All Time Low are prepping for the release of their fourth studio album, 'Dirty Work,' the highly anticipated new record from the Baltimore natives. In the last year, fans have been buzzing about the pop rockers' forthcoming LP, speculating about everything from guest appearances to the final tracklisting.
Now that the release date is nearing, and the band is getting ready to kick off their 'Dirty Work' tour, we decided to get the real scoop from singer Alex Gaskarth himself. Here, the frontman opens up to JSYK about the theme of the record, and dispels many of those pesky rumors that are flying around. Find out what he has to say below.
JSYK: Hey, Alex! So, we know you've answered this question before, but can you explain for us again why you decided to call the album 'Dirty Work'?
Alex Gaskarth: The title of the album summarizes the theme of the songs, most of which centralize around escapism; running from my problems, burning bridges because of those problems; and the realization that its hard work to rebuild after those problems have torn people apart. There was a time when the work I was doing felt wrong, and that my life choices had paved the way for something worse to come. The record deals with overcoming that idea.
JSYK: You've said that you're pulling back on the shiny production that fans heard on 'Nothing Personal.' What exactly can fans expect from this album?
AG: There's a bit more heart on this record all around. We made a point to leave little imperfections alone. The approach to this record was "don't sweat the small stuff," and I definitely think it shows.
JSYK: This is your first release on Interscope Records. How have things changed for you now that you're on a major label?
AG: Not much has changed as far as the dynamic of the band or how we function. With Interscope as our new family, we have an opportunity to grow beyond the capabilities of an independent label. That's not to say that Hopeless "wasn't good enough," because Hopeless was a phenomenal label to be tied into, and they did so much for us. Partnering with Interscope simply introduced us to a larger team, with global reach and resources, essentially opening new doors for what we can achieve as a band.
JSYK: Do you feel any kind of pressure on this album following the success of 'Nothing Personal'?
AG: Sure. There's always pressure to live up to the success of the previous release, but you can't spend all your time stressing about it. The main goal in the record making process is to focus on what you want next and strive for it. That's all that matters.
JSYK: Your new album is slated to come out in a little over a month. Are you planning on releasing a single for it before then? If so, what will it be and when will fans get to hear it?
AG: We never actually gave an official release date; it's all been left to speculation and stretching of the facts. At this point, its looking more like the record will come out a bit later than March, but I think folks can still expect to hear some new material in the coming weeks.
JSYK: There have been a lot of rumors about 'Dirty Work.' Do you think the buzz is extra big because of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr?
AG: Absolutely. Word spreads so quickly these days. We played a new song live for the first time last night, and about an hour after the show, it was all over YouTube. Crazy.
JSYK: Why didn't 'Actors' make it onto the final tracklisting?
AG: 'Actors' was a song that we decided didn't represent the theme of the new album closely enough. It's a great song in and of itself, which is why I ended up leaking the demo. I thought people should hear it. That said, it didn't belong on 'Dirty Work.'
JSYK: You recently leaked 'Art of the State' on Twitter in a special way. Were you surprised at how fast it spread and what the reactions to it were?
AG: I was pleased with the reaction. There's a lot of hype building up around this release, and I think now, more than ever, people are chomping at the bit for something new. Tumblr and Twitter are like little online forest fires -- I just tossed a little fuel on the flames. The track was not a clip -- that piece is in its entirety. A lot of folks were speculating that it was an intro track to the record, but really, it's more of an ending to the story. We pulled a [Quentin] Tarantino.
JSYK: You guys are heading out on a six-week tour with Yellowcard, Hey Monday and The Summer Set. Are you excited to get on the road and play your new tunes?
AG: Absolutely. It all boils down to the live show. We've been touring on older material for quite some time now, so we're all ready to hit the stage with fresh songs.
JSYK: What are you most looking forward to this year?
AG: The Best New Artist award we're going to win in the fall. MUAHAHAHA!
All Time Low kicks off 'The Dirty Work Tour' with Yellowcard, Hey Monday and The Summer Set on March 25 in Sayreville, NJ, and wrap the six-week run in Baltimore, MD on May 7. For a full list of tour dates, go to TourTracker.com.
For more music news and updates, follow JSYK's writer @nadinecheung on Twitter.