|Danny Worsnop||–||lead vocals, keyboards, programming|
|Ben Bruce||–||lead guitar, programming, backing vocals|
|Cameron Liddell||–||rhythm guitar|
|Sam Bettley||–||bass guitar|
Asking Alexandria are an English metalcore band from York, North Yorkshire. Founded in 2008 when Ben Bruce contacted his old companions upon returning to the UK after residing in Dubai. The current line-up of the group consists of Ben Bruce (lead guitar), Danny Worsnop (vocals), Cameron Liddell (rhythm guitar), Sam Bettley (bass guitar) and James Cassells (drums).
Inception and Stand Up and Scream (2008–2009)
Asking Alexandria have their roots in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, wherein guitarist Ben Bruce started a band and released one full-length album (titled The Irony of Your Perfection) with the group under the name Asking Alexandria. The band shortly afterwards broke-up and Bruce made a statement at a later date that the band known as Asking Alexandria from Dubai only had the name for about a month before leading to their disbandment, hence the band never embarked on a tour.
In 2008, Bruce moved back to the UK, leaving behind his former band mates. However, Bruce had no plans on putting his musical career on hold and not long after the move he started fresh with new members, though deciding to carry on the name Asking Alexandria. Bruce has stated that he was the one that created this title, that he still liked it and the meaning/reason behind the name still remained, and therefore decided to continue it in the new project. He also made an emphasized statement in the same blog post that the current Asking Alexandria is not the same band that wrote The Irony of Your Perfection, in style nor members, hence they are two different bands, despite their links. The same statement has been emphasized in interviews and is known to still cause confusion for many fans.
Asking Alexandria, since their formation in 2008, has had some member changes, including going from a six-piece to a five-piece, with the departure of synthesist Ryan Binns. The last known change was bassist Sam Bettley, who replaced Joe Lancaster in January 2009. Lancaster played his final show at Fibbers in their hometown York on 4 January. The band left for the United States the day after the show to promote their music through shows, as well as to prepare for the recording of their debut album.
After spending 2008 and the first months of 2009 touring, the band recorded their debut studio album between 19 May and 16 June 2009 at The Foundation Recording Studios in Connersville, Indiana, United States with producer Joey Sturgis. They announced their signing with Sumerian Records shortly after finishing the recording and released their debut album, Stand Up and Scream, on 15 September 2009 through their new label. The band spent 2009 focusing on gaining success in the United States, touring with well known bands such as Alesana, Enter Shikari, The Bled and Evergreen Terrace, amongst others.
Reckless & Relentless (2010–2011)
On 22 December 2009, Asking Alexandria announced that they were to start the works on a second album in January. They informed that they were to be streaming parts of the writing process through a web cam feed via the service Stickam. It was also announced that they will be entering the studio on 1 September, again with producer Joey Sturgis. Then they later announced that they will be able to get into the studio 22 June 2010 on their official Twitter. The band has later confirmed through an interview with Shred News that the album is scheduled for release in early 2011 and is planned to contain 12 new songs. In the same interview, the band informed that a title was not yet established. In a later interview they stated that the album will probably be able to pre order in November 2010, and available in early 2011. One song, “Breathless” has been played live already and can be found on YouTube. Danny has also released lyrics from the new album onto his Twitter account, although he did not state what songs they were from.
In March, Asking Alexandria are heading out on their first tour of the new year, yet again making their way through North America, this time with Attack Attack!, Breathe Carolina, label mates I See Stars, and the up-and-coming British metalcore act Bury Tomorrow. The tour carries through to April, ending ten days before heading off for their debut European tour with Dance Gavin Dance and In Fear and Faith, which includes an appearance at the annual Groezrock festival. They are however scheduled to discontinue the European tour two days before it originally ends to make an appearance at The Bamboozle festival in New Jersey.
Asking Alexandria announced their first ever headlining tour on 2 March 2010, taking place in North America through May to the start of June. We Came as Romans, From First to Last, Our Last Night and A Bullet for Pretty Boy were announced as supporting bands for the tour. Bruce has also confirmed through an interview with Inside Heavy that the band will be making an appearance at the Thrash and Burn summer festival tour as a main support act, though not revealing details on which other bands that will be participating. It was later revealed that Asking Alexandria would co-headline the Thrash and Burn Tour 2010 alongside Born of Osiris.
Asking Alexandria has since then embarked on The Thrash and Burn Tour performed a new song entitled “Breathless”, which is featured on their then upcoming second studio album Reckless & Relentless. The band as well recorded a cover of “Right Now (Na Na Na)” by Akon which was released on Punk Goes Pop 3 in November 2010.
During a show in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the Short But Sweet Tour that took place in early October, Asking Alexandria was asked about the release of their upcoming album and future music videos. Bruce responded with great detail about their plans. Reckless & Relentless will be available for pre-order in December and will be released in February. He also stated that in November 2010 they will be releasing a reissue of Stand Up and Scream, the reissue album is said to contain more of a “dubstep feel” to the content. Bruce also mentioned that it will contain a bonus DVD that will have a live music video of “If You Can’t Ride Two Horses at Once… Then You Should Get Out of the Circus.” They are also preparing a music video for “A Prophecy” that will be included on the bonus DVD if finished in time.
On 23 November 2010, Asking Alexandria added a new EP entitled Life Gone Wild for pre-order, set to be released on 21 December 2010. The EP contained the new song “Breathless”, dubstep remixes of “A Single Moment of Sincerity” and “Not the American Average,” two Skid Row covers of “18 and Life” and “Youth Gone Wild”, and an unreleased demo version of “I Was Once, Possibly, Maybe, Perhaps a Cowboy King”.
It has been announced that the reissue album of Stand Up and Scream, that was originally supposed to be released on 16 November then 21 December then 22 March has been pushed back to sometime in the summer of 2011 and will be titled Stepped Up and Scratched. It will be a completely remixed electro/dubstep version of their debut album including all the songs, new artwork, and new packaging. It has been announced at most UK tour shows in December that support for the UK April shows will come from Of Mice & Men and Chelsea Grin.
On 5 April 2011, Reckless & Relentless was released as planned. On 11 April 2011, the band made their national TV debut, while performing the songs “Someone, Somewhere”, and “Closure” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
On 5 July 2011, the band released the music video for “Closure”, the first single off Reckless & Relentless, directed by Thunder Down Country. On 15 July 2011, the band released a music video for the second single “To the Stage”, directed by Frankie Nasso. On 4 September 2011, vocalist Danny Worsnop has announced in a video on his personal YouTube channel that he will be recording a solo album in the near future, with the album being more of a rock record, rather than Asking Alexandria’s heavy metal style. He released a preview of a new solo song he recorded, entitled “Photograph.” Asking Alexandria released the music video for Not The American Average on VIA Facebook on 17 October 2011 which was a song on their debut album Stand Up And Scream. On 17 November 2011, the band was selected as sole direct support to Guns N’ Roses at the Izod Center.
The band also announced on their Facebook on 22 December 2011 that they are shooting a prequel video to their song “To the Stage” the music video will be for their song “Reckless & Relentless”. They also announced the sequel to the video will be for the song “Dear Insanity”. Both are currently in post-production. Fans can go to the Sumerian Records Facebook wall and tell them which video they would prefer the band release first.
Short film and From Death to Destiny (2012–present)
On 1 May 2012, Asking Alexandria released a trailer for a new “shocking” short film entitled, Through Sin + Self Destruction. The release date was set for 15 May. The film promises a “controversial, uncensored look into the real lives of a new era of rockstars for today’s generation”. The film contains a trilogy of three music videos from the band’s second album, Reckless and Relentless. The songs are Reckless and Relentless, To the Stage, and Dear Insanity. The film is available now exclusively on iTunes.
On 13 August 2012, Asking Alexandria announced on their Facebook page that a new single entitled “Run Free” was available for free download through a promotion with Axe.
On 23 October 2012, the band announced that their third album would be more “radio-friendly” with guitarist Ben Bruce stating that “…if things go as planned, will have a lot of radio singles”. Bruce expected the album to contain 13-15 songs, six of which he says would be “radio-friendly” and the rest of which would be “our usual balls-to-the-wall kind of stuff.”
On 30 November 2012 the band announced the release of a new EP, Under the Influence: A Tribute to the Legends of Hard Rock, being released exclusively with a subscription to Revolver Magazine.
On 2 December 2012 the band were in an accident as they were driving to their show in Chicago from Cleveland. Nobody was seriously hurt but the band’s tour bus was badly damaged.
On 9 December 2012 in New York during the Monster Energy Outbreak tour, Danny Worsnop announced that he had torn his vocal cord and wouldn’t be able to perform, and that his friends from Attila and I See Stars would be performing vocals for the band until he was able to perform again. On 7 January 2013 Danny went in for a check-up on his torn vocal chord with vocal specialist Dr. Sugerman who perscribed him some medicine and told that all he would have to do is rest a bit longer and he would be able to return to singing.
During an interview with GuitarWorld.com Ben Bruce has stated that the album would contain “…a lot of heavy riffage on this record, whereas in the past we relied more on rhythms and breakdowns”. He also described the album as similar to “Old Slipknot” and the choruses and bridges as their “Mötley Crüe side”.
On 9 February 2013 Metal-Trailers.com released the interview they conducted with the band on 23 January 2013 at Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany. During the interview guitarist Ben Bruce spoke to Guitar World regarding the album’s lyrical direction; “It’s a lot more mature than anything we’ve done before. It’s not so much about partying and fucking random girls and doing drugs and stuff. We’ve actually taken the time to write something that’s truly meaningful to us. The last two records were great, and we loved them, but we were different people then. We were a lot younger and had less experience. When you compare the albums, it will definitely show how much we’ve grown.”
On 28 February 2013 the band released a studio update with vocalist Danny Worsnop getting “disturbed” in the studio while recording vocals for the album. On 3 March 2013 Danny Worsnop posted on Instagram that the album was complete along with the tracklist.
Their third album is titled From Death to Destiny. The band released their newest single “The Death of Me” on 28 March 2013, via the Sumerian Records YouTube page. Revolver Magazine included the album on their list of the Most Anticipated Albums of 2012. Commenting on the sound of the album, Worsnop has said it is “a musical baby of Mötley Crüe and Slipknot.” From Death to Destiny was released in North America on Tuesday, 6 August 2013. On 22 July 2013 a music video for the ‘rock mix’ of The Death of Me was released.
Musical style and influences
Asking Alexandria’s music has been described by critics as screamo, metalcore, electronicore, and heavy metal. Worsnop has stated on Twitter that Aerosmith were his biggest inspiration: “From time to time, I forget just how perfect Aerosmith are. Then I play their songs and my soul comes alive. My all time biggest inspiration”. Worsnop and Bruce have also stated that they draw inspiration from 1980’s metal and rock bands, such as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Mötley Crüe, also making the comment: “We also listen to bands Bring Me the Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada, there’s just a whole huge mixture of bands. When we were writing our first album, I suppose our biggest influences were probably more American bands than British. We were listening to a lot of Vanna, and another band called Burden of a Day, so they had a lot of music influence into our first album, to be honest.”
Asking Alexandria have dedicated an EP titled Under the Influence: A Tribute to the Legends of Hard Rock to pay tribute to the bands that have influenced them such as Journey, Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe, and Def Leppard. Also, on the Life Gone Wild EP, they paid tribute to Skid Row by recording two covers of their songs; “18 and Life”, and “Youth Gone Wild”. Asking Alexandria have cited Skid Row as being a huge influence on the band.
In an interview, Cameron has stated he is influenced by Slipknot, Papa Roach, ’80s bands like Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses and a lot of heavy stuff. He also said, “James and I like hardcore bands. It’s not even a case of taking that and putting it into the band. It’s because I listened to so much other stuff before this band that I like to go away and listen to my stuff. It’s not necessarily that I take stuff or I’m influenced. I listen to a lot of broader music. Before this band I didn’t listen to a lot of singing. I was into straight-up, screaming, crazy shit, but as I’ve grown older I’m not so honed in on just one style. It’s whatever I’m in the mood for. It could be anything.”
Ben Bruce has stated in various interviews that he draws influences from Blink-182, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Metallica, Slipknot, Deep Purple, Michael Buble, Foreigner, and Ozzy Osbourne.