Interview with Beat
When All Time Low were in Australia, they talked to Beat to promote their upcoming record Last Young Renegade.
Read the article below.
At this stage in their career, All Time Low could easily take stock and rest, though the longer they’re together, the less complacent they become, frontman Alex Gaskarth says.
“We just get hungrier. I never want to become old hat, I don’t want it to feel easy, I don’t want it to feel dialled in. I want to always feel that there’s a certain danger to what we’re doing.”
With that in mind, new album Last Young Renegade makes a lot of sense. For anyone who’s ever engaged with the effervescent stylings of All Time Low, the sonic mix up on their new album is instantly palpable. With a move towards moodier, electronic sounds, the follow up to 2015’s Future Hearts is the most mature work they’ve created to date, but not a direction they intentionally took from the very start.
“Writing in a way that felt true to us, this is the stuff that came out. That was important too, writing what was natural,” Gaskarth says.
“We’ve always existed within a pretty big box, which we work comfortably in, but in years past there’s been things that have worked, and things that haven’t worked. With this record, now that we have the experience under our belts, we know how to make an album that feels like an All Time Low album to us, but we still want to grow and evolve and push things forward, not just keep making the same album that we’ve made in the past.”
With a consistently growing fanbase, it’s easy to wonder why the band would feel the need to change things up. They're clearly doing something right, the hunger Gaskarth speaks of isn’t necessary to fill their plates.
“If you keep putting out records that feel safe, it’s a great way to engage your core fans, but eventually it gets stale. Whenever we make a record, and especially recently, that’s always the driving force behind it. How can we challenge people, without scaring them off, but how can we push people to grow with us? That was a big component in the record coming out the way it did,” he says.
“It felt like the time was right, and we felt comfortable knowing what we can do and what we can’t do in making the album. There’s always an anxiety, especially when you’re doing something different, getting too far from the source material that people latched onto originally, but I think our fans were ready for something different, something new.” The tone for Last Young Renegade was set after writing what Gaskarth labels as the cornerstone songs of the album: Good Times, Last Young Renegade, and Dirty Laundry.
“This record is so self-contained, it feels like it exists within its own little world. Creating the album that way helped us explore the genre more, rather than cater to places we’ve been in the past,” he says.
“It’s a story about self-actualisation, it feels like it's a story about the fall and then the rise again of this character. It’s them hitting a low point, and then dragging themselves out of it, and being better for it as a result.” Change is never easy, and the shift of the album shows that. Universal in its themes, yet one of the most personal works from the band, dealing with personal reflection and criticism, it was at times a difficult album to write.
“It’s always difficult to get things out there, but one of the reasons for the character and the narrative was to use it as a device to write a little more externally, and project onto something else. It was the way I got myself through it, as far as taking those walls down, and letting things out that I probably wouldn’t have let out otherwise.
“At the end of the day, it’s about me,” Gaskarth says. “It’s self-reflective, it’s self-critical, airing my demons, but I didn’t want it to come off as an ‘oh, poor me’ record because that’s never been what we’re about.”
The more personal tone of the album is reflective of the headspace of the core members. The thread that ties the whole album together is the anguish and self criticism of the central character. Tackling his demons with a frank sincerity, the musician confides his biggest fears.
“Probably people’s over self-confidence versus their extreme anxieties. I think wrestling with those two things, putting on a front, the face people want to see, and expect, and the thing you want to project, versus the thing that you actually are, and how sometimes those two things can interact,” he says.
Finding release in writing is a relatively new experience for Gaskarth.
“In the past it’s always been more about the stage show for me, in terms of a way to let go and vent, it wasn’t so much in the songwriting, but this record was especially cathartic to make. I was letting off steam with a lot of the music, and a lot of the lyric content.”
This shift lines up neatly with the current state of touring for the band. With seven albums worth of material, there is no doubt going to be ebbs and flows to the set. Everybody has their favourite songs, and when so much is changing, it’s a near impossible task to try and please everyone.
“We’re still struggling with it to be honest. It’s something you have to juggle, six albums worth of material, and some of it’s different. Some of it we wrote when we were really young, some of it people need to hear because they’re former singles. It’s a juggling act, touching on everything people want to hear, yet still not getting bored,” Gaskarth says.
“This record absolutely feels like something new and exciting. I listen to it and feel so proud of it, because it’s taken us to a place that I think will open up a lot of doors for us to go down creatively, and move on and evolve the band into something that it’s never been."
The pictures taken for Beat Magazine by Ian Laidlaw are now in our gallery.
x02: Photoshoots > Last Young Renegade Era > 006
Posted by Moe on 31 May 2017
AU review interview
When All Time Low were in Australia, Alex and Rian sat with the AU review to discuss their seventh studio album Last Young Renegade and their Australian fanbase. Watch the videos below.
Posted by Moe on 31 May 2017
All Things Loud interview
When All Time Low performed in Amsterdam in early April, they met with All Things Loud to discuss their upcoming album Last Young Renegade.
Read the article below.
Before we discuss the new record, I want to talk about the transitional period between ending the Future Hearts campaign and kicking off this one. What went down?
Alex: Towards the end of the Future Hearts record cycle we secretly signed a deal with Fueled by Ramen. We were still finishing up some of our contractual obligations to Hopeless Records and rounding up the latter half of that deal.
Jack: And releasing a DVD!
Alex: Yeah, that too. It was a really interesting place to be, because we were finishing one record and putting out some stuff on a label which we weren’t actually signed to anymore by that point. It was great, because the transition was amicable and Hopeless were, and still are, a partner throughout all of it. Fueled by Ramen did a really good job at not pushing us to record an album time-wise, they were great and really on board with what we were doing. We were secretly working on songs while also finishing up the last album cycle, and that’s what kicked off what ended becoming this new record.
So how did the signing to Fueled by Ramen come about?
Alex: It’s the fact that Fueled are one of the labels that we’ve loved forever. They were the first label that we showcased for ever, like thirteen years ago. It didn’t work out back then.
Jack: Yeah. We stayed in contact with them and knew a few of the people who work there. They used to do our merchandising too for a year or so.
Alex: It was a company we’d always loved, so it felt like a good time to try something new. We ended up working that deal out, and it just felt like the right time to make that change.
The record itself is a musical step in a new direction. Did you at any point see this as a logical next step to take, or something that you wanted to explore further down the line?
Alex: I don’t think it was that specific to be honest. We started writing songs and ended up writing a lot of music for this record, and it started taking shape towards the end of the process. That’s when we knew it was going to take on this new aesthetic and employ this new feel. A big part of it was that we’d, at the time, been reflecting on a lot of our older music. At the same time, a few of my favourite artists passed away, Bowie and Prince for example. I ended up going and listening to a lot of their back catalogue and remembering what made them so iconic and great. I took part of that away, and we talked about how we could pepper the record with some older, more vintage sounds.
Jack: It wasn’t until afterwards that the songs we’d written took on more of an electronic feel. A lot of the songs were written in a certain way and they all took on their own identity.
Alex: At the end we just pulled it all together. One of the biggest things was that we had a few songs which became real cornerstones of the album, and they basically set the tone for the rest of the record. After that we wrote everything else in such a way that it could create this new, very visual album.
Did the songwriting process differ greatly from, say, Future Hearts or any previous record?
Alex: It didn’t, to be honest. We wrote in the same way as we always write, but this time round we wanted to try out new things. The biggest thing at this point in our band is that we’ve been doing it for fourteen years, and so we had to ask ourselves how we would keep things fresh without completely diverging from what we consistently do. A big part of it was thinking about our live show and how that’s getting much bigger, and figuring out what kinds of songs we were really lacking in the sets. We all felt that there weren’t enough moodier songs and that we could create some more ambience in the set. A real vibe might have been missing from our catalogue. All Time Low has always been a high-energy type of rock band, and that’s great. We love doing that, but there’s another side to us which we wanted to explore.
Jack: We’ve kind of explored it in the past on maybe one or two songs per album, but that was it.
Alex: Those songs were the outliers, and this time round we wanted to make that the emphasis of the album. We wanted to make an album built around those songs.
Jack: Yeah! For example an older song like No Idea, or even Too Much.
Alex: We’d always wanted to go there, but we never took the time to really explore it.
The lyrical content on the album centres on certain characters. Are these fictional or is there a personal link in and amongst it all?
Alex: I think what ended up happening is that the idea of this character, the Last Young Renegade, kind of became an embodiment or device for me to write very personally or about things close to me that I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable writing about openly, if that makes sense? By giving these issues and stories a character to base them around, it let me write a lot more freely. That device became really cool as a way to approach writing our songs.
Would you call it a concept record?
Alex: I mean, it’s tricky because I don’t think it’s a concept record in a way that bands like Coheed & Cambria do it.
Jack: Which is one story the whole way through!
Alex: Yeah. I don’t think it’s that elaborate, but there definitely is a thread that connects all the songs, as well as a noticeable story arc if you listen to the album from front to back. It’s about this character who starts on top, then falls and has to come back and pull himself back up.
So how will you go about translating these songs into a live setting, particularly alongside your high-energy previous work?
Alex: I think one of the great things is that none of the stuff we’ve put out before is going anywhere, so it’s how we fit the new stuff in.
Jack: It’s definitely made it tricky for us to sequence the setlist, and it’s also difficult for the production. The vibe and the lights, for example. We have a really close relationship with Jeff, who’s done our lights for years, and he’s very much on the same page about how we want the songs to feel live.
Alex: Creating these ebbs and flows is cool. We give people the high-energy songs that they’re used to, and then we juxtapose that with the newer, more vibe-y stuff. For people that haven’t heard the record, I’d still say that there are plenty of great energetic moments.
I also just want to focus on the art direction. It’s very visual from what I can gather, so how do you plan on further conceptualizing that with, for example, videos?
Alex: That’s just it! There’s a guy called Sam Spratt who did the album artwork, and he’s incredible. After one long phone conversation about the themes of the record he took it and delivered an absolutely insane sketch within a couple of hours. It was so close to what the final product was.
Jack: It was so crazy! If you go to his Twitter you’ll see his original sketch and see how close it was to the final artwork. There were only a few minor tweaks.
Alex: It’s really impressive, so he really brought that and the character to life. From there, the music videos are all interconnected and very much story-driven. It’s been a really fun thing to do, and it’s something we’ve never really done before. There’s more to come!
Jack: They also have a very visual vibe overall, a particular style which we chose on purpose because we love it.
Alex: This record feels really visual to me, and I feel like it takes to me a place where I see very specific things. We’ve been trying to capture that with all of the videos.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017 then?
Alex: A lot of touring! I think we’re going to be on the road quite a bit and getting this record out.
What you’ve done now for a couple of cycles is tour before the album itself actually comes out, and then not do so after you’ve released it.
Alex: You’re right, and I really regret it.
Jack: On this current tour the setlist is very much centred on songs from Future Hearts simply for that reason. There are songs like Missing You which we never got to play here for headline shows.
Alex: We’re definitely putting a lot more emphasis on the last record this time round. I definitely think we’re going to get this record out and then do a proper tour later this year.
Tonight’s show is relatively small (the Melkweg in Amsterdam), but from what I’ve heard thus far this album is definitely made for bigger stages. Is that something you consciously went for?
Alex: Yeah! I think part of it was a product of the fact that we started playing our biggest shows ever last year. We were doing arenas and grander set-ups, and that definitely became something that we thought about when working on Last Young Renegade. We asked ourselves how we’d go about making songs which translate to these much bigger venues.
Posted by Moe on 29 May 2017
CBBC: All Time Low's dirty laundry
CBBC posted a video of All Time Low revealing their secrets by answering questions hidden in dirty laundry. You can watch it below.
Posted by Moe on 27 May 2017
Fuse: Which pop-punk band are you?
Fuse recently made All Time Low take their quiz Which pop-punk band are you? in front of a camera and the answer is not what we might expect. Watch the video below.
Take the quiz here.
Posted by Moe on 27 May 2017
All Time Low at Summer Sonic
It was announced this week that All Time Low will be back in Japan in August for the festival Summer Sonic along with bands like Foo Fighters and Sum 41.
Today, the festival posted a video of Alex inviting their Japanese fans to come to their set. Watch it and find more details on the dates they are performing below.
19 August 2017: Summer Sonic - Osaka-Shi, Japan
20 August 2017: Summer Sonic - Tokyo, Japan
Get your tickets
Posted by Moe on 26 May 2017
Loud Mag interview
Before leaving Australia, Alex talked to the webzine Loud Mag to explain the concept behind Last Young Renegade and talk about the success of their Australian tour.
Read the article below.
Thanks Alex. It’s a little strange doing an interview with a band at the end of their tour instead of a few months before! How has the tour been?
It’s been incredible, it really has. It’s the first time we’ve come over and headlined for quite a few years. The last few times we’ve come over it’s been with Soundwave or something like that, so this is the first time it’s been our show. We’ve been playing to more people than we’ve ever played for headlining, so it’s great to see that people care all the way over here in Australia, halfway across the world. We had one of those epiphany moments coming off stage after the show. I pulled Rian aside and said, ‘Isn’t it fucking crazy? We just played to 4000 people a long, long way from where we grew up’. People care, and that’s a good feeling.
Seeing that so many people do care and playing to crowds must make all the effort you put into your music worth it. There’s a lot of stress and a lot of time and a lot of sweat and tears, and sometimes blood, that goes into making records. Because we want it to be good, we want it to be right and we want people to enjoy it. When you finally get around to putting out songs and then you get to come over and see that pay off, it does make it all worth it.
What can fans expect from the new album?
There’s three songs out already, with a fourth one on the way. We’re just sort of slow-rolling it because the record’s a story and it details the trials and tribulations of this character. So we wanted to roll out the record in a certain way and it’s been cool because of that slow release, we’ve been releasing songs that are kind of different right up front to kind of gauge the reaction to see how people are getting into. What’s been great is that people seem to be getting into it and getting onboard the trip we’re trying to take them on. It’s been good. Now that we’re fast approaching June, with the release of the rest of the songs I think it will explain itself at that point.
Artists write for themselves obviously and you tell these stories because you want to tell them, but do you worry that your fans won’t come along with you when you experiment like this?
Sure. There was some anxiety about it. But we’ve always had that anxiety going in to every record no matter what. Whether it’s something different or whether it’s something very similar to what we’ve put out last time, it’s that feeling of dread before it comes out. It’s a common one. You put a lot of time and effort into making something you love and you just hope are along for the ride. This has been a really cool time, getting the songs out and seeing people get attached to them and come sing them at shows. It’s very very gratifying after a year and a half of making the record.
You must have realised you were onto something when the songs worked so well live so soon.
Yeah, that’s been an interesting part of it, because this record is a little bit different for us and we’re exploring some sounds and themes and tones that I don’t think we have in the past. So introducing that into the live show and how you fit those into the back catalogue, creating those ebbs and flows, fitting it into the show and making it all gel, has been a really cool new challenge, but it’s improved as a artists and musicians because we’ve had to go out there and make it work. One of the big things is, it’s important in music not to become complacent and comfortable. If you’re not challenging yourself and your listeners, you’re kind of just making decorations. You’re not making art. So that’s been a big component of it, to try and improve and grow.
What’s the basic story behind Last Young Renegade?
It’s a story of self-discovery and self-actualisation through facing up to your demons. It’s a record that comes from the heart in a lot of ways. It’s very internal. It’s stories about things that we’ve gone through and dealt with and struggled with and had to come to terms with as we’ve gone through our twenties. We’re all in our late twenties now, and a lot of our formative years have been spent in this band, on tour, on the road together. A lot of that is in there in the subtext of the record. We wanted to create this character, the Last Renegade, to allow people to relate to it a bit more and to kind of apply it to themselves. It’s one thing for people to be able to relate to things I’m singing about if they’re not me, but this allow it to go to a little more of a universal place. Which is a really interesting thing. We’ve never done anything like that before.
You said it took a year and a half. It seems like a long time – was it a difficult period?
I say and year and a half, but that’s kind of all in. That’s from me starting to write ideas through to the record getting mastered. The actual time spent in the studio recording the songs was probably about two months in 2016. I did start writing songs for this in late 2015-ish, going in to 2016. Just for fun, but some of those songs we started writing all the way back then ended up being the cornerstones and the basis for where this record was going. Once we had a good handful we started filling in the blanks. It was an awesome process. It wasn’t long or painstaking. We worked with a lot of friends. The two guys who produced this record, Blake Harnage and Colin Brittain are two very good friends of ours and it was almost like we were self-producing in a lot of ways. It was very genuine and pure, which is a really good way to spend the time making this record.
I guess it’s a bit early to ask you about this now as Last Young Renegade isn’t even out yet, but do you think about where All Time Low may go from here? Do you have ideas about which direction the band is going to go in or do you think about that from cycle to cycle?
We’ve always got ideas, but as you said it’s pretty early now. We’re so deep in this thing that it could continue on this path very easily or in a year from now maybe we want to 180 and do something completely different. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. What I will say is that know what we know now, and being in this band for so long, we know what works for All Time Low and we know what we can get away with and what we can’t. So it’s really kind of about exploring within that space. Fortunately our fans are incredible to us and they give us a lot of room to work with so I feel like our lane is pretty big. We do our best to keep it new and fresh and exciting for them.
Going back to what we mentioned before about not necessarily keeping the fans happy but making sure they come along with you, you do have that obligation as well.
Yeah, there’s definitely an obligation to try and please as many people as we can, otherwise we wouldn’t be a very good band! It’s always keeping that in mind. As I said before, it’s important that we stay focused on what feels like great All Time Low songs for us and then where we take it stylistically from there is sort of the icing on the cake. In terms of this new record, we went for these very textural, wide-sounding songs, a lot of ear candy, guitar pedals we’ve never used before, things like that. We’ve kind of made a nice driving record, but it’s a headphone record too. You want to sit with it and dive in a few times and hear everything that’s going on. It’s that sort of thing. Honing in on that keeps it interesting for people.
It’s great to be taking that extra effort because a lot of music seems to just be really disposable and quickly forgotten. Is it going to be remembered in 15 years?
That’s always the interesting thing about music, and it poses a very interesting philosophical question. Chart music has always been interesting in a sense that only time will tell. What feels great in a moment in an era might be forgotten about, and sometimes things become timeless. It’s not always clear what separates those two things, because there’s tons of good songs. It’s interesting and it’s hard to know, but I think what it comes down to is writing genuine music and writing honest music, and that’s what we’ve decided to roll with. When we keep it honest to ourselves, that’s how people become attached to it. Hopefully it’s something that has staying power.
Posted by Moe on 25 May 2017
Alternative Press cover
All Time Low will be on the cover of the upcoming issue of Alternative Press. In the interview, they talk about their career and their future goals. Read a short summary written by the magazine below.
You can pre order bundles on this link.
Thirteen years and seven albums in, these wiseguys have carved their space in pop-punk history. That’s why we’ve dedicated this month’s cover to exploring their storied past, as well as what their ride to the next level will bring. From making the party scene to achieving young renegade status, everything you need to know about ATL lies inside.
A few shots from the magazine's photoshoot as well as the cover were added in the gallery. They were taken by Grizzlee Martin.
Posted by Moe on 24 May 2017
Young Renegades Tour: European leg
Today, All Time Low have announced a new European tour as part of their Young Renegades World Tour. They will come to many Western European countries between 6th October and 20th October.
Check out the details below.
6 October 2017: Sentrum Scene - Oslo, Norway
7 October 2017: Arenan Fryshuset - Stockholm, Sweden
8 October 2017: Vega - Copenhagen, Denmark
9 October 2017: Grosse Freiheit - Hamburg, Germany
10 October 2017: Huxleys - Berlin, Germany
12 October 2017: Palladium - Cologne, Germany
13 October 2017: AFAS Live - Amsterdam, Netherlands
14 October 2017: Batschkapp - Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
15 October 2017: Backstage Werk - Munich, Germany
16 October 2017: Estragon - Bologna, Italy
18 October 2017: Bikini - Toulouse, France
19 October 2017: Razzmatazz 1 - Barcelona, Spain
20 October 2017: Palacio Vistalegre - Madrid, Spain
Posted by Moe on 22 May 2017
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