Metal Wani‘s Dawn Brown recently conducted an interview with guitarist Ben Bruce of U.K. metalcore outfit ASKING ALEXANDRIA. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether Bruce, who is ASKING ALEXANDRIA‘s primary songwriter, collaborated with his bandmates on the group’s forthcoming self-titled album:
Ben: “I’m the main writer. I’ve been the main songwriter since our debut album. Then, obviously, I share my ideas with the guys. They come in and record their parts, so it’s not like I keep anyone in the dark and just show them a finished album. Yeah, I get the ball rolling. I write most of the material and I come up with the initial ideas and the main song structures.”
On whether he thinks the band’s self-titled album is all he hoped it was going to be:
Ben: “I actually think it’s gone above and beyond all my expectations. For me, every time I finish an album, I’m, like, ‘Man, I wish I could have done this differently. I would have changed this. This song’s not that good, it’s kind of an album filler. I wish I had more time to write more hits.’ With this album, we had no limitations, we had no time limits or restrictions and were left to our own devices and we did exactly what we wanted to do. I listen to the final product now and I couldn’t be more proud. There’s no point on the album where I’m, like, ‘Ah, I wish we could have re-recorded this or changed this.’ Or ‘I’m not too fond of this song.’ Every time I listen to the album, I have a different favorite song. I’m definitely more proud of this album than I ever have been of any record before.”
On whether ASKING ALEXANDRIA had to make any changes to reacclimate returning vocalist Danny Worsnop:
Ben: “No, not really. It just all felt really natural. I think all the time apart from each other, it just allowed all of us to grow as musicians and individuals. When he came back and we started doing this album, everything just kind, it just kind of clicked, like it was meant to be. We didn’t have to sit down and force anything, like, ‘Okay, Danny‘s back, so we need to do this.’ We didn’t need to tell Danny, ‘We need screaming so you have to do this.’ It’s just what it was, so we didn’t have to set any limitations. We were just, like, ‘Let’s all write music that we love and see what happens.’ This album is the result of that. I think everyone, including Danny, I’ve not seen Danny this excited about an ASKING ALEXANDRIA record, ever. All of us are obsessed with it and it’s because it was such a pleasure to record and it’s us. It’s just us through and through. We weren’t told what to do or when to do it. Every single song, we did for us. Yeah, there was no groaning or changing, it was very natural, very easy.”
On whether Worsnop‘s return has prompted ASKING ALEXANDRIA to go in a different direction:
Ben: “Possibly. It’s hard to sort of know. I feel like with [2016’s Denis Stoff-fronted] ‘The Black’, it’s a great album. I’m very proud of it. People always ask ‘Do you regret ‘The Black’? No. That’s a significant time in our career, but we knew it was a tough thing to lose Danny and we wrote a record with that in mind, like, we need to keep our fanbase engaged, we need to write a record that our core, original fanbase that got us to where we are in the beginning are going to love and be excited with it. With this one, it was five friends back in a room that started the band together. It was, like, ‘Let’s write a record for us. We’re back as ASKING ALEXANDRIA. Let’s celebrate that.’ It was a very different mindset. I can’t see the future and I can’t change the past, so who knows what would have happened if we done anything different, but this is the direction we took with this album. I’m definitely really pleased that we did. It seems to me, that all of our fans are, too.”
“Asking Alexandria” will be released on December 15 via Sumerian. The disc, which was produced by FROM FIRST TO LAST‘s Matt Good and mixed by Taylor Larson, will mark the group’s first full-length effort with Worsnop since he rejoined ASKING ALEXANDRIA in the fall of 2016.