Australia’s The Rockpit recently conducted an interview with ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Rockpit: Tell me a little about the new [ASKING ALEXANDRIA] album “The Black”. This is the first time that Danny Worsnop (former ASKING ALEXANDRIA vocalist) is not part of an album. So how was that whole process with the new singer?
Ben: It was actually awesome; we had a really good time. For the last few years of Danny being in the band, things actually got really difficult; even getting him into the studio to record vocals was a huge nightmare. So this time around, everyone was excited to be there, everyone was stoked to be in the studio and work together as a team. Denis [Stoff, new ASKING ALEXANDRIA vocalist] was just so excited to be recording his first album with us. He put so much effort in and it was just a lot more fun than we’ve had in the studio for years now, and I definitely think that shows as well when you listen to the album. Just the effort we put into it, you can tell just by listening to it.
The Rockpit: It’s an interesting story how Denis became part of the band. Where did you find him and how did he initially join the band?
Ben: We actually heard of Denis a few years ago. People send us links, like, “Check out this killer YouTube video covering your band’s songs. He’s really good,’ and that’s cool. We used to joke around with Danny, like, “Oh, you better watch out. Someone will take your place!” Fast forward four years later and here he is.
The Rockpit: Most fans dream of becoming part of their favorite band and this guy actually did it. What was it about him that you really liked that you wanted him to be part of the band?
Ben: He just had an incredible voice, incredible range, incredible dynamics and stuff. We met him a few times as well because he was in previous bands before. He opened up for us with his band when we played in Russia for the first time and we met him at a few festivals in the States with his old band so we already knew he was a pretty cool and down-to-earth guy, and, obviously, the fact that he’s an incredible vocalist. It was weird; it was like intuition, just a gut feeling that this was the guy that we had to go with. I can’t really explain why or how we knew, but it just was something there telling us, ‘Yeah, this is the kid.”
The Rockpit: And what was it like performing with him live on stage?
Ben: It’s amazing, actually! We hadn’t really rehearsed or hung out that much before we even hit the stage together, but I think the first show we did together, we headlined a festival in Austria, I believe, and there was thirty thousand people there. Before we went on stage, it was, like, “Fuck, what’s going to happen? Are they going to bottle us off the stage because they miss our old vocalist? Is he going to be booed off stage? What the hell is going to happen?” But everyone was just excited; everyone welcomed him with open arms. It was good for us, as we spent the last few years touring with a vocalist that didn’t give a shit anymore, so we lost all drive and all passion for touring, because it was a nightmare being up on stage with someone like that who didn’t give a shit. When Denis came along, here’s this young kid who is stoked to be up there and he’s smiling. You look over to him and he’s got a huge smile on his face and he’s energetic, he’s giving it a hundred percent, and that gave all of us a kick in the arse and it was like I remember why we loved doing this so much. So it really just gave us a lot more energy and just made us feel a lot more youthful and really enjoy what we’re doing again.
Read the entire interview at The Rockpit.