All Time Low on all-time highWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Singer/guitarist Alex Gaskarth knows that the journey he’s on with his band All Time Low will eventually come to an end, a big reason why he and the group are enjoying the ride and not taking themselves too seriously.
“We are big subscribers to the belief that this is all temporary and it isn’t going to last forever,” Gaskarth said. “Life doesn’t last forever, so it’s important to make the most of it while you can, to not get wrapped up in the stupid bulls— that exists out there.”
Comprised of Gaskarth, Jack Barakat (guitar), Zack Merrick (bass) and Rian Dawson (drums), All Time Low will perform at Headliner’s on Oct. 27 as part of its “The Rise and Fall of My Pants” headlining tour in the U.S. The name of tour is not the first time the pop-punk rockers from Towson, Md. have poked fun at the stereotypes of the “rockstar lifestyle.”
In the music video for “Weightless,” off All Time Low’s third album “Nothing Personal,” the band comically dissects everything from crazy fans to groupies to guitar techs and the guy at the merchandise table.
“I think too many people allow themselves to fall into these rivets in life where you end up holding yourself back or holding yourself down because of self-doubt and negativity and the bad side of any industry, whatever industry you’re in,” Gaskarth said. “I think we make light of the situation. We make fun of those things. We like to point them out and point out the ridiculousness of falling for it. We like to keep it fun.”
The band formed while all the members were still in high school back in 2003. Gaskarth and Barakat have known each other since the eighth grade, meeting Dawson and Merrick once they got to high school. While Merrick attended a different school than the other members of All Time Low, they met him through mutual friends and shared the same interests.
“It was a little bit different from just, like, you know, normal high school friendships,” Gaskarth said. “We all kind of fell into each other very quickly and became very close, like family.”
All Time Low started to build a strong local fan base while still in high school, releasing EP “The Three Words to Remember in Dealing With the End” in 2004 and its’ first full-length “The Party Scene” in 2005. By their senior year record labels were already talking to the band, which signed with indie label Hopeless Records in 2006 and hit the road.
“I think it wasn’t until really high school when we started seeing a little community build around the band, and I think that’s when we really realized that we could make something of it,” Gaskarth said. “That was a big turning point for us, like, ‘Let’s go for it.’”
The band gained more momentum with 2007’s “So Wrong, It’s Right,” and its third full-length album—2009’s “Nothing Personal”—debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Independent Albums charts. All Time Low’s latest release—“Dirty Work”—is its first with major label Interscope Records.
Gaskarth and Co. have received praise from the likes of Alternative Press, who put the band on the cover of its’ “Most Anticipated Music of 2011” issue, as well as their idols in blink-182, whom they now have become close with.
“When we finally got to meet the blink dudes, that was a huge thing for us,” Gaskarth said. “Blink-182 is a pretty big reason we’re even a band. Becoming friends with those dudes has been very eye-opening and very humbling, as well, to kind of see that they kind of came from a similar situation.
“They were just guys having fun, just friends, and they chased it and it worked out for them to a massive scale. It’s very cool to kind of get that perspective.”
Despite now sharing the same record label as blink-182 and developing an international fan base, members of All Time Low are still the same dudes they were in high school.
“I think we’ve been raised with that perspective to realize and see the absurdity in life and the flaws in life, and to not focus on them and to focus on the positive sides of things,” Gaskarth said. “I think it’s definitely our families and friends that have kept us grounded.”
All Time Low will headline a show that features The Ready Set, He Is We and Paradise Fears on Oct. 27 at Headliner’s, located at 4500 N. Detroit Ave. in Toledo. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door the night of the show. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and all ages are welcome. For more information, call (419) 693-5300 or visit HeadlinersToledo.com.