Written by: Jamie Ortega
Photo by Magic Liwanag and Ed Clinton Go
Consisting of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist and back vocalist Zachary Merrick,and drummer Rian Dawson, All Time Low was formed in 2003 when all its’ members were still in high school. The group entered the music scene by performing songs from musical groups they idolize like Blink 182, before finally striking up an album deal in 2005 entitled The Party Scene under Emerald Moon Records. But like a lot of pop-punk bands of their generation, it took them quite a while, three studio albums to be exact plus countless touring around the United States, before making a mark in 2009 with their third compilation Nothing Personal.Sans any radio play, Nothing Personal debuted at number 4 on the Billboard chart, selling 63,000 copies and making it the group’s highest charting album to date-proving that dreams do come true and that true talent, no matter how long it takes never goes unnoticed.
Owners of rock-related blogs and websites will vehemently agree that based on their “who do you want to see live in Manila” polls punk rock has a huge following in the country. And at the forefront of their followers’ wish list is All Time Low. So much so that at the press conference for their Manila show last September 22, 2011 a young boy teared up upon seeing their idols in the flesh. Similar sights occurred at the band’s meet and greet, shared the concert’s producers Dayly Entertainment and Ovation Productions. “When the word die-hard comes to mind I think of All Time Low fans,” commented a concert organizer on his Facebook account.
During the show staged last September 22 at the Big Dome scores of bras and panties (some women even brought extra, shared an observer,) made their way to the stage as the group sang songs from their latest and fourth studio album Dirty Work. Whether you’re curious about their not-so-usual story or a true-blue punkista by heart.
What would you say has been your all time high moment here in Manila?
Rian: We went to a mall here in Manila and we did a signing, we’ve done that before but when we walked into that mall it was four stories high and each railing was full of fans. There were people who came to our signing and said that they’ve listened to our music for five or six years it was amazing.
Alex: We expected it to be amazing based on the fans online and what we read online but until you actually see it firsthand you really have no idea how amazing it’s going to be and how awesome it felt. It was the mind-blowing to see that amount of people and feel their passion.
Your latest album Dirty Work sounds different from your previous albums So Wrong Its Right and Nothing Personal, was that a direction the band went to on purpose?
Rian: As we grew older we became less ashamed to like anything mainstream unlike before it was like more of just Blink 182 or Third Eye Blind, now we can recognize a song whether it is Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber we are not really ashamed to listen to anything which broadens our musical spectrum.
Rian: First of all those are bands that we may not look up to but we definitely listen to, I think one thing that sets us apart is we really put tons of energy and we have a really great time onstage. What I always say is even if you are not an All Time Low fan you can still have a good time at our concerts.
What did you guys expect when you first started out?
Jack: When we started out our vision didn’t leave our hometown then it branched out to the US, we never expected it to grow the way it did or to get to this level. As we were doing it more and more people continue to stand behind us and we will keep on doing it as long as people care.
Rian: Peopleask us what is your next milestone, you go back to five or six years and all we wanted to is sell out a room in Baltimore, now we’ve blown out everything that we wanted to do so now we’re just enjoying whatever we are getting.
Curious question, why do you guys like to take off your shirts onstage?
Rian: It’s just become a bad habit at this point, haha!
Taking a look at your videos they all have a sense of fun, or are parodies of other videos, do you think that you will compromise the spirit of your band or change aspects of yourself to stay popular?
Alex: Our next single is called Time Bomb and we couldn’t really make a joke about that song, it’s more of a serious song.I think the videos aremore in relation to the song, but In relation to changing who we are in exchange for popularity, no.We do what we do because it is who we are and we have a real good time with it.
Rian: Half of the reason that we exist at the level that we do is because of our personalities, a quarter of our live show is stand- up comedy, thank you Alex and Jack. We are here in part of that so why we would not let our personalities show onstage?
To end, what is the sweetest thing a fan has done for you?
Jack: Its hard to narrow it down to just one thing but for me its cool when people get tattoos of our music.
Alex: Don’t just do it because we said it, you have to really want it.
Rian: It’s definitely a huge commitment.
For more pictures:
- Press Conference pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150464296788032.460237.318414213031
-Concert pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.154718467951415.35492.133738823382713