Asking Alexandria's Ben Bruce: "It’s Time for Us to Move Upward"

“A lot of bands in our genre are happy where they’re at, and that’s fine,” says Ben Bruce, guitarist for British metalcore unit Asking Alexandria. “But it’s time for us to move upward and bring our fans into a new realm.”

Bruce and his band may have lofty goals for their upcoming, and still untitled, third studio album, but they’ve also dug deep into their experiences to compose the new material. “Lyrically, it’s a lot more mature than anything we’ve done before,” Bruce says of the record, which Asking Alexandria tracked with producer Joey Sturgis at the Foundation Recording Studios in Indiana and NRG in Hollywood.

“It’s not so much about partying and fucking random girls and doing drugs and stuff," he continued. "We’ve actually taken the time to write something that’s truly meaningful to us. The last two records were great, and we loved them, but we were different people then. We were a lot younger and had less experience. When you compare the albums, it will definitely show how much we’ve grown.”

Bruce confirms that, as previously reported, the sound of the material falls somewhere between Slipknot and Mötley Crüe. “There’s a lot of heavy riffage on this record, whereas in the past we relied more on rhythms and breakdowns,” he says. “So in that respect it’s very much like old Slipknot. But then the choruses and a lot of the bridges are more rock-based, which is our Mötley Crüe side.”

That said, Bruce is quick with a warning: “The album is by no means a regurgitation of the Eighties. If kids buy this record thinking it’s going to sound like [Mötley Crüe’s 1987 effort] Girls, Girls, Girls, it doesn’t fucking sound like Girls, Girls, Girls. It sounds like Asking Alexandria.”

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.