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In Conversation With All Time Low’s Jack Barakat and Alex Gaskarth

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 26 October 2012 at 14.45

When life gives you lemons...a pop punk band paints that shit gold.

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All Time Low just released new album 'Don't Panic' to critical acclaim, scored their highest ever chart position in the UK and announced a three night London residency at the Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of their February 2013 tour. All good news, and all well deserved as the Baltimore quartet have not reached this point in their career without setbacks, disappointments and a colossal challenge or two threatening to wipe them off the face of the planet.

Somehow the band dodged a major label bullet and came back brighter, vocalist Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat tell Rock Sound how they managed the greatest escape of 2012.

When you realised things were not working with your major label who came closest to quitting?
Alex: "We’ve never had a break up conversation."

Jack: "None of us want to do anything else. From four dudes in ninth grade, it was always this band, we have nothing else."
Alex: "I was the only one that didn’t even apply to college, there was no back up plan for me. I told my parents that if the band didn’t work out I’d start community college and figure it out from there but I knew the second I applied for college was the second I take my mind off this band. I was 17."
Jack: "Alex was an adult kid."
Alex: "There’s always moments on tour but it never got to the point where someone was sat down and told they were about to get fired. This band could not exist without the four of us. One member of Blink can’t quit, if one of us was gone it wouldn’t be the same, playing the songs would feel like a covers band. We knew we were going to get on each other’s nerves but we are family, you don’t split the family up."

Was it hard adjusting to life back with Hopeless Records after the brief stint on a major?
Jack: "We’d only been away from Hopeless for eighteen months."
Alex: "It felt so natural coming back together. They built this band the way it works best, from our fanbase up, being back on the label was amazing."

What’s the vision for All Time Low now, how do you see it going forward?

Alex: "We want to keep climbing, we’re on a slower path but it’s potentially neverending."
Jack: "This band will be ten years old next year, and it’s been a constant slow build throughout. We've never seen things start to tail off or decline."



What kept you going when things weren't working last year?
Jack: "It would have been awful if we had not been touring all the time. We played 260 shows and toured for 300 days last year, we were smart in that regard and it insulated us from the worst of the details."
Alex: "The two sold out shows at Brixton were monumental for us and we did our first South American tour last year."
Jack: "In Kuala Lumpur we got Police escorts for the first time. We didn’t ask for it but they just showed up and gave us a cavalcade ride to the venue. Police motorcycles cleared the road for us, it was the quickest trip ever. Then we played to 5,000 kids in manilla, pretty eye-opening shit for us."
Alex: "It was really clicking with us that we weren’t limited to the US and the UK. Our eyes were opened and we've not looked back to be honest."

To read more about All Time Low's incredible journey pick up the latest issue of Rock Sound, we'll even deliver it to your door...honest!

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