Interview: Ben Bruce (Guitarist) of ASKING ALEXANDRIA
Words/Interview by Taylor Lack
It’s safe to say that if you were ever a scene kid, Asking Alexandria Is a name that you’ve heard. Whether it be from their ‘Stand Up And Scream’ era, or more recent work from their 2017 self-titled album. The band has always produced go-to anthems and are truly bringing a memorable feat. The band, despite trials and tribulations, are now back to every original member and are locked and loaded to release their new, highly anticipated album ‘Like a House on Fire’ via Sumerian Records on May 15. I had the opportunity to have a chat with lead guitarist, Ben Bruce, from the band; covering song writing, production and reflecting on past work and here’s how it went down.
How was production for you start to finish for the album? How long did A House On Fire take to get out?
I’m not entirely sure, this album took a few years to get out actually and I think the reason for that is we’re usually told to go to the studio on ‘this day’ to ‘this day’ to rush it out. But this time we really wanted to take our time with it, so we would go into the studio and write some songs and then we would go on these huge tours in-between recording, playing these massive festivals really soaking in the vibe and the energy from these tours, so we were really trying to work out what works best, what do people want from a rock and roll show, what excites the crowd the most. We would take that and inject it into the music we were writing – it was a really cool recording process; we really took our time with it. These songs rely heavily on a live atmosphere, it’s really going to shine in a live setting which is overall a bit sad, but we make it work.
Do you see yourself reflecting on past work and taking inspiration from other Asking Alexandria past eras? Or is your goal to move onto something bigger and better?
I think both, this record is really reflective of where we’ve gone through as a band and there are even songs on this record that literally reflect on our old albums. I’ve been doing a lot of press the last few months and a lot of journalists have picked out that they do sound similar, with the use of different electronic elements. We’re always looking to move forward and try new stuff; but me being the primary songwriter since day one I have the same way of thinking and writing then I did back then.
What would you say is your favourite track from the album?
Hands down, "I Don’t Need You", I think that might be my favourite song we have ever written. Asking Alexandria has always been a sucker for those slower songs, we’ve even done acoustic renditions of our previous songs like ‘Alone in a Room”. I still get chills listening back to that song, I remember how excited I was when we just finished that song and I’m even more excited to get it out.
What is ‘A House on Fire’ all about, can you dive a bit deeper into what it means to you?
Essentially, there’s quite a few different angles as to why we landed on that title, we feel like Asking Alexandria has had extreme ups and downs and we’re all for the first time all free from drugs and addiction, there’s been many moments where we’ve been like “lets just tear it all down and restart” This was no different, we all have a new fresh perspective on life and we’re all clean, super happy and super excited about the future. We’ve burnt down what we’ve done and started again.
How would you say Asking Alexandria has re-invented over the past decade to what it is now?
I just think honestly, we haven’t actively gone out to re-invent ourselves, the thing with us is we’ve been honest and open as songwriters to where we are in our lives. Stand up and Scream... maybe not so much, we were actual children when we wrote that – Reckless and Relentless onward we’ve been very honest and open songwriters. Any kind of progression the band has taken is just a natural from us, gaining life experience going through tough times. It’s an accumulation of knowledge and experience we’ve gained over the times. It was just a natural thing with us.
“We haven’t been to Australia in a genuinely long time, from the bottom of my heart I can safely say that it is 100% one of our favourite places to tour” Ben stated in our interview, which is a fantastic sign for AA fans alike, as the band does plan to come back once it’s all safe to do so.
Listen to their latest single "House On Fire" below:
A new chapter for Asking Alexandria, ‘Like a House on Fire’, is set to begin May 15th.
Pre-order here: http://likeahouseonfire.co/