T.S.O.L, the Southern Californian punk pioneers, will finally be touring Australia this August. MORE: EXCLUSIVE: OCEAN …
Hustlers, assemble! Good things are coming, in the form of All Time Low’s appearance at the inaugural fest of the same name (oh, and their sideshow at the Gold Coasts’ Coolangatta Hotel).
Ahead of their return to our shores, Hysteria caught up with frontman Alex Gaskarth to talk touring, new music and moving on from the Last Young Renegade era.
Hysteria: Your return to Australia is just around the corner with your appearance at Good Things and your sideshow, getting excited yet?
Alex: I’m very excited, I was just reflecting on the last time we were over in Australia for our headliner and how amazing that was. We were all so blown away by the reaction and the fact that people were stoked on seeing us. It was an amazing feeling and we all left buzzing, we’ve been waiting to come back ever since. I’m so happy this festival worked out, December is a good time to be playing gigs in Australia so it’s going to be a blast!
Who are you stoked to check out at Good Things?
I love The Offspring, I grew up listening to their music so them, first and foremost. A bunch of our friends are also playing—Waterparks and Tonight Alive. I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the homies.
You’ve recently dropped two new bangers, Birthday and Everything is Fine. Can we expect these or any sneaky new material to be played at the festival?
You can almost guarantee that we’ll be playing those two new songs! They’ve been in our set since their release and they’re two of my favourite songs to play live. It’s very quickly become a very good moment in the show, playing both those songs so there’s no doubt we’ll be trying to get those in. As far as new music though … I don’t know about that, it won’t be the time. Last time we were there, I don’t even think Last Young Renegade was quite out yet, so there are still songs from that album that we’d like to pepper in and finally get to play for people. But we have so many records at this point; it’s always a pretty big effort to get everything in so I’m sure we’ll be covering all the bases (laughs).
I’m writing constantly so we do have little ideas poking around but that’s all part of the process.
[ Alex Gaskarth ]
With so many records under your belt, do you find it really hard to sift through it all and create a setlist?
Yes, it’s probably the biggest point of contention in the band, when we sit down and make a setlist (laughs). The arguments go on for days about what we should and shouldn’t play and how best to get all the songs in. I don’t even know how long our set is for this festival, so hopefully it’ll be long enough to squeeze it all in, if not we’ll be having to play everything at double time.
With the exception of those two new songs, has the band worked on much new material lately?
I’m writing constantly so we do have little ideas poking around but that’s all part of the process. The next step will be getting all four of us to sit down and listen to the little demos I’ve come up with. Then, we can start searching for what we all like and all agree upon as a band so we can come up with a direction and figure out what the next thing will ultimately sound like and where it’s going to sit. That’s always really a fun part of the creative process because that’s really when the gears start turning.
We passed the 10 year anniversary of So Wrong, It’s Right last year; if we’re comparing that record to your newer material, what’s changed about All Time Low since then?
Oh man, we’ve just done so much growing and learning about the record making process and song writing. So Wrong, It’s Right was our first real foray into working with a producer and crafting songs with more of a song writing mentality, before that everything was really raw and unlearned—we were just throwing things out there and seeing what felt good. That still happens now, but I think we’ve definitely honed our craft a little bit and taken a lot of different avenues creatively through the years which is reflected on different albums. I think Last Young Renegade really had its own sound and Future Hearts really had its own sound and so on and so forth. It’s just lots of evolution.
We’ve been lucky that we’ve continued to have a career that can provide. The fact that we’re able to live comfortably and still tour and make music and see the world means that there hasn’t always been a stress on our shoulders.
[ Alex Gaskarth ]
One thing that’s really amazing about All Time Low is how close the members seem after so many years of performing together. How do you maintain such a strong relationship without wanting to tear each other’s hair out?
(Laughs) We’ve been really fortunate. At the end of the day we’ve always just managed to keep our egos off the table and I think that’s been a really big help. No one’s ever gotten too big for their boots and no one’s ever tried to sabotage anyone else. It’s never been like one of those stories you hear of bands falling apart, we’ve just been good about avoiding that and being open and honest and having a great line of communication with each other. We’ve been lucky that we’ve continued to have a career that can provide. The fact that we’re able to live comfortably and still tour and make music and see the world means that there hasn’t always been a stress on our shoulders. We’re lucky that we don’t have to ask what’s next; we just continue to go about our business and have fun doing it. That’s just kept us in a good place and we’ve all remained awesome friends. Like you said, at this point it’s been so long that we’re more like family and family is very important.
Let’s talk about your last record, Last Young Renegade. There’s a shift from your traditional pop punk sound there, what inspired that?
I think what it really was, was just our music tastes evolving. As we listened to different kinds of music we realised that it was time for All Time Low to try wearing some different hats. It’s a bit of a different record; but I don’t necessarily think it’s that far off from some things we have tried as a band already. I think that’s what makes that record really cool and unique, it kind of exists in its own universe and we built all the video content and the imagery to reflect that it was living in its own space. There was almost a time where we talked about just calling the band The Young Renegades instead of All Time Low and doing it as a theme (laughs). We stayed away from that because we thought people would get too confused but nevertheless it really does live in its own world which is really fun to play with.
With the Last Young Renegade days behind you, what’s next for All Time Low?
Well, we’re going to come over and play those shows and that’s going to be rad. But, it’s also been around two years since Last Young Renegade came out so at some point it’s going to be time to start thinking about new music. Once we’ve reset and taken a second to reflect on where All Time Low is now and where the next record might fit in and what that music is going to sound like … once we’ve done a bit of soul searching it’ll be time to get to work on some new tunes.
Catch All Time Low at Good Things Festival this December:
Friday 7 December // Melbourne Showgrounds // Melbourne
Saturday 8 December // Parramatta Park // Sydney
Sunday 9 December // Brisbane Showgrounds // Brisbane
Tuesday 11 December // Coolangatta Hotel // Gold Coast (18+)