All Time Low’s fifth studio album, “Don’t Panic,” hits shelves tomorrow (Oct. 9) via Hopeless Records. Before its release, the boys — Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick — sat down with Billboard to talk about each song on the 12-track set. Watch below.
“The recording process was quick for sure — a lot of the writing was done on the road,” vocalist Gaskarth explained of the album, a follow-up to 2011’s “Dirty Work” (Interscope). “I would say the first half of the record was written while we were on tour over the fall of 2011. We wrote the second half of the album in the studio in the beginning of 2012.”
The pop-punk quartet worked with artists like Fall Out Boy vocalist-turned-solo artist Patrick Stump, Bayside’s Anthony Raneri and Hey Monday’s Cassadee Pope on “Don’t Panic,” crafting songs like “Backseat Serenade,” “So Long, Soldier” and “The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver.”
“Don’t Panic’s” second song, “Backseat Serenade,” is “a really cool culmination of old All Time Low and future All Time Low,” said Gaskarth.
The album’s final track, “So Long and Thanks for All the Booze,” he explained, “Is obviously a send-off and a farewell and a big ‘f-ck you’ to some of the people from our past that tried to steer us in the wrong direction.”
“Somewhere in Neverland,” the fourth track on the record, is an “instant smash,” according to guitarist Barakat. Added Gaskarth, “It’s one of those undeniable All Time Low songs… To me, it’s like a ‘Dear Maria’ (2008) or a ‘Weightless’ (2009) or one of the songs that I think will really resonate with people for a long time.”
The album title, Gaskarth explained, is a reference to Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Three singles — “The Reckless and the Brave,” “For Baltimore” and “Somewhere in Neverland” — have already been released.