March 22, 2008 Interview

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Thursday, April 03, 2008
Alternative Press Tour: Part II: Alex of All Time Low

We meticulously counted the minutes leading up to the time Matt, All Time Low’s manager, had told us to find the "blue bus"—5:30 PM. When it finally rolled around, we took our deep breaths and began taking our steps toward what would soon be moments of awkward statements and sincere laughs.

We stand merely five feet away from the bus’ entrance, enchanted that we are this close to All Time Low. 5:30 had come and gone and two scantily dressed young women in their short, tight dresses and six-inch hooker heels they could barely walk in and are escorted onto the very bus we stared at. Our appointment time had already passed, and now our meeting is getting pushed back because of two groupies. Not only were we nervous, but emotions of curiosity and anger almost overcame our excitement. As they walk onto the bus, the three of us wonder what those four boys could be doing with these two new guests.

Just moments later, Matt steps down from the bus with his hand outstretched, "Which one of you guys is Sydni?"

"That’d be me," I say and I introduced the two other girls.

"Alright, well let me go get Alex ’cause he’s the one that does the interviews and stuff." Matt steps back onto the bus and doesn’t return again for what seems another eternity. Again, we think these guys are finishing up quick "manly deeds". What else could explain their tardiness? Along with Matt comes Alex Gaskarth, guitar and singer for All Time Low. He exits his bus rambunctiously carrying a Polaroid. His hair is disheveled beneath a grey beanie, wearing a Skelanimals tee, basketball shorts, and flip-flops. In the other hand is a lighter; in his mouth an unopened Popsicle. He frantically attempts to burn the "evidence" of this photograph and the three of us stand there, observing this all, trying to appear as if we see this sort of thing everyday. My eyes drift toward his hands to try to at least guess what the picture is. I, being the closest of the three of us, was only able to make out what appeared to be butt cheeks and an ungodly amount of hair. Frustrated that the Polaroid was not burning, he throws the lighter to the floor and watches it explode. He seemed amazed. Matt notices this.

"You’ve never seen a lighter explode before?" Matt asked.

"No, not like that," Alex replied. He then walks over to us and introduces himself as if he need an introduction at all. He apologizes, for he says he had just woken up. I kindly ask if we could go inside to sit down; he obliges. As I lead the way to the same spot where I had conducted the FTSK interview, I notice he isn’t behind me. I backtrack a couple of steps to find Alex wondering where the three of us had gone. I subtly wave him down and he takes his seat at the head of the table where Kent Garrison (Forever the Sickest Kids, piano/keyboard) had sat earlier. The interview had yet to begin, and Alex turns to Matt who had just arrived with what appeared to be a chocolate ice cream bar.

"I asked for a strawberry-vanilla ice cream. What is this?" Alex asks in playful anger.

"It is strawberry vanilla!" Matt insists. Alex bites into it discover it is, indeed, strawberry vanilla, just masked in a chocolatey coating. He appears complacent, but not satisfied.

When we all snap back to reality and out of Alex’s princess fit, we buckle down and get to business.

Earlier, at the end of my FTSK interview, Kyle Burns (Forever the Sickest Kids, drummer) takes the questions I’ve got for Alex and adds a couple of his own to try and "trick" Alex into thinking all of my questions were about his band. I didn’t quite convince Alex, but I managed to make myself look like a complete idiot.

How do you feel about Kyle from FTSK flirting with your sisters online? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have any sisters.

I then explain to him where I had gotten the question and, as if on queue, Kyle walks by smiling brightly in his Powerspace hoodie, entering the restroom.

"You’re a big dummy," Alex calls after him while Kyle merely smirks. When my embarrassment subsided, I continued onto the next question, also written by Kyle.

How is the water in the whale kiddy pool? It’s actually good; we drained it out and cleaned it.

He now seems unphased by the incident and answers the question nonchalantly. Kyle’s second question was a failure in comparison to the first and I then continued on with my own questions.

Have you ever done anything that could have gotten the cops involved? [Alex turns to Matt to ask the same question.] No. We’ve never gotten the cops involved. Actually, we have. We ran around a pool naked once. I leave it up to you to decide what expression Alex had when he thought of this event.

What events inspired the thirteen songs that made So Wrong, It’s Right? 2006/2007. Some romance, some action, some murder mystery…that’s about it.

Do you think there’s already another album in you guys? Yeah, there’s a lot of albums in me. I eat of lot of albums. Photo albums, record albums, family photo albums…I’ll eat it all. I don’t care.

Were/are there songs on any of the previous lp/eps that you were surprised you wrote? Like: "Man, that song is great. I can’t believe I did that." No, [because] I really only write good songs. No, okay. Umm. I’m kinda surprised I wrote "Come One, Come All" ’cause it sounds bad.

I’ve got to say that "Sticks, Stones, and Techno" is one of my favorites. Ever consider completely dropping "pop punk" and going techno/dance rock? No, never. Techno music sucks. So do Forever the Sickest Kids. Just kidding!

Do you ever wonder what you’d be doing if you weren’t performing? What would you be studying if you had gone to college? Selling drugs outside of your high school. Our school is like a pharmacy. Oh, so then it would be legal. Just sell Advil to kids. What would you be studying? Marine biology.

What are your opinions of having your "demographic", if you will, being mostly teen girls? Don’t you ever want some testosterone singing back to you? We have plenty of guys. We have a lot of 14-year-old girls and a lot of college dudes. Maybe the guys are all pedophiles that are there just to get the girls.

How is the AP Tour different from any other tour you’ve done thus far, if at all? There’s a lot more posters everywhere. That’s it.

Are the bands you meet on the tours already your friends, do you become friends, or do you just remain "coworkers"? All the bands on this tour are friends. Besides Forever the Sickest Kids. Just kidding.

How many months at a time are you away from home? Don’t you ever just want to drop it all and go home? Depends on how long the tour is. This one we’re away for two-and-a-half months. We just came back from Austrailia and we were gone for four months before that.

Oh, how was Australia? It’s awesome ’cause the people there really appreciate it. The kids there repesct it a little more. It seems here [America] there’s always a tour coming through.

What are some of the amenities of a home life that you miss while being on the road? My mom’s cooking—she’s a good cook. [My favorite is] Yorkshire puddings. You eat them with gravy and some steak or chicken.

I recall one of you saying it was an honor o be on the Alt Press cover. It is. What band was featured on it that made you want to be on it? Blink [182] back in the day and Green Day before that. We just did a song with Mark [Hoppus]. It was awesome. We would have an idea then I would take it and add more lyrics. When will we be able to see that? Probably on the next record.

Did the chimp on "Dear Maria" ever get frisky with any of you? It did grab the girl’s [that portrayed the stripper] boobs, which was funny. Then it would get bored and run away. How long did the shoot last? All day. It was from three in the morning to midnight that night. We drank a lot of Red Bull.

I went on YouTube and saw the video for "The Girl’s A Straight-Up Hustler". What were the reasons behind it not being promoted? We weren’t on a label then. We did it for a person’s final project.

What makes your band different from all the other pop punk bands trying to get on the scene today? We’re funnier and way more sexual. We have a good connection with our fans and we just don’t take it too seriously.

What do you say to people that feel a need to thrust a label upon your music even though you openly label yourselves "pop punk"? I don’t really care. People have always labeled me and they always will. We’re not one of those obscure idiot bands that say [adopts pompous tone], "Oh no. That’s not how you describe our music." I don’t care as long as you like it. If not, fuck you.

Has Rian gotten any tattoos since the Blink-182 one that got Mark Hoppus’ attention? No. We’re thinking of getting some in [Anaheim].

Are there any placed you have visited/performed that you may have considered keeping a permant place of residence when you old age prevents you from performing anymore? No. I like Maryland. I would like to have a place in L.A. ’cause iti’s in the center of everything, but the people there suck.

What’s the scene like in Maryland? For a while, there was a good scene locally, but it’s Maryland—there’s not a huge crazy music scene out there.

I can safely say that I can’t dance…really. But your music makes me want to…dance. Yeah. What do you suggest? Just let your body do what it wants to do. Just do what feels good.

Korn and Buck Owens are from around these parts. Do you listen to either of them? Fuck no. Sorry if you guys take pride in them or whatever.

Any bands/artists you have listened to lately that have inspired you to pen some more music? Korn. [To Haley, writing down everything either of us say:] Make sure you put a ’jk’ next to that one.

Is the work split up equally between the four of you? As you can see. I’m the only one doing the interview, I do everything. Just kidding. Writing wise, we all contribute to the music. I usually come up with the core lyrics. I can’t write drums, so Rian takes care of drumming.

Any kids in high school that hate you before that have come up to you now and wanted to be your best friend? Not too much, but there’s kids that I didn’t talk to that suddenly talk to me. It happened a little bit, but not to that extreme.

My dad saw a picture of you on the cover of Alt Press and he thinks I look like you. What do you think? No. I don’t really see anything. But maybe ’cause we’re just so sexy.

Why do you think it’s harder for people to gain credibility as far as what makes a good fan? There’s this mentality that if you found them first, it’s your band. I think it’s ridiculous. Any fan is a good fan. They should listen to the Rocket Summer and learn something from Bryce’s sweet lyrics.

Okay, you know I’ve got to bring this up: the chonie and banana pictures. You know a girl on the ast coast got in trouble for those. I was inches away from being THAT girl. I was scared for my life. Schools are ridiculous. They’re just jealous of how good we look naked. You should draw big black boxes around our private areas and cover our underwear so they actually think we’re naked.

What’s your favorite song to perform live? "Poppin’ Champagne". It’s dancy. We play it right in the middle.

Have you actually used the Transformer sheets you were given? No, ’cause they don’t fit any of our beds. [Jack] wanted to use them at home.

What do you prefer your fans give you as gifts? Vitamins? Anything. Everything is fine. Vitamin water is always good. Creature gifts are cool. A bunch of people on the message boards made a giant puzzle and sent all the pieces to kids across the country. We’ve been getting different pieces each night. How many do you think you’ve got so far? Maybe about 17. Out of how many? Do you know? 80?

Benjamin Franklin said: Either write something worth reading about, or do something worth writing about. What is your approach. Do something worth writing about.

Do you guys listen to music to get you pumped up for a show? [I listen to music] all the time for no reason. Who specifically? Jimmy Eat World…all of the time.

**This "article" is the kind of stuff you get to read when the WB:M Editor-In-Chief procrastinates. The moral this time? Do it today. Tomorrow will be today tomorrow.

***This interview was conducted March 22, 2008 at Golden State Mall by Sydni Powell with Haley Adams scrambling to write everything down and Roxanne Barron taking pictures.

****To view the pictures of this interview and some of the All Time Low performance, click here. The pictures of the other AP Tour performers will be uploaded soon. Thanks for your patience!

—Sydni and Written By: Machines

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