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Asking Alexandria

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Asking Alexandria
Asking Alexandria - Rock am Ring 2015-8895.jpg
Asking Alexandria performing at Rock am Ring in Germany in 2015
Background information
Origin York, North Yorkshire, England
Genres Metalcore, heavy metal
Years active 2008–present
Labels Sumerian
Associated acts We Are Harlot
Website askingalexandriaofficial.com
Members Ben Bruce
James Cassells
Cameron Liddell
Sam Bettley
Denis Stoff
Past members Danny Worsnop
Ryan Binns
Joe Lancaster

Asking Alexandria are an English metalcore band from York, North Yorkshire formed in 2008 by lead guitarist Ben Bruce along with former lead singer Danny Worsnop, bassist Joe Lancaster, keyboardist and synth player Ryan Binns, and current members drummer James Cassells and rhythm guitarist Cameron Liddell. Lancaster and Binns later departed from the band in 2009 with Lancaster joining heavy metal band With One Last Breath. Bassist Sam Bettley joined the band that same year, and in January 2015 Worsnop departed to focus on his new band We Are Harlot and was later replaced by Denis Stoff. The band has released three studio albums and are currently in production of a fourth.

History

Roots, formation and Stand Up and Scream (2006–2009)

Main article: Stand Up and Scream

Ben Bruce, the band's current lead guitarist and backing vocalist, originally formed the band in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2006. The band's original line up consisted of completely different members compared to that of the band's lineup from 2008 and released their debut album titled The Irony of Your Perfection.[1] After realizing he wouldn't be able to achieve international success in Dubai, he moved back to England, Nottingham in 2008 and reassembled the band with new members from the local area, including lead singer Danny Worsnop, of which he had moved into his flat apartment in York.[2]

Later that year the band became a six-piece after recruiting Ryan Binns on synthesizer's, James Cassells on drums, Joe Lancaster on bass and Cameron Liddell on rhythm guitar.[3] later that year Binns decided to leave the band and in January 2009 and Lancaster also decided to leave and was replaced with Sam Bettley.[3] Lancaster later joined the metalcore band With One Last Breath.[4]

Bruce carried the name over due to not wanting to bother to come up with a brand new name, so he stuck with the old one however insists that despite having the same name it is not the same band.[1] When asked why he chose that particular name, he explained that "'Most bands have a pretty shit band name, so I just came up with something. I came up with Alexandria as a human name, because people relate to humans." although the reason for using the word 'asking' is not explained.[2]

Stand Up and Scream was recorded during Spring 2009 and was produced by Joey Sturgis.[3][5] The band signed to Sumerian Records and released their debut album on 15 September.[5] The album charted only in the US peaking at 4 in the Top Heatseekers, 24 in the Top Hard Rock Albums and 29 in the Top Independent Albums.[6] The band toured across America as a support act for the remainder of the year, supporting Evergreen Terrace along with For the Fallen Dreams and Unholy in October,[7] and Alesana along with From First to Last, The Word Alive and Memphis May Fire in November and December.[8]

Reckless & Relentless (2010–2012)

Main article: Reckless & Relentless

They toured across the US as a headlining act in March with bands We Came as Romans, From First To Last, Our Last Night, and A Bullet For Pretty Boy.[9] The band supported metalcore outfit Attack Attack! throughout March and April along with Breathe Carolina, I See Stars and Bury Tomorrow in the US.[10] They later supported Dance Gavin Dance during their European tour in April to early May along with In Fear and Faith,[11] during which they performed at The Bamboozle festival on 1 May.[12] The band performed at the "Thrash & Burn" tour as a headline act along with Born of Osiris, Kittie and Stick To Your Guns from 16 July to 14 August in America.[13]

Asking Alexandria performing at Reading in November 2011

After touring the band announced that they would release a limited edition EP and DVD titled Life Gone Wild both digitally and excursively at Hot Topic on 21 December 2010 and would feature a new song titled "Breathless" which was initially a demo for their debut album Stand Up and Scream and multiple covers while the DVD provides video footage of the band themselves.[14] The band also announced that they would release a remix album titled Stepped Up And Scratched and was initially announced as the remix version of their debut and would be released in January 2011,[15] however was later announced to be released in November instead and would contain remixes of songs from their to be released second album.[16] Their second album, titled Reckless & Relentless was released 4 April 2011.[17] This time, the album did chart in the UK, peaking at 7 on the UK Rock Chart, and also charted in Australia at 30 on the Australian Albums Chart.[18][19] The band also released a cover of Akon's song Right Now (Na Na Na) for the Punk Goes... compilation series, specifically for the album Punk Goes Pop 3.[20]

Asking Alexandria later performed at the "Soundwave 2011 Festival" in Australia during late February and early March.[21] In April and May the band headlined in the UK with support acts Of Mice & Men and Chelsea Grin.[22] Also in April comedian Charlie Sheen had offered the band a spot on his 'My Violent Torpedo Of Truth' tour across the US however the band had to turn it down due to their touring schedule at the time, but expressed their flattery and admitted to being fans of Sheen.[23] The group was also the headliner for the "Vans Warped Tour" 2011 in July.[24] The band co-headlined a toured with rap rock band Hollywood Undead throughout November across America, dubbed the World War III tour.[25] After their tour both bands supported Avenged Sevenfold during their headline arena tour throughout the remainder of November to mid December.[26]

In 2012 the band was listed by Revolver under the most anticipated albums of 2012, with Danny Worsnop giving the statement that the general sound of the album will be a "...musical baby of Mötley Crüe and Slipknot."[27] In March the band participated in Dallas' 'South By So What?!' festival and later toured with support acts Trivium, Dir En Grey, I See Stars, Motionless In White and the Amity Affliction throughout North America from early March to early April, naming the tour 'Still Reckless'.[28][29]

In early May the band debuted a trailer for their short film titled 'Through Sin and Self-Destruction' featuring the band members, said to contain a “controversial, uncensored look into the real lives of a new era of rock stars for today’s generation.” and was officially released on iTunes on 15 May.[30][31] The film itself consists of the three music videos from their second album, tracks include; 'Reckless & Relentless', 'To The Stage' and 'Dear Insanity'.[30]

Asking Alexandria performing at Mayhem Festival 2012

On 5 August the band performed at 2012's Mayhem Festival along the likes of Motörhead, Slayer and Slipknot.[32] Later the same month the band offered a free download for their new song titled 'Run Free' and was said to be from their third album that had yet to be announced.[33] A month later, when asked about the sound of the third album, Ben Bruce explained that the band had matured and in order to excel in their career they will be recording and releasing radio friendly singles, however this will not result in the sound of the overall album as he describes the rest of the album to be "balls-to-the-wall kind of stuff", adding that it would be released in 2013.[34]

In November the band headlined in Monster Energy's 'Outbreak Tour' throughout November and December across North America with support acts As I Lay Dying, Memphis May Fire, Attila and I See Stars who replaced Suicide Silence who had issues regarding the death of their singer, Mitch Lucker.[35] Also in November the band performed at Metalfest California along the likes of Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Black Veil Brides.[36] On 30 November the band released an EP exclusively through Revolver Magazine for free via subscription, containing covers of 80's rock bands including; Whitesnake, Journey, Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, along with their song Run Free released earlier that year.[37]

Towards the end of their Outbreak tour, Danny Worsnop sustained a torn vocal cord, causing him to sit out the New York performance and allow the singers of Atilla and I See Stars, along with a multi-talented roadie to perform vocal duties.[38] Despite the injury the singer later performed at the memorial concert for Suicide Silence's Mitch Lucker in order to raise money for his now fatherless daughter.[39]

From Death to Destiny (2013–2014)

Main article: From Death to Destiny

After Worsnop tore his vocal cord in December 2012, he visited a doctor weeks prior to the events of January 2013, giving an update that he will need to rest his vocals until he has recovered fully but also reassured fans that this will not hinder the release of their third album as the majority of the recording had been complete before his injury.[40] In January they performed a short headline tour across the UK with support acts Motionless In White and Betraying the Martyrs.[41] In late March, the band released the first song of their third album titled 'The Death Of Me', and announced that the album will be released later that year in Summer.[42] The official release date was later revealed to be 6 August with the album title, From Death to Destiny.[43]

Asking Alexandria at With Full Force 2013

The band toured across America in April and June with Whitechapel, Motionless In White, Chimaira and I Killed The Prom Queen, dubbing the tour 'Don’t Pray For Us'.[44] Also in April the band partook in the Rocklahoma festival.[45] The band also performed at Rock on the Range festival in mid May.[46] The band later performed at Rock AM Ring in Germany, Download in England, Graspop in Belgium and also With Full Force in Australia in June.[47][48][49][50]

From Death to Destiny was successfully released on 6 August, and became the band's highest charting album to date and their label's highest first-week selling album, debuting at 5 on Billboards top 200 and selling over 41,000 units.[51] In September the band participated in the annual Aftershock Festival and later toured with nu metal band Korn in America in September and October as a support act, along with Love and Death.[52][53] The band embarked on their own ‘From Death to Destiny’ tour in October after touring with Korn, featuring support acts All That Remains, Sevendust and Emmure, across America.[54]

In 2014 the band performed at Soundwave in Australia in February and later released a cover of Nine Inch Nails song Closer for the compilation Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2 issued by Fearless Records in April, making it their second time they have recorded for the series.[55][56] In March 2014, the lead single from their debut album, "Final Episode (Let's Change the Channel)" was certified gold by the RIAA.[57] Asking Alexandria was one of the main headlining bands in the annual Never Say Never Festival on 12 March, along with Bring Me the Horizon also headlining the festival.[58] They later embarked on another headlining tour in North America, dubbed as the 'Break Down The Walls' tour, starting in March and ending in April, with support acts August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, Crown The Empire and Born of Osiris.[59] The band also performed in South Africa in May.[60]

In July, the band was announced as the nominees for Alternative Press' first Music Awards, nominated for Best Live Band and Best International Band and also performed at the ceremony itself, covering Duran Duran's Hungry Like the Wolf featuring guest vocals from Jonathan Davis.[61][62] On 15 December 2014,the band released their first official live DVD titled 'Live From Brixton And Beyond' which features the bands sold-out London show at the O2 Academy Brixton, as well as behind-the-scenes and backstage footage from the performance, it also includes the unseen Reckless Halloween performance at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, all of the band’s music videos and the 'Through Sin and Self-Destruction' short film.[63]

Departure of Worsnop, induction of Stoff, and future plans (2015–present)

On 22 January 2015, lead singer Danny Worsnop announced his departure from the band to focus on rock music with his new band We Are Harlot. He also stated that despite his departure, the band would continue touring. Lead Guitarist Ben Bruce announced that there would be a new lead singer.[64] Fans reacted to news in distress as they believe he was essential to the band's sound, while others were not surprised by his career move, some going as far to say he performs better with his new band We Are Harlot than he does with Asking Alexandria.[65] When Bruce was queried regarding his status with Worsnop he stated that he felt abandoned long before his departure since Worsnop's lost the care for screaming and heavier music since their release of their second album, and continued to say that he wouldn't know if he could call him and Worsnop friends.[66]

When Bruce was asked regarding the sound of the fourth album, he stated that while it will feature influences of Guns N' Roses and Van Halen it will also feature influences from modern bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot, stating that since the third album was such an unexpected change in musical style he believes that fans will expect further experimentation on the next, therefore having less backlash from their fan base.[67] He has also stated that they started writing material for the album while on tour in summer of 2014 and had written around 18 tracks, and estimates that it will be released between July and August 2015.[68]

On 26 May 2015, Denis Stoff, formerly the guitarist and vocalist of Ukrainian metalcore bands Make Me Famous and Down & Dirty, was revealed as the new lead vocalist when the band released "I Won't Give In", their first single with him, on 27 May.[69] Speculation regarding Stoff's involvement started shortly after Worsnop's departure due to similarities between Asking Alexandria and Make Me Famous (who were said to have been ripping off the band's sound); the fact that they were label mates would have made the transition easy for Stoff to make, and on his personal YouTube account he had covered multiple Asking Alexandria songs.[69][70] Bruce was asked if he considered anyone else for the role and he stated that "It has to be Denis" going on to praise his much greater vocal range and since he was inspired by Worsnop in the earlier stages of Asking Alexandria he can perform their songs live much better than Worsnop could, however when Stoff himself was asked how he would distinguish himself from him, he stated he would not make any comparison since he is a completely different person.[66]

The band initially planned to perform for the first time with Stoff on 31 May at Manchester Academy 3 and at London Underworld a day after, however due to Stoff being unable to secure a visa in time for the shows, they had to cancel.[71][72] They have also been announced as one of the acts for the 2015's Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park Festivals in Germany in early June.[73] The band also announced that they will be performing at the 2015 Vans Warped Tour.[74]

Musical style

The band's music has mostly been described as metalcore, but has also been labelled heavy metal and hard rock. Additionally, it was also sometimes described as electronicore on their early work.[75][76] Their first two albums, 2009's Stand Up and Scream and 2011's Reckless & Relentless, are both generally considered to be metalcore albums, while their third album, 2013's From Death to Destiny (which is the last one to feature vocalist Danny Worsnop), is influenced by heavy metal and rock bands[who?] while maintaining Asking Alexandria's signature metalcore sound on certain tracks. Guitarist Ben Bruce has stated that they do not like writing music that sounds the same from album to album, which is why their musical style has changed over time.[67][77][78][79]

Lyrical style

Ben Bruce has expressed the feeling that the band's lyrical style before Reckless and Relentless was stupid. According to Bruce, the band wanted to move on from yelling out lyrics like "fuck" and "you stupid fucking whore" to a more mature style with more meaning.[80] He stated that From Death to Destiny is lyrically their most mature album, no longer focusing on subjects such as drugs and women, and much more meaningful than their older lyrics.[81] Danny Worsnop has claimed that the band's lyrics are never written before entering the studio and are always improvised during the recording of an album.[82]

In an interview with Metalhammer Bruce explained that the majority of lyrics for the fourth album where initially about Worsnop after he left the band due to his frustration regarding his departure at the time, stating that "The guy was my best friend, and he just kind of turned his back on me and f–king bailed. And I was angry — I was really angry — and I was upset, so a lot of the lyrics were written towards Danny and a lot of them were quite spiteful and lot of them were quite upsetting.” however went on to say that Denis Stoff, the band's new vocalist, talked him into writing material away from Worsnop and that the band needs to move on without him, Bruce then stating that only every now and again will the new album reference their situation.[83]

Influences

All of the band's members have expressed their passion for 1980s rock music, and demonstrated it with releases such as the Life Gone Wild EP featuring covers of two Skid Row songs or the Under the Influence: A Tribute to the Legends of Hard Rock EP featuring covers of songs by bands such as Journey, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake and Def Leppard. Their third studio album From Death to Destiny is heavily influenced by such bands.[84][85][86] Some of their favorite artists include Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Sebastian Bach, Skid Row and Van Halen, but they also take influence from modern bands such as Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold.[87][88][89][90][91]

Band members

Timeline

Discography

Studio albums

Awards

Independent Music Awards 2012: Reckless & Relentless - Best Metal/Hardcore Album[92]

References

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External links