Remember, I will be answering questions on reddit tomorrow eve! Join me! pic.twitter.com/lvrUgxAJy8— Alexander William (@AlexAllTimeLow) March 20, 2014
All Time Low singer/songwriter/guitarist Alex Gaskarth took some time on the band's day off in Glasgow, Scotland to do his first ever Reddit AMA on r/Music. (Drummer/Ultimate Cassadee Pope fangirl Rian Dawson has done two or three). Gaskarth talks about the band's inspirations, alcohol, Game of Thrones/Doctor Who, and sex in the AMA, which got almost 1700 comments and questions.
Question: Will you serenade my girlfriend and I while we have sex?
Edit: You could give us a "Backseat Serenade"
Alex: Sure. I'll be over soon to penetrate you both with sensual sounds.
1.Who's your biggest songwriting influence, and why?
2.What's your songwriting process like? Is it sporadic, do you sit down and force yourself to write something every once in a while, do you have a theme or feel with each album that you go for, etc. (Pretty open ended question I guess).
3.In your opinion, the best song you've ever written?
1.Dave Grohl and Butch Walker. They are two of the most diverse and talented writers out there.
2.It can be fairly sporadic. I find that inspiration can hit at any time, anywhere (like diarrhea,) so it helps to be able to quickly hum something into my phone, or scribble down a lyric on the go. When it comes to actually writing a song, I usually have to lock myself away and really focus one putting something cohesive together.
3.I think "Guts" is the song I'm most proud of.
Question: What happens to all the bras after the concert ends?
Alex: Usually they get thrown out, but it always seems like a waste, so I've started wearing them occasionally.
In all seriousness, we did actually collect them over the course of a tour once, and donated the monetary equivalent to a breast cancer foundation when we totaled them all up at the end.
Question: How many women do you (on average) sleep with per night?
Alex: When my girlfriend is on tour with me, I sleep with an average of about one girl per night.
When she's not, I masturbate furiously into a sock.
Question: How does it feel playing songs from the eras of So Wrong It's Right and Put Up Or Shut Up? What goes through your head when you sing such old lyrics?
Alex: It's awesome that the songs have lasted, and continue to make an impact in our live shows. So many fond memories attached to those songs. When a crowd goes off for any song, be it new or old, it's an incredibly rewarding experience.
Question: So uh how many times have you seen Jack's penis?
Alex: More times than I'd like to admit. :(
Question: I thought this was the guy from Trueblood at first.
Alex: I wish. :(
Question: Do you like hearing yourself sing, or do you cringe? Your voice is incredible I love you.
Alex: I don't think anyone loves the sound of their own voice. I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish as a singer, but then there's always Freddie Mercury.
Question: What's up Alex? A couple questions for ya: 1. What are your favorite and least favorite cities to go to? Spinoff: what city has grown on you that you never really liked going to? 2. Would you rather a) have shots sent up on stage or b) have a massive joint thrown randomly on stage. (Stipulation: the set isn't interrupted or disturbed in any way with either of these events.)
1.Favorite city is Osaka, Japan. Least favorite, probably New York (Manhattan, specifically.) Paris has really grown on me over the years.
2.Shots! I don't really smoke because it totally wrecks my voice.
Question: I'm super late but I just wanted to tell you that I have the swir girls tattooed on me and your music is wonderful. With that said, what is the weirdest thing a fan has ever given/showed you.
Alex: That's rad!
A guy actually whipped his balls out at a meet and greet once, asking us to sign them. Kinda forward, but I admire his... balls.
Question: Why do you not play good punk?
Alex: I was genetically engineered by Chinese scientists specifically to piss you off, so...
Question: Hi! I've listened to a few of your albums, and only liked what I heard. Im not that into music, but my sister is probably one of you biggest fan(girl)s, I think you even talked to her on twitter a few times(she basically had a siezure in front of me, mouth foam and everything). What do you think of extreme fans, especially if you've ever met one in real life?
Alex: Hey! Good to hear from you. Thanks for giving our music a shot!
Sometimes people forget that the people they see on TV, the web, music videos, etc. are human beings, just the same as them. It's always a little overwhelming to deal with people who are just losing their shit, but at the same time, it's really flattering and you've got to just kind of go with it.
I hope your sister recovers soon. :)
Question: I was wondering how you keep so energetic and happy during and after a show. I know it's a lot to deal with and i want to know how you handle it all
Alex: A shit ton of cocaine and meth.
Question: Alex, what are your thoughts on fan tattoos? especially handwritten stuff?
Alex: Hey, it's your body!
I sometimes get weirded out when someone asks me to "draw" something for them to have tattooed. I am NOT an artist by any means, and I'd feel horrible if someone actually defaced themselves with a wonky heart I scribbled or something. Haha!
Question: What is the song (or songs) you are most proud of writing?
Have you ever felt like you missed out on the college experience or any similar rites of passage while you guys were off touring the world?
Pick three people you've interacted with in the past 24 hours who you'd have on your team during a bar fight.
And finally, what is the most horrifying sight you have ever seen on tour? Disgusting, weird or plain fucked up, whatever you feel fits the description.
1.I'm extremely proud of songs like Weightless, The Reckless and The Brave and Therapy-- Songs that people say have helped them in some way. I never thought that our music would have any sort of profound effect on people when I started writing, so it's extremely rewarding to hear that from time to time.
2.Don't really feel like I missed out on college; I really didn't enjoy high-school, and I feel as though it would have been a similar situation had I gone on to do further schooling.
3.Rian (our drummer), Vinny (our merch guy), and the lady at my hotel's reception desk, (she looked like she could throw down.)
4.Bus on the Warped Tour hit a deer and completely exploded (red mist) the thing all over the highway. Gross.
Question: Do you ever get annoyed by people who assume or fabricate things about your life?
Alex: It can definitely be frustrating, but at the end of the day, people will think what they want to think. I know who I am, and those I'm close with / care about do too; That's really all that matters.
Question: What is the ultimate goal for All Time Low, you guys have been quite successful for the past 11 years, but what is you goal for the next 11?
Alex: Continue to grow as a band, and as people. We're always looking to try new things and push our sound a little here and there, without completely abandoning what we've done all along.
Question: How many pool balls can you fit in your mouth?
Alex: All of 'em, after I crush them into a fine powder and add milk.
Question: Hey dude! Always wondered when you'd do an AMA. You guys have a pretty enthusiastic fanbase, and I use that term lightly. I should know, I guess. As you get more and more popular, do you ever wish you could sacrifice a little of it for the past anonymity?
Alex: Hi! The time is now!
Our fan base is definitely nuts, but also extremely supportive and fun. I don't really miss anonymity, but I am sometimes a little caught off guard by people who forget that we're just like them at the end of the day.
Question: Saw you in Birmingham last week, gotta say it was the best All Time Low gig so far! What's your favourite song to perform live?
Alex: I've been loving So Long Soldier. We just started playing it live, and it's a banger!
Question: Can you wait to respond to this comment until you're too drunk?
Alex: Starting to feel a bit buzzed. Is this the right time to reach out? Can we be friends or should I come back after a few more?
Question: How does is feel to have ridiculous amounts of underage girls doing things like writing creepy sexual fan-fiction about you and throwing bras on stage? I've wondered this at all your shows.
Alex: The creepy stuff is secondary to pretty much EVERYTHING else. We just ignore it. Kinda goes with the territory, I guess. The bra throwing was a joke that started a long time ago, and snowballed from there when we started making jokes about it on stage. At this point we embrace it for kicks alone. :)
1.Why is your twitter background Captain Planet? Are you a fucking hippie?
2.What is one question that you're incredibly tired of hearing from fans/in interviews?
3.Recently some fans have been upset because in Europe someone tried to give you their razor that they had used in the past to self-harm. (It's understandable for you guys to not accept it because of the risk of injury to yourselves) What are your feelings on this situation?
1.What's not to love about the planet, and green mullets?
2.It can get pretty frustrating when questions don't really have anything to do with the band or our music.
3.I don't know when this trend of giving bands razor blades started, but it really bums me out. Self harm is horrible, and this behavior kind of glorifies it in a really strange way. Aside from the obvious reasons of not handing someone an exposed blade at a table signing, I refuse to take them because I'd rather the person just throw it out and be done with the whole thing. Self mutilation is not some cutesy joke, or a moment to share with a group of complete strangers-- it's a sign of serious underlying problems, and those issues need to be talked through with someone who's trained to do so.
1) You guys are basically living the dream right now. Four best friends from high school with a common passion. So many people try to attempt this but very few succeed. How does it feel to achieve this? Where do you see your band in the next few years? If you could be doing anything else at all, what would that be?
2) You guys have been on tour basically nonstop for years now. I always expect to see you guys come by Atlanta every fall and every spring, and you guys are always doing something during Summer, whether it be a foreign tour, Warped Tour, festivals, etc. How has your amazing tour ethic and experienced changed your life? Do you guys find "normal" non-touring life boring now? I know you've said that your current US Tour is going to be your last one for a while. Are you guys going to do anything special with the downtime or are you just going to focus on something else?
3) What is your favorite venue of all time? Who is your favorite band to tour with? And what is your favorite city to play at?
4) You guys grew up listening to bands like Yellowcard, and I've heard they had a large influence on the type of music you wanted to create. What is it like now, after you guys have made it big, to be such close friends with bands like Yellowcard and people like Mark Hoppus, who you grew up listening to?
5) Not a question, but I played Halo: Reach with you guys onetime and it was probably one of the highlights of my life. You guys should definitely do something like that again.
6) What is your honest opinion of the music scene associated with your genre? (The pop/punk, pop/rock, whatever you want to call it scene?)
1.We've been very lucky, and we've worked our asses off to get to where we are today. It's incredibly satisfying to see the hard work and time spent actually pay off. This is our livelihood now, so to be able to support ourselves at this point is amazing.
2.Touring has really been the cornerstone of this band's success. Our shows keep us going, and it's a major part of our income, (Record sales are not what they used to be, etc, etc.) That said, time at home with friends and family almost feels that much more rewarding, because we've created a lifestyle where we've really got to make the most of every moment, touring or not.
3.I absolutely love the Brixton Academy in London.
4.Getting to know some of the guys / gals we look up to has been a dream come true, honestly. So many good people out there, and it's inspiring to see that they all came from the same, humble beginnings that we did.
5.Did I teabag you?
6.It's vicious and a bit petty, but it's also made us who/what we are today. Love it like a sister.
1) Is there any song that you wish you could stop playing live but can't because of the demand?
2) How much control do you guys have over ticket prices of your shows (especially shows overseas)?
3) What's your favorite beer?
4) Who do you think will sit on the Iron Throne in the end?
5) Favourite Doctor?
1.I think we're all a bit sick of playing Coffee Shop Soundtrack live, but honestly, if the crowd's enjoying it, we are too.
2.Ticket prices are typically negotiated and agreed upon by the promoters and our booking agent; We're never directly involved. We try to keep ticket prices as low as we possibly can, but there's a lot that goes into putting on a show, especially so far from home, so expenses go up and so do ticket prices.
3.Loving Full Tilt brewers in Baltimore at the moment.
4.If it ain't a Stark, I ain't interested. Team Stark.
Question: Who would you consider your greatest musical influences? And where is your favourite place to play?
Big fan, heard great things about your Irish show.
Alex: This is a really tough question to answer, because I was inspired by so many different artists and genres. Blink and Green Day got me into the kind of music that we play, but beyond that, I'd say I was molded by The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and Genesis.
Ireland was insane! Can't wait to come back.
Question: What music have you been listening to lately? any particular albums you like listening to on the road?
Alex: I never stop listening to Foo Fighters. Recently I've been listening to a lot of .letlive, Wonder Years, I Am The Avalanche, Taking Back Sunday and Bayside. All of 'em have really solid new records.
1.What was the inspiration behind Jasey Rae?
2.What is your favorite drink?
1.Jasey Rae is a girl from Altoona, PA. We used to play these tiny VFW and Church halls, and she was a girl I had a crush on for a short period of time. Back then, every crush feels like a big deal, and her name happened to sing really well!
Question: Craziest tour story? I'd imagine you and the rest of the band get up to some ridiculous shit. EDIT: Also, what is your favorite cheap beer, expensive beer, mixed drink and shot?
Alex: At this point there are almost too many to list, but one that stands out involves Jack's birthday, a hotel in Pittsburgh, a bottle of cheap tequila, and me marching through the front lobby in nothing but a hand towel, with a flat-screen TV hoisted above my head. We are not allowed back at that hotel. :(
Cheap Beer: Natty Boh (Gotta rep the home town) Expensive / Nicer Beer: Allagash White Mixed Drink: Jameson and Ginger Shot: Jameson
1.Has the band (or management) ever thought about releasing a so-called "official tab book"? When I was younger and had just started playing guitar, books like these helped me tremendously and since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I like to play songs just like band plays them on album, not use a tab that may or may not be totally correct. For example, Dirty Work has been out for 3 years this summer and there are literally zero decent tabs for songs like That Girl or Bad Enough For You.
2.Okay, real talk. What is the deal with Jack's guitar and mic during live performances? I have seen you guys live a couple of times and there have been some strange moments when I'm pretty sure his guitar and mic are turned off but then a couple of seconds later you can hear him playing again.
3.Is there a chance we ever get to hear songs from the second half of Dirty Work, that have never been played live, performed?
4.Has Danny ever dropped your (or Jack’s) guitar while trying to catch it during Dear Maria?
1.I'll be honest, in all the years we've been a band, I don't think we ever actually talked about releasing a tab book. I'm not sure what companies were responsible for putting those out in the past, for other bands, but I certainly had a few back in the day... Learned to play most of Metallica's Black Album that way! Making a note to look into it!
2.Jack's guitar is always on. He's not always playing it, but it's always on. Haha! As for his mic, I think maybe sometimes our sound guys have pulled him down during songs, because he has a tendency to just yell along like a deaf chimp. His mic is there more for banter than actual singing. Zack has always been the harmony guy live. :)
3.I'd like to think so. We're always changing up our set, so hopefully we'll get around to adding some of the deeper cuts into our show down the line.
4.We've had several incidents where guitars were dropped, thrown badly, etc. Once, my guitar actually connected with Danny's forehead before his hands. Nothing a trip to the hospital didn't fix! Yeaaa... That was bad.
All Time Low remains better than your faves.