Alex Gaskarth is “sick of speaking about” the pandemic, he groaned over a Zoom name. “I believe all of us are.” Sadly for him: it is all a part of the narrative for All Time Low. Though the band’s followers have been ready a very long time for the Maryland rockers’ ninth album, “Inform Me I am Alive”, their frontman has been ready even longer. The report – which hits retailer cabinets this Friday, March 17 – follows their 2020 pandemic darling “Wake Up, Sunshine” which arrived mere days after the primary lockdown was introduced. After that, excursions have been cancelled, restrictions have been adhered to, and All Time Low – together with the remainder of the world – went on an undesirable pause. Ever since, Alex has been writing All Time Low’s tackle their hardest years within the business.
Talking solely to Specific.co.uk, Alex revealed Inform Me I am Alive was penned with “isolation and loneliness” in thoughts.
“These have been the primary songs we sat down and wrote in that new context, in that new body of life,” Alex mused whereas rubbing his temple. “So yeah, there have been loads of themes of like loneliness, isolation coping… constructive methods and damaging methods of coping – these unhealthy habits that we throw ourselves into to get well and to really feel one thing. However, oftentimes, they ship us again.”
Alex is effortlessly cool and seemingly much more real than many different frontmen I’ve spoken to in my time. However Alex appears to essentially care about these songs specifically. Whether or not he wrote them alone or alongside his band, I acquired the sensation they’ve a direct path to his coronary heart.
Probably the most blatant instance of this in Inform Me I am Alive is the heart-wrenching observe Are You There? Instructed from the attitude of somebody coming down after a vicious drug binge, begging for somebody to attach with. It is heavy materials, however Alex defined how he solely wrote what he was seeing play out in entrance of him. “It was stuff that I used to be dwelling personally, it was stuff that I used to be seeing different folks undergo,” he mentioned. “It was this common wrestle for lots of people on the again finish of the world shutting down and form of popping out of it and relearn tips on how to be. Lots of that went into the album.”
Whereas the lyrical content material of Inform Me I am Alive is top-notch, it is the musical composition which is basically astonishing. All Time Low have gone on a brand new thrilling journey each time they launched an album. Typically, the followers did not take to it too effectively (Final Younger Renegade), whereas different information have since been considerably pooh-poohed by ATL themselves (Soiled Work). However Inform Me I am Alive places an thrilling new emphasis on its homegrown, punk buildings mixed with the band’s signature vibrant and poppy choruses (as demonstrated within the album’s title observe and absolutely the hit Sleepwalking). However this new transition hasn’t occurred accidentally.
“We have meandered with our sound right here and there,” Alex admitted. “And we have tried various things, and it is at all times in an effort to attempt to hold issues feeling contemporary to us.”
He recalled folks elevating eyebrows and demanding “what the f**ok is that this?” when All Time Low launched Soiled Laundry alongside Final Younger Renegade. “Folks, on the time, weren’t that stoked on it,” he smiled. “And now it is a staple in our set, and our viewers appears to essentially join with it. It is a kind of issues the place that report was form of us experimenting with this new sound and this new sound mattress.”
Because of this, Alex described Inform Me I am Alive as an “amalgamation” of the perfect items of Final Younger Renegade and the bubbling songwriting of Wake Up, Sunshine. “There’s numerous piano and synth on this report,” he revealed. “However we did it in a approach that did not really feel so jarring, perhaps.”
It’s extremely apparent Alex by no means thinks concerning the band’s present album cycle in a vacuum. He appears to be like in each path always. The sprawling narrative of All Time Low, how they’re perceived, how their hits translate to the stage, their previous albums, and the place they could go subsequent.
With that in thoughts – and the truth that 2023 marks twenty years since All Time Low fashioned – does Alex typically take into consideration their legacy? “I do,” he confessed. “Within the sense that we have lasted 20 years… I imply it is no straightforward job. We have been freshmen in highschool taking part in on weekends, actually, after which it became one thing. We have labored our a**es off ever since to maintain it going. I believe it is one of many proudest issues in my life.”
Possibly it is All Time Low’s limitless string of large hits, or Alex’s charisma, however the band have appeared nearly indestructible via the years. Regardless of being one of many surviving few pop-punk bands from the early 2000s, they have been even caught up within the “resurgence” of pop-punk nostalgia that cropped up lately. Alex even jokingly referred to All Time Low as “that Pricey Maria” band, earlier than including that he is “f****ng stoked” about how far the band has come. “I am tremendous proud that we have been ready to do this,” he continued.
However, Alex added sombrely, “it hasn’t at all times been easy crusing”.
In October 2021, sexual misconduct allegations have been made in opposition to All Time Low by a number of nameless Twitter and TikTok accounts, together with claims of “sexual assault on an underage woman” (By way of The Guardian). These accusations have been met with a agency denial from the band later that month once they posted a lengthy statement on their Twitter account. It known as the accusations “completely and unequivocally false”. In February 2022, the band filed a lawsuit to show this response. It acknowledged: “The aim of the lawsuit is to determine the unambiguous fact and quash these malicious lies in order that they received’t be repeated sooner or later.” (By way of Rolling Stone)
Nearly two years after these hand grenade allegations have been dropped within the band’s lap, Alex was cautiously candid about the way it has affected the entire group. “It is confirmed to us to be one of the crucial tough occasions of our lives,” he breathed. “And our profession, and our legacy. And it is put us via an absolute s**t-storm.” He famous how the allegations “snowballed” and became one thing “that really began to have an effect on our livelihood and our lives”. He went on: “And when it is all predicated on nonsense it is actually tough to outlive it. Since you’re sitting there simply doing what any individual would do, and going: ‘This did not occur.'”
Alex added that the band had “mentioned their piece” (referring to their Twitter assertion), earlier than being clear: “None of it was true, and if it have been true we would not be on this band. This band would not exist. We’re not these folks, and it is type of an apparent factor, if any of what was being mentioned have been remotely true we might have been over as a result of we would not wish to be round that type of factor.”
On prime of that, Alex identified All Time Low have “at all times been proponents of talking up for marginalised voices and we, form of, fell into the opposite aspect of that ire”. “And once more,” he reduce in. “Based mostly on a lie. Nothing.”
Along with his eyes set firmly on the longer term, Alex went on: “I believe what’s necessary is that we’re forging forward and we’re actually comfortable to be out on the street taking part in reveals for people who find themselves coming to assist us, meaning a lot.”
Following this controversy, Inform Me I am Alive appears like All Time Low have returned to the forefront of their journey with their defences deactivated as soon as once more. And Alex was adamant they are going to let the music converse for itself. “I really feel like we at all times have one thing to show,” he mentioned optimistically. “I really feel like, over time, this band… we have had excessive highs and low lows. And I really feel like each time we put a report out it appears like we have one thing to show.”
“20 years in,” he grinned. “I believe the proof is that: we’re nonetheless right here.”
All Time Low – Inform Me I am Alive is out Friday, March 17.