"This was the calmest recording process since our debut" In conversation with Asking Alexandria
It's fair to say that UK grown / US based rockers Asking Alexandria have had a rocky couple of years with the departure and return of lead singer Danny Worsnop. After 2016's The Black (review here) with replacement singer Denis Stoff, Worsnop returned to the band for their latest, self-titled, album. Music @ The Digital Fix were lucky enough to spend some time talking to lead guitarist and vocalist Ben Bruce about the last couple of years and their plans for 2018.
How are things in the Asking Alexandria camp at the moment?
Yeah everything's great, never been better. We are all super excited about this Lrecord release.
Have you had a chance to read any reviews of the new record or do you not bother reading the press?
These days mostly we listen to the thoughts of people who listen to our music. I do listen to some reviews from time to time, if one has been brought to my attention by fans, like if a fan tweets me. Reviews of albums are very personal though, there isn't a right or wrong answer. For example the latest Avenged Sevenfold record The Stage had some awful reviews but it's probably one of their most successful albums to date. Most of the reviews I've seen or read so far have been really positive and the band as a whole are happy.
How was 2017 for you?
It was great, I've just had my second child and we did a small tour as well and the majority of the year was spent working on this album. The industry told us, our manager told us, to release the album at the beginning of 2018 but we said no because we want to end 2017 with a bang and I'm super thrilled that we got to do that and enter 2018 on a high.
Talking about the new record, let's start at the beginning of its creation, were there any nerves going into the studio before recording, with the reintroduction of Danny, or was it just like old times again?
It's funny actually because me and Danny went into the studio before this and we simply got together just to have fun and create a song for old times sake, and it was so much fun, so easy and right and at the end of that session we looked at each other and said "we've missed this!".
When we went in to record the actual album there was no tension or nerves. We were simply excited because we knew the magic was there. So it's probably the most fun we have had in the studio since the debut record.
What was the recording process like with Matt Good from From First To Last?
It was awesome. We've known Matt for coming up close to a decade now. He's toured with us before, we took From First To Last out with us. That friendship added to the enjoyment and general overall mood of the recording of the album. It was really just a group of friends, with no pressure and it certainly didn't feel like work. There were no limitations with this record.
What do you hope fans take away from the new record?
Music is a very personal thing and I think people take away from music what they want. Twenty different people can take twenty different opinions away from any particular song. I just hope fans just take something away from the album; they sit down and feel something. The worst thing would be if a listener felt indifference from our songs. If it helps a fan get through a tough time in their life that's all the better as well.
You've already got some big touring plans in 2018 going out across the US with Black Veil Brides but what was touring like in 2017 compared to maybe five years ago?
Yeah it's very different to now to how it was when we first started. Danny's initial departure from the band was because of our touring schedule. I think we were pushed too hard, too soon, doing over 300 shows a year, no breaks between tours and we lived off drugs and alcohol and it sent us down this path to hell, which isn't healthy physically or mentally. Nowadays we definitely plan it a lot better. So for example, we'll do three or four weeks of touring and then go home for a few weeks. We don't drink as much as we used to. We used to be a party band but not anymore, we have failed marriages, relationships and all sorts left in our wake. We are too old for that now.
You've recently been announced to play Download Festival 2018; looking forward to going back to Donington?
I think the last time we played Download was maybe 2013? It was a very long time ago but yeah I'm excited. For me personally it's a highlight of my career. I can remember especially after the hundreds of shows we have played, this one sticks out. Waiting backstage, seeing the crowds and the crazy energy and atmosphere in that field. It's unique to Download.
Finally, The Digital Fix covers Music but also TV, Film and Games. What have been your highlights from any of those this year?
Honestly, it's on a mid-season finale now which is annoying but 'This Is Us' is what I have been watching. In terms of it's writing it's fantastic. It's in its second season now. It's crazy. It's about a foster family and their lifespan going back and forth between different time periods of their life.
Lives dates for the UK have been announced. Tickets can be purchased here. Follow Asking Alexandria on Facebook and Twitter.