As It Is: A Miserable Interview at Warped Tour Pomona
Day One of the Vans Warped Tour in the wilds of Pomona, California. And for the Brits in As It Is, the over 100 degree heat was certainly a challenge, but their live set was nothing short of exhilarating! Listening to their songs and witnessing their sunny dispositions onstage, the last word that would come to mind would be “miserable.” Their debut CD on Fearless Records entitled Never Happy Ever After is filled to the brim with lively pop punk anthems, but listen closely to the lyrics – there are definitely angst-like lyrics contained within. We spoke with vocalist Patty and guitarist Ben in the press area who were all smiles as we discussed the amazing Never Happy Ever After, the brilliant lyrical content, the upcoming summer of Warped, and other topics of misery and intrigue. Read on…
Introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in As It Is, and what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your iPod?
Ben: I’m Ben and I sing and play guitar, and whilst I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I feel you should be able to like what you like and not be ashamed of it – I probably say that the guiltiest thing I have on my iPod, I think I have Aqua “Barbie Girl” in my iTunes library. That is pretty terrible. It’s not that I listen to it all the time, but I do.
You should cover that song one day, [laughs].
Patty: Collectively, let’s all do it! Yeah – I’m Patty, and I sing in As It Is. It may seem guilty, but I love this song “Good Time” by Owl City feat. Carley Rae Jepsen. It’s just a pop gem and I love it to bits like the rest of his work. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. I love it.
You guys are from the UK but I’m hearing two different accents.
Patty: I’m from Minneapolis originally but I’ve lived in the U.K. for about 18 years. It’s been my home for a very long time. I love it. I always say I’m an American, but England is home.
Ben: I was boring, I was just born in England, therefore I’m English.
What are you looking forward to the most about Warped Tour this summer?
Patty: Being a part of it and experiencing it, for maybe seven weeks that it is, I don’t know what to expect and that’s what I’m most excited about – just learning what it is to be on Warped Tour.
Ben: We had day zero yesterday, I guess you could call it. A production day, even just – seeing all the friends that we’ve made. Almost everyone we’ve toured with this year is on this tour, so getting to see all those friends we’ve made this year and friends we’ve made already from last night just talked to so many people, so many interesting people and heard such great stories. We’re quite a sociable band, we like to mingle, a lot. I’m looking forward to a summer of just hanging out.
And you’re hear on day one. It’s hot.
Ben: I’m in a long-sleeve and it’s a terrible decision.
Let’s talk about your CD Never Happy Ever After. Is there any concept or story behind that title?
Ben: The title comes from a lyric in “Sorry.” Much like everything in this band, coming up with the title took forever. But we felt out of all the lyrics or all the things we’ve come up with would represent a record, we felt that that just represented lyrically, musically, the record better than anything else possibly could. So, it just kind of stuck, really. We like misery, and it’s quite a miserable title.
Patty: Yeah – it was one of the most pessimistic and self-deprecating lyrics on the record. So I thought yeah, we all thought it would just summarize the album as best as it could.
Select two songs off the record and tell me what inspired the lyrics.
Ben: “Silence,” which is the penultimate song on the record, we created scenarios in our heads. Patty and I both have very long time girlfriends and we created a scenarios in our heads of hypothetically having to break up with them. So – we spent a real bad half hour forcing ourselves to think that it’s real and happening. Almost like method acting, I guess. That really inspired that song and that’s how it came about.
Patty: We had written so much of the record at that point, I just thought it would be really beneficial to just push ourselves to do something we weren’t comfortable with.
Ben: Writing in a different way than what we were used to.
Patty: I’m super happy with the results. I think it turned out very miserable.
Ben: Maybe “Cheap Shots and Setbacks,” because that’s one of the more optimistic, so we’ve got a very pessimistic and optimistic. That one is about accepting your faults and loving the broken imperfection you that you are. As much as it may sound pessimistic at times, you’ve got everything to look from the bottom – but it’s all about we’re together in being very insecure and broken people.
If As It Is could open for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Ben: We always say collectively as a band, we’d love to support New Found Glory. For me, I’d love to support The Early November or Taking Back Sunday. That would mean a lot to me.
Patty: I think Taking Back Sunday is so appropriate to our sound, but I’d love to support The Starting Line. “The Best of Me” is the first song I ever learned on guitar. They still to this day influence of so much of what we write, it’d mean a whole lot to me to do that.
Ben: I’d really like to support Childish Gambino, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
Patty: Or Bjork.
Ben: Yeah – something really random.
That would be cool. Patty – has anyone ever heard or comment on your covers that you do?
Patty: Yeah, interestingly enough I covered “Shake It” by Metro Station a long time ago and when we saw them at the Warped Tour Kickoff Party they had seen and were very kind to me about it. Now we’re kind of on bro terms, they’re wonderful guys. Super nice.
Do you have any messages for people reading this who should go check your band out?
Ben: Yeah – if you’re as miserable as we are, you’ll probably enjoy us. If you’re not, you still might so what have you got to lose? I think that’s the message.
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photo by Jack Lue)
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