Jack Barakat of All Time Low
People tend not to take high school bands very seriously. After all, how many people get bands together in their mid-teen years, only to have them fall apart pretty quickly as soon as the drummer moves away, or the singer gets a job (or a girlfriend)? Well, All Time Low began like so many of us did, jamming together in their garages while still high school students. Forming in 2003 in Towson, MD, founding member Jack Barakat, whose commitment to the band led to their international success, and to his role as a member of the ESP Guitars artist roster.
Growing up, Jack idolized Blink 182ʻs Tom Delonge, which isnʼt surprising based on All Time Lowʼs pop punk sound. Another major influence (also not very shockingly) is Green Dayʼs Billie Joe Armstrong.
Modern Band, Modern Path to Success
There are some elements to being a successful band that have never changed, and most of it involves relentless hard work. All Time Low has toured nearly constantly over its nine years of existence, as a support band, a headliner, and as part of festival tours. In between, theyʼve managed to also record four full-length albums, two EPs, and a live album as well.
But in this modern age, direct communication with your fans is important. Jack and the other members of ATL (vocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth, bassist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson) do a ton of social networking, and itʼs rare to have a few minutes go by without a Tweet from one of the band members.
As a result of their visibility and new popularity, it didnʼt take long for All Time Low to be signed, first by Hopeless Records in 2005. Their first label-backed EP, 2006ʼs Put Up or Shut Up, reached number 20 on the US Independent Albums chart. Their following album produced the single “Dear Maria, Count Me In”, which was eventually certified with Gold status for selling over 500,000 copies in the US alone. That left All Time Low in a good position for their following album, Nothing Personal, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at number 4.
In 2011, the band had a short-lived stint on a major label with Interscope, but departed the label in May of 2012 and has since returned to Hopeless Records for the release of their fifth studio album, Donʼt Panic, which came out on October 9.
Pop Punk Power with ESP
Jackʼs main guitar is an ESP Standard Eclipse-II in Vintage Black, outfitted with Seymour Duncan passive pickups. The Eclipse-II is a classic all-around rock machine thatʼs great for nearly all kinds of music. It has set-neck construction at 24.75” scale, with a mahogany body with maple top, and a mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard. Jackʼs model uses gold hardware, which include Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners and a Gotoh TOM bridge and tailpiece. Controls on the Eclipse-II include bridge volume, neck volume, master tone, and a 3-way toggle pickup selector.
For players on a budget, the best choice to try and get Jackʼs look and sound is with the LTD EC-1000 w/Duncans. ESP also offers a selection of even more affordable EC Series models, including the EC-401 and the EC-330, which can help you get the Jack Barakat vibe without having to break the bank.