Asking Alexandria’s Ben Bruce Discusses Running a Record Label + More
For Asking Alexandria guitarist Ben Bruce, touring is not enough to keep him busy. Bruce also has his hands full with KBB Records, the label he started recently with Asking Alexandria's co-manager Kyle Borman. They've already signed hip hop/metal outfit Scare Don't Fear, and there are several other bands they are close to signing currently. Loudwire caught up with Bruce backstage at a Southern California Mayhem Festival show to talk about the challenges of running his own label while also being a member of a big touring band.
You're out playing with Asking Alexandria. Is it sort of like living two lives simultaneously, as a record company guy and a musician?
Absolutely. All sides of my brain are working full time these days looking for that balance. There are times when I think I have it figured out, and then something happens which proves to me I don't. But I really enjoy the challenge of balancing these two lives. They both mean a lot to me.
What's your mission primarily with the label?
It’s an interesting thing today because you don't really need to be signed whether you are a solo musician or in a band or whatever. You can still do things DIY if you like, but I still think it's possible for record labels to make a positive difference. There will always be a number of really good bands that want to do their own thing and not take orders from a label and so on. So I want to create an environment that a band really wants to be in. I want to produce their dream. I want to create a situation where they can do the things that they want to do. And I really think I can help them achieve those things. I look at what I have experienced in my band and it is truly amazing. That's what I want to do for other bands. I want to be part of their journey.
What have you learned that you think you can pass along to other bands?
I think the main thing that makes me different is that I'm not just a guy in an office. I know this life because I'm living it every day. I've learned thousands of do's and don'ts. In just a short period of time, everyone in my band has developed a sort of wisdom about the business that has value. Whoever I work with is going to learn those things too.
What kinds of artists are you looking for?
We want artists that are willing to take risks creatively and artistically, that won't worry so much about what the public will like but will stay more focused on what their vision of the music is. It's really that simple.
What's it been like so far balancing your life as a lead guitar player in Asking Alexandria and a record company guy?
The biggest challenges I have faced so far have involved learning to let go and trust other people. In my head, I know exactly where I want things to go and the fact that I'm not always there all the time kind of freaks me out. I know how I like things. I know how I would do things. That said, we've got people that are doing an amazing job and I'm very proud of that. If things weren't getting done the way I wanted them done, I'd have to figure out some other situation. But right now, it's so far so good. We have a really strong team in place and so even while I'm on here on the road with Asking Alexandria, I have this sort of peace of mind that everything's been taken care of. And I can still be really involved from the road.