“Take Your Shirt Off!” A Filipino Fan Banter With All Time Low

Our Contributor, Miko Geslani, recounts his all-time high experience meeting All Time Low in Manila:

All Time Low
It was a five year wait that culminated with me crying on national television. My eyes couldn’t believe who was in front of me. My #1 favorite band, ALL TIME LOW.   They were exactly how I dreamed they would be and more.

My heart was racing so fast that I could not focus on what I was supposed to do; to take photos and a few videos was such a difficult task since I could not retain myself from the intense nervousness. Unable to move, even the mere act of opening my mouth wasn’t an option. Little did I know that this was going to be one of the best days of my life.

I thought they were larger than life. And they were.

July 2006, I was browsing on Youtube one day while looking for some little known bands, something fun, upbeat yet deep. I’ve always had a hanker for bands who had simple melodies and deep meanings, with their fancy sugar-coated metaphors that keep their listeners go ” What? I don’t get it”  and then ” Ohhh, so that’s what it means… I like! “

Back then, I was fond of bands that were not popular and weren’t mainstream because I felt I wanted to own them for myself and be unique. I stumbled upon a Youtube video of them playing ” Running From Lions “. It was filled with metaphors and wonderful sentiment, it was so profound yet I got their message right away.

I even found it funny that they even politely ask the people to kindly step forward so they could hear them play. That was how little- known they were at the time.

Then it hit me… I told myself that I was going to start listening to this band every single day. At present, I still listen to the band daily.

Their music made me want to know them more. When I started watching their random videos on Youtube, I used to think All Time Low was extremely juvenile but I found out from their antics that they were deeper and more insightful than I thought they would be. In the end, they made me learn the biggest lesson of all which is their band motto; don’t take life too seriously.

Now that they’re so freaking popular worldwide, they still don’t take life seriously, even their own fame. Their song “Feel Like Dancing” is a parody of artists who sell out so they can make themselves famous fast. This is probably the most ironic song since it took them five years playing in run-down bars, garages, parking lots etc. before they reached the recognition they enjoy now.

At the press conference held at EDSA Shangri-La Manila, when they were asked about how they could have lasted so long. Rian Dawson, the band’s drummer, replied that they started as close friends and is still the best of friends. This reminded me of lead singer and lead guitarist Alex Gaskarth who also quipped, “The closest friends you’ll have are the ones you’d take a bullet for, but they’re the ones you constantly feel you could put a bullet in as well.”

When I stood up to ask my question, the pure joy of seeing my all time favorite band made my voice crack and tears of joy fell before I could control them.   It was ironic that my question was so unemotional.

“Now that Blink 182 has come back, what are your views about that?”

At this point tears were already pouring down my cheeks. Jack Barakat, the band’s rhythm guitarist and backing vocals teased me and said “Take your shirt off!”

This made me weep even more because it reminded me how they liked to horse around and how Jack helped me so that it would not be that awkward.

Alex then answered “We’re super excited that they’re back together. Apart from the fact that we thought when they broke up, we were going to be the best band in the world; they suddenly decided to come back and stomp on our dreams again. But you know, it’s really sad, they are probably the biggest reason we are a band, so to have the band come back and do another record and continue to do what they did so well for 7 years, and it’s really awesome.”

Rian added, “with their new re-entrance to this industry, we got to play shows and we got to play pranks and kind of like ‘buddy buddy’ with them which, as you can imagine, they are the reason we are a band and it’s very overwhelming.”

Another question that is of related interest for me, as a fan, was asked by ABS-CBN reporter Ginger Conejero, “I can see why the young ladies are drawn to your music and someone like Miko who is also overwhelmed with your music. May I just ask if I could get a reaction – the breadth of your music that hit them.”

Rian Dawson answered “It’s tough to even put it into words, like Alex said we started this and still it’s just for fun, we are the luckiest people alive to do what we do. Maybe that’s why we have people who are overwhelmed like him (points at me) or say that Alex’s lyrics saved their lives and helped them get through a really sad part of their lives.”

Alex continued “It goes way far how we ever imagined it. We never expected what we have now; it’s still something we’re still getting used to. To have that strong effect on people is a really good feeling. It makes us feel like we’re doing something right, so I don’t think we’re going to change anything.”

The press conference itself was out the ordinary, peppered with Alex and Jack’s witty banter and antics. They acted exactly like they did five years ago-a group of rowdy kids spewing out colorful language like they were born with it.

But for me, they will always be the band that stirred me from being a useless zombie to a livelier person who doesn’t take life seriously. This experience has genuinely taught me that I did not need to be selfish about something that I truly love. I’m so happy to share All Time Low with the rest of the world.

I’m now going to mosey along in an all time high world filled with their latest album “Dirty Work.” In fact, my whole surreal experience is described in their latest single “Forget About It”.

“You are a shining example of why I don’t sleep at all. Was it real? I don’t think I can forget about it!”

All Time Low with Miko

Miko Geslani with lead singer / lead guitarist  Alex Gaskarth


Here’s a video clip of Miko Geslani’s ‘moment’ shown at ABS-CBN news program Bandila:

Editor’s Note: To check out Orange Magazine TV’s photo coverage, please click here. All Time Low performed live at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night (September 22). The concert was produced by Dayly Entertainment and Ovation Productions. Their latest album, “Dirty Work Limited Tour Edition: CD + DVD” is available in all major record stores nationwide under MCA Music Inc. More info about the album here.

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