Back in issue 183 (available to buy digitally here or physically here) we spent a morning in one of those historical dress-up places with All Time Low, which was a lot of fun. They were over here with Green Day at the time, and they’re heading back over here in March, playing across Britain – they’ve just added extra dates to their tour, tickets for which will be on sale on Monday from here.
Enjoy our chat with Alex, Jack, Rian and Zack. It’s also worth noting that we assumed we’d have to do a bunch of normal ones to warm the guys up before we could broach the subject of anyone wearing a dress, but as soon as Jack entered the shop he went “Awesome, I’ll be the chick!”
Hey guys! How’s your day been dressing up?
Alex: That was awesome, I think it was one of the best photoshoots we’ve ever done. And Jack got to dress up like a woman so he was comfortable.
Rian: He really did slip into it right away. He was the first one in costume and it was a dress. They didn’t provide it, he brought his own.
Alex, you’re originally from Essex – do you consider yourself British or American?
A: At this point I’m pretty American, I moved there when I was seven or eight, so I spent the majority of my grown life there. But at the same time whenever I come back I have this sense of pride for England.
R: Any time something shitty happens in America he’s always like ‘Yeah, that’s why I’m from Britain!’
Jack: He’s only British when it’s convenient to him.
What’s your favourite thing about the UK?
J: Definitely the crowds.
R: We’ve been coming over here since the beginning of our career, we’ve been over here something like 15 times and every time the crowds have been bigger and bigger. It’s so cool to travel the 5000 miles or whatever it is and have the crowds we have. It’s not like we came over here and played Academy 3s then the next time we’re headlining festivals – it’s been years and years. It feels good to look back.
You guys are always on tour – how do you keep the momentum going?
A: Staying on the road really helps. Just constantly putting ourselves out there and not really stopping has helped us stay on people’s minds and stay fresh.
What are your essentials when you TRAVEL the world?
J: A boombox or some kind of a musical device.
R: If you go in our dressing room anywhere between an hour and a half up until our set it’s hip-hop or the new Daft Punk as of late and we’re dancing around like the Village People.
J: Sometimes we even listen to the Village People.
You guys always bring the party on stage. Have you ever had to fake having fun?
R: If we’re feeling off or sick, as soon as we walk on the stage it’s all gone.
J: Something flips in my mind, you know? It’s not so much faking as it is the adrenaline kicking in and it overcomes any feeling of sorrow, sadness or weakness that you have.
Have you ever had a diva tantrum on stage?
A: Definitely never on stage. Everywhere else – constantly.
R: We always say that in this day and age there’s no room for rockstars where we are – you’ve got Foo Fighters and Green Day but even they’re not diva-y. So if we were to throw that kind of shit it just wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t fly with us. If Alex did it all three of us would jump on him.
J: We’d beat the shit out of him with a couple of sticks.
You’d never ‘do an Axl’ then?
J: If we did an Axl Rose then people would stop coming to our shows.
A: And look what happened to him – he wears a bandana. Anyone that wears a bandana that much is an asshole. Bret Michaels? Asshole.
Before you go on stage, is there an optimum level of drunk you need to be?
R: We’ve only played properly drunk once, I think. We were at a college show and started putting drums out in the crowd.
A: We have a couple of drinks just to get loose, you know?
J: It’s like warming up before you go and talk to a girl. You loosen up a bit to get confident.
Zack: I don’t drink before the show, but I party afterwards for sure.
What is the hardest you guys have ever partied?
A: Probably Jack’s birthday in Vegas.
J: Yeah we went at it for three days straight. 72 hours of partying followed by a 72 hour hangover.
R: We had this big suite at the hotel and there was a bowling alley in it! It was during Warped last year, right at the beginning, and it was the best introduction to bands ever like ‘We’re here, we’re All Time Low’. We had Every Time I Die in there bowling, and You Me At Six – it was awesome.
A: None of us remember what happened so whatever happened in Vegas had no choice but to stay in Vegas. I had some unknown bruises the next day.
J: I gave some unknown bruises.
You’re off on tour round Europe with Green Day, is that a dream come true? [NB. This interview took place a while back now]
A: Of course! We all listened to them growing up. We did the first show in Vienna and it was kind of a bummer because we had to fly back to the UK straight away so we didn’t get to see them and the anticipation is still there. They arrived late while we were playing so they didn’t get to see us, it didn’t even feel like a Green Day show.
No Wayne’s World ‘We’re Not Worthy’ moment then?
R: We’re trying to keep our composure and be the cool guys but on the inside we’re freakin’. We’ve probably covered the whole of Dookie.
A: Dookie, Kerplunk and Nimrod were some of the first albums I ever bought.
R: I bought Dookie on tape, I remember because it was green.
How does it feel that you’re now influencing the new breed of pop-punk bands?
A: Every now and then a kid in a band will say ‘Dude, you’re the reason I play music’ and I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.
R: Our initial thought is ‘Wow, your band must suck then!’
J: If someone tells me that I’m their favourite guitar player then they must be terrible.
R: It’s really easy to just take it as a compliment at first but then it hits home and we think that we’re these guys’ Blink 182.
You guys have been together since high school, what’s the secret to not falling out and wanting to kill each other?
R: Growing up and learning together.
A: It’s more family than friends at this point. We know what to do, we know what not to do, we know how to piss each other off and how to avoid it, so any beef we ever have gets quashed.
R: We were all in same boat at the beginning so we knew that if we fucked around with each other or messed with the chemistry then we wouldn’t get to that goal.
A: Fucking around with each other makes it sound like we’re fucking each other.
R: We tried that and it didn’t work out.
A: There’s no room for intra-band relationships, we’ve all learned that.
You guys are 25 now, do you think you’ll still be doing this when you’re 50?
Z: Iron Maiden can do it, why can’t we?
R: We’ve been together for ten years and for some of that time we were kids and now we’ve got it more together than we ever had before – as long as there are people that want to listen we’ll keep doing it for sure. We’re such a tight-knit group – I don’t feel right when we’re off for too long because I start missing them. Home feels great but after a while I just want to get on the road and see my dudes.
What is your favourite thing to do when not on tour?
J: Smoke dope. Eat pot. I just like to really be on weed (laughs).
R: I think we probably lead the most boring home lives because when we’re home that’s when we’re on vacation.
J: I went grocery shopping the other week for the first time in two years and it was terrifying. I was only home for six days but I bought enough food for a month. Of course I was high on drugs when this happened. I was all doped up on vicodin. I ate a lot of pots.
After headlining festivals and touring with your heroes, what else is there?
A: Every time we reach a goal that we’ve set in the past we set a new one. I don’t think we’re ever satisfied, it’s always on to the next thing and on to the next thing. Ultimately I think the thing for this band is longevity – it doesn’t matter to us if we’re the biggest band in the world or the smallest band in the world as long as there’s people that want to see us.
J: So we can go and buy Maseratis. If you’re not driving a Maserati then you’re not living.
A: Maseratis and longevity is the key… until one of us dies from all the pots we’re smoking.