All Time Low vs the UK
“It’s a really big deal for us.”
Words: Heather McDaid.
It’s the mid-00s and there are what feels like hundreds of bands on ‘the scene’, touring relentlessly across the UK and US. What a time to be alive. Flash forward to 2016 and half of them have broken up, reformed and are on reunion tours; the other half working on solo projects. There are few who’ve stuck it out, and fewer still who have grown exponentially along the way.
For Jack Barakat of All Time Low, 2015 was “one of the best years of my life. We made the album we always wanted to make and it was received how we wanted it to be received. It was a really fun year and we had a great time.” Having a Number One in the UK with ‘Future Hearts’, he says, “was kind of a life-changer for us. Playing arenas with You Me At Six was overall a life-changing experience. It really changed the way we look at things and the way we do our shows and I think it took our band to the next level.”
That next level sees the band return to the UK headlining arenas in their own right – a far cry from the club-sized venues they played all those years ago. “To be honest, it’s one of the only things I think about! It’s something that we have never done before, it’s a really big deal for us and I think for the fans who have never seen us headline arenas. It’s a unique experience – I look to the UK for setting the standard for what we should become and what we should aspire to do around the world. The UK was on it first and because of that, that’s where we tour.”
So what is it about the UK that has led All Time Low to grow so rapidly? “I do think it’s a mix of how often we went over to the UK,” begins Jack. “Overall, we love the area, we love this part of the world, we love the cities and I think that if you find a place where your band likes to be and to tour, you’re just going to want to go back and go more often.
“I think that’s what happened with the UK, we fell in love with England, with Wales and with Scotland. We fell in love with everything, we fell in love with this whole part of the world – and Ireland, I know it’s not all part of the UK but we just fell in love with this part of the world. We just wanted to go over there so much more often, and I think that fans know that. They also had a connection with the music, whether it was through TV or radio, or just us opening up and being accessible. Whatever it was, it all came together and it’s beautiful.”
What makes their arena tour that bit more exciting is the supports they’re bringing. On one hand, you have the rising newcomer, on the other, you have a classic of sorts. “Every decision that we make or don’t make is ours to do,” Jack says on their input in selecting their tour buds. “We never have a higher hand telling us what to do, which is nice. So any band that we take out on tour is a collective four person decision that we make.
“Good Charlotte was a no-brainer. We grew up listening to and idolising them in our hometown [Towson, MD – Good Charlotte are from down the road in Waldorf, MD] and that’s just something that I think is really just special for the band and the fans and it’s cool. Against The Current are a young new band that are up and coming. We always try to take some young Padawans out on tour with us, teaching them the ropes and hopefully influencing them on getting big later!”
This tour is the latest stop on a long journey upwards, and that Number One seems that much sweeter as it was the result of years of hard work, rather than an immediate success. “The long road makes it feel so much better when you get to the finish line,” he admits. “Not to say that we are finished or anything! It’s kind of comparable to when we first started playing Warped Tour. We started playing the smallest stage and then three or four years down the line we were playing the main stage – it feels so good when you look back. I think we definitely appreciate it more than if we had done it overnight.”
Another exciting thing on the horizon is the possibility of new music. Alex Gaskarth tweeted that he was working on some new things – but was that the next All Time Low album? Well, yes it is. The band who never stops are, surprisingly, not stopping for breath just yet. “We’re definitely working on new All Time Low songs – it’s happening. Anyone that is a fan of our band knows that we don’t take too much time between albums. We like releasing music and we like touring and doing it non-stop. We’re already working on new music and we don’t plan on slowing down!”