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Formed in North Yorkshire, and now based in the United States, rock veterans Asking Alexandria are preparing to return to their native shores for a co-headline tour with long-time friends Black Veil Brides. The short run of dates, seeing them take to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and London, forms part of both bands’ intercontinental tour, promising a production like never before. For Asking Alexandria it also marks the return of vocalist Danny Worsnop who last year rejoined the band following his departure in 2015.
They now find themselves on the verge of their self-titled record, recorded with Worsnop back on vocal duties. It marks their fifth studio album, and tells the story of the band’s turbulent few years.
Now settled back into being Asking Alexandria once again, we caught up with drummer James Cassells from his home in Austin, Texas, to find out more about their self-titled album, having Danny back in the band, and their forthcoming UK tour.
The band will release their self-titled record on Friday 15 December 2017. Grab it here.
Catch Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides in the UK on the following dates, with tickets available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk:
23 January 2018 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
24 January 2018 – Manchester Academy, Manchester
25 January 2018 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
27 January 2018 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
Check out our interview with James below.
How are you feeling about getting the new record out there?
We’re all getting a bit antsy about it now. We just want to get it out. We’re super excited. You can feel the tension building now. There’s always this bubbly excitement that goes on in the few days prior to releasing something so big. You’ve worked for months and months; some of these songs might even be a year old. There’s been a lot of work, and combining all the ideas. Everything has gone into just this one thing, and now it’s so close to this thing escaping into the world. It’s a weird experience, but we’re definitely stoked for it to come out.
From what we’ve heard from fans so far, and reactions to snippets and videos, everyone is on board and happy with it, so that feels really good.
It’s your second album in as many years. Was it daunting going back into the studio so soon?
As soon as we got Danny back, when we first met up with him, we walked back into the practice space and sat down together and just played. We immediately knew this could work. It didn’t take us long to realise that we had music in us. We should release more albums. It was something we needed to do.
It came out really easily. The album was very natural. We had a lot of stuff we wanted to say. Danny obviously had a lot of stuff he wanted to say; what’s been going on, and maybe a little bit of what happened back before he left. There’s some storytelling to do.
It just came out really quick. It wasn’t daunting at all. It was a really great experience, probably one of my favourite albums that we’ve recorded. We had such a great time.
How is it having Danny back in the band?
A lot of people ask how it’s been. There’s so many different thing we could talk about. If we say it’s great and it’s the best, some people could take that as us being fake. But if anything it just felt natural. This is what it is meant to be like. It’s the way it is, and the way it will always be. It just works.
The buzz and the electricity are back. If anyone has caught us on the last two tours Danny has done with us since he returned, you can see that live. People can’t see what happens backstage in the studios, practice space or writing process, but it’s there. The vibe is back. The feeling is back.
How are preparations going for the UK tour dates?
The tour is going to be insane. We’re really going full ham on this one. No joke, it’s going to be insane. Even people who have seen Asking Alexandria ten times before, they won’t have seen a show like this. There’s loads of crazy production. It’s going to look awesome.
As soon as the New Year starts we’ll be meeting up, going into the warehouse and getting stuff prepped.
Has that production element become important to you?
In this day and age production is a very big thing. People want to see a good show. Obviously people want to hear the music, sing along and mosh, but they also want to see a show. They want to see something visually stimulating. With the rise of electronic music, their live show… they aren’t jumping around with a guitar, they are behind a desk. There’s a need to use visual elements. I feel like a lot of people really like that, so why not combine the two.
Everyone is using electronics, and pyrotechnics. People want to see that shit man, it’s cool.
Who doesn’t love a bit a pyro right?
Pyro is awesome! It’s fucking sick. Streamers, confetti, all that crap, it’s awesome! It’s well expensive, I shit you not, but it’s pretty sick.
And you’re touring with Black Veil Brides. That must be cool?
Us and Black Veil Brides are going to be releasing albums very close to each other. We’re releasing ours now and in less than a month they are releasing theirs. We thought, let’s just team up and tour together. Why not?
They are mates of ours; they haven’t been on the road in forever. We’ve only toured twice with Danny since he returned. We’re both getting back into it, so why not do a co-headline. See how far we can take it. See how many countries we can go to.
We both wanted to hit the UK on this tour, so we slotted some UK time and a couple of dates in Europe between the American shows. Logistically it’s going to be crazy, but I’m excited. One day we’ll be performing in the States, and then a couple of days later we’re going to be in Birmingham. It’s going to be pretty mental.
Worried about jetlag?
Just take it on the chin, man. We’re so used to that now.
How close are you and Black Veil Brides as mates?
It’s going to be great! Ben (Bruce – Askin Alexandria guitarist) just did a movie with Andy (Biersack – Black Veil Brides vocalst) called American Satan. They are very close mates. Danny has been friends with the Black Veil Brides lot before I even met them. We’ve both supported Avenged Sevenfold together. We’ve done multiple Warped Tours together, so yes we’re friends. It’s going to be chill.
I think both bands have probably chilled out on the crazy partying though. There was a time when doing this show would have been a nightmare for our tour managers and venues…
But it’s going to be a lot more calm now backstage. It’s going to be fun. It’s always fun touring with your friends. If it’s our tour we get to decide who comes with us, and we’ll always try and pick out our friends.
It’s a co-headline too, so we’ll both get to do some cool shit. It’s going to be badass.
Tickets for Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.