Following a year and a half of touring their sophomore album, Reckless & Relentless, Asking Alexandria are closing the remainder of 2012 with a headline slot on the fourth annual Monster Energy Outbreak Festival.
They’ll break for the holidays then begin a set of European dates in the new year. The band is also preparing for the release of their long-awaited and still untitled third album.
Asking Alexandra is Danny Worsnop (vocals), Ben Bruce (guitar/vocals), Cameron Liddell (guitar), Sam Bettley (bass) and James Cassells (drums). In this interview, Liddell discusses his musical partnership with lead guitarist Ben Bruce.
GUITAR WORLD: Was your previous band two guitars?
Yeah, definitely. I honestly couldn’t imagine playing in a band with just me playing guitar. I’ve always liked bands that have two guitarists. I think it works so much better in a metal band. There’s so many layers you can add in the studio, which is fair enough, but live, it sounds thin. We’ve got harmony sections you wouldn’t be able to play with one guitarist, so I think it’s definitely beneficial.
What made Ben the right guitarist for what you needed in a partner and lead player? How long did it take to adapt to each other’s playing styles and build the guitar team together?
It took a while, because the band I was in previously, the guitarist was one of my best friends — now to this day — so we’d jam out heavy, heavy stuff. When I joined Ben, he brought this lighter side, which we kind of helped each other out. I was never into that, the different chord progressions, light choruses, stuff like that.
I didn’t really know how to write. I found that really difficult. And vice versa, Ben didn’t know the heavy sections, so it took sitting down together and jamming out. That’s how we wrote "Stand Up and Scream." We would just jam together and feed off each other. Months down the line, we got really comfortable with each other’s playing styles. We learned a lot from each other and gelled really well. It wasn’t that hard. We knew what we had to do.
How are your styles similar and different, and how do you make those elements work to your advantage in this band?
Ben is honestly the bigger writer in the band. He’ll come in with the basics of a song and a chorus section or a nice melody. From what I’ve learned from him about chord progressions, I’ll put something over it to solidify the section. Even a basic melody, I’ll put my style over it and make it a full section, and we’ll go back and forth on other sections. I’ll add a heavier riff or whatever comes to mind. If there’s a basic section there, my ideas will flow from that and add to it. Ben is more of a “Start from scratch, write the basics of it” writer.
Do you practice often?
We don’t get to practice near as much as we used to. We’re on the road all the time and there are days and days when the only time I pick up a guitar is onstage. Or toward the end of a tour, when I’m tired, I don’t practice as much. But my style has definitely adapted for this band for sure.
— Alison Richter
Alison Richter interviews artists, producers, engineers and other music industry professionals for print and online publications. Read more of her interviews right here.