The first half of 2006 was eventful for the Maryland modern rock group All Time Low. The group’s members graduated from high school in June. But before that they had signed a deal with California-based Hopeless Records, effectively scotching three of the four musicians plans to attend college in the fall.
“Yeah, the other guys were all accepted to college and prepared to go,” recalls frontman Alex Gaskarth, All Time Low’s lone rock-or-nothing holdout. “But it really came down to senior year when a few labels caught wind of us, and rather than flying out for college visits we were flying out to meet with labels.
“At that point we realized it was a real possibility to do (music) as a full-time thing. That opportunity does not present itself very often. Our mentality was college isn’t going anywhere; we had to kind of take the chance while we could.”
The gamble has paid off in a big way. With an EP (2006’s “Put Up or Shut Up”) and a full-length album (2007’s “So Wrong, It’s Right”) behind it, All Time Low — which took its name from a New Found Glory song, “Head On Collision” — is enjoying a considerable buzz.
The single “Dear Maria, Count Me In” brought the group to the pop charts, and its live following has been growing exponentially. ATL sold out St. Andrew’s Hall earlier this year, and ticket demand was high enough to move this weekend’s show from Pontiac’s Clutch Cargo’s to the larger Fillmore Detroit, which has also sold out.
“It’s been pretty ridiculous lately,” says Gaskarth, 20, adding that ATL has about nine songs written for its next album, which it will record in 2009. “There’s much more recognition from places we’ve never had recognition from before — TV appearances and just an all-around sense that more people are tuning in to listen.
“I think it’s really just a sense of the fact we’re a fun band that isn’t scared to say what we want to say. I think the fact we don’t take it too seriously kind of F
liberates everyone else. They don’t have to worry about listening to our music and wondering if their friends approve or anything like that. We’re just out here having a good time.”
All Time Low, Mayday Parade, the Maine and Every Avenue perform at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 21) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are sold out. Call (313) 961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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