I had a chance to sit down and speak with Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria and was completely floored on the passion and intelligence of this young man. This young man is wise beyond his years and it was a pleasure to get in his head and see how he works. The one thing that trumps his passion for music is to hear him speak about his beautiful family. I love the glow and clarity having a child brings to you, and hearing him speak about this love is truly inspiring. Asking Alexandria’s new album “A house on Fire” just came out and I am probably a little biased when it comes to the genre, but the album is a magical journey in music and is a banger. I highly suggest you to stream it or check it out, you won’t be disappointed. Below are a couple of tidbits from our amazing conversation.
NC: How is your quarantine buddy?
Ben Bruce: So it’s not bad mate you know? It has been a little bit upsetting that we’re not on tour right now. I’m just grateful that I’m getting to spend extra time with my wife and kids. So you know there’s a silver lining to every cloud. I want everything to go back to normal.
NC: Whatever normal would be now! I’m sort of sad to see it go because I mean just like you with the wife and kids, I really got close with them. Those little fuckers steal my heart over and over again. Like just to be around them and to just see them when they were younger, they would run to me when I came home. My kids are teenagers now but it’s a blessing for sure.
Ben Bruce: Yeah exactly. People always say especially when you’re working hard everything sort of passes you by in the blink of an eye, so it’s nice to get these moments we’re getting to spend so much time with our families. We’re gonna create memories and stronger bonds and share things that maybe normally we would have missed out on because we’re stuck with our head in the clouds.
NC: Yeah and memories,that’s the one thing that no one can take away from.
Ben Bruce: Exactly Exactly
NC: How do you feel about the album?
Ben Bruce: I feel fucking fantastic mate, we never repeat the same record. Once the records out you can guarantee the next one is gonna sound different and I think throughout our career that’s obviously been met with excitement and initial disappointment.
The album tells a story and if you listen to the story that the album is telling and its journey people end up on. We’re in a very different time now where music isn’t necessarily the same as when we were growing up. The first week was always judged and talked about in terms of record sales and how many records you sold. Going diamond or platinum or even gold those things were not as foriegn as they are now. And you fast forward to now and the biggest artist in the world as of last week was future and he sold like 12,000 or or 16,000 physical copies,because people just don’t buy music anymore. So now we’re looking more at the streams and stuff like that and we actually ended up streaming 8.8 million times in that first week. It has been hugely successful and we’re super excited.
NC: What do you feel is more of your baby in regards to this album?
Ben Bruce: You can look back as far as time while I’ve been doing press, and as you know I’ve had the front cover of Shredder magazine and I’ve had a lot of people talking to me about my guitar style for me being a crazy shredder it was never as important as writing a really good song. I look up to a lot more blues guitarists, I look up to songwriters like Nolan Lien Gallagher, I look up to songs from the Beatles.I’ve never been interested in shredding or showing off how complex something can be so for me the baby on on this album personally and I think it’s my favorite song I’ve ever written is “I don’t need you” and I think it’s just because it’s such a seamless song. It just flows so beautifully in and out of the verses into the chorus and the bridge sort of takes you on this epic journey and it drops back out and lyrically. I think it’s so relatable and it’s something that everyone feels at least once in their life.
NC: One of the lyrics in that song is “I wasn’t good enough for you” and the reality of what that means in an end to a relationship. It truly makes me sad just thinking of that.
Ben Bruce: It’s that it’s the blame game. Well you keep saying this but here’s how I feel about the situation and so the cool thing about I don’t need you as it explores both sides of the story. It’s not just one sided saying this relationship’s over because of this person, you know it starts off by saying you told me that I wasn’t good enough. But I’m telling you right now I really did try and then the other person comes in from the other side of the relationship going you know I get your side now and here’s my side. So the song is kind of like meeting in the middle and it’s about realizing that maybe it was no one’s fault. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and that’s okay, It’s okay to to be happy to move on. So while it is quite sad, it is also quite empowering.
NC: If you could have any one question answered on Earth, What would you want to know the answer to.
Ben Bruce: I would want to know why, when, and how division occurred like between people. When did racism or hatred towards a religion or hatred towards a certain person’s lifestyle. When did that start? We are not born with that in our hearts, it’s something that we learned. It’s something that’s been taught not just by our parents or grandparents but throughout the ages of history.