In Part 1 of Asking Alexandria's Escape Through Music, many AA fans (including myself) shared their story to why Denis Stoff, Benjamin Bruce, Cameron Liddell, Sam Bettley, and James Cassells changed or impacted their life in some way.
After the release of the first article, Benjamin Bruce noticed it and took the time to read it. He tweeted, "No word of a lie, this brought me to tears. This is absolutely incredible. I love you guys so much. THANK YOU." Words can't describe how thrilled each and every person in the article felt to have their idol read how much Asking Alexandria means them. But that wasn't the end of it. Denis Stoff also noticed the piece along with Asking Alexandria's Facebook account, causing the people featured in the article to feel exhilarated by that point.
Many members of the AA Family also took the time to read the piece, and told me how much it meant to them. Tessa, who will be included in this piece, is one of the people who reached out to me after reading Part 1. She said, "The last one was so heart touching that I cried. I read it like four times in a row. It was the best article I've ever read."
She's a perfect example of how much words can truly mean to someone. We feel that it's important for people to share how they feel and not hold it in. Even if someone doesn't feel comfortable sharing their story, they should at least always know that they aren't alone. And that's what Escape Through Music is for.
There will always be the comments that say things like, "but their music isn't that great." That's the negativity that this band DOESN'T stand for. It's people like that, that you can't let bring you down. Nobody should make someone else feel bad about something they love, something that makes THEM happy. Because honestly, this band is something special.
Once again, Strife Magazine took the time to speak to some Asking Alexandria fans from around the world, but this time along with some photos that mean something important to each person who decided to share one. (Each photo belongs with the name of the person in the text above it. Names with a * before it were in Part 1 as well.)
Inet Tino | 19 | Los Angeles, California - "It was 2010 when my life was changed when I was on YouTube and stumbled upon a band named Asking Alexandria. I innocently clicked the link to their demo track "I Was Once, Possibly, Maybe, Perhaps a Cowboy King". I instantly fell in love and purchased their debut album, Stand Up and Scream. I didn't know back then how important this band would be to me."
"Fast forward, six years later and here I am now. I'm 19 and off to college, and the fact that I've grown up with them besides me has been the greatest motivation ever. I first met the lads when I was only 13 years old on April 19th, 2011. It was the best day of my life. The minute I stepped to the meet and greet, I started bawling my eyes out because I couldn't believe the men who kept me going and inspired me the most were right in front of me! (http://youtu.be/SJ5W0MzD2Qk ) Since that day, I have developed a very close relationship with the band due to the fact that I created a fan account by the name of @AfuckingAnews. I never thought it would open a door to actually getting to know them!"
"Over the past years, I've had to travel to San Diego, San Francisco, San Bernardino, Ventura, and etc, just to see them play live. I have not regretted any moment and the money spent because the guys always know how to treat me right. I've met them over 15 times, probably more because in all honesty I've lost count. This band means the world to me because of all the countless times I've spent crying my eyes out, or feeling worthless. I know that all I have to do is put on their music, and I instantly feel at ease. I never knew a home until I found their music. I don't only love them for their music though, I love them because they are all such genuine giving people. They care so much about their fans, and that's something that stands out to me. I've gotten to know them as people. They are not only my heroes, they are my friends, my family. I will never turn my back on this band. I will stick with them through everything. Shout out to Ben, James, Sam, Cameron, Denis, and even Danny for being such a big part of my life. I can't imagine it without them. They are a part of my identity."
Lucy | 15 | Scotland - "I love Asking Alexandria because they're the band that got me into heavier music and introduced me to all of that and also because so many of their songs, especially from the new album. Their newer songs just seem so relatable and make me feel really happy. Although I haven't been a fan for too long, only since around January although I first listened last September, I'll be sticking around for a while.
*Tina Lou | 43 | Chico, California - "What can I say? I'm a dork for Asking Alexandria. I'm absolutely ridiculously in love with them and their music. As a fan I should have a picture, a tattoo maybe even some art or something, but I don’t. But I can offer them my love and dedication to them and the AA family. I’m going to see them December 4th in San Francisco, California. Ben Bruce said he'd chug a brewski with me next time at a meet and greet, so I’m going to hold that to him. Hopefully this time take a picture of my first time meeting Denis, after meeting Danny twice already. Asking Alexandria means the world to me. I’m proud of my boys, and proud to say they are my light in the darkness."
Miranda | 17 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - "Asking Alexandria has helped through my uncle and my grandmas passing in not even a six months apart. My uncle passed at only 53 years old from a bad heart in August of 2015. After his passing there was always arguments. It was hard seeing my uncle in his casket being so young. My whole family was devastated after his passing. Not even 6 months later my grandma that was the only one alive when I was growing up cancer had gotten worst."
"The doctors gave her a week or a little more to live. She didn't want to die at the hospital so we took her home. The following weekend she couldn't even get out of bed or drink from a straw. We had to spray her mouth when we asked. It took all her energy she had left. Me and my mom slept somewhat right by her side. Till Sunday I had to leave and go back to school I kissed her forehead and told her I love her she said I love you back. That morning before school started she passed away. I wanted to give up because she was the only grandparent I had."
"I almost failed school because I just gave up on everything. My grandma survived three of her children passing. Losing two important people in my life was hard in a short period of time. All I wanted was my grandma to see me graduate cause I’m the youngest grandchild of the family. I wanted to give up on life after she died. But I didn’t cause of AA. I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for AA. They have saved my life. They are my idols. They are the people I look up to in life. I hope to meet them one day. Thank you Denis, Ben, Sam, James and Cameron for saving me."
Tessa | 17 | Slovakia - "I've been a fan of Asking Alexandria for three to four years now and they fully changed my life. They helped me through the hard times I had then, they were (and still are) my escape from the world."
"They are my best friends, who I don't know in person. They mean more to me than my life actually. And now with Denis, I'm happy to see they are alright and happy with him. This is the best summer in my life, because I'm going to see them for the first time in Hungary and I really can't wait for it. So I want to say thank you, for Ben, Denis, James, Cam and Sam for being there for me whenever I feel miserable and alone. For helping me forever and always, for making incredible music and especially for breathing and existing! Thank you, Asking Alexandria. You saved me!"
Amanda Swain | 15 | Melbourne Australia - "I love Asking Alexandria so much because every time you hear their music, it makes you feel all these emotions you don't get with other bands. I love how their so positive and funny. I love how they got back up and wrote a kick ass album with Denis when everybody thought it was the end of AA. Overall, I love how they treat their fans like there family because to us fans, Asking Alexandria is our family."
* Elena | 22 | Italy - "Asking Alexandria changed my life because thanks to them, I made many new friends who are now a very important part of my life. I love AA because they're funny, lovely and care so much about their fans. They truly have a passion for music, they don't make it just for money.Their lyrics speak to my heart and my soul, and that's what makes their songs awesome."
* Cassie Swain | 17 | Melbourne Australia - "Where do I even begin to explain how much Asking Alexandria means to me? It all started a good three years ago (I can't remember the exact date). I was going through a heap of shit, probably the worst I could be. I didn't know who my real friends were. I got to the point where I really couldn't care less what people thought of me. I stopped following the crowd, trying to impress everyone. I got into metal and found Asking Alexandria, something I'll NEVER regret doing!"
"They've changed my life for the better and I couldn't be more thankful. I still go through those shit days (like everyone else) and I know I can rely on Asking Alexandria to cheer me up. On the 7th of April 2016 I got to see Asking Alexandria live at the U18 Melbourne concert. It was safe to say I was super excited! I stayed up all night as I couldn't get any sleep (I was that exited). Finally arriving to the venue I stood in love for three hours or so. I talked to some of the girls while waiting and we were all so excited! The concert was fucking incredible! Ben actually waved at me and man I'll never forget that! Just thinking it now I get goosebumps."
"I wish I could have told the boys in person how thankful I am of them (but this will do for now). I've made some pretty incredible friends because of Asking Alexandria. I'd do anything for the Asking Alexandria and the AA Family. I even have AA tattooed on my wrist, dedicated to Asking Alexandria. It'll be there forever, just like my passion for Asking Alexandria. People are going to think I'm in Alcoholics Anonymous but nah I'm mate I'm in the AA Family! I was there when Asking Alexandria was going through a shit time, I was there when Danny left, I was there when Denis came, I was there when Sam had that horrible crash, I was there when The Black was released and no matter what happens I'll be here. I'm not leaving. I'll always be here when the family needs me, I'll always be here when Asking Alexandria needs me. Without Asking Alexandria and without the AA Family I would still be following the crowd that got me nowhere, the crowd that made me feel like shit. There will never be a family stronger than us!"
Eva Ternik | 13 | Slovenia - "I discovered Asking Alexandria a few years ago when "The Final Episode" showed up in my recommended videos on YouTube. I clicked on the video and I fell in love with it. I was really suicidal and depressed. And I was bullied in school. No one liked me and I was all alone."
"After discovering AA my life changed. I can't explain how much they mean to me and how much I love them. They saved my life forever. And I'm so thankful for that. I'm so happy to be a part of the best family in the whole world. #AAFamily. I feel safe and loved in this family. This family is forever. I'm speechless and I can't explain how much they changed my life. I'm not depressed and suicidal anymore. I'm more than happy, and I love it. Thank you Asking Alexandria. Thank you for everything you did for me."
Desiray | 14 | Ohio - "I've been listening to Asking Alexandria for about three years and they've helped me through so much! Not to long ago I lost my uncle and my grandfather in the span of eight months. I was in the worst times of my life and Asking picked me up out of those times and lifted me up when I needed it."
"Their music always makes me feel a certain way, like I can finally relax a little bit (even though songs like "Let It Sleep" and "Not The American Average" gets me excited. Their posts on social media always make me smile or laugh, especially Denis' and Ben's. It's amazing how much they care for their fans and we return it right back. I love the AA family and I always will be apart of it."
* Alexis | 14 | Utah - "The reason Asking Alexandria means so much to me is because their music has helped me through some crazy shit. When I feel alone, I can turn to their music and feel better no matter what sort of problem I'm facing at the moment. They have done so much for me I could never thank them enough for everything."
"Not only does the band help me, but I have talked to so many people in the AA Family, and everyone is so supportive of each other. I don't think I've seen such a strong and supportive fan base. I'm so proud of how far they have come and the success with the new album,. It's an amazing album! I love all five of them so much."
* Jorden Mclaughin | 17 | England - "I did this drawing a while ago inspired by Ben's Never Take It Off bracelet and his quote in the music video "Here I Am." I have plans to get the blade tattooed on my wrist when I'm 18 along with the "I Won't Give In" Asking Alexandria tattoo I've been planning for the past couple of months."
Patrick | 14 | South England - "Asking Alexandria mean a lot to me because of the issues they tackle in their songs. I listen to them when I'm worried and need to feel that someone knows what I'm going through. I can't wait to see them at Reading Festival!
Tahlia | 23 | Australia - "Asking Alexandria mean the absolute world for me because all through high school and even now, they are the only constant in my life. They have seriously helped me through so much and they helped me to believe in myself and to always stay positive and that no matter what."
"They will always love me and their fans, even if no one else does. They have seriously been through so much shit in their lives and yet look at them, they are strong and they are making it through the day. And they always try and help their fans get through their day if they are having a rough time. No matter what they go through, no matter what get thrown at them, they ALWAYS find the silver lining. And if they are having a rough day, they still try and interact with their fans. Because that's who they are. They are amazing people. And that is why they are my inspiration. My idols."
Jasmine Negrete | 16 | Houston, Texas - "I love Asking Alexandria for many reason. But I guess my favorite is that they're always true to themselves and to us. They are an amazing band who doesn't get enough recognition in this world. Their music inspires me to try harder, to push myself to the limits, and to never give up."
"Their music always picks me up when I'm down. Just hearing Denis' voice and feeling James' drums mix with the sound of my heartbeat. Somehow the day I heard of Asking my life somehow instantly became better because that's what they do. They make people feel better and they help people. Asking Alexandria just means the world to me. I am forever proud of being a member of the AA Family. P.S.- Brucestoff forever.
* Shannon Snyder | 41 | Hastings, Michigan - "Asking Alexandria encourage me to always pick myself up when I get knocked down and to keep pushing forward. They inspire me to always be better today then I was yesterday. I love them like no other! They are my five favorite humans, forever and always!
* Kristen Calderoni | 20 | South Plainfield, New Jersey - "I previously wrote about how much Asking Alexandria meant to me in the last submissions, but I forgot to explain how much their last album "The Black" has meant to me. It is my favorite album by far."
"The lyrics in the songs speak to me, especially in "Sometimes It Ends." "Sometimes it ends, sometimes you fall. / Crossing out the man that I've become / I'm standing tall / Stronger than I ever did before. Against them all"
"In life there will be friendships and relationships that end and that is okay, they just did not work out. This song shows to me that you pick up the pieces and walk away from them stronger than before. Also, recently Ben has noticed me on social media whether it was a picture I posted on Instagram in his clothing line (Serpent & Co.,) or even the time his cousin Tim (who also runs the line with him) posted a picture of me on the Serpent & Co. Instagram in my merch from them."
"Ben has also noticed me on Twitter when I really didn't want to go into work one day and asked him to send some good vibes my way to get me through the day. He liked my tweet and when I got to work I noticed it and I was shocked and extremely happy that he noticed me again. I went into work that day extremely happy, little did Ben know that he made my day. I am seeing and meeting Asking Alexandria in November and I am beyond excited to finally meet them all, (I met Ben outside in May in Sayreville) talk to them all, and thank them for everything they have done. This band has helped me through some tough times and I feel that they should know this when I meet them. They have a great future a head of them and I couldn't be more proud to be apart of the AA Family!"
Kat Brooks | 15 | Kentucky - "Asking Alexandria is my favorite band for many reasons. First of all, their music is so amazing and it didn't take long for me to completely fall in love after just hearing a few songs. I like lots of bands, but something about AA just stood out to me. Something about them was just special. Their lyrics are so powerful."
"Secondly, they are all so inspirational and just amazing people in general and I love them so much. I got to see them live for the first time at Warped Tour in 2015 (it was also my first concert ever) and it was extremely fun! They all have so much energy on stage and I just loved seeing them perform. I got to see them for a second time in May and honestly it was one of the best days of my life. I got to meet Denis, Sam, Cameron, and James and they were all so nice to me. I was very nervous and excited, I couldn't breathe properly and Sam put his hand on my shoulder and asked, "Are you gonna be alright?" That was so sweet."
"The show was perfect! Ben smiled and waved at me while he was on stage and it made me so happy that I screamed. When they played "Not The American Average," Ben smiled at me again and we were basically singing together and he looked into my eyes even longer. It was just so great to experience that. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it honestly meant the world to me."
"Every time I think about that moment of Ben waving at me, I smile. I miss that day a lot! If I ever have the chance to see them again I definitely would! This band just makes me so happy and they can always put a smile on my face and make me laugh with their crazy personalities. Like when I watch their interviews, I laugh so hard I can't breathe. Especially Ben, his sense of humor is the best thing ever. I'm so glad I started listening to them because they have impacted me in such an awesome way."
* Nicole | 21 | Austria - "Asking Alexandria changed my life in a good way. Many people tried to change me, and I unfortunately gave in and changed myself. I was a completely different person. But thanks to AA I noticed how wrong that is and that I should stay the way I really am. Now I don't give a single fuck what people think! Asking Alexandria helped me through so much already! I'm forever thankful! They deserve everything."
Jailyn | 18 | Michigan - "I've been a fan of Asking Alexandria for almost eight years. They've helped through some of the hardest times in my life. I've always had self image issues and a hard time socializing with others. I tend to get very uncomfortable in social situations, and just anything that takes me out of my tight box of comfort. This made school for me extremely difficult as you can imagine. I did not fit in well with others due to the lack of social skills I had. Kids noticed this very quick and I was picked on from 4th grade all through high school."
"That's where AA played a major role. Obviously they weren't there when I was in forth grade, but I still remember when I discovered them for the first time. It was sometime in 2010, and everything just kind of changed. That sounds really cliche, but just hear me out. As I told you I was basically an outcast growing up I was never really happy and when I found AA I honestly think I found my happiness and my life line."
"They pulled me out of this mindset that I was somehow broken. Just listening to them made me realize it's perfectly ok to be this way and whenever things got too hard for me I would to them and they were and are ALWAYS there. They gave me a family that I fit into and a sense of security in myself. I still remember seeing them for the first time at Warped Tour in 2015 and how happy I was how. I felt like I was finally home. I have only ever gotten this feeling from this band. My own family doesn't make me feel like this and it's been proven to me three times, so I know it's true. The most recent time I saw them was May 18th of this year I'll never forget that day. That's the day I was able to meet them for the first time."
"I remember how nervous I was waiting to talk to them. I was visibly shaking, but when I got up there all my fear was gone. They all gave me the biggest hugs and it was taking all my strength not to cry. I'm pretty sure Cam noticed because he asked if I was alright. It was kind of embarrassing but a nice feeling that he noticed and cared enough to ask. I still remember the conversation I had with James and Ben. Oh god they where so nice to me they made me feel like they've know me for years. We just talked about the show and how they had just been here. I gave Ben a letter and James made a joke to Ben about it and then they thanked me. THEY thanked ME. What?"
"I was so confused I should be thanking them for what they've done, but instead they were doing that to me. I honestly couldn't feel anymore loved. Then right there and then I hugged them one more time and it was time for the show. I was front row and on the side Ben usually is on. Ben and I shared a lot of smiles and eye contact during the show which made me really happy. It made me feel like he remembered me from the meet and greet earlier on. When the show was coming to an end and they started playing "The Final Episode," Denis jumped down into the photo pit and started running up and down the isle."
"He came by me and I asked for yes, another hug. We were both MEGA sweaty but it was the best hug ever. After that the show was over. Now I know this is probably all over the place, but the point is AA is my family. I don't care what anyone tells me. I don't think I'll ever be as happy as I am when I see them, meet them, or just listen to their music. But honestly I think I'm ok with that because music lasts forever whitch means so will my happiness. Thank you Sam, Ben, Denis, Cam, and James. You made my life a brighter place. AA Family forever."
Always remember that 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.
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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