Alex Gaskarth is happy to be spending time on the road again.
After more than 16 months of not playing a show, he and All Time Low are back onstage performing for fans – just the way he likes it.
It’s also the first opportunity for All Time Low to perform songs from its 2020 album, “Wake Up, Sunshine.”
“The album feels brand-new, because we never got that chance,” he says. “Everybody is enjoying the tour, and it feels great to be back.”
All Time Low will perform a show with The Maine on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Sunshine Theater.
Gaskarth and the band – which also includes Jack Barakat, Zack Merrick and Rian Dawson – worked on the album for about a year. The process was started in early 2019, when half of the album was written. Then, that summer, the band went to Palm Desert, California, to finish the album.
Gaskarth says that with the all that was happening in the world – the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic – the band was conflicted on whether the album should be released.
“We didn’t know if there was a lane to put a record out,” he says. “We sat back and took stock. Then we realized that the music will help people get through the tough time.”
The band released the single “Monsters,” featuring Blackbear, which became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Alternative chart.
It crossed over to mainstream and peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 – helping introduce the band to an entirely new audience.
“It’s been really interesting to see the single continue to rise on the charts, especially because it was released during lockdown,” he says. “It was incredible, because we are having this new level of success. It’s a real interesting dynamic to see. We’re so fortunate for all of it.”
Since the release of the band’s eighth album, Gaskarth says, planning a set list has become more difficult.
The musicians want to play the new material because it’s never been played on tour, but they also want to play songs going back to the band’s first album, in 2003.
“We’re never going to check every box,” he says. “We do our best to balance it out. We are trying to put the emphasis on the new material. And there are classic staples we put into the mix.”
All Time Low also wants to keep the fans safe during the shows.
“COVID is still a factor, and we want to be able to perform,” he says. “We know that if one person on our crew comes down with COVID, it could take things off the rails. We did a lot of research on how to best create a little tour bubble for ourselves. Many venues are helping us by mandating or requiring vaccinations or masks. We have to work together.”