Formed in 2003 in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, All Time Low started out as a high-school cover band before morphing into a melodic emo-pop act. Singer/guitarist Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat were All Time Low’s co-founders, with bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson rounding out their energetic pop-punk sound and rowdy live show, which often included silly string and beach balls. They issued a four-song EP, 2004’s The Three Words to Remember in Dealing with the End, with help from the local label Emerald Moon, and followed its release with a full-length album, The Party Scene, one year later. All Time Low had officially become part of the Hopeless Records family by March 2006. So Wrong, It’s Right appeared in 2007, marking the band’s first full-length release for Hopeless. After being named 2008’s Band of the Year by Alternative Press, All Time Low returned with their second album, Nothing Personal, in July 2009. Debuting at number four on the Billboard charts, Nothing Personal helped make All Time Low one of the top emo-pop acts in the business.
CelebSecrets4U sat down with front guitarist Jack Barakat, where he told us all about being signed to Interscope Records, touring the entire world, and their latest album, Dirty Work. Check out the Q&A below.
CelebSecrets4U: You guys have been touring all throughout the year, what’s the experience like?
Jack Barakat: “All year it has been probably the craziest tour so far! This is our first year kind of touring the entire world. We’ve already toured Brazil, U.S. (twice), U.K. (twice), Europe, Japan and even Australia.”
CelebSecrets4U: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Jack Barakat: “Not really! Ryan kind of does his own thing and Zack lifts some weights. Alex and I listen to some rap music.”
CelebSecrets4U: The first single off the new album, Dirty Work, is I Feel Like Dancin’, and it has a little different sound to it. What can the average listener take away from it?
Jack Barakat: “I Feel Like Dancin'” is just a feel good song about having a good time. Its just the perfect song to blast when your windows are down in the summer!
CelebSecrets4U: This is your first album with Interscope Records, how does it feel to have a record on such a major label?
Jack Barakat: “Its quite an honor actually! We kind of got thrown onto a roster full of such acts as Lady Gaga, Eminem, the Black Eyed Peas, and such massive artists. I mean it feels really good to be in the same kind of realm as them.”
CelebSecrets4U: How is this album different than your others?
Jack Barakat: “You know i think I like to explain that like All Time Low on steroids, I mean, its basically like two of our past records together. We’re still a pop rock band but there is definitely more eclectic kind songs on the record. There are also all kinds of rock songs and poppy songs. Its a mix of all, and I think it has something on there for everyone.”
CelebSecrets4U: Do you have a favorite song off Dirty Work?
Jack Barakat: “My favorite song is probably the first track on the record titled, “Do You Want Me?” I think it kind of bridges the gap between our last album and our new one.”
CelebSecrets4U: Over the years, you have collaborated with so many people! Who has been your favorite to work with so far?
Jack Barakat: “We really enjoyed working with Butch Walker. He’s a really great guy and its cool to work with another artist instead of a producer because they tour. They know what its like to tour and everything, so its a comical experience. It was awesome working with Rivers Cuomo, too! He’s kind of been a hero to all of us.”
CelebSecrets4U: What’s next for All Time Low?
Jack Barakat: “We’re just going to spend the next couple of years touring off our record! We have four CDs out now, and we have some high walls to conquer. Its going to be a lot of touring; non stop over 300 days a year.”
CelebSecrets4U: Since our website is called CelebSecrets4U, can you share one secret about yourself?
Jack Barakat: “I make very good mixed drinks like mixologist at a bar!”
There you have it! Make sure to head over to AllTimeLow.com to check out the fall tour dates in your area!