Interview with Asking Alexandria
I really think a new wave of the “British Invasion” per say has happened this year and luckily I’ve had the chance to talk to many of the groups making the jump to this side of the pond. Be it the love song singing and dancing boys in JLS to the alternative punk rockers in You Me At Six to the smooth music boys in Alberta Cross to this next band with Asking Alexandria.
They may not be of the most typical music style but their sometimes dirty stage presence (during their set they have a backdrop screen that reads from slut to whore) and their screaming vocals can rock a crowd like no other. Recently I got the chance to catch up with Sam from the quickest moving band really in the scene right now during their first headlining tour of the US. Right after the tour which was on one of its’ last few dates when we caught up with him, they were going into the studio to work on their second record and about to headline the famous Thrash and Burn tour. We talked about all of that during the interview along with learning a little bit more about their interesting writing process and some of the crazier moments they’ve had so far touring!
Artist: Asking Alexandria
Title: Stand Up and Scream
Release date: 09/15/09
Label: Sumerian Records
Sumerian Records official website
Buy at: Amazon
A little soft one to start but if you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be?
Dream bands? Well if I’m speaking on behalf of the whole band, a few of us would want to tour with a few different bands. I know that Danny would like to tour with like Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue and stuff where as James and Cam would like to go for like the heavier side like Parkway Drive in Australia. I’d personally like to tour with A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon all in three different countries. Obviously in America with A Day To Remember, UK with Bring Me The Horizon and Australia with Parkway Drive. For me, that would be awesome.
Then another silly one before we get into it. If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would they be and what do you think the material would be about that came out of it?
Well, Our Last Night personally are my favorite band musically we’ve ever toured with. They’re so talented. It just seems like whatever they do like their new album is just amazing and after hearing that, I like had never heard of them before. When I saw them live, they were insane. I would like to do it with them just because anything we could do would be awesome.
Then this is your first headlining tour?
In the US.
Wow, then there’s only a handful of dates left after this one. You got moved to the larger room for this date, lots of sold out shows. How have the shows been going?
Yeah it’s almost done. We got three shows left but like 99% of the tour’s been sold out apart from maybe one or two venues I think just because they’ve been huge, huge venues but like we had no idea it was going to go this far. It’s gone beyond all of our expectations so far and more. It’s amazing. We never thought we would be drawing this many kids at the Palladium. Last time we played here, we played upstairs and that was packed but we kind of went and looked at the big room when we were playing the little room and we were like ‘oh god! One day we’re going to be playing that massive room!’ To see how many kids have come out is amazing.
And you were going to be in that room and got moved due to demand!
Yeah! We were originally going to be in that little room so when we got told we were going to be in the big room we were like oh man I hope we fill it. I hope we fill it because it’s massive.
Oh you’re going to!
Then you’re co headlining Crash and Burn-
Actually we got bumped up to headlining now and then it’s Born of Osiris because we were going to be co-headlining but we got bumped up to headlining. We still like have quite a lot of things where it will still be co headlining. Like in terms of stage, they still get the same treatment but we just got bumped up. That’s going to be insane! There’s some really heavy bands and it’s going to be quite interesting to see how that goes but I’m really excited because of the big tour and all the cool bands on it. Like we’ve toured with Evergreen Terrace before and the Born of Osiris guys are really cool. We’ve toured with Motionless in White before. The guys in Greeley Estates are cool. I know James and Cameron really like Stick To Your Guns and Chelsea Grin. That’s going to be cool to meet those guys.
Pretty great lineup and I know that you’re working on your second record. How is the writing process going? Is it different from the first?
We went to the UK earlier on this year where we were at home literally in the middle of nowhere in a cottage and we wrote the majority there already so we got a head start on it this whole year. Hopefully when we record it, we could tweak it to make it what we want to be, make sure we have enough time in the writing process to change. We might want to before it’s too late in the last two months because we literally like, for ‘Stand Up and Scream’ we had not much time to write a good thought out album. We got told when we were in the studio, we did it in like a few months and we had to write the rest of the album so we made sure we got a lot done to make it the best we could.
We’ve already wrote most of it. We’re going into the studio in August and September this year to record and I’m really excited because it’s heavier, catchier, everything. It’s crazy.
Then how do you normally go about the writing process? Is it one person, more collective?
It’s funny because what we all kind of treat it as like a chill out. When we’re in England, we all went to James’ cottage in the middle of nowhere so we went there and there were no distractions, lots and lots of alcohol. Seriously, there was so many crates of beer there and liquor. We, for the majority of it, didn’t really write much of the album but for us it just seemed like we just have a good time really in the writing process. It just tends to come out more. Like when we sit down and we try to write songs, it doesn’t come out quite as well as it does when we’re not fully sober and having a good time. So we kind of just see it as all five of us get together, just us five and just have a good time, see if we can jam out some stuff and it’s usually written out on a computer and we’ve got some guitars and lots of alcohol.
Like you said this new record’s a bit crazier then the first. What can fans look forward to from this one?
Our sounds’ kind of completely different because we’ve got like obviously European trance with all the heavy stuff and catchy choruses. I mean I think that’s why we’ve got the fans we have because we’re a little bit different so we don’t want to change too much when it comes to that. Like we’ve kept the trance but we’ve made it heavier I think. Well I know we’ve made it heavier but like for the people who like the sing along choruses, we’ve kept those and just made them even catchier. We’ve had more time just to work on them as well so we’ve matured a lot more I think for this next album.
A few easy ones to end it off. You guys obviously have a lot of crazy experiences on the road, obviously some not so clean. Maybe what’s one of the cleaner ones?
I don’t know, well we just played Canada and that was pretty crazy. We played Toronto, that was insane because not all of us are twenty one in the band. I’m nineteen so when we come to America I can’t drink because it’s twenty one but when we went to Toronto we could all drink together, we could go to the bars and stuff just got insane. We just a couple days ago, we must have had like thirty people in this little RV we’ve got here and just had tunes blasting. It was like another gig like we had a little rave in here. Things got broken, smashed and stuff, it was just insane. We like to party and stuff. I think half the band like Danny and Ben and James, they really like to go crazy and we just like to party and meet new people on the road and just have a good time. Make friends!
If you weren’t in music, what do you think you would be doing?
Me personally I’ve no idea. I was working in a shop selling phones. I was a salesman so I could probably see myself doing that but I wouldn’t like to do that. I don’t know, I think I’d always like to be in the music industry some how. I think the rest of the guys would as well. I don’t think they could see themselves doing anything else. We’ve literally come out of college to do this so we’ve not really, for the majority, done anything else but this. I know for like James and Danny and Ben, they all just want to stay in the music industry. I mean I would too but who knows? We’re all young and have a lot to go.
Then last two. What was the first show you went to as a kid and the first record you bought as embarrassing as it may be?
Well the first CD I ever bought for me was probably a Prodigy CD. That was pretty funny, I’ve got an older brother and he listened to them a lot. I really think that was one of the first CD’s I ever listened to. It’s quite funny listening to like “Smack the Bitch off” when I was like five or six. It’s quite funny. It’s weird but we all listened to trance and stuff like that when we were younger.
Then, I used to go to local shows at home. Like my brother, he used to be in a band and so I used to go see him when I was really little, like really really young. Just like old English traditional punk shows really.
"Stand Up and Scream" by Asking Alexandria - release date: 09/15/09..