As It Is: Way More Than Okay At The Roxy Theater
As It Is recently concluded their Okay USA Tour, headlining all across the country with Roam and Grayscale in support. One of the stops for As It Is was the iconic Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip, were this UK based band presented their own spirited brand of pop punk that was nothing short of epic. We caught up with their charismatic front man Patty Walters on the As It Is bus parked just outside of The Roxy to discuss their current cross country adventure. the making of the recently issued Okay. album on Fearless Records, life on the Vans Warped Tour a few summers ago, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in As It Is.
My name is Patty Walters and I sing in a band called As It Is.
How is this headlining tour been going and what have been some of the highlights?
It’s been phenomenal. I think the real kind of overarching highlight is the fact that this is our first headline tour of North America and it was very possible that nobody was going to turn up. Every show we’ve been playing to more people than we expected. The bands in this tour are phenomenal musicians and even better people. So, for all those reasons is probably my favorite tour we’ve ever done as a band in the five years of us going. It’s just been great. It’s been a really great unforgettable special experience.
What are you looking forward to the most about playing here at the legendary Roxy Theater?
Yeah, I mean just that in itself is exciting enough, but from the people that we’ve talked to thus far , played to in our pre-show acoustic set kind of thing, everybody is just in a really great mood. I think it’s going to be the perfect environment for a really good time. Being up on that stage seeing the kind of stickers backstage seeing some of the flyers of the shows that have been here – it feels pretty special. I think we all feel pretty honored and pretty humbled to be headlining this venue.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Okay.?
When I started writing the song Okay, it kind of acted like the glue for the rest of the record. Every song that was written prior now kind of has a context and every song that came after had a theme. Everything all started coming together after that song was written and we decided the message that we wanted to really largely portray for the album was its okay to not be okay. This record – it a lot of experiences in which we were okay – and experiences in which we weren’t okay in writing this out. We wanted to let people know that their insecurities, that their imperfections are fine. It’s just shit that we all deal with. So, it felt really fitting and that’s why we kind of went with that title.
Select any two songs from Okay. and what inspired the lyrics?
Hey Rachel is a song that I wrote for my sister. It’s a song written to my sister. I’m singing to her in those lyrics and it’s about an experience that we had 10 years ago when my sister was going through a really bad battle with anxiety and depression. It led her to no longer being able to go to school anymore, no longer being able to see her friends or just kind of continue being herself and that was really sad to see but really scary to see. I dealt with it really badly. It lead to this whole kind of tough love approach where I couldn’t understand, so I wanted to push her so she could be herself again, but ultimately all it lead to was us kind of talking to each other less and growing apart. In later years we’ve come to be close again but I never really apologized. That was how that song came to be. So, it’s a really special song to me for that reason.
Equally when we started writing Still Remembering, it was a song where in the middle of writing this album where we were starting to doubt all the songs – and starting to doubt it as an album in its entirety. It was really frustrating and we had this really bad patch of writer’s block. We started to wonder if this is going to be our last record, is this going to be good enough, is this going to create opportunities for us to continue writing records or to continue touring years from now. So, with those thoughts in my head I wrote this break up song which is breaking up with the band, breaking up with each other, breaking up with our fans and saying goodbye to everything we’ve achieved and everything we hoped to achieve down the line. So yeah, those are two really important songs that are on the album and how they kind of came about.
What does Rachel think of her song?
She likes it. She cried when she heard it. I cried writing it so it’s a pretty special song for us.
There was definitely pressure and stress in doing this album…
Hughly, you set a precedent with your first album and our first album meant a lot to a lot of people. We not only wanted to write songs that were going to get stuck in people’s head to the same extent, but we wanted to write songs that were going to be just as, if not more important and more relatable for those people. It was really daunting with that in the back of our minds the entire way through, knowing that we had so much to not only meet but try to, I don’t know, improve upon and write something that we were going to be proud of. I think we like it now, but it was scary at the time.
What advice would you give a band about to play The Warped Tour this year?
Prepare for the longest most exhausting and simultaneously fun days of your life. Warped Tour is a grind but at the same time, it’s one of the most important tours you’re ever going to do because you’re going to meet some of the people you’re going to know for the rest of your career. Some of the most important people you’re ever going to meet. Some people that are going to become important to you as a band. People that you’re going to like, really unexpected friendships kind of blossom on Warped Tour. It’s a real good time but it’s a tough tour at the same time. I think every band who goes out on Warped has a great time. They work hard but they love it, yeah.
If As It Is could open for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
AII: We were asked this today, what would be the dream tour. I think the dream tour is to be supporting on the Blink 182 / Green Day co-headlining tour. Those are the two bands that really made us want to do this in the first place. I think that’s the dream tour. There’s no other tour that could compare to that tour.
Looking back on your YouTube channel, do you miss doing it?
I miss it. Yeah, it’s very possible that I could end up doing it again in the future but when I stopped we were too busy and currently we’re too busy just playing, writing and trying to do the best that we can as a band. It’s possible, but it’s not something in the near future for sure.
What’s up for As It Is after this tour is all over?
We go back and do some festivals around the UK and Europe. We do Download Festival which ia huge deal back home. I’m really excited not only to perform for the first time, but just go to Download for the first time. There are so many bands that I’m a fan of playing like Biffy Clyro, AFI, Coheed and Cambria. I’m going to be totally fanboying to those bands just shamelessly watching them. And a bunch of really cool festivals and headline sets around Europe. A lot in Germany, some in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. It’s gonna be cool.
Do you have any messages for As It Is fans who are reading this right now?
Thank you very much. You are the sole reason that we get to do this and for that we’re forever grateful because this is pretty fun and pretty cool.
As It Is lineup:
Andy Westhead – Guitar
Benjamin Langford-Biss- Guitar/Vocals
Patrick Foley – Drums
Patty Walters – Vocals
Ali Testo – Bass
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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