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