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All Time Low Talk Latest Album ‘Wake Up, Sunshine,’ Coping During the Pandemic, India And More

The American rockers were recently nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for ‘Some Kind of Disaster’

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David Britto Sep 14, 2020

American rockers All Time Low. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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At last month’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs)– which aired in the country on Vh1 India and Voot Select – American rock outfit All Time Low were nominated in the Best Alternative category for their clip from the crunchy “Some Kind of Disaster,” from this year’s new album Wake Up, Sunshine. On their nomination, vocalist-guitarist Alex Gaskarth says, “[It’s] so rad.”

In the video, the band is seen attending a rehabilitation meeting while also breaking into performance in between scenes. It becomes clear while watching the clip that the band is addressing mental health issues that people face. Gaskarth says, “The video is a visual representation of what goes on inside of yourself when you decide to confront the different aspects of your personality you recognize may need work.” He adds, “It’s a video about growth and acceptance.”

All Time Low – comprising Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson – have certainly grown from strength to strength since their 2005 debut album The Party Scene. Fast forward 15 years, countless tours and eight albums later, the band is at their peak as artists and people.

The rockers began working on the 15-track high-octane LP Wake Up, Sunshine in January 2019. First, the band set up at Dawson’s home studio in Nashville, which according to them is a “music-first city” that helped get their creative juices flowing. “It felt very freeing, knowing that we were on our own time,” says Gaskarth. The band then rented a house in Palm Springs, California and built a studio for themselves there. “We made the whole record together there,” says the frontman. He adds, “We would get up, cook breakfast and get to work. It was a really freeing and creative space to be in, just us with very little outside input.”

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The sonic imprint on the new record includes heavy rock riffs, soaring vocals, dynamic changes and more which harks back to some of the group’s early albums. Gaskarth agrees with us when we ask him if he feels the same way too. He says, “I think this record’s the perfect storm of some of our earlier sound, the energy of all four of us writing in a room together, melded into some of the more modern and cleaner sensibilities we’ve picked up over time. Right time, right place.”

Tracks like “Some Kind of Disaster,” “Sleeping In,” “Getaway Green,” “Melancholy Kaleidoscope” and “Wake Up, Sunshine” are quintessentially rock ragers while the electro-rock offering “Monsters” (featuring American rapper blackbear), the heavy ballad “Trouble Is…” and the melancholic “Pretty Venom (Interlude)” change up the pace on the album. The second half of the record returns to the powerful alternative rock and also includes acoustic guitar led songs such as “Glitter & Crimson” and “Basement Noise.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back releases from artists, All Time Low were adamant on putting Wake Up, Sunshine out to the public as scheduled. Gaskarth says, “The music came at an important time for us, brought us all together closer than we’d ever been and helped bring us a lot of joy.” The musician adds, “We felt that putting the album out and sharing something that made us feel good was more important than worrying about weaker sales numbers or anything like that.”

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As the band has been unable to tour the album, they’ve used their time to connect with fans from across the world with virtual shows, live streams and releasing acoustic renditions of their songs. Gaskarth says, “Arranging the acoustic versions has been a lot of fun and a really interesting challenge being that we’ve done most of them remotely due to the pandemic. It’s quite refreshing having lived with the recorded versions for quite some time now, to go back and revisit these songs and dress them up differently.”

Currently, All Time Low is working on an online concert series which they plan on announcing soon as well as a music video for “Monsters.” Looking ahead to the future the band tells us that they would “absolutely love” performing in India. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make it over just yet but hopefully with this VMA nomination and when the world is safe to travel again, we can make it happen,” says Gaskarth. Ask the vocalist If he has a message for the group’s Indian fans and he says, “We love you, we hope you’re well. Thanks for supporting us the way you do.”

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