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Picture: Meenophoto

Ten years after forming in high school to play Blink 182 covers, Baltimore, Maryland pop punk outfit All Time Low boasts five studio albums, countless gigs and even more loyal fans - oh, and one failed major label deal.

After signing to Interscope Records midway through the Soundwave tour in Australia three years ago, the tight-knit quartet released the Dirty Work album last year and then, suddenly, split from the label in May last year.

Speaking from his home during a rare break to prepare for another massive year of touring, including the current Soundwave run alongside Metallica, Blink 182, Linkin Park and others, guitarist Jack Barakat insists the short-lived fling with the major has left no hard feelings.

"We both had different agendas," Barakat begins. "We wanted different things, so after we realised that it didn't make sense it was a really amicable split."

All Time Low built their legion of followers via relentless gigging and almost zero radio play. Last year, so many fans tried to join an online chat with the band that they crashed Soundwave's website.

So, the question is not about why they parted company with the major but rather why the lads signed in the first place?

"We signed because you want opportunities to become a bigger band," Barakat says. "You can only get so big on an independent label these days and we figured this was our chance to break out and become even bigger, which is what every band wants.

"It didn't work out the way we wanted it to, so instead of sitting around sulking about it and forgetting about our fan base, we just immediately turned around, made a new record and came right back."

Less than a month after they announced the Interscope deal was off, All Time Low issued the defiant punk rock single, The Reckless and the Brave, a song about "taking risks and following your dreams", according to the guitarist.

"When we first started our band, we took a big risk in not going to college and just straight up doing the band," Barakat says. "If you believe in something, just do it."

The Reckless and the Brave opens fifth album Don't Panic, released late last year on the same Los Angeles punk label, Hopeless Records, as their second and third long-players.

The album also features For Baltimore, a track that informs fans that All Time Low is "the same band that you fell in love with". Major deal or no deal, the band will continue to hit the road. In the midst of the label wrangling, they managed to play the Warped Tour through North America, headline gigs in the UK and support slots for their heroes Green Day in Europe.

While Warped introduced them to audiences in the US, Barakat says Soundwave has been the key to their Australian success - that and their almost endless touring.

"It's definitely old-fashioned. We've never been a radio band, so this is the other way to do it and it's a lot more gruelling and takes more time, but it's worked in the end.

"It feels good," Barakat adds. "After 10 years we still have a career and without playing (so many shows) we wouldn't be here."

All Time Low plays Soundwave at Claremont Showground on Monday. The event has sold out.