Recently we caught up with Asking Alexandria’s James Cassells for an exclusive interview at The Joint, inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, CA…
Mel: Hi, this is Mischievous Mel here with ROCKwell Radio at The Joint in Las Vegas, and I am here with Asking Alexandria’s…
James: James Cassells (drummer).
Mel: We just ran into one of your fans in the hallway who happened to be a personal friend of the band, and he said, “Yeah we just saw them in San Diego and they f*ckin’ killed it.”
James: ‘The Black’ is going to be our first release with Dennis, and so far we’ve got three tracks that are available right now. It’s killing it on Youtube and online, people are loving it. It’s definitely the style…
Mel: It’s very visual. It hits all of your senses, because you guys give an eargasm when you play, but the visual with the video was just…
James: Yeah it’s really cool.
Mel: It is. I was just like, “Oh my god, this is amazing.” When does the album (“The Black”) come out?
James: March 25th.
Mel: I’m so excited about this. You know, I’ve been keeping up on you guys because I’m a bit of a super-fan, and I see that you’re doing the festival season this summer. Where are you gonna be at?
James: We’ll be doing a lot of the rock festivals like Carolina Rebellion, Rock On The Range, Rocklahoma, Welcome To Rockville, and I know we’ve got some more. There’s quite a few, and we’re going to be doing some shows in between. They haven’t been completely confirmed just yet but we’ll be getting around and playing some other shows.
Mel: Well you guys have been kicking ass, you’ve been here, overseas… recording the album.. You guys haven’t taken a break.
James: As soon as we got Dennis in the band we knew it was going to be Go! Go! Go! and back on the work horse, you know, and that’s not anything bad to us, we like that. We like keeping ourselves busy, we love playing shows, we love playing music, we like performing it, it’s what we do; that’s our lives.
Mel: Well, I have to say the new vocalist is amazing. Not to take away from who you guys were before, but you’ve sort of reincarnated and come back with a stronger, different sound. Explain the change in sound from your point of view.
James: The last album that we released, ‘From Death To Destiny’, was written to kind of suit our vocalist Danny and wasn’t always exactly what the rest of the band always wanted. We sort of made a compromise, whereas with ‘The Black’ we’re back to our roots pretty much. I feel like this is the album that we’ve always wanted to do, and it’s definitely our best one yet. It was just so natural and so easy for us to write it, you know, and we had such a great time doing it. Everything is going right.
Mel: You guys had to jump that hurdle, and I was so impressed with your new music. By the way people, you can pre-order this album, you can look at the video, and I suggest that you do it because if you’re not, you’re missing out. You guys have been around for a while, but who would you like to share the stage with?
James: It’s not so much who I want to share the stage with because we’ve toured with so many people already, but I don’t know… I’d love to tour again with Slipknot, or Avenged [Sevenfold]. They’re always really nice guys, but anyone really. There’s so many awesome bands out there, and a lot of them are going to be playing these festivals, as you talked about. That’s definitely going to be fun.
Mel: I know that’s a redundant question and you probably get asked that a lot, but I’m just curious, what’re you guys a fan of? What’s on your Ipod, and please don’t say Justin Beiber.
James: No, no, no. I’ve actually been listening to Twenty-One Pilots quite a lot, and I know they’re like a lighter band and they’ve got a strange style, but I find them quite interesting; easy listening. It all depends on what mood we’re in, sometimes you want to sing along to some 80’s rock, but for modern music Twenty-One Pilots is great. I also like a lot of electronic sound and shit like that, but like I said, it all depends on the mood, you know?
Mel: Twenty-One Pilots…they’re everywhere right now.
James: They’re killing it, yeah.
Mel: Do you ever picture you guys doing anything with them?
James: I don’t know if that would go down too well.. But maybe a festival.
Mel: Not to sound ignorant, because I know they are a lot softer, but you’ve been to these festivals, I’ve been to these festivals before and you have everybody from rap to rock and a little bit of country in the middle.
James: That’s awesome when a festival can be like that, more diverse. I mean, it’s cool when you’re playing Download (festival in the U.K.) and the rock and metal festivals, but it’s awesome when you get to play something like Leeds. They have stages for every genre, and it’s cool.
Mel: That brings me into my next question. What is the scene like in Europe versus in America, as far as your fans go?
James: I’d actually say that, our fans, they’re kind of similar in respect to how passionate they are for our music. I’d say that the metal scene is pretty similar, compared to America and the UK. When you start going further still, that’s when it starts to change up a little bit. When you go to Asia, or South America, that’s when it starts to go a little more crazy.
Mel: I love going to shows for your type of music, because there’s a lot of jumping and a lot of pits, and just because I’m old enough to be the man’s mom doesn’t mean I’m too old to get into the pit. You guys have quite a range of fans, like I said, I am older fan.
James: Yeah, for sure, like the first day of this tour we were in San Diego, and this little boy comes up to us with his parents, and he must of been about six or seven years old. He was super cute, and we got him to play our drum kit one time, and he keeps coming back and keeps coming back. That’s the cool thing, he’s just a little kid and he comes with his parents. Another show is going to be older kids, and young teenagers, mid-twenties.. There’s a big, wide range of fans. It’s a cool experience, and it’s cool to know that we have such a diverse fan base.
Mel: I must confess that my daughter hooked me onto you guys, and it’s cool that you adopted a little itty-bitty rocker. Well, I’ve taken up a lot of your time, so can you tell everyone where they can find your new stuff?
James: We have our website, www.AskingAlexandria.com, and we’ve actually got a newsletter there. If you sign up you’ll get all of our latest information, and giveaways and what not.
Mel: Any secrets that you can share with us?
James: For the last few days the band has been writing hundreds of notes for fans, and we have our own group called the AA Family, and you can find that on the website. I would just recommend doing that because it’s the best way to find stuff out and get responses from us and what not. We try to do that alot.
Mel: Very cool. I appreciate it and thank you for your time.
by Melissa Anderson, ROCKwell UnScene … see the video interview at http://www.ROCKwellMag.com