Asking questions to 'Asking Alexandria' ahead of Rockhal gig
Asking Alexandria are a US based metal band from Yorkshire in England. The band have had a tumultuous few years culminating in the release of their most recent album, The Black, and founding member and guitarist Ben Bruce took some time to talk to Sam Steen about the band, the album and their future.
Though formed in York, Asking Alexandria and it’s members are now based in the US, for many artists from the UK or Europe in general the idea of "breaking America" is a daunting one and an incredibly difficult thing to achieve but for Ben, the move seemed like a no-brainer.
Listen to Sam Steen's full interview above"When we formed the band I had a plan and a goal as to how we would be successful and originally our goal was that if we could play in front of 200 kids a night for the rest of our lives then that would be the greatest thing in the world and I said well think about the odds, the UK is this big, and the US is about 500 million times bigger than the UK so there’s more 200 kids a night to play to in the US" he explained, "so we just hopped on a plane with no visas, no nothing and said let’s try it. We lived in a Walmart car park for months and months and ended up falling in love with the country and now we all have visas and I have a Green Card now and the rest is history."
The Black, Asking Alexandria’s fourth album, has been out for about a year now and the songs reflect a particularly difficult time in both the history of the band and Ben’s own life, while it might be hard to access those memories every time they perform, Ben says that, now, it’s almost a positive.
"Over time I listen to them I still feel the same as when I wrote them because we try to be as true to ourselves as possible when writing and you know, I write a lot of the lyrics and when I listen to it now I remember what a tough time I was going through" he said. "In that respect they still hit me quite hard but on the other hand my life has changed so much since the release and even the recording and writing and creating of that album, now I look back on it and it’s almost a nice feeling to know I’m not in that place any more. No matter how much sh*t I went through, with the departure of Danny and my divorce and family members dying and my best friend dying, it’s like no matter how much sh*t the world threw at me, I’m here now and I’m happier than I ever have been."
Split & Reformation
The departure of Danny that he mentions is the story of their lead singer, Danny Worsnop quitting the band. It was a fairly acrimonious split that saw them question their friendship, ability and dedication to the project but after some time out to work with other bands and after being replaced for the recording of The Black, Danny has since been welcomed back in to the fold. Everything seems ok now but with so many of the lyrics being about the split, is it difficult for Worsnop to sing the songs?
"A lot of them (are about him). It’s part of the past and you don’t hold on to the past and harbour those feelings it’s just nice to know that we’ve moved on. You know we go on stage every night and one of the songs that we love playing, I think it’s one of the most successful singles of our career, it’s called 'Moving On' and that was written by Danny and it’s very clearly about him thinking of leaving the band!"
Happily for the band and their many fans the group are working well together now and Ben revealed that the decision to bring Danny back was not a difficult one.
"No it it wasn’t but it probably should have been because the way he left was horrible but when you sit down and think about it, every side has it’s story and back in the day we were touring like three hundred and fifty plus days a year, all together, stuck in a metal tube of some sort, whether it was a plane, a boat or a bus and Danny kept saying, 'we need time off, we need time off', and we kept saying 'no, we need to keep going' and eventually he broke and I think we all broke we just didn't break quite as badly as Danny."
“I think it was the the thing that had to happen in order to save this band, because with his year and a half away, now that he’s come back, we’re all happier and in a better place than we’ve ever been”, said Ben. "We don’t drink as excessively, we try not to tour as excessively and we’re all motivated and happier to be around each other again."
With harmony restored Asking Alexandria are already working on their next album and the current tour is going really well. "We’ve started the gruelling process! It’s exciting! It’s good to be back creating with Danny and the original five again. It’s nice, there’s excitement in the air again in our camp". he said.
Don’t miss Asking Alexandria at Rockhal on Sunday the March 26. Tickets available at rockhal.lu
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Sam Steen on ARA City Radio
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