An Ode to All Time Low

For many people there will be one, and sometimes more than one, band or musician that will leave an impact on their life. Whether they became your one solace and personal escape from your own reality or their music inspired you to pursue your own dreams like they did for themselves. Regardless of the various reasons why the artist is important to you, there will always be the constant gratitude of the impact they’ve left on your life.

There’s one specific band that did it for me, it was none other than four talented Baltimore natives that came together in 2003 to form All Time Low. So Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson, and Zack Merrick- This one is for you guys.

Middle school was a weird time in my life to begin with. I was awkward, weird and constantly dying my hair to keep up with my wanna-be scene kid look. At the time, music quickly became a big part of my life. I was obsessing over Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown album and buying any My Chemical Romance t-shirt I could get my hands on at Hot Topic.One night I couldn’t sleep and I remember turning on the TV and ending up on MTV’s Music Video Channel and these four attractive young guys are on the screen as one sings, “Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year.” I soon found out those four guys were the members of All Time Low and it was Alex Gaskarth singing a line from their song Weightless that ended up sticking with me for years to come.

Friends, pets, hobbies, and dreams have all come and gone, but the one thing that has been a constant for nine years since the first night I heard their music is All Time Low. They’re my go to guys- when I’m going through a rough time I listen to Weightless. When I need a bop to rock out to in the car I blast Don’t You Go. When I’m thinking about a shitty guy I dated, I put on Thanks to You. Somehow, their songs make me feel like I’m untouchable and everything will be okay. They become more than just catchy songs coming out of my speakers- they’re stories and messages, and each time it feels as if Alex is singing right to me and knows just what to say.

Outside of the fact their music speaks to me in ways no one else’s does- Alex, Jack, Rian, and Zack are some of the humblest people I know. Whether it be interacting with fans at meet and greets, concerts or just on social media, All Time Low goes above and beyond to keep their fans involved in everything they do (check out the Missing You music video). One simple follow on Twitter or one hug or high five from any member can easily mean the world to a fan, and the majority of us hustlers (the nickname given to All Time Low’s fans) hold onto every one of those moments dearly. I met “All Time Low” recently at an album signing and those few minutes where they were right in front of me, high fiving me and talking about rompers, was honestly one of the most spectacular moments of my life. Yes, something that simple can go a very long way for a fangirl like myself. As I’ve grown up, so has “All Time Low.” Their music has developed and changed with the times, and in their personal lives they’re reaching milestone moments, like settling down with the right woman. I can’t help but be nothing but proud of this band because everything they do amazes me and I can never understand how the world got so lucky to have these four humans come together to produce music that brings so many people joy.

All Time Low has inspired me in ways I never considered a band could. They ignited my passion for music and continue to be one of the biggest influences in my life. What better way to live your life than to follow your passion? I’ve watched the members of All Time Low do this throughout my life since I started listening to them, and I thought why not try it myself? Music was my passion and I had to incorporate it into my life somehow. What did I do? Well, the secondary education major went out the window and in came my goal to graduate with a focus on music management. It became my own little way to get into the industry that gave me so much to live for and I still give so much credit to All Time Low for pushing me to towards this lifestyle-even if they didn’t know it.

Alex, Jack, Rian, and Zack, the four of you mean the world to me. You were there when I felt like I had no one else to turn to. You helped me get through some of the most difficult points in my life. There will NEVER be enough thank you’s that would amount to how grateful I am for this band, but thank you. For everything  you do, everything your music does for me and for every fan out there, thank you.

All Time Low doesn’t just hold a special place in my heart, but also in the hearts of hundreds of thousands fans around the world. So what better to show them love than to have other fans explain what All Time Low means to them.

They’re a representation of all that is misunderstood about me. Their lyrics, their music and their personalities all together are a mix of exactly how I feel and have always felt about myself and life. I’ve never experienced such a connection between myself and something else-neither family nor friends. There are some things in everyone’s life that are left unspoken, but with All Time Low, I don’t have to bottle it up. I have these four guys who are able to play and put these emotions into words better than I can ever speak them myself. When I listen to their music or talk to other fans, I lose the pressure of having to be someone I’m not. I’ve had some rough moments growing up, but every step of the way there’s been a song to carry me through and to express how I feel. I will forever be thankful for Zachary Merrick, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Alex Gaskarth. -Siobhan (Toronto, Canada)

I love them, I really do. When I’m dealing with difficult situations, I listen to their music and it makes me feel at peace, like I’m not alone anymore. I know that they don’t offer me a total solution to my problems, but they definitely offer me a minute to escape. They encourage me to be who I am, who I really am, even though people have told me before the way i feel and think is wrong. I feel as if All Time Low understands me. When I listen to them or see them I can’t help but do anything except smile, even when I’m crying! I don’t just listen to All Time Low when I’m upset-their music is always with me. When I’m having a good time with my friends, family or on my own, the smile that their music brings me can be seen for miles. I will never forget when I saw them live. It was only once, but it was one of the most precious memories I have. They’ve been there for the past four years of my life and I feel so lucky to call them my idols because they’re the best people I know. Their music is uniting people, making us happy, holding us up during hard times and providing support for us when we need it the most. -Luz Nazarena (Argentina)

Don’t get me wrong, I have liked my fair share of bands but none of them have made as big of an impact on me as All Time Low. Not only are the members super talented musically, they are very sweet and genuinely care about their fans. I am a huge believer in music and what it can do for people, and this band has done so much for me. I listen to their music when I’m sad, happy, angry or just need to escape or feel loved. This band has also brought me closer to people who live all over the world and I have shared experiences with people that I will never forget. I never knew that being a fan of a band could connect you so strongly to its members and fan base. The boys in All Time Low go the extra mile to reach out to every fan and recognize them on Twitter, at their shows, or any time they get the chance to. I genuinely feel like I am close friends with this band even though I have never met them in person. All Time Low have a familiarity to me and every time I listen to their music, watch YouTube videos of them or read their tweets I feel at home. I really respect Alex, Jack, Rian, and Zack for sticking to their true selves even though they have been in the music business for so long. I understand that no one is perfect but I think these four guys are pretty close. They have never become egotistical and they never push their fans away. I feel like the more popularity they gain, the more down to earth they become. Every day I feel that this band has the same amount of love for me as I do for them and I couldn’t thank them enough for everything they have gotten me through. I think that All Time Low are in it for the long haul and I’m so glad to see what the future brings. -Natalie (@sickIittlegame)

This band- Where do I even begin? I discovered All Time Low when I was younger. I remember my brother use to play one specific song, “Coffee Shop Soundtrack,” quite often. I was about 7-8ish (I’m almost 17 now). He bought a couple of their other albums a few years later and from there I was sold. Since then, this band has been there for me through so much, without even knowing it. They aren’t just some typical band you switch off on the radio when you’ve heard their hit song about a thousand times. They’re different; much more out there. They’re goofy, fun, and just plain crazy. But that’s what’s great about them. They know to throw a sick party and make dumb childish dick jokes here and there, but can still get down to business when needed. They put so much hard work into what they do, for the fans of course. I have never seen a band that appreciates their fans more than these guys. It just shows how caring and genuine they are. And the fans- well we’re more like a huge family of friends that enjoy the same music and it’s  just incredible. I’ve met many friends through All Time Low that I wouldn’t know what to do without. These boys are so beyond talented-Alex’s beautiful lyrical writing/vocals, Jack’s sick guitar wailing, Rian’s headbanger drum beats, and Zack’s ground shaking bass. Every member has their own thing, and when you marry these four elements, what you’ve got is one big bowl of passion. These guys have been together since highschool and have not quit once. It’s so refreshing to see someone put so much hard work and dedication into what they love. These guys have helped me through my lowest times and I couldn’t thank them enough. Their live shows, just, wow. They’re so energetic and really keep the crowd entertained. It’s just one big emotional roller coaster. If you haven’t listened to All Time Low yet, you gotta. They are so special, like no other. I promise you you’re in for a real treat. -Hann (@lyrlive)

When it comes to putting into words how much I love All Time Low, I really don’t know where to begin. All Time Low is a band that I will always love and defend with everything in me until I die. All Time Low, to me, is a safe place. All Time Low is happiness. All Time Low is laughter. All Time Low is family. Not only are they an amazing (and hilarious) band that makes amazing music, but they are also the sweetest people in the world, who care so very much about their fans and never fail to show it. I discovered the band at a very dark point in my life, and I have them to thank for helping me find my way out of that darkness. With emotional and inspiring songs such as “Therapy” and “Missing You,” I can remind myself that I’m not alone, and that all storms will soon pass. Their other songs are incredible as well; they make me want to smile and dance whenever I hear them. I’ve made so many beautiful and absolutely amazing lifelong friends through the band, and I have them to thank for that, as well. All of us as All Time Low fans are so proud of the band and far they’ve come. The Hustlers really are such a beautiful community, brought together by four talented guys who love us more than anything. We love them, too. Thank you, All Time Low. -Nia (North Carolina, @nianbhd)

I discovered All Time Low around middle school, but it wasn’t until eighth grade that I fell head over heels in love with the band and everything about them. Because of this band, I’ve met people who I now consider to be my very best friends for life. I never would have met them if not for All Time Low. All the hype whilst waiting for “Future Hearts” was full of both humor and happiness. When I think back to that time, I truly believe it was the best time of my life and it was all thanks to them. I had the pleasure of meeting the guys last summer and it was a day I will never forget. Even though it was only for a few seconds, finally seeing the people who I look up to gave me a feeling of pure joy. People come and go, but this band and their music is something I will always be able to rely on, whether I need a mood boost or I just want to jam out. Words will never be able to begin to describe how much I appreciate All Time Low, both as a whole and as individuals. Alex, Jack, Rian, and Zack are four absolutely wonderful guys and I am so happy that I discovered their music. I may be just one person out of a million others, but they’ve truly helped me become a better and stronger person. Thank you so much All Time Low. -Carly (Pennsylvania)

I remember the first time I saw All Time Low perform back in 2009. I was 14 and had just moved back to Maryland from Germany. All I wanted to do was go to Six Flags to see them play. They were absolutely amazing and my mom bought me a t-shirt (that I still have) and a few days later I bought “Nothing Personal.” I’m 22 now and have grown up a lot since then, but that album (and all their others) mean a lot to me and have helped me through emotional times. All Time Low have really helped me get to know myself better and deal with issues in a positive way. They put words to the emotions I feel and were there when no one else was. I’m forever grateful for them being a band and will always love and support them! -Destiny

All Time Low has always been a band that is super important to me. I’m from Baltimore, just like they are, so to see a hometown band get so big is something I just find incredible. But I think my favorite thing is that no matter how big they get, they never forget where they came from. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting these guys, and seeing them several times for hometown shows, and each time it just seems like they get better. I am so thankful for the music they make because it really makes you realize that they go through all the same things we do. I know that All Time Low means so much to so many people, and it has made me very proud to watch fans grow up with the band. Life can get pretty hectic and stressful, but with their music I find myself able to take a break from it all, and I could never thank them enough for that. -Sierra Rubin ( Baltimore, MD)

To me, All Time Low has become a safety net. As much as I listen to their music when I’m feeling happy, they are the first band I turn to whenever I’m going through a hard time. Seeing them live is one of my favourite things in the world because whenever I do, I feel completely happy, because I can escape from whatever problems I may be facing for a while. Although the band may not always be able to solve my problems, for me, they do offer support getting through them. It was also thanks to All Time Low that I met my best friend, Lauren. What started out as an online friendship progressed to meeting at shows and I feel really lucky that this band brought her into my life. In short, this band and the people I have met through them have become a support network. I am 23 now and I have been following their music since I was 12 years old. I couldn’t be more proud of how far they have come since then and I can’t wait to see what they will do next. -Laura (221Believer)

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