After nine years of being a band, Asking Alexandria is still about one thing, love. And honestly, The Black era is showing that off the best.
Whoever isn't familiar with the scene may think, how's this metalcore band about love? Well if that's what they think, then it's safe to say that they clearly don't know who the band or the AA Family is (aka the fans.)
Asking Alexandria (Denis Stoff, Benjamin Bruce, Cameron Liddell, Sam Bettley, and James Cassells) express their love for their fans in many ways. One way is through their music. Off of their latest album The Black, there are five songs that stood out to me as inspiring right off the bat. Those songs include "The Black," "I Won't Give In," "Sometimes It Ends, "The Lost Souls," and "Here I Am."
Here are a few of my favorites lines from each of the songs listed.
“You make me feel like I'm fucking drowning / (I need to cut you out, I need to cut you out)” - "The Black"
“I've been crucified and hung out to dry / Yet my heart still beats and I feel so alive / This time I'll fight for myself as you try to fuck me over / I bet you never cared, I knew you never cared.” – “The Black”
“Every breath you take / I watch you slip away / You're slowly killing yourself / I won't give in.” - "I Won't Give In"
“I’m standing tall / Stronger than I ever did before / Against them all” - "Sometimes It Ends"
So sick of this game / I've spent too many years in this house of pain / If you can't find the words, read between the lines / So take it or leave it to me / So take it or leave it to me from here this time.” - "Sometimes It Ends"
“We are the ones that no one gave a chance / We are the ones that almost lost it all / Ghost in the hallway who never catch a glance / We are the lost / We are the lost souls.” - "The Lost Souls"
“Here I am / This is all of me / I'm not hiding / I'm standing tall for all to see.” - "Here I Am"
“So if you find it hard to breathe / You can put your faith in me / I'll be the light that leads your way / We are the voice of a generation / So take your chance and don't back down.” – “Here I Am”
Each of those songs encourage hope and strength in some way to me. In the music video for "Here I Am," Ben emphasized what the band stands for by including text across the screen for the beginning of the music video, which read, "In a world tainted by hate and negativity, stand out, shine bright and always be proud of who you are.” – Ben Bruce." That alone can and did inspire many, including myself.
Not only does the band express their love through their music, they express it in person and on social media. Meeting the band at their meet and greet this year and seeing Ben later outside, I was treated exactly the same, with respect and left feeling like I mattered. What's special about Asking Alexandria is that they talk to you as if you're their best friend. I was nervous at first to meet one of my favorite bands, but they have a way of making you feel safe and welcomed, just like a family should.
When it comes to social media, I've noticed that Denis and Ben are known to take full advantage of what they can do to put a smile on someone's face. While I've noticed that they both tend to like fan's posts on Instagram (including one of mine,) I noticed that Ben often comments as well. For example, a fan posted their Asking Alexandria themed birthday cake, Ben decided to be silly responding with, "looks tastyyyyyy."
What's cool about Denis is that he posts fan art quite often. So if you're good at drawing, painting, or even making a unique edit, he's bound to notice you. Speaking of art, Cameron also recently joined in on the fan art, thanking a fan as well! It's the small things that count the most sometimes, and each member of the band knows that something as a simple as a comment or like can make someone's whole day, or even life.
Thanks to Asking Alexandria nine years ago when Stand Up And Scream was released, I got into this music scene and I've met some amazing people through the AA Family along the way. And I know for a fact that I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Strife Magazine took the time to speak to some Asking Alexandria fans from around the world, and this is what they had to say.
Naomi Sanders | 19 | Wells England - “Although I only found out about Asking Alexandria late December last year/early January this year, their music has just been so inspiring. Their lyrics are so raw and true, while their musical accompaniment to those lyrics is just perfect and fits with what they want to say in their songs. They inspire me to keep going with what I love to do, and never stop with any setbacks, as shown during the production of "The Black", which is one of my favourite albums of all time. They also genuinely care about their fans, something that I think many famous artists forget about when the stage lights hit them. That’s why I love them and will continue supporting them with whatever happens.”
Jorden Mclaughlin | 17 | England - “Asking Alexandria’s music has really left a dent on me, it’s a good dent though. Their most recent album has definitely left the most change on me because it helped me through my darkest times. Songs like “I Won’t Give In” are a reminder to me to not give in and to be strong no matter what. “Sometimes It Ends” is another song that has helped me, because sometimes things end, whether that’s friendships or relationships. You just have to pick yourself up, keep going, not give up, and think of the good things you have. I think the whole song is really powerful.”
“The music that they write just really speaks out to me and just makes me feel like everything’s going to be ok no matter how bad it gets. I look up to the entire band so much and admire them for the strength that they have and the power that they have. I am so proud of everything they’ve done. Ben’s line on Never Take It Off sparked me to stop self harming for good. I’m doing it for the AA family, for my family, friends and myself. The whole band just make me feel happy and make me feel like I belong somewhere.
Emma | 17 | Paris, France - “I love Asking Alexandria because they all are really beautiful peoples inside and they love their fans so much, which is amazing. their lyrics are powerful and helps me a lot because I can relate to a lot of their songs, It's like they understand what I feel and it helps me. I'm still there today because of them.”
Lulu Tones | 15 | United Kingdom - “I love Asking Alexandria because their inspirational and amazing. Also, they care about their fans and I think they’re all just so awesome. I love them and The Black has been their best album yet.”
Elena | 22 | Italy - “I love Asking Alexandria because they're so nice, humble and down-to-earth. They always manage to make me laugh even when I feel like shit and I can't do anything but cry. Their music changed my life because it taught me that life should never be taken for granted.”
Alice | 15 | Poland - “I love Asking Alexandria because they have always been there for me. They can cheer me up when nobody else can, they make me happy. They've helped to become proud of who I am, to not be scared of speaking up and love myself. In their music I find everything I need. I find all the positive vibes and answers to so many questions. Their music is something what always is with me, and whenever I'm sad or mad, I just listen to their music and I feel much better. When I'm happy, I feel happier. I love them also because of the fan base. I've made so many friends there and I feel like this is my place. Words can't describe how much I own to them and how much I love them.”
Esme | 17 | Dallas, Texas - “Asking Alexandria has been one of those bands that I didn’t listen to a lot, but as soon as I heard “I Won’t Give In” I almost cried. That was the first song I heard, then I looked up their old stuff and I was hooked. When they released two more songs with their new vocalist that was it for me, I fell in love with the band.”
“Their music is something that has helped me and is still helping me go through my everyday life. When I’m talking to different people around the world who love AA it's really cool to see how they saved people’s lives. We are called AA Family, we have a song dedicated to us, the family. I love that they don't lie to their fans they are honest with us. Yeah they party and drink, but that doesn’t define who they are. These are talented and kind guys who are very passionate about music and will go above and beyond for us. When they cancelled a show because of Denis's VISA problems, they made a meet and greet for those fans. They do so much for their fans that I feel like we should really not take things like this for granted. Not many people do that. I haven’t met AA and they already have done so much for me.”
Shannon Snyder | 41 years young | Hastings, Michigan - “I love asking Alexandria because they are all amazing guys with huge hearts. They take the time to socialize with their fans, even if it’s a quick selfie before their set, they don't say no. I've never felt more comfortable around a group of musicians like I do with these guys. The first time I met them in March of 2016 (Grand Rapids) at the news station in the parking lot, Sam and James talked to me for 15 minutes before the others came out.”
“I was a little nervous, but for the most part I felt like I had known these guys for years. They made me feel that comfortable. Their music and their dedication to the AA Family helped me get through so many hard times in my life. They've given me hope and something to believe in. They are my addiction and their music is my drug. Ben always makes a point to make me smile and goes out of his way to do so. When I can't get good pictures of him on stage he stands in a spot where I can see him better. When I asked I'm for a guitar pick he made sure I got one. When I was in the hospital having back surgery, Sam told me they were here with me. When I was standing side stage for a show, Sam looked at me, made a funny face at me, and then flipped me off. Naturally I did the same back. The way these guys acknowledge me is amazing. They really have become my driving force and inspiration with pushing forward. When everything fails, I know I still have them and their music."
Cassie Swain | 17 | Melbourne, Australia - “Asking Alexandria have made such an impact on my life. I've been listening to their music for a good three+ years now. They are truly my everything, and without them I would be lost. I cannot express how thankful I am for Denis joining the family. The have been through so much, not just Asking Alexandria but as individuals. And yet here they are still going strong, playing every concert with all the energy they have. They're my inspiration, they're my idols, they're my world. I've been through some shit, so whenever I got to that shitty headspace I would put on an Asking Alexandria interview, or listen to their music. It would help me forget all the shit I'm going through.”
“However it's just not Asking Alexandria I'm thankful for, I'm am so grateful for the AA Family. I know they always have my back and I always have theirs. It will never just be a band. We are a family! Without this family, I wouldn't be who I am today.”
Emma | 15 | York, England - “I first heard of these guys from their Punk Goes Pop cover of “Right Now (Na Na Na.)” I didn't like the cover too much, but I decided to give them a chance and I'm glad I did now. They originally inspired me to carry on playing music, because even people from my local area can make it big. This band taught me to stand up to those people that talk rubbish about you and to love yourself even if they won't love you. Every day I hope for the chance to tell them how grateful I am for their music, and one day I hope I can.”
Amelie | 17 | Quebec City, Canada - "I known of Asking Alexandria for three years now. I met them in December 2014 in my own town, and it was the best day of my life. Ben is my hero. I saw them a second time in 2015 with Denis, and it was magic. AA helped me a lot through some bad moments in my life. I will never thank them enough for what they do for me, especially Ben. The AA Family is a second family for me. I love my family, I love Asking Alexandria and they will always be my favorite band. They're my heroes and my inspirations.
Amy | 15 | South Dakota - “The reason I love Asking Alexandria so much is because their music is amazing and has helped me through a lot. Another reason is because of how every member is as a person, and the way they care for their fans. I was lucky enough to meet them at Warped Tour last year, and they are some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met.”
Charlotte | 16 | Gloucestershire, England - “I only started listening to Asking Alexandria just before The Black was released, but there's something about their music that made me completely obsessed in such a short time! The AA Family are all so supportive and make me feel at home due to all the people that'll help and support me.”
Johan Ortmanns | 17 | Wuppertal, Germany - “I love Asking Alexandria because they're somehow different from the rest. Their music is great, their texts are very direct, and the things/problems they deal with in their songs are very important. They are all great people with very strong characters, especially Ben.”
Alexis | 14 | Utah - “The reason I love Asking Alexandria is because they have helped me through a lot of hard times I've had in my life. Their music makes me happy, they're funny, and they make me smile. They are amazing boys who I know are always there, even though they don't know who I am. But I’m thankful that I know about them. Another thing I love about AA is our family. We are such a strong family and I've made many friends in the AA Family. We're all there for each other. The boys are here for us and we're there for them, and it is truly a beautiful thing.”
Kristen Calderoni | 19 | South Plainfield, New Jersey - “I love Asking Alexandria because of their fan base. Their fan base is one of the most supportive, creative, and amazing fan bases that I've ever been a part of. I've been a fan for seven years and went to my first show for them in Sayreville and saw how compassionate and caring the fans are for them. I met Ben before the show too, and he made me feel so important and kept asking me questions about the show and if I was excited, because he could tell I was nervous. I also love how thankful they are for their fans. Never have I seen artists so thankful for their fans. Finally, I love how funny they are. Whenever I watch interviews with them I'm always laughing hysterically.”
Michelle Presnar | 16 | Pennsylvania - “Asking Alexandria has had a huge impact on my life. They helped me through times where I thought I couldn't make it. I am here. I do matter. I feel like if they were not a thing, I wouldn't have had anything to give me hope. Thanks to them, I feel like I can get further, have a voice, and not back down to nothing or anyone. So thank you Asking Alexandria, for being my hope. Much love to each and every one of you.”
Tina Lou | 42 | Chico, California - “Asking Alexandria gives me passion and enthusiasm to dream big and wide awake because they give me the will and confidence to know how to be me through there lyrics and music. AA is my medicine forever.”
Denis | 14 | Finland - “I remember hearing “Not The American Average” in 2013. At first I was taken back due to the screaming, but I liked the part "Your thighs were made for cheeks to graze / My lips, your poison / They bring you to your knees."
"I listened to the song for a while and I remember From Death To Destiny being released. “Moving On” was and still is my favourite song from the album, but I avoided the heavy songs. In 2014 I got depressed and started to listen heavier songs. When Danny left the band I stopped listening them, but after “I Won’t Give In” was released I fell for them again. I started to search for information and now I'm a "professional" fanboy. Asking has helped me through so much, several suicide attempts, breakups, and hard times at home. I also met my girlfriend through my fan account on Instagram. I love the way they interact with fans, especially Ben who has supported me a lot.”
“Ben had a Q&A on Serpent & Co.’s Twitter and I asked him to say something to suicidal/depressed fans and the answer I got proves how much he cares. He tweeted to me, "there are a lot of people who love you, I am one of those people :) stay strong and keep your chin up"
He has also commented my Instagram photos, and every time he does it brings a smile on my face. I love Asking Alexandria because they're so loyal to their fans.”
Nicole | 21 | Salzburg Austria - “I was so excited to finally meet Asking Alexandria and I loved every second of it. I've gotten six AA tattoos, because that's one of the ways to show them how much they mean to me. I travel around the world just to see them live! I've met them about six times by now. They are amazing and talented guys and it feels like home when I'm around them.”
Lexi | 14 | Sydney, Australia - “Asking Alexandria is definitely my favourite band for many reasons. First of all, the music. It brings out the best in me. And the boys, those five beautiful dorks, never fail to make me smile. In the end it all comes down to the fact that I always feel like they're there, that they care. Even though the obviously don't know me, they're so loving towards their fans and it makes me happy. They truly are my heroes.”
Jasmine | 14 | Sydney, Australia - “Asking Alexandria, five gorgeous talented men who have always helped their fans through the worst of times. I still remember seeing them live like it was yesterday, April 15th 2016. I looked behind me and there up on the balcony stood Benjamin Bruce and Denis Stoff. Two of the 5 people who I have to thank for saving my best friend’s life were standing before me. Yes I was crying, but who wouldn't be?!”
“Later the lights dim and shine again, "HELLO SYDNEY! ARE YOU READY TO FUCKING ROCK?!," a voice yells. We scream. The rest of that night was the most beautiful night of my life. I'll never forget it. Denis, Ben, Cameron, James and Sam, they were there. The ones who help me through every single day. The ones who taught me to be proud of who I am. We were ready to rock and we did. Every time someone tells me "they're just a band," I will deny it. Because they aren't just a band. And this isn't just a fandom. This is a family. And we stand together.”
So keep in mind, family isn't always blood. Family is what you make it. There’s always someone who loves you, and if you need an extra person, we love you.
According to Ben's Twitter bio, you can join the official AA Family HERE.
Has Asking Alexandria helped or inspired you in any way? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Written by Melanie Gomez
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