The year saw UK metalcore veterans Asking Alexandria regain confidence on their seventh album, See What’s On the Inside (our review here). Tracks like ‘If I Could Erase It’ and ‘Alone Again’ resonated with us and fans alike more than anything on last year’s release, even though they’re no longer the same band from our youth. The boys from Asking Alexandria found a newfound love in their musical roots and ultimately, a new direction to head down.
Guitarist Ben Bruce in the meantime, saw the pandemic and past year as a way to focus on the things that mattered most — home and family. With his newfound Dad life, the Paradise City actor probably won’t be returning to the screen anytime soon, but it’s allowed him to hone in on the music even more during his spare time. Without further ado, here’s some of the other releases Ben was into throughout this year…
TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2021
#5 Metallica – Blacklist
#4 Bullet For My Valentine – BFMV
#3 Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
#2 Architects – For Those Who Wish to Exist
#1 Asking Alexandria – See Whats on the Inside
TOP 5 SONGS OF 2021
#5 Architects – ‘Animals’
#4 Mammoth WVH – ‘Don’t Back Down’
#3 Bad Flower – ‘Family’
#2 Iron Maiden – ‘The Writing on the Wall’
#1 Asking Alexandria – ‘Alone Again’
LAST GIG YOU PLAYED BEFORE COVID HIT?
The last show we played before Covid hit was a cruise metal fest called Shiprocked. We played in February of 2020 and got back to land just as people started talking more about this virus that was going around. I actually ended up getting really sick right after the cruise and had all the symptoms and problems that we now know are common with Covid but at the time I sort of just ignored it and figured it was just a really bad chest infection and the flu because my chest was so tight for a few months!
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING TO THE STAGE?
Getting back on stage and getting to play our music in front of our fans again has been such an incredible experience. Obviously we missed the stage the entire time we were off, but we didn’t really understand just how much we missed it until we hit that stage again! Hearing our fans singing along, seeing them smiling and jumping around and just feeling that energy again is absolutely incredible, it’s indescribable.
HOW DID YOU STAY BUSY THROUGHOUT THE PAST TWO YEARS?
I’m a husband and a father of four so I really just enjoyed being able to stay home and be a full time dad. I’ve spent so many years just touring relentlessly and I feel like I missed a lot of huge milestones for my kids and its just been so nice being home and being able to be here for them for the last couple of years. Obviously we wrote and recorded and brand new album too which was such an incredible experience. It’s the first time we all went into a studio together at the same time to write and record an album in over 10 years, so it was really special.
BEST ADVICE GOING INTO 2022?
Be kind, be strong and be brave. Its been a hell of a crazy trip these past few years and I think we all need to realize that every single person on this planet has gone through a shitty time. Let’s be compassionate and kind humans. Lets be strong and follow our dreams and lets really enjoy our time here together.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2022?
I’m excited to get back on the road and playing more rock shows for our fans around the world. I’m excited to reconnect with family and friends and I’m excited to continue writing music with the guys!
Written By Ben Bruce @benjaminpaulbruce