Asking Alexandria: "There was no fear on this record"
With Danny Worsnop back on vocals and a new fire burning, Asking Alexandria are rising up and taking back control of their future. But will people like their new album and direction?
"It’s almost like this is our first album again,” admits Asking Alexandria guitarist Ben Bruce. “We hit our rock bottom and started again.”
When singer Danny Worsnop returned to Asking Alexandria last October, fans rejoiced that the classic lineup – founder/guitarist Ben Bruce, Danny, guitarist Cameron Liddell, bassist Sam Bettley and drummer James Cassells – had reassembled and were talking about new music. Yet even as fans hailed the reunion with dewy-eyed ecstasy, it was clear that over the past two years – a period during which Ukrainian vocalist Denis Stoff fronted the band and they released 2016’s The Black – AA’s progress had stalled; venues grew smaller, and instead of carrying their own headlining tours they found themselves opening for the likes of Parkway Drive.
So when AA finally hit the studio this past spring, they faced the very real task of rediscovering their musical identity. After all, it had been four years since this lineup had written anything together. Moreover, Danny had released two albums of decidedly non-AA material – his country album, The Long Road Home, and We Are Harlot’s 80s-inspired, self-titled rock album. His recovery from his highly publicised battles with alcohol and drug addiction had also coloured his perspectives on not just the future, but his own dark past.
Could they pick up from where 2013’s From Death To Destiny left off, as if no time had passed? Hardly. What would be the point? The Black had already cemented AA’s mainstream aspirations – there was no going back. As the five guys entered the writing phase of their fifth album, their most important task was answering just one question: who are Asking Alexandria?
On December 15, the world will find out, when they release Asking Alexandria – easily the poppiest and most polarising statement of their career. Bursting with glittery choruses, skyrocketing atmospherics and ginormous pop hooks, the new album is as controversial as it is catchy, due to its unabashed mainstream appeal.
“I’ve always thought we need to push the envelope and better ourselves with each record,” says Ben. “I looked at everything we’ve accomplished and I thought, ‘I want this to be bigger. I want this to be better.’ I wanted it to be more exciting than anything I’d done before, so I set the bar to our previous records and asked, ‘What did we accomplish on those records and what songs really spoke to me? Now, how do I top that?’”
Asking Alexandria is out December 15 via Sumerian. They tour with Black Veil Brides in January