I remember the first time I heard an All Time Low song. It was the summer of 2007 and I was working at Hollister (yes I was one of those annoying kids who worked at Hollister), and at the time “Holly (Would You Turn Me On?)” was playing in the store. It was very catchy; the chorus was easy to sing along with and it had those great pop-punk power chords that felt comforting. Well that was five years ago – and ATL is still the most popular band we cover on Buzznet.
This past week Amy (you guys know Amy) asked me how a band like All Time Low has managed to stand the test of pop-punk time. She recalled a time when bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and Blink-182 were constantly on MTV and even suddenly featured in popular entertainment magazines like People; but the era of 2006-2008 came to an end and “the scene” was no longer in the forefront of uber popular music. She begged the questions, “Sara, how has All Time Low managed to stay relevant beyond the reign of ‘scene’ music? How are they still thriving?”
Amy had a good point. All Time Low has been at this for 10 years and they seem to currently be at the top of their game and show no signs of stopping regardless of any setbacks (their departure from major label Interscope Records in May of 2012.) All Time Low is constantly on tour, is writing solid records and continued to grow as individuals and as a band. So how the heck did they manage that? Well from an outsiders perspective they did three simple things.
One: All Time Low has always been All Time Low.
I mean really, the lineup hasn’t strayed from Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick. Heck their tour manager Matt Flyzik has been with them from day one and is credited as contributing backing vocals on their first EP, The Three Words to Remember in Dealing with the End. I think there is something to be said for a band that stays together for such a long time. Means they all still enjoy what they are doing and are invested in it. Interesting to note, the band that inspired All Time Low’s name, New Found Glory, have also had the same lineup since day one.
Two: Alex Gaskarth writes what he knows.
Sure there are a few All Time Low songs with a sense of humor, a la “I Feel Like Dancin’” – but I think the best part of ATL is Alex’s ability to package the gripes of growing up to a melody we can all sing and dance along with. Songs like “Weightless” speak to anyone who is coming to terms with growing pains and the anxiety that comes along with it, all wrapped in a memorable 3-minute-15-second song. On their latest LP “Outlines” continues to touch on coming to terms with growing up. The genuine sentiment keeps fans invested; buying albums, merch, and most importantly concert tickets.
Three: Finally I would say All Time Low have made it to 2013 because of YOU.
Yes you the fan reading this post. YOU have given these four boys from Baltimore the opportunity to keep this thing going for a decade. All Time Low keep an interactive relationship with fans via social networking, tour meet and greets and by allowing media outlets (ahem) access for interviews. Keeping fans engaged during an off period or while in a different county has been one of All Time Low’s strongest traits. They keep fans entertained beyond their music, and fans keep them happy with undying love, support and admiration. Without fans a band simply cannot exist, it’s really simple. All Time Low gives their fans plenty to love and plenty to keep them interested.
So I would say the three reasons All Time Low have made it to 2003 are: having a strong sense of brotherhood, strong sense of who they are and the eternally devoted fan base they have cultivated. There are tons of other things about All Time Low that have gotten them here, but those are the three that stand out the most. #musicrules.
What do you think helped All Time Low make it to 2013?
Let’s talk music, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.