Asking Alexandria played a show at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, debuting songs from their Sumerian Records release Stand Up And Scream! Currently relocated to New Jersey from the UK homebase, Asking Alexandria has been touring all across the nation and plan to do even more in the New Year. So now we present Asking Danny Worsnop and Ben Bruce, to learn more about this amazing new band…
Introduce yourselves, what you do in Asking Alexandria – and tell me what’s the strangest song you have on your IPOD.
Danny: I’m Danny (vocalist). And strangest song – probably the Pirates Of The Caribbean Theme tune.
Ben: I’m Ben – I play guitar – and my strangest song is the Sponge Bob Square Pants Theme tune – or Tiny Dancer – or actually the Moulin Rogue soundtrack.
Where is the band based out of in the UK and what is your music scene like?
Ben: I’m from London – but the rest of the guys are from up north in Yorkshire. I moved up North and we actually formed the band in Yorkshire. That’s where we practiced and work most of our album. We spend a lot of our time here now – in New Jersey – so we sort of go back and forth between the two.
What do you think of Hollywood and was it everything you thought it would be?
Danny: I’m waiting till the sun goes down to find that out.
Ben: I haven’t seen a lot of it to be honest. It’s not what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a lot more glamorous than what it is. We just got here and I haven’t seen a lot of it yet. We hope to find some hot famous people.
How has this first tour of the States been going and what have been some of the highlights?
Ben: One if the highlights for me is not even playing the shows – they’ve been amazing – but just seeing all of the different landscapes that America has. It’s so big. Everywhere is different. I thought that was pretty cool. I think it’s cool waking up somewhere everyday – and everything is different than it was the day before. It’s pretty cool.
You guys have quite a touring schedule ahead of you. How do you guys feel about being away from home for so long?
Ben: I’ve kind of come to terms with it. I’m 20 years old. I left home when I was late 17 – and of course I miss home everyday – I miss my family. But it’s just something that I’ve grown accustomed to, I guess. It’s something you’ve got to get used to – especially if you want to have a career where you’re traveling a lot. Some of the other guys in the band – there’s two 18-year-olds in the band and the other two are just 20 as well – they only just left home, so I think they are struggling a lot more than I am.
Danny: I moved out close to two years ago. I kind of got accustomed to the fact that I was now on the road. I really enjoy it – and I’m not looking forward to time off. Like if I could, I would just stay on the road.
Ben, what was it like doing a band in Dubai, and what made you move back to the UK?
Ben: I moved to Dubai when I was quite young – I think I was like 5. My dad got a job out there, so my family moved there. I really didn’t start playing music until I was about 16 and I started a band. It was good – there’s actually more of a hardcore scene there than you would think. They have an annual festival called Dubai Desert Rock. Machine Head played there – Korn, Killswitch Engage, Megadeth, Iron Maiden – big, big festival! There is more of a scene than you’d think – and it’s really cool. I just got to the point where I got as far as I could possibly get within that scene because it’s such a small community. And it was time for me to go home as well – my family stayed in Dubai, but I missed England. So I moved back and started the new band.
Everyone gets confused – everyone thinks that Asking Alexandria is from Dubai. It’s really not. My band from Dubai was called End Of Reason. We were called Asking Alexandria for two weeks before I left. I just kept the name and reformed the band in England. Finding a name probably is the hardest thing you’ll have to do in forming a band.
But it was cool – Dubai was awesome! It was my first step. When I started the band in England, it meant I wasn’t new to anything. I’d really gone through all the crap phase of learning how to jam with other people. I had a good time while it lasted.
How did you meet everyone when you got back over to England?
Ben: I knew Danny for maybe a year through the Internet. I found him on Youtube and we just started talking. We just spoke for about a year. And then we I moved back to England, we ended up meeting up and he introduced me to the rest of the guys. And we’ve been a band coming up to a year now.
Are you surprised that you’ve come this far in so little time?
Ben: Very, very surprised.
Danny: We pushed ourselves from the start. From the beginning, we never went to the stage of playing really small, local shows. We always knew that this was what we wanted to do as a career. Straight away we all quit whatever we were doing at the time and purely focused on the band. We didn’t do what a lot of bands do and put a bunch of shit up on Myspace that maybe two people would like if they’re your friends. We took our time writing songs. We actually flew to America to record our demo with Joey Sturgis. We really did take our time and we released those demos – which is what got us signed. We went back to England for a while and wrote our album – took a good few months writing that. We moved back here hoping to get signed – and we did. Sumerian found us. We joined Artery Foundation and TKO. We’ve been lucky, but we have worked really hard. People think that we’ve just come out of nowhere and things happened – but it’s just because we did it a slightly different way. We stayed at home a lot writing and making sure that we had everything perfect – or what we thought was perfect at the time. We went to America because the scene’s better here. You can tour England in like two weeks. You could tour America for pretty much forever. By the time you’re done, you can go back to the beginning again. It was the logical thing to do I think – that’s why we came here.
Where did you get the name Asking Alexandria from?
Ben: Long story, short. Everyone knows who Alexander The Great is. Basically at one stage he dominated the world. He went everywhere and conquered. Basically that’s what we were able to do when we sat down and started the band. Alexandria is the female equivalent of Alexander. It flowed nicer – it’s a female name – it rolls off the tongue. Basically that’s what we want to do. We want to travel – just conquer anywhere we go and get our name out there the best we can. And that’s basically where the name came from. As far as the Asking – I have no idea. I don’t know. It’s just there. Alexandria didn’t sit well. Not a very interesting story, but that’s what it is.
Maybe you could think of something really cool when you’re asked that again in the next interview.
Ben: Maybe. Sam, our bassist was trying to get the story put on that we asked Alexandria and she said no – so we did it anyway. That’s his version.
So with each new interview with a different member, I’ll get a different story?
Ben: Yes. But that’s the one we’re sticking with for today.
Sounds good. Now how does it feel knowing that you have over two million plays on your Myspace? Can you ever fathom that kind of number?
Ben: That’s weird you should say that, because we’re nearly at three and a half million now. It’s going up really, really quickly. I think there was a space and time between April and May where we got a million of those plays in a month – which was crazy to me. I don’t know how or why it’s happening. We’re really happy that people are taking an interest and listening to our songs – but I still can’t understand how it’s happening. We go and play shows and we’ll just hear kids screaming our lyrics back to us and it’s like, “Whoa! Why is this happening?” I mean, we are starting out. We’re a small band. We’re not a big band by any means. But I think we’re going in the right direction. It seems kids are listening and liking what they hear. It’s crazy to me.
Danny: I think that with playing shows and touring around here – like every show we play – the day after, everything skyrockets. While we’ve been on tour, our plays have doubled – our friends all have doubled. I guess it’s because we’re really working our arses off doing everything we can and kids are listening – thankfully. It blows my mind – everyday I wake up and think, “Wow, what the hell!” It happens more often than I thought – we were in the middle of nowhere eating at a Subway and two kids came up to us – they knew who all of us were. They knew all of our names – they knew the band. It’s crazy and I don’t know how it’s happening. But I’m thankful for every second of it and I’m not going to take any of it for granted.
What will the new album be called and is there any concept behind the title?
Ben: The album is called Stand Up And Scream. Basically the title is what we’re going for and the message we’re going for. Basically we’re here – we’re standing our ground – we’re making our mark and you will listen. We want people to hear what we have to say and that’s kind of the idea behind Stand Up And Scream. Everyone has a voice and we’re going to use ours to the best of our abilities.
The Queen Of England invites Asking Alexandria to perform one song at a royal command performance for her and all her friends. What song would you do for the Queen and why?
Ben: I would perform Not The American Average, because it’s all about sex – and I would love to sleep with the Queen if I could…
Danny: I think it’s probably the most sexually explicit song ever written – it’s probably the song we could most disgust her and her friends with. I would probably propose to her when we finished. And we’d probably take her out on the town afterwards – get her a bit drunk – and see how things go…
What could one expect from a live Asking Alexandria show tonight?
Ben: Carnage! Whether there’s two people there or 2-300 people there, we always perform to the best of our abilities. We’re not one of those bands that will just stand around and play the songs. We get the crowd involved. We are a very energetic live band I think. You might see some nudity – depends on the crowd. I’ve had clothes ripped off me before. We just try to make everyone go crazy. I want everyone there to have the best time they possibly can. They came out to see a show and we do our best to give them a show that they’re going to remember and leave thinking, “Wow, I had a really good time.” That’s basically out goal at the end of it.
Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the States?
Ben: Just thank you for supporting us and for telling your friends about us. Please, please check out the album – and please buy it, because we’re hungry and we want to eat food and do another album.
Danny: And everyone email your local government and try and lower the drinking age…
Oh, you guys have a problem out here with that, don’t you?
Ben: I have a really big probably with that. We come out here and we get treated like children. In England, once you’re 18, that’s it – you’re done – you’re an adult. You can be punished to the full extent of the law and do everything you want to do. Here I’m still a child – I’m 20 – and it’s really frustrating.
Danny: We’ve been drinking since we were really young. In England, the culture is brought up around drinking.
Ben: It’s socially acceptable in England. Here, not so much.
Danny: Even if you’re under the legal age of drinking, you’re allowed to drink under quite a lot of circumstances. If you’re 16 or over you could drink with your parents in a pub or a bar. If you’re at home or at another person’s house, you could be any age.
Ben: If you get caught by the police and you’re drinking underage; all they’ll do is tell you to go home. It’s not a huge problem – unless you’re doing something really stupid. Out here, it’s really, really frowned upon. It’s ridiculous I think. You guys can fight and kill for your country, but you can’t come home and have a drink? That’s crazy!
(Interview and 1st photo by Kenneth Morton)
Read an ALL NEW interview with Danny Worsnop of ASKING ALEXANDRIA here – (from April of 2011)
Asking Alexandria on Myspace