Marines and sailors on Camp Schwab on Okinawa, Japan, were recently treated to a rare on-base concert when English hard rock band, Asking Alexandria, decided to bring the show to them.
Accompanied by their videographer every step of the way, the bandmates visited with service members before and after the show, touring the base, playing with weapons ... and drinking heavily. The band enjoyed the video footage they collected so much that they decided to use it for their newest music video, an acoustic version of their song, “Someone, Somewhere.”
For lead singer Danny Worsnop, an avid military supporter who once had his own dreams of military service, the chance to visit was a no-brainer.
“The USO was asking the Marines in Okinawa what band they wanted to bring here, and I guess we were a band that everyone wanted,” Worsnop told Military Times. “It was something I wanted to do for a long time, and as soon as the opportunity came up, we jumped. With my other band, We Are Harlot, we’ve done a bunch of different USO shows and they’ve always been an incredible time.”
Worsnop’s family has a long history of military service, something that has stoked his desire to give back to the military and veteran community, and once spurred him on to join the ranks.
“My godfather was in the army back in England. So was my uncle and two of my grandparents. When I was six years old, I thought, ‘That is what I’m going to do with my life.’ I was doing five-mile runs as a kid, thinking, ‘I’m going to be the best. I’m going to be John f--cking Rambo’ — and then I got a record deal,” he said, laughing.
Despite the favorable career change, Worsnop’s interest in all things military never wavered. In fact, it was magnified recently when, at the recommendation of another band — All That Remains — Worsnop partnered with the veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee and Article 15 Clothing, a venture the singer called “the perfect situation” to impact communities through music.
“I’m working with a lot of other bands right now to bring music into the fold,” Worsnop said. “To me, there’s such a disconnect and distance between the military or veteran world and everyone else. I don’t know what it is, but I want to be able to use music to bridge that gap, bring people together and help everyone on all sides.”
Just being able to hang out extensively with Marines and sailors at Schwab was one way the band hoped to “bridge that gap,” he said.
“We got to spend a lot of time with them, go out in the town, hear their stories, drink a ton of alcohol and make some bad decisions,” he said, laughing.
The singer added that no matter how many times he’s around military personnel, it always surprises him how young some of the men and women are who put their lives on the line.
“We were drinking and people started asking about our ages, and this one kid — he wasn’t having any alcohol — he said, ‘I’m about to turn 20.’ And it’s one of those things that just escapes me — how young some of them are. It takes you back for a second.”
In addition to the night on the town, the band was given an extensive tour of the base, as well as some thorough hands-on with vehicles and firearms.
“I am very much enthusiastic and obsessed with the entire firearm world,” Worsnop said. “As soon as we walked into [the armory], I was like a kid in a candy shop.”
No matter how much fun they were having, the time eventually came for the band to leave — they have to tour Europe for months, after all — but Worsnop said they’re already planning future visits to military bases around the world.
“We’re booking our tour for the beginning of next year right now, and I’m trying to book as many shows on or near bases as we can,” he said. “Once we see the routes, I’m going to make some phone calls and try to book stuff along the way.”
The band is also expected to soon begin filming a new music video with some assistance from the Black Rifle Coffee crew and a little help from daredevil and motorsport demigod, Travis Pastrana.
“I just want to make the most freedom-centric music video on the damn planet,” he said. “I want helicopters, I want tanks, I want explosions, stunts — just everything we can think of.”