You might not have noticed, given that it happened on in the shadow of the Michael Jackson memorial service, but on Tuesday, [artist id="2121977"]All Time Low[/artist] released their much-anticipated new album, Nothing Personal.
This is clearly a big moment — not just for the band, who are looking to chuck the whole "haircut band" yoke they've been burdened with — but for the "scene" too. Of course, if you ask ATL frontman Alex Gaskarth about either of those things, he'll give you the same response: The label that critics stick on his band and the very scene in which his band exists are mostly BS.
"We're one of the last bands who have had this much luck and success that have actually toured in vans. And I'm not trying to talk sh-- on anyone else, and however they get to where they are, that's awesome for them," he told MTV News. "But I think the days of the Paramores and the Fall Out Boys, I think it's sort of coming to an end. It will come back, for sure, but we definitely ground it out for a few years before we could even think about going up to a bus or playing in a room to more than 400 kids. ... I wish more bands could experience that."
And while he stops to point out that he and his bandmates are very much fans of both [artist id="1968732"]Paramore[/artist] and [artist id="1235716"]Fall Out Boy[/artist], Gaskarth doesn't shy away from his notion that what made those bands successful — namely, touring their collective behinds off, building a fanbase and playing together night in and night out — has gone away for good. And both the music and the scene are suffering because of it. Case in point: the rise of squealing "crunk-core" acts like BrokeNCYDE.
"There used to be that whole mentality of ... it had to be 100 percent genuine, or no one would take it seriously. But that whole line has been blurred now," he said. "The same kids listening to Fall Out Boy — who came out of that cred scene, almost — [are the same kids] listening to the Jonas Brothers, and that's acceptable. So the whole line is being crossed. You have all these kids coming up on Disney pop who then discover bands like BrokeNCYDE, and they're like, 'Oh my God, they said f---!,' and they fall in love instantly, because it's their version of '80s punk."
So with all that in mind, Gaskarth and his ATL mates recorded Nothing Personal, an album that might not save the scene but goes a long way in proving that bands still can get pretty great if they're serious about putting in the work. And, really, that's about the only thing All Time Low are serious about.
"I'll be the first to admit that we're a band that has a very silly image, and we sort of act like jackasses all the time, but we can also write some great songs," Gaskarth said. "We know this record is anticipated by a lot of people, and we also knew that we wanted to take a step as a band. And hopefully the kids are into it. I was driving myself crazy with the notion that this record was going to flop, but we put our all into it. ... This is the best thing we've ever done, and the record we want to make."