Interview With All Time Low - 4th March 2011
Photo Of All Time LowJames met up with All Time Lows guitarist Jack Barakat and drummer Rian Dawson backstage at the Birmingham O2 academy recently and this is what they had to say.

All Time Low have 3 studio albums (soon to be 4), played all over the world, have admirers in great bands such as Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy and are currently on a sold out UK tour. With all this in mind and the fact that people know allot about you, what can you tell us that about All Time Low that people might not know?
Rian: I think a lot of people hear or read something like that and assume that it was kind of a because that's the case with a lot of bands but we've been a band for going on 9 years.

Jack: Yeah like 8 or 9 years now, it's been a long process.

Rian: We've played tons of tours to 10, 15 or 20 kids and toured in vans and all that. I think it's an important step in any band to build roots and to respect the fact that you do have fans no matter how many there are. It's kind of easily overlooked especially when people just find out about a band they assume that those guys are big now because they've had a radio hit, but for us there's never been a radio hit at least not in the US (laughter)

Cool, is there anything else you can think of?
Jack: We also have very small wangs

Rian: People already know that by now, it's common knowledge

Jack: And we use the word wang (laughter)

You've done loads of gigs over the years, playing the world over from Brazil to Japan and your currently in the middle of a massive world tour, with all these gigs have you grown used to being on the road or do you still find it hard being away from home?
Jack: It's always gonna be hard but I think we've got a routine down. We're doing that same thing everyday so it's pretty easy and you quickly get a routine down.

Rian: It goes back to what I said about starting this early when the biggest tour we'd ever do would be going away for a weekend. That weekend then turns into a week and then that turns into a month so you kinda learn how to tour and keep up with the people at home. It was a process of learning, you learn how to tour and you have to get use to it or else life just sucks. If we're miserable on tour then we're miserable for most of the year and that just wouldn't work.

Is it hard being away from family and girlfriends?
Jack: Yeah

Rian: Yeah we all have loved ones whatever that may mean but it's part of the job and it sucks. Do we wish we could take them with us? Yeah but it's one of the few downfalls of this job otherwise we'd have the best job in the world. You just keep in touch as best you can and hope they are there when you get back. I hope my mom doesn't move on (laughter)

Your new album "Dirty Work" is due for release soon, how did the recording go, was it fun to make and what can the fans expect from it? And do you have a release date yet?
Jack: No release date, it was very fun to make and it took a really long time. We had a lot of time to do it, there was no pressure and there was no time limit. We started last January, Alex went into the studio with some producers, so I mean it was a long process and we didn't get the masters back until last week.

Rian: We did it in a not unorthodox but an unusual way for a band. Usually a band goes into a studio with a producer, nails the record in 2, 2 and a half months where as with us, like he said in January of 2010 Alex went and started writing stuff. We'd go on tour and then we'd be home for a month and we'd record some and then we'd go back and tour. We'd kinda just bounce back and fourth and it really spread the whole process out a little bit. It's kinda cool because as soon as you were fed up with recording you could go on tour and then as soon as you were ready to go back to record it was time to record again. It kinda made it a nice easy process for us but in the end it did take a long, long time. Like he said, 14 or 15 months later we're now getting the masters back so it was a process.

So it's been 2 or 3 years between albums
Rian: 2 years, we put 'Nothing Personal' out in July 2009 so we're almost up on 2 years for it but hopefully 'Dirty Work' will be out before July hits in 2011.

It just shows your just as famous now, if not more famous now
Rian: Yeah it's a testament to the fans I think

Jack: We have very patient fans

Rian: We know a lot of bands that have to put out new music every couple of months because, you know there's just so much music out there that it's over saturated and people think well this is getting old, there's a new band lets grab onto that. Somehow our fans have stuck with us for that amount of time which in unbelievable.

Your video's all look like they where fun to make, which videos have been your best and worst to make? And is there a video being made at the moment for your first single of the new album?
Jack: We haven't picked the new single yet but as soon as we do we'll probably be shooting the new music video on the spring tour we have in the US. We have a day off when we'll probably go off and shoot it.

Rian: Our least favourite video I'd say is 'Poppin'.

Jack: It was fun to make.

Rian: It was fun to make and while we were making it I remember saying to our manager even if this video ends up sucking it's gonna look so good. Everything was like glossy looking and then we got it back and we were kinda bummed.

Jack: It was such a fun day. I think the worst one to shoot was maybe 'Dear Maria' because we did it at a strip club. Strip clubs are open like 12 to 5am so we got in there like 6am and started shooting until 12 so it was a long day.

Rian: My favourite video to make and to watch and I'm super proud of is 'Weightless'. I think that was a video with a concept that we were all stoked about and it's not often that you get the version back and it's so much better than you imagined. We got some shit for it because the video's kind of about poking fun at everything, whether it's interviews, fans or us we hit everyone.

Jack: That was cool because Hoppus and Pete were in it too.

Rian: Yeah Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz came in to do it, it was just a cool experience and the end product was so much better than we imagined.

It's a great video the way you poke fun at yourselves
Rian: We're in a band and not sitting behind a desk so we might as well have fun with it. We know people make fun of us and people know we make fun of them so why not have a good time, it's music.

You sold out this tour really quick, do you like it here in the UK and do you have plans to come back and do another tour later in the year?
Jack: This is probably our best market in the world so we'll be back.

Rian: Yeah we do better here than in the states for the most part. As far as coming back I
know we're doing festivals in the summer.

Jack: We'd probably be looking early next year probably.

Rian: Be back for that nice UK winter again (laughter)
You played Leeds and Reading Festival last year and are due to play Sonisphere this year have you any plans to do more festivals in the UK and do you enjoy playing festivals?

Rian: As far as playing festivals we have a block of about 4 or 5 weeks for playing European or UK festivals. It's kinda hard to keep up with which ones we're playing because they all have weird names, but we are playing a bunch of them. We're not playing Reading or Leeds but I can't say for sure which ones we're playing in the UK.

Jack: We're not exactly sure yet but we will be doing something.

Rian: Playing festivals is amazing, it's such a different experience. One day your on stage playing before Blink-182, the next day before Foo Fighters and the next day before Iron Maiden.

Jack: It's interesting because they don't really have something like that in the US. The closest thing we have is maybe 'Coachella' or 'Lollapalooza' but those are different genres. 'Warped Tour' and 'Bamboozle' are very different than the festivals over here so it's a new experience.

'Warped Tour' is kind of like our 'Slamdunk'
Both: Yeah

Rian: Yeah but for 2 months

Jack: Yeah it's similar to 'Slamdunk'

Rian: It's a crazy experience, you have a chance to get many new fans and you don't get that opportunity very often.

You'll be playing with bands like You Me At Six, Sum 41
Jack: Sum 41 are so fucking good live

Rian: We don't really have a chance to tour with all of these bands but doing this we get a chance to play for some of their fans. It's a cool mix and fans in the UK seem to be very receptive of new music, more so than in the states although I have seen videos of people getting bottled.

Jack: Luckily that wasn't us
Did it all go well at Reading and Leeds?

Rian: Yeah it was great

Jack: The second day, I don't remember if it was at Reading or Leeds but there was hail and a lightning storm during our set.

Rian: It was cool

Jack: The funny thing was it started just before we went on and finished just after we'd finished. It was awesome, we were lucky because even if the fans weren't there for us they're still having a great time.

Social network sites seem to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?
Jack: We've never been a band that's had radio success, we've basically built our entire career on social networking sites. It's paramount to our success today, one of the only ways fans can see when we're coming to their town is via myspace

Rian: Like he said our website right now is our tour dates and that's about it. When you can reach so many people so easily by typing ''hey guys we're playing a second show in Manchester'', there's no reason not to embrace it especially in this day and age.

One last question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra and a giraffe which would you be and why?
Rian: Giraffe.

Jack: Definitely a zebra because they're quick.

Rian: Yeah but giraffes aren't really hunted.

Jack: I'd say zebra because it'd be fun to run around and hopefully not get eaten by lions.

Rian: I'd say giraffe because you could just hang out and eat leaves and stuff.

Jack: Yeah giraffes don't do shit (laughs)

Thanks for you time; do you have a message for your fans reading this?
Rian: Thanks for being the best market that we have, seriously our biggest market is overseas.

Jack: Thank you, thank you, thank you

Interview By James Daly
 Band Members

Alex Gaskarth
Jack Barakat
Zack Merrick
Rian Dawson
 Latest Releases
All Time Low - Nothing Personal
Release date - 7th July 2009

1. Weightless
2. Break Your Little Heart
3. Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)
4. Lost In Stereo
5. Stella
6. Sick Little Games
7. Hello, Brooklyn
8. Walls
9. Too Much
10. Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal
11. A Party Song (The Walk of Shame)
12. Therapy
 Band Related Links
All Time Low Myspace