Metallica's James Hetfield recently stated that the band was in the final process…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2010 6:36AM by Samantha Shrader
English post-hardcore/metalcore quintet, Asking Alexandria have exploded onto the US music scene in just a little over a year's time. Their debut album, 'Stand Up and Scream,' released on Sumerian Records in September 2009, debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The band credits their overnight success to fans for spreading the word and ensures them a memorable first visit to SXSW.
How would you describe the sound of your band?
I don't know why that's such a hard question, but it really is. We mix a lot of different sounds together. We've got a lot of European trance influence in our songs, as well as a lot of American post-hardcore and hardcore stuff, so I guess when that's all been mixed together it sounds quite unique. I don't really know what I would call it other than a blend of post hardcore/hardcore and trance.
When did the band first come together?
We formed about a year-and-a-half ago in the UK. I moved back to the UK after living in Dubai for a few years, I moved back and moved in with Danny, the vocalist. It was just us two writing songs on the computer for five months. He introduced me to James and Cameron, who he went to college with. He then introduced me to Sam, our bassist, who he went to another school with, and that's basically how we formed. We just started jamming together in our drummer's practice room that he had in his house, that's how it all began.
What are your musical influences?
I don't really know if I could pinpoint just one or even just a few. All of the band listens to similar styles of music but at the same time, we all listen to a lot of different things. Danny and I listen to a lot of '80s metal and rock, like Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Mötley Crüe We also listen to bands Bring Me the Horizon, the Devil Wears Prada, there's just a whole huge mixture of bands. When we were writing our first album, I suppose our biggest influences were probably more American bands than British. We were listening to a lot of Vanna<, another band called Burden of a Day, so they had a lot of music influence into our first album, to be honest.
How did you come up with your band name?
I was in a band in Dubai called End of Reason and that band kind of fell apart and I started it up again, and we called it Asking Alexandria. I don't really know where it came from, but that band broke up after just a few months. I moved back to the UK, I started this band and decided to keep the same name. It's so hard to pick a band name to begin with, so it was easier that way. The meaning behind it all was that Alexandria is obviously the female equivalent of Alexander, and we just feel Alexandria flows nice in a band name. Alexandria we got from Alexander the Great, because at one stage he pretty much conquered a lot of the world, and everyone knows who he is. That's what we wanted to do, we wanted to travel to as many places around the world as we can and make a name for ourselves that will be remembered.
How did you get started in music?
All of my family is very musical. My dad plays a lot of musical instruments. Both of my parents just love music. As young as I can remember there was always music being played in my house. When I was about 3, I watched the movie Grease, and I remember my mom telling me that I used to play along to it with a tennis racket, pretending that it was guitar. So my parents bought me a guitar. I got my first guitar as a birthday present when I was about 11, and I just haven't put it down since.
What inspires your lyrics?
More than anything, just day-to-day life. The ups and downs of relationships with girls, friends, family, stuff like that. The good stuff, bad stuff ... and everything that follows. The last album is pretty much written about it. There's a lot of negativity on the last album, just because when we wrote it we were in our teens and every teenager goes through a lot of ups and especially downs. But there was a lot of positive stuff on the last album as well. We basically we felt we wanted to show people what we went through and that even though times are bad and may seem like they won't get any better, they will get better. So that's pretty much what the last album was about.
What is your biggest vice?
Smoking and drinking too much. I think we all drink far too much. Growing up in England and Europe especially, it's a huge cultural thing over there. I know smoking is a horrible habit, too. We shouldn't do it, but we do.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I listen to everything. It's pretty embarrassing, but I have been known to listen to a few Disney songs -- 'The Lion King' -- which I shouldn't really be telling people, but it's fun. You can still hang on to those childhood memories. It's nostalgic!
Who was your first celebrity crush?
I think my first one, that I'm still pretty stuck on, is Kate Hudson, to be completely honest. I am convinced I am going to marry her one day, whether she likes it or not. Do you have her phone number by any chance?
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Beatles any day! They're one of my favorite bands ever. I love them. They were so ahead of their time. No one has ever come quite close to matching them, and I don't think they will, especially not the Rolling Stones. It would be a tough choice between the Beatles and God, as to which one has done more for the world.
If you weren't playing music, what would you do instead?
I don't think I'm cut out to have a normal, regular job. I'd definitely still want to be in the music industry somehow, working for a record label or something. But if the whole music industry were out of the question, I'd love to try and be an actor, or maybe even a voiceover for cartoons. Maybe that's why I listen to Disney songs!
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
We're on our current tour with Attack Attack! for the next month, and then we're heading back across to Europe and doing a month-long tour there with Dance Gavin Dance and In Fear and Faith. We're also playing the Groezrock Festival, which is going to be really, really fun. It's going to be the first European tour we've done, so we're really excited about that. After that we're back over in the states playing the Bamboozle Festival and doing our headlining tour through May and June. I'm not allowed to say which tour it will be after that, because it hasn't been announced yet, but it will be a summer festival tour, which we're really excited about. After that, then we'll be back in the studio to record our new album. So there are lots of plans for this year.
What are you looking forward to about SXSW?
I'm looking forward to the whole thing. I've never been, let alone played before and I've heard nothing but good things. It's really really exciting. There's lots of hype around it, I just can't wait. There's going to lots of people there from the industry and lots of great bands. We're all just really excited to experience and be a part of it.
Any bands you're looking forward to checking out while you're there?
It's going to be really good seeing Alesana again, because they're really good friends of ours. I'm just going to see as many bands as I possibly can. There's just so many different bands and so many types of music. It sounds amazing!
Samantha Shrader is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.