Asking Alexandria: "We're a better live band now"
Guitarist Ben Bruce on new vocalist Denis Stoff, Warped Tour UK and their new album
Asking Alexandria are set to make their UK debut with their new vocalist Denis Stoff this Sunday at Warped Tour UK at London's Alexandra Palace.
We caught up with guitarist Ben Bruce to find out about how Danny Worsnop's replacement has reinvigorated the band, their recent US trek, and what fans can expect from their forthcoming album...
HOW’S LIFE IN ASKING ALEXANDRIA V2.0?
“We’re stoked. We’ve just spent all summer touring with Denis across the states and Europe and we didn’t have one bad show. I think we’re a much better live band than we ever have been, there’s nothing to worry about on our end.”
YOU'RE FINALLY MAKING YOUR UK DEBUT THIS SUNDAY, TOO.
"Yes, it’s the first UK gig with Denis. We were meant to play London and Manchester a while ago but we had a bunch of [visa problems] and had to cancel. We’re really excited to get back, it’s home to us. Not for Denis, but fuck him, it’s our home! We wanna come back and prove a point.”
DENIS IS FROM THE UKRAINE. WHERE IS HE BASED NOW?
“We all live in America – he’s been staying in my spare room.”
**DO YOU THINK THE SOUND OF ASKING ALEXANDRIA HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE HE REPLACED DANNY WORSNOP?
**“I think we’re good now! I think the last few years with Danny... the band were fantastic before but our frontman was shit! He just didn’t care, he didn’t wanna be up there. It was obvious and he’d just mope around. He didn’t sing the songs the way they were meant to be sung. It was embarrassing. But Denis is just a fireball of energy. He’s a great frontman and he sings the songs the way they’re supposed to be done. It’s good – it’s a win on all fronts.”
WAS IT NERVE-RACKING HAVING AN UNPREDICTABLE FRONTMAN?
“No. I knew what he was going to do – absolutely fuck all! Actually, Danny was my best friend for over a decade, so I thought the split will be for the best. Then he got rid of me on all his social media and stopped talking me and I was like, ‘What a c*nt, I never even did anything to him!’”
FANS ARE GOING TO MAKE COMPARISONS BETWEEN THE TWO VOCALISTS. HAVE YOU GOT FED UP WITH THAT?
“It was inevitable, but it didn’t actually last too long. We've spent the whole summer touring with Denis and did signings and stuff to meet a bunch of new people. Denis has proved himself as his own entity within the band now. We’ll just keep doing what we do and people seem to be enjoying it again, which is good.”
HAS DENIS HAD MUCH INPUT INTO THE NEW ALBUM?
“Denis was a fan of Asking Alexandria before he was in the band, so he has a whole different perspective. It’s a great record and I’m proud of it. Danny just lost interest in the band, so we kind of went off on a tangent and got lost there for a while. So when Denis came along, he brought a fan’s ear. He was like, 'This is what was missing in your last record. Fans like myself genuinely fell in love with you and we need to bring that back'. I feel like he’s snapped us out of this weird funk we were in. He’s brought back a lot of the raw aggression and energy we had with Reckless & Relentless and Stand Up And Scream. I dunno, he’s just made us all feel a bit more useful – which is great! I’m turning 27 at the end of October, so I feel old as fuck. I’m not, but because he’s 23, I feel 19 again."
SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AT ALEXANDRA PALACE?
“Just a bunch of Journey covers really! We’ve built up a setlist that consists of what we think are the fan favourites. Denis is excited. It’s weird, because it doesn’t feel like he’s the new guy; it feels like we’ve been a band for years. There’s never any nerves before we play, it’s like, ‘Oh, right cool, another show, let’s do it!’. And that’s the best part, it’s fun again. Everyone on stage is having a good time.”