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As It Is

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Listen to AS IT IS while you read.

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As It Is are currently blitzing Australia on a national tour right now, and if you’ve seen them before you’ll understand why they’re described as a pop punk band with a hardcore performance ethic. Frontman Patty Walters hyperbolises that their first time in Australia “blew our minds”. Suiting their totally wired delivery, “Australian crowds are so much more rowdy than we were prepared. We’re looking forward to that again with some of these more energetic songs”.

Their welcome to this Great Southern Land was by Sydney boys With Confidence, who they also ended up taking to the UK. “We knew about them for a while”, Walters reminisces, “and then it was our privilege to bring them out to the UK on their first ever UK tour. Those guys are incredible; it was an honour touring their home country with them”.

The timing of their second tour down under certainly is a treat for fans, who will be some of the first to see the band following the release of their sophomore full-length Okay. According to Walters, the unveiling of the record has not been an easy process.

“I probably couldn’t even appropriately put into words how terrified we have been about releasing this record”, he explains. “It’s not even nervousness, it’s terror. But everyone has been really, really kind and receptive to the songs we’ve been releasing and that’s super humbling and super re-assuring. You know, because we’ve put so much into the record, these songs and the message of the record. So it means so much that people have been enjoying it thus far. It never quite goes away. I think it’s just a sign you’re still doing this for the right reasons, you’re really kind of making yourself vulnerable”.

The message of Okay is, as foreshadowed by its title, that it’s “okay not to be okay”. It’s a concept that’s been delivered by many of the formative influences of As It Is including My Chemical Romance, but it remains important for an outfit that have struggled within themselves, and that see the struggles of the people they play to every night.

“We really put ourselves on the line and wrote about our lives and our families in ways that we never have before. It’s an overarching message of ‘we’re all human, we’re all vulnerable, we’re all imperfect and we’re all struggling.’ Nobody is okay all of the time. We’re certainly not and we’ve written a record about it. If anybody feels like they’re not okay right now we’re all going to get through it together”.

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`It’s no surprise that in the same way that Walters was affected by the music that accompanied him as he grew up, the effect of this message continues to manifest in the feedback given to him by fans. To an extent, that does influence his writing process, but there is still an intention to keep it personal.

“You feel a certain level of consciousness when you’re writing these songs that people are going to listen to them and they’re going to want to relate to these songs. But first and foremost, they have to be personal. We have to kind of create our own fulfilment in these songs, and our own sense of pride in these songs. You have to try to find this balance in pleasing yourself and writing what is important to you while still aspiring to connect with somebody listening who can hopefully find a piece of themselves in at least a couple of songs”.

Within that lyrical reach-out to their base, As It Is propel the legacy of the emo movement that they’ve been informed by. “We’re kind of fuelled by nostalgia musically and lyrically”, Walters admits. “We all want to tap back into that excitement before anything became jaded. When music was just exciting and optimistic, we all try and I guess, channel that, when we write something and perform each night”.

It’s easy to get your priorities mixed up when you’re riding the wave that As It Is are on right now, but Walters assures that they’re going to spend 2017 doing what they set out to do back at the beginning, when they united as “five people that barely knew each other before starting this band”. He concludes with their plans for the year, which aren’t that ambitious beyond doing what they want to do and being content with it. “It just feels like it’s going to be a really fun year of playing shows, playing new songs and re-discovering why we do this in the first place. Just enjoying music, plain and simply”.

 

By Peyton

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