What we learned from five minutes alone with Asking Alexandria's Ben Bruce

A portrait of Asking Alexandria's Ben Bruce looking into the camera
(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Hi, Ben. How was your 2016?


Yeah, It looks like it’s been pretty crazy…

“Jesus, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! We lost a singer [Denis Stoff] and regained our original singer [Danny Worsnop], which was something I really didn’t see on the cards. My divorce was finally finalised, I had a baby [his daughter Fae was born in September], the band have travelled around the globe, I’ve started a whole new band [Kill It With Fire], I’ve started a clothing line [BB Clothing]… Oh, and I shot a movie, too! [American Satan, co-starring Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack].

Going back to January, how were you feeling before you released The Black, your debut album with Denis?

“I was excited. I’m always excited. I’m one of those people who doesn’t do something just for the sake of doing it. I try to put 100% of my heart and effort into whatever I’m doing, so at that time, my heart was all in The Black. A lot of emotions went into that record, and at that time I was just really excited to release it and let the world hear what we’d created.”

It hit the UK Top 20 in March. Did that give you any sense of vindication?

”Honestly, I felt really thankful, because it just cemented the fact that Asking Alexandria is a huge fucking band. Something like a vocalist change would cripple a lot of bands, but it didn’t cripple Asking Alexandria. It speaks volumes about the band and our fans, and it just goes to show that we’re here to stay. There isn’t much that can slow us down.”

What’s been the biggest surprise of 2016?

”Becoming a dad. I was always told, ‘You can’t explain the feeling you get when you hold your kid… blah, blah, blah…’ I thought, ‘OK, well, I already know I’m going to love my child. No surprise there.’ But I really was shocked when I realised that I hadn’t known what true love was until I held my daughter for the first time. I thought, ‘Oh, fuck… this is what everyone’s been talking about.’ That’s what’s surprised me the most. It’s definitely been the biggest, craziest thing that’s happened to me this year. The movie was amazing, the band going back to the original lineup was amazing, but none of it compares to having a child.”

What’s it like being on the road with Danny again?

”It’s amazing! It’s not what I thought it was gonna be. I was a little nervous that we might slip back into our crazy party ways, then shit would get derailed and we’d be bonkers again, but I think we’ve all grown up and matured and during that separation from Danny for a year and a half. Everyone’s been welcomed back with open arms and everyone’s been awesome. It’s like we’re back to being best friends, but it’s just not as crazy. We still drink, we still have a good time, but we’re not out smashing televisions or playing drunk or anything like that. We have a lot more respect for each other.”

Even Danny?

“Danny’s surprisingly slowed down a lot. He has his first drink an hour before we go onstage to loosen up a little bit, whereas before, he’d wake up and start pounding booze back. It’s so much easier touring together now because we’ve all grown up a little bit, and it’s actually a lot more fun – we’re not waking up every day with hangovers! It’s much better than I think we could have imagined.”

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Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.