WHY DO YOU THINK ASKING ALEXANDRIA HAVE BUCKED THE TREND AND MANAGED TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL, UK-BASED METAL BAND?
Ben Bruce (guitar): “Back in the day when we started and our debut album, Stand Up And Scream, came out, it offered something a lot of other bands weren’t offering. I notice bands coming through, even to this day, who are inspired by that sound.”
DID MOVING THE BAND TO THE STATES HELP?
“It was simply a numbers game when we started. All the guys in the band were like, ‘We should tour the UK a few times and get some shows under our belt and really build ourselves up at home.’ And I was like, ‘No, we shouldn’t do that. Let’s go to America where there’s more people to see our band.’ So that’s what we did and it worked out!”
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE STEPPING FURTHER INTO THAT ‘BAND SPOKESPERSON’ ROLE SINCE SINGER DANNY WORSNOP LEFT?
“I was always a spokesman from the beginning anyway. I started the band and was always doing the press with Danny. If there were front covers, more often than not it was me and Danny on them.”
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YOU’RE ONE OF THE FEW 21ST CENTURY BANDS THAT DEVELOPED A REPUTATION FOR EXCESS AND DEBAUCHERY. HOW DID THAT AFFECT THE PUBLIC’S PERCEPTION OF YOU?
“When we started out, we were pretty fucking mental. People didn’t take us seriously because they looked at Danny who was constantly drunk so we had this horrible stigma buzzing round us for ages, like a fly on dog shit, that we weren’t professional and just a joke. We’ve worked really hard to move past that and I’m happy to say I think we have now. Denis [Stoff] works really hard, he really cares about this band like we do. He’s fit in really well and really quickly.”
DO YOU EVER SEE A TIME WHERE YOU’RE NOT IN ASKING ALEXANDRIA?
“No. There’s no way. I’ve worked too hard for too long and I love it too much. I think about looking at pictures of bands playing the Underworld or the basement in Rock City as a kid. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the dream!’ and obviously we’ve come so far past that now. Sometimes I step out onstage and I’m just like, ‘Holy crap, I can’t believe I’ve done this.’”
WHERE ELSE IS LEFT FOR ASKING TO GO?
“I feel like we’re ready now to take a new step – a bigger and bolder step – in another direction as a band. We’ve started working on new material that we’re already excited about – heavier if anything, but in a different way…”