Asking Alexandria’s Ben Bruce Talks ‘From Death to Destiny,’ Love of ’80s Hard Rock + More
Their last album, 2011‘s ‘Reckless & Relentless,’ put them on the map, and now Asking Alexandria return with their third full-length, ‘From Death to Destiny.’
Loudwire sat down with guitarist/songwriter Ben Bruce for a conversation about the recording process of the new album, its more uplifting tone, the pressure and expectations of following up a top 10 album + more.
You released the EP ‘Under The Influence: A Tribute to the Legends of Hard Rock’ last year with covers of songs from ‘80s bands like Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Motley Crue. How was it received?
It was received very well. We did an EP before that with some Skid Row covers on it. Everyone that knows our band is well-aware of our love and passion for ‘80s rock and roll. That’s our love. It’s what we listen to. It didn’t come as a shock or surprise to our fan base. Even if people don’t enjoy the music, they can respect the fact that we do. Our fans are so supportive that they will support our decision to do an EP like that.
Your latest album ‘From Death to Destiny’ was pushed back a bit. How come?
The original release date was supposed to be November of last year. We missed that, obviously. Not through being lazy, but just because this is our third record and we were taking great pride and taking the right amount of time to make sure we’re completely happy with it.
How did the songwriting and recording process for this one compare to your other albums?
I’m the primary songwriter. I write the music and then I take it to James (Cassells, drums) and he fiddles with parts. Then we’ll take it to Danny (Worsnop, vocals). So in that aspect it was very similar. The difference is this time it took us well over a year to write this record, because we didn’t just want to be regurgitating from our last two releases.
We wanted it to be something fresh while still sounding like Asking Alexandria, which was quite a challenge. People always say, ‘I wish you sounded like your first album.’ But we’d be horrible playing that and you’d be bored listening to it over and over again. There’s a fine line of keeping your sound, but progressing as well to be happy and confident with the record as a musician.
You recorded this album all over the place, right?
We did. I think we were in five different studios with multiple engineers and producers and mixers. We had a guy named Steven Blacke come in and record a live orchestra. We had live choirs coming in. We went all out on this record, we really did.
You have worked with producer Joey Sturgis on all your albums. What is it about his style that works so well with you?
We were like a baby band when we went to him; 17 to 19 years old. We didn’t know what we were doing. He sort of helped sculpt us into the band that we were back then. Obviously we’ve grown as musicians since then, but he’s always been an integral part in our recording process.
Your last album was pretty dark. Is this one a bit more uplifting?
It is. The first two singles ‘Run Free’ and ‘The Death of Me’ have a very uplifting message behind them. No matter how bad things get, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. We went through that dark period and came out the other side. It’s not to say there aren’t any dark songs on the new album, there are, because we still do struggle with demons from time to time. But on the whole it’s much more positive. We see things in a different light now, and that was definitely portrayed on the new record.
Your last album debuted in the top 10. Does that increase the pressure to match or better that this time around?
No. Every album we’ve ever done, we’ve done the best we possibly could at that moment in time. Obviously deep down we’re hoping that it will be bigger and better than the last record, but if it’s not, honestly we can say we did everything we possibly could and we’re proud of the record. We love the way that it is, and hopefully our fans will feel the same way.
Asking Alexandria's 'From Death to Destiny' is out now. To buy a copy of the album, click here.