Me and Alex met in eighth grade. He was the kid that all the girls liked and the dudes hated, ‘cause all the girls liked him. We weren’t really friends in eighth grade. He had just transferred from a private school, so all the girls were like, “Yeah, what’s up?” He would wear those baggy, Hot Topic parachute pants with the strings and chains. It was cool at the time. In ninth grade, he was in a rival band, and I was like, “Hey man, come in our band. We’ll write some songs together or jam out to Blink-182.”
Alex actually hated Blink back then because he was, like, the Bob Marley and Incubus kind of kid. I was like, “Dude, you gotta listen to this band. They’re on MTV.” So I got him to listen to their live CD [The Mark, Tom, And Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!)] and once he heard the jokes and the way they are live, he fell in love immediately. He was like, “Dude, we need to fucking do this. This is awesome, They’re just being themselves. It’s awesome. Kids love it.” We just started our own band. We started covering Blink-182 songs-me, Alex, and our old drummer.
In ninth grade, we met Rian. He was in my French class. He wore a Face To Face shirt the first day of class. I remember turning around and being like, “Hey man, do you like Face To Face?” [Laughs.] He hated me, obviously. I had blue hair. He was like, “Who is this punk-ass kid?” I’d bother him every day. I knew he played drums and I knew he was the best drummer in our grade. He was like, “No man, I got my own band.”
At the end of ninth grade, we finally got him to jam with us. And it was awesome. He came to one of our band practices-me, our old drummer [and] Alex. We were playing “Roller Coaster” by Blink-182, and our old drummer couldn’t do it. Rian played the cover with us and we were like, “Fuck! We need this guy. Damn it, we need him now.” We kicked out our old drummer and got Rian.
A month later, we asked around [because we] needed a bassist. Zack came to our practice. He showed up with a skateboard. His mom was there. He walked in, we started jamming and we were like, “Fuck yeah, he plays with his fingers. He’s in.” At the end of practice, he did some skateboarding tricks-like a triple kick-flip. We were like, “Bring him in now! Lock him in early!”
At the end of ninth grade, All time Low were formed.