“JACK AND I BICKER ABOUT DUMB SH*T. BUT We’re closer than ever”

ALEX GASKARTH

Kerrang! (UK) - - News -

buzz about this one, too. One rea­son could be be­cause they’re be­ing backed by leg­endary punks Good Char­lotte (Jack:“home­town he­roes from Mary­land”), as well as pop-rock hot-shots Against The Cur­rent. An­other is that this tour presents a re­ward for some se­ri­ously hard work. Fu­ture Hearts, to use the record-la­bel ver­nac­u­lar, shifted big units through­out 2015, climb­ing to Num­ber One in the UK, and land­ing in the Num­ber Two spot in Amer­ica. Some of the rau­cous new ma­te­rial was premiered dur­ing last year’s trip around the coun­try, but All Time Low’s world has changed dra­mat­i­cally since then. Sud­denly they’re in the Big Deal cat­e­gory.

“I do think we’ve be­come more of a house­hold name,” says Jack.“more than any­thing, peo­ple take us se­ri­ously be­cause we’ve been around for so long. I’m not gonna say that we’ve earned ev­ery­one’s re­spect, but you do get a cer­tain amount of re­spect when you’ve been around for 12 years. If you’re in a band for that long, there’s de­fifinitely some­thing hap­pen­ing. Luck­ily, peo­ple take note of that stuff.” Not that you can please ev­ery­one… “There’s still a mil­lion peo­ple out there who hate pop-punk,” says Alex.“i don’t ex­pect ev­ery­one to love our band, and love what we’re do­ing, in the same way that I don’t love plenty of gen­res, or plenty of bands. Mu­sic’s a mat­ter of taste. I don’t give a fuck.” All Time Low’s forth­com­ing UK ad­ven­ture also throws up a pe­cu­liar quirk of tim­ing. For the third time in four years, the band will be in the coun­try for Valen­tine’s Day, a pe­riod of fran­tic card-buy­ing, ro­man­tic ges­tures and in­evitable bust-ups. “We have a Valen­tine’s com­plex,” laughs Alex. “We feel very ro­man­tic when we play in the UK.” His au­di­ences of­ten feel the mood, too. Last year, their stage was pep­pered by a vol­ley of candy hearts from the crowd.

Alex claims to be not so ro­man­tic when it comes to the canoodling sea­son, though. “I don’t deal well with sur­prises, but I’m down for an awe­some ro­man­tic din­ner.” Mean­while, Jack seems more in tune with the vibe, es­pe­cially as All Time Low will be en­joy­ing a rare day off on Fe­bru­ary 14.

“You know, it’s a day of love,” he says. “Lon­don, and Eng­land in gen­eral, is a place I love. It’s a great spot to have Valen­tine’s Day. Ev­ery­one al­ways talks about Paris be­ing a ro­man­tic city, but Lon­don’s ro­man­tic, man. Ev­ery­thing’s on the wa­ter, there are parks and gar­dens – it’s beau­ti­ful.the other guys have their girl­friends and their fi­fi­ancées – I’m the sin­gle man in the band, so I’ll see what Eng­land has to of­fer…” Maybe a ro­man­tic din­ner for the four of you? “If we’re hav­ing a din­ner for four, I know we’re gonna get laid,” laughs Jack. “All four of us put out be­cause we don’t mess around.we’re not teases.”

o the out­side world,all Time Low’s 2003 emer­gence was im­bued with a ro­man­tic mood, but of the in­no­cent, teen soap va­ri­ety.alex and Jack’s friend­ship reads like a slice of pop-punk fan fi­fic­tion.when the pair met in eighth grade at Dulaney High, a sec­ondary school in Ti­mo­nium, Bal­ti­more County,alex had the gui­tarist down as “a goof”. He wore chains and an an­tag­o­nis­tic T-shirt that read, ‘Tell Your Girl­friend I Said,‘thanks!’’ All Time Low’s front­man-in-wait­ing had just trans­ferred from a pri­vate school where strait-laced dress rules com­prised khaki trousers and but­toned shirts.a punk kid like Jack, who rode into class on a skate­board, seemed in­tim­i­dat­ing.

“This makes me sound so vanilla,” laughs Alex, re­call­ing their fi­first meet­ing. “But I was like, ‘Oh my God, who is this dude? He’s such a rebel!’”

From Jack’s end, though,alex’s ar­rival at Dulaney brought a whiff of jeal­ousy.the new kid was a nov­elty, par­tic­u­larly among the girls at school.“there’s al­ways a mys­tery about peo­ple who come over from other

tschools,” says Jack.“he was a good-look­ing dude and all the girls would grav­i­tate to­wards Alex – this new guy that we didn’t know any­thing about. I didn’t take too kindly to that. My fi­first thought was,‘he’s a dick.’”

Their mu­tual in­dif­fer­ence didn’t take too long to right it­self.alex and Jack be­gan hang­ing out by the movie theatre in town – a meet­ing spot for skaters. They got chat­ting about mu­sic, gui­tars and the bands they both loved.“in the end we were like,‘let’s hang out, man! You play gui­tar, I play gui­tar…’” says Alex.“it was one of those dumb things where, all of a sud­den, you’re go­ing,‘bring your shitty Squier over and your shitty amp, and let’s play blink songs!’”

In­ter­est­ingly, you won’t fifind any men­tion of All Time Low on Dulaney’s no­table alumni list.that hon­our goes to Gre­gory R.wise­man, NASA as­tro­naut; Bob Wheeler, 1500-me­tre run­ner in the 1972 Mu­nich Olympics; and opera singer Dawn Ko­to­ski. But 12 years and six al­bums into their ca­reer, the band’s ca­reer is cruis­ing into high al­ti­tudes, a pro­gres­sion that can be pin­pointed to the close-knit bro­mances within the band, most no­tably be­tween Alex and Jack, who re­main best friends to this day.“i’m glad to have him around,” says Jack.“he’s my brother…”

DO YOU TWO AR­GUE LIKE ANY OTHER COU­PLE?

alex: “For sure, we bicker about dumb shit – the dumb shit that sib­lings bicker about. Like, ‘Dude you wore the same shoes as me… what the fuck, man?!’ We get clothes from the same stores, so it’s like, ‘Oh, man, you showed up wear­ing the same jacket for the in­ter­view to­day, what the fuck? You have to go

change!’ ‘No, you have to go change!’ Stuff like that.”

WHAT ARE YOUR SIM­I­LAR­I­TIES AND DIF­FER­ENCES?

alex: “I think we’re both pretty sim­i­lar in that we’re pretty laid back.we like to have a good time, but we’re very fo­cused on mak­ing this band the best it can be. I think we take care of our friends; we’re very much a big fam­ily – fam­ily peo­ple.we’re peo­ple that re­ally care about ev­ery­one in our unit and group. But I think we’re in dif­fer­ent places in our lives. I’m get­ting mar­ried and go­ing off on this whole new ad­ven­ture in life. Jack is a sin­gle man and liv­ing it up, so that’s the big­gest dif­fer­ence. He’s a year younger and he’s also the youngest of three, so he’s al­ways been the baby of the band, if that makes sense. He’s go­ing out and he’s par­ty­ing, he’s liv­ing his life and that’s awe­some.” Jack: “Me and Alex are dif­fer­ent peo­ple.we like dif­fer­ent types of mu­sic – we don’t all like the same stuff. Alex is the dude that has had a girl­friend for many years and I’m the sin­gle guy. But when it comes down to it, what made us so close, es­pe­cially in the be­gin­ning, was that we both wanted the same thing. That has kept us to­gether.”

HAS HAV­ING GIRL­FRIENDS AROUND EVER GOT IN THE WAY OF WHAT THE BAND WANTED TO DO?

Jack: “Hon­estly,no.alex and his fi­fi­ancé e have been dat­ing since we were 15, so she’s been just as big a part of the band as any of us. She’s seen it all. She’s been there since the be­gin­ning. It’s nice to have some­one like that to be sup­port­ive and see where we’ve come from.we’ve been blessed in the sense that girls are never the is­sue with us.”

HOW HAS THE WORK­ING RE­LA­TION­SHIP BE­TWEEN YOU TWO CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?

Jack: “Mu­si­cally,alex has taken the role of leader, and that’s al­ways been the case since the be­gin­ning. When you’ve been in a band for this long, it’s re­ally im­por­tant ev­ery­body knows their role in the band, and is okay with that.that’s how you don’t fi­fight, or break-up. It’s nice that Alex likes be­ing in con­trol of the writ­ing.we trust that he’s gonna write the best songs he can, and we think he’s a great song­writer.” alex: “Me and Jack are still close – I’d say closer than ever.we’re as tight as it can get with­out be­ing ac­tual fam­ily.that goes for all of us in the band. I’ve known Jack the long­est, so there’s de­fifinitely some­thing spe­cial there.this is our thing.this is the idea that we had in fresh­man year of high school.”

DO YOU HAVE A TELE­PATHIC UN­DER­STAND­ING?

Jack: “Yeah, and it’s the same with ev­ery­one in the band at this point.we’ve spent the last 12 years to­gether, so it’s like hav­ing a room­mate: you can tell ev­ery­thing about the other per­son.you can read their minds and their faces. It doesn’t do much for pri­vacy, and you re­ally can’t hide any­thing.there are very few se­crets around us.” alex: “You can guess when some­thing’s up, for sure. It’s like hav­ing twins, or some­thing. I can sense

when­ever some­thing’s wrong in the uni­verse.”

HAVE YOU BEEN THERE FOR THE TOUGH

TIMES AS WELL AS THE GOOD?

alex: “Yeah, man, we’ve been through a lot of stuff to­gether.when it gets tough,

you hang out for your friends.we’ve

GOOD CHAR­LOTTE WILL RULE! them “Dude, it’s so awe­some [to have sup­port­ing]. I love those guys so time much. We toured with them one be­fore and they’re great – they took us us un­der their wings and showed like how to re­ally tour. I think they’re our bi

Jack: for­ever get­ting mis­taken for An­drex loo roll

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