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10 Things We Learned When We Spoke To All Time Low’s Zack Merrick

Will Cross
Will Cross 20 February 2018 at 16.19

Zack speaks!



In the return of our new Rock Sound Podcast feature, 'Always The Quiet Ones' - where we shine the spotlight on members of bands who don't always get it - we spoke to All Time Low's elusive bassist to find out all about him.

Here's some of the things he told us...

1. HE WAS CONVINCED TO PLAY BASS BY A CHILDHOOD FRIEND
"One of my best friends growing up, we would hang out every day together, he played guitar and I'd go round and watch him and one day he's like, 'You should probably play bass so we can play together' and I was like, 'That's a great idea!'"

2. BUT IT WAS FOO FIGHTERS WHO PROPERLY GOT HIM INTO MUSIC
"Definitely Foo Fighters, they're all we would listen to! One of the first songs I ever learned was by them was 'Monkey Wrench', you know that song? As a kid, when you hear something like that, when you're used to hearing all thsoe boy bands and things like that and then you hear Foo Fighters, you're like, 'Er... yeah, I'd rather listen to that!'



3. THE REST OF ATL WERE KEEN FOR HIM TO JOIN THE BAND. VERY KEEN...
"I think it was right at the end of the year for eight grade... I got a message saying that there's a group of guys who needed a bass player in a band and that I was going to get a message from one of the guys and his name was Jack. Jack's very exuberant, he's always been that way his whole life! And I'm low-key, quiet and I start getting messages from this guy, he's like, 'I heard you play in a band! You should come and try out for us!' He's like playing twenty questions with me and I'm like, 'Err, I'll just come over and play?'"

4. AND HE SHUT THEM UP WITH HIS SKILLS
"It was pretty straightforward, I just went over and they were like, 'Hey, you know how to play this song?' and I was like, 'Yeah'.

"If I didn't, I could learn it real fast, they also saw I played with my fingers and they were like, 'You should play with a pick' and I was like, 'Nah, I'm good!' and then I played and they were like, 'Okay, never mind!'
"

5. HE'S A PASSIONATE SKATER
"I was still skateboarding a lot when we first did Warped Tour. It had all the skate stuff and I was having a blast, we're playing music and hustling CDs as much as possible but then I could sneak away for two hours and skate the mini ramp. And then I'd start getting yelled at because they didn't want me to get hurt!"

6. 'DEAR MARIA, COUNT ME IN' IS HIS FAVOURITE ATL JAM
"I’d say, for me, ‘Dear Maria’ because that was a song we all wrote in the basement. Even with the little riff, I remember we were all like, ‘That song’s a jam!’ and this was so early in our career. So I always look back on that. It’s fun to remember that moment. Y’know, we’re proud of a lot of things; where we’ve played and things like that, records, but for me that song I think really defines us as a band.”



7. AND HE FOUND THE RECENT 'SO WRONG, IT'S RIGHT' SHOWS TOTALLY CRAZY
"Yeah, it kinda takes you back because the crowds in New Jersey reminded you of that old-school Warped Tour. We started playing and were like, 'Holy shit! We weren't expecting the crowd to be like this!' It was just mental!"

8. GREEN DAY WERE THE BAND THAT INSPIRED HIM TO BE BOLD WITH HIS BAND'S MUSIC
"Looking at 'Warning' which was a different kind of direction. At the time some people were like, 'What is this?' but it was just a little off the beaten path but that record still did really well and I still listen to it. Sometimes people don't get things right off the bat, so it might take some time. It's like a movie where it came out in theatres and no one knew about it or it just got a weird review but then it can become a classic later on...

"Sometimes things are ahead of their time. I think sometimes at the time people hear what they want to hear instead of what's actually in front of them. So time is a really good thing for that."




9. AND THIS IS HIS FAVE ALBUM OF ALL TIME...
"Shoot! I'd say, for me, I'd have to go 'Out Of The Vein' by Third Eye Blind! That album for them was a little more pop-punk in a way because it wasn't quite as '90s, it was little more upbeat and had a lo of quicker tempos."



10. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE'S GOING TO BE JUST FINE DOING THAT DOUBLE SET NEXT MONTH...
"I'm super excited. I mean I work out all day at home anyway so I think I'll be fine when it comes to playing that long! It's two completely different show, but I think the fans are going to be split too, because there are people who are really going to want to see one and there are others who are going to want to see the other one, so you're going to have different vibes for each show."

Listen to the full chat with Zack on the Rock Sound Podcast below...

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