Maryland rockers All Time Low surprised a lot of fans this year by stepping out of the pop-punk box with its third album, “Nothing Personal” — which wound up debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in July.
But frontman Alex Gaskarth says it allowed he and his bandmates to be more true to themselves as musicians and music fans.
“I listen to all sorts of music, so it’s easy to think outside our genre,” says Gaskarth, 21, who co-founded All Time Low in 2003, while he was still in high school in suburban Baltimore. “But it’s difficult to convince yourself it’s OK. It’s this internal struggle — Is it too much? Am I going too far? Is anyone going to like this?
“At the end of the day, you have to swallow that kind of fear and just go for it, so that’s what we did.”
Gaskarth had lots of help with that. The group started working on “Nothing Personal” with Matt Squire, who produced its 2007 predecessor “So Wrong, It’s Right.” It then branched out to include other collaborators such as Butch Walker, hard rocker David Bendeth and the commercial hitmaking teams of S*A*M & Sluggo and The-Dream and Tricky Stewart.
“A big part of it was just the motivation to make a dynamic record this time around,” Gaskarth explains, “and make sure we had different sounds and were offering up something that no one had ever heard from this band before. We had reassurance from the producers, everyone at our label, family and friends who all heard the songs and said, ‘That’s worth it. Make it work.’
“It helps to hear that when you’re doubting yourself, you know?”
All Time Low, We The Kings, Hey Monday and Friday Night Boys perform at 7 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 29) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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