"We're at a point where we could do pretty much anything we want with this next record" – hmv.com talks to All Time Low
After a bumpy 2011 which saw them leave their major label deal just one album in and return to their former home on indie label Hopeless, pop-punkers All Time Low turned things around with 2012's Don't Panic, an album so successful they released it twice, with a new edition titled Don't Panic: It's Longer Now (which you can preview on the right hand side of the page) dropping toward the end of 2013.
They're back in the UK next month for a short UK tour and we caught up with singer Alex Gaskarth to talk about their plans for the follow-up to Don't Panic and why he doesn't want to sign anymore scrotums…
What have you been up to for the last couple of months then?
"We've been laying low for the past four months. It was a pretty long tour so we've needed a break. We've used a little of that time off to start writing again, just here and there."
You toured very hard in support of Don't Panic, you were definitely due a break..
"Yeah, for sure, we went all over the world, we were really proud of that record so we wanted to take it everywhere we could."
You've got a few dates here next month, is that just to finish off the album cycle?
"It's a bit of a last hooray yeah, we'll be properly done after that, it'll be the last tour we do for a good while."
You re-issued the album as Don't Panic: It's Longer Now late last year with tracks that you've not had the chance to play live in the UK yet, will you be focusing on them?
"We are, I don't like to be too specific about set lists, but we have made sure we covered a lot of those newer tracks as well as all our other records."
Is this the record you've enjoyed touring the most?
"I don't know really, we've always had a great time when we play live, I've loved playing these new songs for sure."
Don't Panic was a real success, when you come to make your new album, will you want to keep going in the same direction when it comes to writing?
"I'm not sure. We never set out to make the same record twice and I feel like we're at a point where we could do pretty much anything we want with this next record, so I don't think we'll go with any particular mindset."
You worked with one producer for the duration last time, whereas on Dirty Work you worked with lots of different producers, will you want to go one with one producer again?
"I honestly don't know, I couldn't say how we're going to approach it, it'll really depend on the songs and what we think they need."
So is this tour it for now? Or will there be so one-off dates over the summer?
"As of right now I think we'll be done after this tour and be focused on writing. But if something amazing were to come up, we'd think about it. All those festivals are going to be there next year, it might be better to ourselves away for a while."
When it comes to writing, how do you guys tend to do it? Do you write as a band? Or do you write alone and bring songs in?
"Typically it starts with me, I'll come up with an outline of a song, some basic lyrics and parts and then I'll bring it to the guys, they give their opinions and start adding bits. We pull it apart and try and put it back together."
You've got a couple of signings lined up while you're over here, what are they generally like? Pretty crazy?
"Yeah, always. Our fans are great, we love doing them, the only bummer is we usually have a show to go play, so we can't see everyone."
Have you ever refused to sign anything?
"I really didn't want to sign this kid's ballsack one time, that was a bit gross."
Have you ever had kids ask you to sign their arms for tattoos?
"Yeah, it's a bit daunting, I sometimes see them again and they've had it done, which is crazy to see."
Finally, what records did you really love in 2013?
"The new Beyonce album's really cool, I really like that, that's what I ended the year listening to so I'll stick with that one."
All Time Low's Don't Panic It's Longer Now is out now.
The band will be meeting fans and signing their t-shirt range at hmv 363 Oxford Street, London on Friday 7th March at 5.30pm. For more details click here.