we ended up with on the record."

All four members of the band knew that fans would likely be shocked when they heard new singles like the sobering "Dirty Laundry." All Time Low came of age when social media was still nascent, and have been quicker to adapt to the changing ways musicians can interact with their fans than most artists who weren't necessarily raised on the Internet. So when the song was released, they kept a close watch over the online response.
"I remember seeing a comment that was along the lines of, 'Ah, I'm not sure if I like the song, but that last chorus is great,'" Gaskarth recalls. "In my head I was like, 'That's the part that feels familiar.' When it gets big and goes loud, that's what feels like All Time Low from 10 years ago. That was safe."
Gaskarth has continued to keep tabs on what fans write about them on Twitter and other platforms and claims that the same person tweeted him a few days later to say that the song had grown on them.
"I've been like that with bands, though," Barakat admits. "Even with the new Paramore, at first I was like, 'Ah, I don't get this.' Then a couple listens in, I'm like, 'Alright, this is fucking catchy.' It sometimes just takes a second to comprehend."

Dawson cites his initial disdain for Green Day's slowed-down Warning, and all recall being taken aback by Blink-182's contemplative self-titled 2003 LP, each being thrown off by their favorite pop-punk legends easing into adulthood without a fight. Eventually, all have come around to those two albums with time.
"It's really important to have those moments where you kind of take the fan base and shake it." –Alex Gaskarth
"I think the biggest thing when talking about Last Young Renegade is that we wanted to present something fresh," Gaskarth returns. "I don't want this band to stop, and I think if we went the safe road and kept making album one and album two over again, it would peter out. It's really important to have those moments where you kind of take the fan base and shake it."

Appropriately, All Time Low found camaraderie with a similarly cult-favorite band that has taken huge creative risks in recent years. Tegan and Sara are Last Young Renegade's sole guest stars, appearing on the synth-y, atmospheric "Ground Control." The track is one of the more blatantly Eighties-inspired moments on the album, a reflection of Tegan and Sara's own foray into big-hook synth-pop with 2013's Heartthrob. Both acts felt a mutual admiration, and their collaboration yielded a delicate, melodic feel unlike anything All Time Low had pursued before.
"It's nice because that chorus is all three of us singing," Gaskarth says of his harmony with Tegan and Sara. "We've never done anything like that as a band, so it was fun."
"Ground Control" is Last Young Renegade's penultimate track, followed immediately by what the band describes as their "best impression of Phil Collins," the slow-burning "Afterglow." Instead of building toward familiarity, like on "Dirty Laundry," here the band strips away any trace of the uptempo pop-punk that made them famous.
"It leaves you with that cliffhanger of 'Well, what's the next movie going to be like?'" Gaskarth says of "Afterglow," claiming it as one of the band's most John Hughes–ian moments. "You wanna end on him with a boom box over his head. Or they're all walking down the hall, and he throws his fist in the air."

The band takes a moment to riff on this idea, and suddenly a character named Johnny is walking down the hallway of a school in a made-up film before a final-scene freeze frame. Barakat, in his best movie-trailer-voiceover impression, closes out their goofy, brief interlude:
"And Johnny was never seen again. ..."


Posted by Moe on 21 Jun 2017


Chugg Entertainment: Waxing Lyrical



When All Time Low were in Australia, they met with Chugg Entertainment to share a few of their favourite things about the music industry and their trip to Australia. Watch the video below.




Posted by Moe on 13 Jun 2017


Last Young Renegade track by track



For the past few days, Alex has posted the meaning behind each of the songs on Last Young Renegade. Read the track by track analysis below.
Last Young Renegade
I remember digging through demos in the studio and coming across Last Young Renegade after some time away from it. Reworked / retracked...Crazy that it became a cornerstone of the album, and that it acted as one of the major conceptual drivers from then on. I remember the pulsing synth felt so visual to me. It took me to a certain place, and helped shape the aesthetic of the videos.

Drugs & Candy
The story of the album in a lot of ways is about not being able to let go and learning to realize when enough is enough. This song really speaks to that. At the end of the day, it's about toxic relationships and toxic situations that feel good in the moment and feel right, but ultimately are causing way more harm than good. Since this is so early in the record, it really sets up where the character is at the beginning of the album. It speaks to the fact that they're falling and it's going to take quite some time to dig themselves out.

Dirty Laundry
This song is a proud moment for us, a song written in the company of friends, torn apart and stitched back together several times over like all the best relationships... It's about leaving the past where it belongs, and loving the people around you for not only their light, but their darkness too.

Good Times
The first song we wrote for the record, it was the perfect cornerstone in the big picture. This song inspired the mood and tone of the entire album. We knew with the combination of guitars, rhythm and textural synths on Good Times, that we'd have the perfect backbone to build upon. It's about moving on and letting go, acknowledging you're ready to take an uncertain next step. You're looking fondly back at where you've been, knowing it's time to go somewhere new. There's something both exciting and terrifying about standing at the edge of a necessary unknown.

Nice2KnoU
This one's for the dance halls, the dive bars and the 100 kids we used to play for at the Ottobar every other weekend. It's a tribute to our roots and the history of a band that comes up in small-town with a die-hard group of friends who all want something greater. It's an ode to the late nights, filling up the van with half a tank of gas so we could leave for the next show before someone got jumped in the wrong part of town-- Getting into Tampa at 3am and crashing on someone's floor, saying thanks with a 30 of Coors Light and never seeing that face again. This is a dedication to all the places we've been that made us who we are today, the sea of sweaty hands that raised us up in low-lit clubs across America on our first tours, and all the people we owe these stories to.

Life Of The Party
An anthem for a million hazy, wasted, restless nights; melancholy undertones full of waking regret and clumsy self-indulgence. It speaks to the part of who we are that always wants to please, trying to live up to the expectations of the spotlight pointed back at us. We try so hard to become what we think the world wants that sometimes we lose touch with who we really are.

Nightmares
I imagined a conversation with my childhood self, how revealing it might be, and what I might learn about my fears then vs. now. We outgrow many of our fears, but some never change, and I think that's a very interesting piece of the human psyche, how we don't always overcome, but learn to do a better job of filing away. For so many years I had been carrying around unwanted baggage. I'd been doing such a good job of pushing things off to one side, rather than dealing with them head on, that all these issues would pile up and become overbearing. This song is a culmination of those emotions coming to a head, and I think it really helped me to visualize some of the skeletons in my closet that I needed to let go for good. Melodically I wanted to be adventurous, go to unexpected places from verse to pre-chorus, and pre-chorus to chorus... This song is always teetering on the edge of it's next part, and I think that somewhat anxious, anticipatory movement goes hand in hand with the theme of the lyrics.

Dark Side Of Your Room
A lot of time went into writing songs that would feel anthemic live. We knew the energy of this song would carry a good story, which became a reflection of heartbreak and lost causes. This song really leant itself to that notion, an anthem for the used and bruised, the other side of the coin that Drugs and Candy flipped. Every story here is a piece of my past, and this one is about being the butt of the joke in a time and a place I wasn't ready for. Sometimes we chase people down roads we know we shouldn't go down and wind up lost. For me, the lyric, "You made a fool of my heart," is the most prominent in this song. It's a reflection of genuine naivety, when a leap of faith becomes a hard fall.

Ground Control
It is one of the most optimistic, hopeful songs I think I've ever written. The song came together because of an idea Phoebe Ryan had been working on with producer Mike Green. They had sort of hit a wall with it, and I had a chance to do some rearranging and more writing to see if we could make sense of it all. The end result, to me, is a song about finding yourself when you're completely adrift, completely lost, and that love can transcend all notions of time and distance. I think that love and compassion is a universal constant, and can be a life-line to hold onto when you're feeling empty and alone. Love and compassion pulls us back from the brink. Tegan and Sara jumped on board to record their parts, and the end result is a song that I think will be an extremely important one in the lifetime of All Time Low, a glimmer of hope in a dark sky.

Afterglow
It was the last song we wrote for the record. We did it really last minute. We had the record finished and it was sent off to mastering. I was sitting listening to the songs and I just felt like we didn't have a closer. It felt like it didn't end right. We hit the brakes and went back and I wrote one more song. It was an interesting move we made, and I'm glad we did. This is a song that really rounds out the entire album and feels like it gets you to to a place where the story is finished. It was something I was really happy about doing because it accomplished a lot just by going back and revisiting it.


Posted by Moe on 13 Jun 2017


Rock Sound: Video history part 2



Alex and Jack recently talked to Rock Sound to describe a few music videos shot by the band throughout the years.

Watch the videos for A Love Like War, Something's Gotta Give, Missing You, Dirty Laundry, Last Young Renegade and Life Of The Party below.








Posted by Moe on 12 Jun 2017


Rock Sound: Video history part 1



Alex and Jack recently talked to Rock Sound to describe a few music videos shot by the band throughout the years.

Watch the videos for Dear Maria, Count Me In, Weightless, I Feel Like Dancin', For Baltimore and Somewhere In Neverland below.








Posted by Moe on 12 Jun 2017


Diggin' In The Crates With All Time Low



When All Time Low was in Australia, they went to Junction Records Fremantle to pick some of their favourite records and explain why they had such an influence in their lives.

Watch the video below.




Posted by Moe on 10 Jun 2017


Signing at Vintage Vinyl



Two days ago, All Time Low met fans at a Vintage Vinyl signing session in Fords, NJ. The shop posted a video from the band in which you can see the band from 1:53. Watch it below.





A few pictures from the signing session were posted on the shop's website. Check them out in our gallery.





Posted by Moe on 07 Jun 2017


AllTheRageTV: Who Is Most Likely To...



Rian and Alex recently talked to AllTheRageTV and played a game where they had to name who in the band is most likely to do something.

Watch the video below.




Posted by Moe on 07 Jun 2017


MLB: Acoustic performance of Good Times



This afternoon, Alex was on MLB to perform an acoustic version of Good Times. You can watch the video by clicking the picture below.



Posted by Moe on 05 Jun 2017


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