Famous Firsts: Asking Alexandria's Denis Stoff talks Slipknot and headline tours

Denis Stoff from Asking Alexandria
(Image credit: Sebastian Reuter \/ Getty)

Ukrainian born musician Denis Stoff assumed vocal duties in Asking Alexandria after their original singer, Danny Worsnop split from the band in January 2015.

Over the last 18 months, with Stoff as their frontman, the metalcore quintet have played some of the biggest shows of their career and release their fifth studio album The Black. But after months of touring, and before the band head out on a ton of dates across America for the Sumerian Records: 10 Years In The Black tour, we find out where Denis’ incredible journey began.

What was the first album you ever bought?

“The first album I ever bought was The Last Tour On Earth, which is a live album by Marilyn Manson. That’s how it all started for me. My fucking brains were blown away by that dude, by his music and his performance. He definitely changed me as a musician. I loved the raw energy and emotions, and he was always straight to the point with everything that he was making.”

What was the first single you ever bought?

“Honestly, maybe I’m too young, but buying singles has never really been a thing for me. But the first song that I downloaded on iTunes or whatever was probably something by Slipknot. They were definitely another band that really influenced me as both a human being and a musician. I’d say the first song that I heard by them was probably My Plague. I was like 13 and at first I was kind of scared by what I was listening to, but I kept jamming it along with the rest of the Iowa record, which is awesome from the very beginning to the very end.”

What was the first gig you ever went to?

“Deep Purple in Ukraine, which is where I’m from originally. My dad took me to the show with him to introduce me to some real rock music. It was awesome. I remember it like it was yesterday: I was just getting started as a musician, I’d just got my very first guitar, and there I was watching these guys absolutely fucking smash it live.”

What was the first gig you ever played?

“My first gig was with Asking Alexandria at the Rock For People festival in Czech Republic. It was fucking mental – definitely an experience I will never forget. I don’t even know the words to express what I was feeling that day. At first I was in deep shock like, ‘Okay, dude. This is happening right now. You’re on stage and you’re holding a mic and this is your fucking show. It’s your fucking band now.’ The crowd was really supportive, too. I actually feel like this band will never stop because their fans will always support them no matter what the fuck is happening. It was definitely one of the best days of my life.”

How was your first tour with Asking Alexandria?

“It was crazy. We started doing festivals and headlining our own shows on off-days. I was just trying to get in the swing and see how things worked from the inside because it was an absolutely new experience for me. A lot of bonding went on. And the guys definitely like to have a good time; it’s nothing different than what you’ve heard about. It was bars, bars and more bars. Every night would end up at the bar. By the third or fourth show I started to feel comfortable, and I knew what to expect and I wasn’t nervous anymore. Since then I’ve been stoked with the way everything has gone.”

The Black is out now, via Sumerian Records.

Asking Alexandria are headlining the Sumerian Records: 10 Years In The Black tour later this year.

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Matt Stocks

DJ, presenter, writer, photographer and podcaster Matt Stocks was a presenter on Kerrang! Radio before a year’s stint on the breakfast show at Team Rock Radio, where he also hosted a punk show and a talk show called Soundtrack Apocalypse. He then moved over to television, presenting on the Sony-owned UK channel Scuzz TV for three years, whilst writing regular features and reviews for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine. He also wrote, produced and directed a feature-length documentary on Australian hard rock band Airbourne called It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll, and in 2017 launched his own podcast: Life in the Stocks. His first book, also called Life In The Stocks, was published in 2020. A second volume was published in April 2022.