INTERVIEW: Asking Alexandria @ The Ritz, Manchester (14/01/2012)
January 25th, 2012
Date: January 14th, 2012
Venue: The Ritz, Manchester
Interviewer: Zach Redrup
Stream: None available
Whilst headlining one of the biggest and probably best selling UK tours that you’re likely to see throughout 2012, we dropped by the Manchester date of Asking Alexandria‘s first run across the nation in the year to have a chat with frontman Danny Warsnop. After finishing up a few touches to his photography Tumblr account, Danny talked to us about playing in the UK, why the band decided to break America first, their recent remix output ‘Stepped Up & Scratched’, progress on their next studio record, what to expect from their upcoming new music videos and more:
DP!: You’re three dates into this headline UK tour now, already playing Newcastle, Glasgow and Dublin, how did they all go for you?
D: The all went very well. There seems to be a very notable increase in capacity as we go on with the tour, and today it seems to be the same again. It’s always good to start and bit smaller and then build up with more kids.
DP!: That’s cool. I mean, some of the dates even sold out pretty early including tonight, right?
D: Yeah. Yesterday I think it was something like 60 or 70 tickets short of selling out, but then obviously they all went really quick on the day. Most dates of this tour are completely sold out already, which is awesome.
DP!: The last time you had a UK headline run was back in April last year, are you glad to be touring here again with a new album worth of material to play?
D: Yeah, it’s always a place that we don’t visit as much, because obviously it’s smaller and we don’t want to oversaturate it, so we can’t be here that much. It’s always nice to have that break so that when we do come back it’s so explosive and so different. It’s like the kids have been starving, so they’re always very enthusiastic.
DP!: Aside from that though you also played a slot at Download Festival last Summer, how did it feel to be playing one of the biggest rock festivals the UK has to offer?
D: It was awesome. It was a lot of fun. Personally I’d never been to Download, and never really been involved in it in any kind of way beyond hearing about it. It was a lot of fun, and after hearing stories from Ben, Cameron and Sam who had all been and told a lot of different stories about how fun it is it was great to experience it. Even to them it was exciting to be there again, mainly with the behind-the-scenes aspect of it. It’s a very busy festival to be playing. There’s a lot of press that we had to do, so it was nice sometimes to just sit down and breathe. Of course we were drinking during the day, and as the day went on the interviews got more and more interesting. It was a good first introduction to it. I mean, the tent was packed, and there was a good amount of people trying to get in.
DP!: Your first UK headline tour was back in December 2010, but before that you’d been spending a lot of time breaking into America despite being a British based band. Why was it you decided to make your name over there before doing so here?
D: When a band gets famous in America and the rest of the world hears about them, everyone seems to take notice. When you get big in England or you’re big in Europe, no one else seems to know about you in the rest of the world. It was a conscious decision to get big in America, because we heard a lot of people saying about how much trouble they had trying to break out of England. Also, people get too big for their shoes when they get there, expecting something more because they’re used to it in England where they’re known. They’re used to getting treated really well and now they’re not again. It’s quite embarrassing to say that there are a lot of British bands who really suck. I mean there’s a lot of bands in America who really suck too, but on a comparative scale it comes across that there are a lot more bands who aren’t very good.
DP!: So you’ve had your new album ‘Reckless & Relentless’ out for more than half a year now. Are you proud of the response that it has received?
D: Yeah. I mean, it came across a bit mixed at first. A lot of people were a bit disappointed that it doesn’t sounds like ‘Stand Up And Scream’, but we said from the beginning that we’re not going to record the same album twice. There’s no point in writing the same album more than once. Just like the album we’re recording now is going to sound nothing like ‘Reckless & Relentless’. Each time we’re going to tackle it with a very different approach to how we did before.
DP!: In a few interviews, you’ve said that the album very much portrays that sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle that you guys are very fond of. Do you think that essence of rock and metal today isn’t what it used to be?
D: I couldn’t count the amount of bands that still keep that lifestyle today on one hand. Yeah, it seems to have died out. The spirit of it isn’t around anymore. We’re trying our best to bring it back, and if we can ignite that flame again then maybe it’ll come back. I think we’re doing a pretty good job at it so far.
DP!: One of the tracks from the album you released with a video was ‘To The Stage’, and on your Facebook you announced you’ve shot a prequel and sequel to the video with other tracks. How were the shoots? Is there anything more you can tell us about what to expect from the videos?
D: Yeah, we’re currently waiting on the cuts back from them both. I actually emailed the record label earlier today asking why is it late, but yeah, they were a lot of fun and rather exhausting. We spent two days in LA at my house, doing a few shots and in a few bars. Over those two days we almost literally destroyed ourselves, and I think they’re going to come out awesome. I mean, the ‘To The Stage’ video got a lot of attention with how it was shot and what it shot and showed. People hadn’t really done that in a long time. I mean, ‘To The Stage’ will be nothing compared to these new ones we’ve shot. There was parts where, and I’m not kidding, I was scared for my life. I shit you not. There’s this one bit where I had to put all of my trust in Ben. He was using a very sharp object and stabbing mere inches with no safety towards my heart. It could’ve gone very wrong and it was a scary thing. Right now I might not even be here, I’d be six feet underground.
DP!: Most recently you dropped your remix album ‘Stepped Up & Scratched’, which you were originally going to release around spring last year but it got delayed and moved to November. How did the idea of that come about?
D: It was something as we were recording ‘Stand Up And Scream’ that was meant to be something to just put out in-between albums so that during the period of putting the new album together. It’d taken a long time to form and come together, but it was definitely worth the wait. If we had released it when we decided, we realised that Bring Me The Horizon were also doing one at around the same time, coming out pretty much back-to-back, and then we would’ve got a lot of “oh, look at Asking Alexandria copying Bring Me The Horizon“. It would’ve gone down like that. The fact that it took so long to put together I think, though it was a misfortunate event, it made sure we worked with the right artists. It was interesting to see their takes and interpretations of what we’d created already.
DP!: Exactly, I mean some of them sound completely different to the original thing.
D: Yeah. ‘Morte Et Dabo’ for example is very, very different and I love it. I think it’s a great interpretation and a very alternative example whilst still conveying the same message.
DP!: Howcome the release date got pushed back so much?
D: It was purely the thing that it took so long to put it all together and get the right songs and artists to bring together for it. If we’d released it back when we had originally planned then it wouldn’t have had a lot of what makes it so great now.
DP!: Finally, aside from what we’ve mentioned already, what can we expect to come from Asking Alexandria throughout 2012?
D: We’ve got some new videos coming out, a live DVD coming out and a new album. We’re booking some really, really big tours around the world. Me and Ben have got our solo albums coming out later in the year, along with a couple of solo tours to go with them. Yeah, and hopefully a bunch of more videos to go with them too. It’s going to be a very busy year.
Written by Zach Redrup