By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
English guitarist Ben Bruce has an affinity for the Valley.
Having moved to Scottsdale, Bruce now lives in Gilbert with his wife and daughter to give her the best possible childhood, he said.
“It’s a nice place to raise a family,” said Bruce, the lead singer of the English rock band Asking Alexandria. “We did a lot of research and Gilbert is renowned for being super-safe, super-family-oriented and having great schools. We fell in love with it. It’s out of the way, but not too far out of the way.”
While Asking Alexandria was in between tours, Bruce tried his hand at acting in American Satan, the tale of a young rock band who moves to the United States. All hell then breaks loose. The movie also stars acting legend Malcolm McDowell, Drake Bell and Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack. The role of Leo Donovan is his first in a movie.
“My character is very much like myself, maybe 20 years ago,” Bruce said. “He’s a young, eager but naïve teenager from the U.K. that’s been sold a line. He’s told to give up his life back in the U.K. and move to America, with the promise of riches and family.
“He truly wants to become a legend in the rock ‘n’ roll world. It’s all downhill from there”
Acting wasn’t something that Bruce aspired to do. He took drama and music in school, but he said he was “never good in drama.” He lacked the confidence to be an actor, yet he’s comfortable on stage with a guitar and mic. The key to his success, though, is pushing himself and trying new things.
“I love being a musician and performing live,” Bruce said. “But it’s the same thing over and over. It’s a good job. I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone. This made me work really hard. The cast and crew were awesome – especially when I had dry mouth and I couldn’t remember my lines. By day three, I felt like I was doing this for a month. We all became friends instantly.”
Bruce was apprehensive about seeing the film, which was released in mid-October.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “You see a lot of musicians crossing over into the acting world. I didn’t want to slide down my side in the cinema. I saw the movie, though, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“I think I did a half-decent job at least. I’m setting the bar low. So long as I can be better than Paris Hilton in House of Wax, I’m good.”
Bruce’s career is all about music for the next few months. Asking Alexandria is releasing an a to-be-named album December 15, and its new single, “Into the Fire,” has made it to Active Rock Radio charts. The record is the first since reuniting with singer Danny Worsnop.
In January, Asking Alexandria will team with Black Veil Brides for a co-headlining tour. They come to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Tuesday, February 20.
“Andy (Biersack) and I have been friends for a very long time,” Bruce said. “That’s why the movie set was so comfortable. We’ve known each other for years. We toured with each other on the festival circuit. We opened for Avenged Sevenfold before. But we’ve never done a headlining tour together. It just seemed like an appropriate time.”
For now, he’s enjoying life in Gilbert.
“I’m constantly going downtown,” he said. “I think they have a chair and table with my name on it at Postino. I love it. I’m always down there.”