"There's always something to prove, whether you want to admit it or not" - hmv.com talks to All Time Low
Back in 2012, on the eve of the release of All Time Low's last studio album Don't Panic, things must have felt very different for the Baltimore pop-punkers. Earlier that year they'd announced their departure from major label Interscope Records after just one album, they'd re-signed to Hopeless, the label they'd spent their early years with and had waved goodbye to just a year before and looked like they had everything to prove. Now, as new album Future Hearts (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page) hits shelves, things couldn't be more different.
This year alone, they've already filled arenas with You Me At Six and on their own last month (read our review of their Wembley Arena show here) and brought thousands of screaming fans to hmv stores all over the country to sign an album that wasn't even released yet, there's never been more demand for the band, it feels like they're truly on the crest of a wave.
We spoke to frontman Alex Gaskarth about the making of Future Hearts, recording with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Good Charlotte's Joel Madden and their plans for an epic world tour...
Don’t Panic came just a year after Dirty Work, whereas there’s been a three-year gap this time, did you take longer over this record? Or did you just tour less last time round?
"I think the biggest difference was that after Dirty Work, and our decision to part ways with Interscope at that time, we were sort of left dead in the water. We had no label working to service our music and there was a bit of a realisation that we needed to get something new out, to continue to build on what we already had going. That's how Don't Panic came to be so quickly. With Future Hearts, we weren't in any rush to make a statement, or to tell a story, so we decided to take a little more time to let things develop naturally. I think it worked out for the best."
How did you want to move on from Don’t Panic?
"Don't Panic was a very straight forward record, in my opinion. I think it was exactly what we needed at the time; a record that told the story of parting ways with Interscope, and a "return to form" creatively and musically. Transitioning into Future Hearts, we knew we didn't want to make the same record, and we knew that we wanted to explore a wider dynamic range, so we really strived towards that."
You worked with John Feldmann this time round, what did he give you as a producer?
"John is a creative whirlwind- he pulls you in all these new directions, and really encourages growth, while remaining true to the origins of the band or artist."
He’s known as quite a hard worker, did he push you to your limits?
"He's non-stop, so yes, we were definitely stretched to our limits at times, but I think that's a great thing."
Did you bring any new influences into the studio this time?
"I think we came in with a very 90's mindset, and grew out from there. We've wanted to explore what makes All Time Low, All Time Low recently, so there was a lot of self-realization and reflection."
What kind of record is this lyrically?
"Thematically, I feel like this record deals with chasing lofty dreams, and coming to terms with your own insecurities and self-doubt."
What inspired the title?
"The title is a call to always looking ahead, keeping your eyes on the prize, and constantly striving for what you want in life."
You’ve got Joel Madden and Mark Hoppus on the album, how did they both get involved?
"They've been friends of ours for quite some time now, so working with them felt really natural, but also extremely rewarding, as I've been a fan of their work for many years."
Last time out you’d just left a major label and were releasing quite a quick follow-up, you’ve achieved an awful lot in the time in between, do you feel like you’ve got less to prove this time round?
"I think there's always something to prove, whether you want to admit it or not. People naturally form opinions of art, and we, as a band, want to be well received- we don't write music for nobody to listen to it. That said, we still went out and made a record that we love and that we, as music fans, believe in whole-heartedly."
You’ve just sold out Wembley Arena, how are you going to take things to the next level next time you tour the UK?
"There's always been an overwhelming amount of support for us in the UK; I think as long as we keep striving to bring our best, the crowds will continue to come to the shows!"
All Time Low's new album Future Hearts is out now in hmv stores. The band will return to the UK in August to play Reading and Leeds Festivals, click here to purchase tickets.