Asking Alexandria plans to hit the rock mainstream hard with its third album.
The British quintet, which now resides in the U.S., is just about finished with the as-yet-untitled effort, which is due out in 2013. Guitarist Ben Bruce tells Billboard that it’s “a lot more mature” and, if things go as planned, will have “a lot of radio singles — what we’re calling radio singles, songs we’re going to push towards radio and try to accelerate our career and get to the next level and hopefully bring our old fans across with us.” Bruce expects the follow-up to 2011’s “Reckless & Relentless” to contain 13-15 songs, six of which he says will be “radio-friendly” and the rest of which will be “our usual balls-to-the-wall kind of stuff.”
“We spent a long time honing in on song structures and writing techniques and stuff like that, but there are still heavy songs on the record,” Bruce promises. “We’re not just going to throw that away and kick our original fan base in the teeth by getting rid of all that. There will still be a lot of riffing and screaming. But we feel like we did find a happy medium between being heavy and then being light enough to be on radio, but still keeping the balls in the song.”
Asking Alexandria has released one new song, “Run Free,” to promote its headlining spot on this year’s Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, which kicks off Nov. 16 in Edmonton. “It’s a lot more uplifting,” Bruce says, explaining the song is targeted towards fans who are “upset with their lives or are being bullied at school or going through the general hardships of growing up. We figure we kind of have a responsibility to these kids. They look up to us, so we tried to use our voice for a good reason in this song, kind of saying, ‘We’re here for you, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,’ that kind of thing. It’s a more positive approach to songwriting than we’ve done before.”
Asking Alexandria recorded “Run Free” and the rest of the new album with Joey Sturgis, who also produced the group’s first two albums. Most of the set was recorded at his studio in Indiana, but the band also trekked to Los Angeles to record vocals and strings and choir parts at NRG Studios. “On the last one a lot of that extra stuff was all fake; we did it on computer,” Bruce says. “This time we wanted to be more organic, so we got a live orchestra conducted by the brilliant Stevie Black (Alice in Chains, Avenged Sevenfold) and did all the strings. Then we got a live church gospel choir to come into the studio for a few days to sing over a few tracks. It really sounds special.”