Thursday, December 13, 2018

INTERVIEW: Asking Alexandria chats new record and current tour!

INTERVIEW: Asking Alexandria chats new record and current tour!

It’s an exciting time for Asking Alexandria. Their latest record, their self-titled, dropped only in December and the band currently finds themselves back in the thick of it, currently on their co-headlining run with Black Veil Brides. It’s the first record reunited with lead vocalist, Danny Worsnop, and only his second tour back in the US! I spoke with drummer James Cassells at their Worcester date last week, really their home venue in MA, besides the occasional Warped or Mayhem date in Mansfield, to talk everything new record as well as what it’s like to have Danny back.
Our “interview room” also doubled as their bathroom and with the door open, it only encouraged other members to make constant visits as well as routinely turning the lights off on us but that only shows how much love and enthusiasm this group has for what they do. I’ve steadily interviewed Asking over the years be it for New England Sounds or my old outlet, and there’s a reason why I keep coming back for more. The group has definitely had some obstacles but their success only seems to grow with each tour which is due in major part to their energetic live performances, with their show that night being one of the best sets I’ve seen so far from the band despite Danny’s voice being practically gone. The band still is out for about three more weeks and with the early US tour and “plans” for this summer, I think Asking could be one of our early contenders for the final Warped line up but that’s just my opinion! Find our new chat below and definitely keep your eyes peeled for more from this act!

I know you were just in Europe but you’re coming back to this tour. You did the first ten dates and now kind of jumping back in for a month. How have these shows been going, you have Danny back, you have this album. How have these past few weeks been going for the band?
I honestly think this is probably the best tour we’ve ever done. I think we are all having a great time, the new songs are going down sweet. We really pushed the belt with our production. We got video walls and a really cool light package. Everything just looks cool and everything is going well! It’s a good time, really good time.

Then just from seeing the line around the block, obviously you and Black Veil Brides have been touring for so long, been doing this for about the same amount of time, at least state side. I know Asking has been around since about 2008.
Well we released our first album in 2009 but we’ve been around about since 2008.
I think you did like one tour when you opened for someone else in the US but it is obviously something big having Danny back in the equation and having him back on the road and on this record. When did you start the writing for this record? When did the self-titled album get started?
I mean we’re one of those bands, when we’re home or when we have time off, we’re pretty much just continuously writing. Ideas are going back and forth between us. Little things might be recorded and sent around. We’re just one of those bands that do that. So putting a specific start date on the self-titled album is a little bit tricky. I’d say we really got into the thick of it last year. That was when we were going in and really tracking, and doing the finishing touches to these songs.

But some of these songs have been ideas and they’ve changed around since even before Danny was in the band. And then some of them were written just off the cuff, like boom we have new songs and that was it. Like I said, we’re just always constantly trying to think about and write music. I feel if you wait too long in between writing sessions, sometimes you lose some of what you were doing. If we want to keep the presence and the persona of Asking, we kind of have to be continually doing it. Otherwise, we might change or stray away from it too much. But yeah, like I said, probably that was the thick of it, the brunt of the album (last year).

You have decided to make this record the self-titled release. Despite it being the fifth record for the band. I know it is pretty different from what you’ve done in the past but maybe the reasons behind choosing this one to be the self-titled? A lot of people choose like the first record.
I mean I think the self-titled is usually the artists’ “best record”. For us, I think we’ve definitely got a lot more albums in us. It’s not going to be our last by any means. It worked out to be our self-titled because it is Asking Alexandria in its purest form. We have Danny back, it’s the original line up, and this is the music that we’re creating now. These are the whole ten years that Asking has been going. It’s formed us as people, as men, as musicians and this is where we’re at in our lives. So it was just so fitting for it to be a self-titled album. It’s us five, this is us, this is Asking Alexandria, and this is the way we’re going. That was the reason why we self-titled it.

And you can see that love on stage. I mean seeing you guys play and supporting you, interviewing you guys over the years. Maybe when you started this band, when Ben got the lineup together, did you ever think it was going to get to this point? You have a line around the block, I think this is the longest line I’ve ever seen for you this early but you and Black Veil Brides together, Danny being back. Did you ever think it was going to be this long, lasting career?
Honestly, we’re a determined set of guys. We’ve obviously set ourselves goals. Maybe we didn’t realize that we would get to this point, no, but we had always sets ourselves a goal and as soon as we achieved that goal, the next goal has been set. And that’s just kind of what we’ve been doing, over the last ten years. We’ve achieved so much, moved people from all around the world and seen all these cool places and got to play in front of so many amazing fans. But we constantly want to do more, we want to have a bigger show, a bigger audience. We want to make an album that’s going to reach more people. So it’s just a set of we’ve achieved this, now we’re going to step to this next bit, now this next bit. I think over our career, I think it’s been steady. At the beginning, it was a really big boom for Asking, but now I feel like we’ve been growing pretty much the whole time. I’m not complaining. We’re not going to be slowing down.
Good to hear!
Yeah we’re just going to continuously try to get to the next step.

And maybe considering this album did only come out less than two months ago, it was just released December 15th. Both bands have new records. You’re back on the road, you have this line up back together, maybe how have these shows been going? Have you seen really positive feedback for the new songs?
Honestly, playing the new songs, and easily we’ve all agreed on this, is our favorite part of the set. And they’re going down so well. In a later part of the set, we play four new songs back to back. It’s amazing, it’s one of the most energetic times of the set. Everyone is singing along, everyone’s getting down, everyone’s having a great time. It’s the pinnacle of the set for me. And that’s not to say I don’t enjoy playing our old songs, but I’m really, really enjoying playing these new ones.

Then you still have a while to go on this tour, you just went back to the UK like I said. I know that’s why there was a mini little break on this run but you are still out on this for another month or so. This is the first date back into it. You have this brand new record. What is the focus for Asking Alexandria these next few months?
Honestly, we’re going to have a very, very busy cycle. We’ve announced we’re doing some of the radio festivals in North America in May. And we’re doing the festival circuit in Europe in June. Then later on in the year, we have a lot of plans to do stuff. We haven’t announced a lot of them yet but it’s going to be a lot of worldwide stuff. We’re going to see some different parts of the world. Perform the new album to different markets and stuff. It’s going to be very, very busy. We were actually just talking about our plan and it goes up to mid-2019. So it’s going to be a pretty hefty album cycle. A lot of touring and a lot of shows, all over the world.

Perfect, then to maybe end it off. You’ve maintained this high level of success in the US and you continuously come back to the US, while a lot of bands do a few tours then kind of give up and stop coming. Maybe advice to the brand new UK bands to try to make the jump and come to the states?
I feel like wherever you play in the world, you have to work at it. You have to be going at it. If you’re loyal to a market, the market will be loyal to you. That’s the truth, the US, it’s a huge country. There are so many people and so many major cities but if you don’t give them enough love, then you’re going to be forgotten about. There’s always new artists that want those fans. Us as a band, especially early on, we did loads and loads of US tours and it’s built us a really strong fan base here. So we have that strong core fan base. Loads of loyal fans, people who have been coming to see us for the past seven years. But now you know, we still have that core fan base but we’re trying to step into the new realms. Playing in front of a new audience, new people and that’s just from loyalty to Americans, to this market. We’ve continued to play here because we love to do it and people love to come see us. That’s the way to do it and a lot of bands get disheartened. Like if they do two or three tours, and they aren’t as big as maybe they are when they are at home. That’s what happens, you’ve got to work towards it!