Drummers often lack their fair share of the limelight, so I was delighted to chat to Asking Alexandria’s James Cassells. The York native spoke about the monumental effort it took to make it big in the states, and the success which came in time. He also shed some light on the new musical direction Asking Alexandria have taken on their latest album From Death to Destiny.
At only nineteen, James and the rest of the band upped sticks and moved half way across the world to the States, an incredibly risky venture considering it meant leaving university prematurely.
“We just said goodbye to the lives that we had been living, we said this is what we do now, it’s gonna be rough for two or three years but you just have to stick at it, keep going and eventually you’ll get a break…It does suck for a few years but it’s worth it in the end”
It was certainly worth it, as the band worked their way up from playing small time gigs for crowds of forty or fifty, to playing to a nation on Jimmy Kimmel live.
“We got certified gold for The Final Episode. That was a massive highlight.” He went on to add “Ever since I was a kid I was going Download Festival, I’d go there as a punter and watch all my favourite bands on the main stage, I used to think that was the coolest thing in the world so last year when we got the chance to play the main stage it was a huge honour for me. That was a crazy time and something I’ll never forget.”
The bands most successful work to date has been their latest album From Death to Destiny. The album marks a change in musical direction for Asking Alexandria, a change which comes by way of natural progression.
“It is a lot different to the other albums, it’s down to the fact that we’ve grown up a lot since we started as a band, not just in the way that we write music, but as young men. We were teenagers when we started and now we’re in our mid-twenties”
“When you’re writing music it really reflects how your life is, the experiences that you’re going through, the emotions and the relationships you’re in. We are in a different place at the moment and our music is a little bit less aggressive and more structured, and organised.”
It is not a case of losing the band’s identity however, as the album certainly catches the true Asking Alexandria sound.
Asking Alexandria Theatre will be playing the Olympia on October 29th and tickets are available here.
Follow Conor here: @conornealon18