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With Warped Tour in the thick of its’ second week, we’ve been highlighting bands that we think you should be checking out with Never Shout Never, Mod Sun and now As It Is! Our date is around the corner, okay in two weeks, but we’ve been working hard to secure interviews with a lot of the acts we feel should be on our readers’ radars.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Andy of As It Is on their first full US headlining run. We took some time away from the craziness of a packed crowd outside of the venue and spoke really everything As It Is has been up to lately as well as what’s to come in the future. While we hope to secure a quick interview with the band at Warped, I always appreciate getting to have a quality interview with bands outside of the hyped Warped atmosphere. Here you can find everything from Andy’s tour essentials to the quick process from being signed to Fearless to putting out their first full length album. Read on for our interview and catch the dudes on the rest of Warped Tour this summer, with them in Nashville tomorrow!
Maybe to start it off, the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?
Hand sanitizer to stop the spread of any coughs, colds, worse things than that. Toothbrush and I suppose toothpaste has got to be with it. You got to keep your hygiene levels up because otherwise it just gets disgusting.
Then I from reading your Facebook and that kind of thing, I know you only have one more show left on the GK Tour but it is your first full tour or first full US tour. How has that experience been?
It’s been amazing. It’s been really incredible to see the amount of a response we’ve gotten from fans and from kids. Like we came over here not expecting a lot because it’s a UK band’s first time in the US. It’s like okay well if anyone’s there who knows us, it’s great and the fact that we’ve actually had quite a few people who actually know us and have been like waiting to see us, waiting for us to come over has just been pretty incredible. Yeah it’s been really cool.
Perfect and then considering that and considering the success that a lot of British pop-punk bands have had here, who have been like touring here for like six years like You Me At Six, Enter Shikari. What have you realized is the biggest difference here, probably the drives I’ll take a wild guess.
Yeah, you took the words out of my mouth there.
How has that experience been kind of having those really long drives compared to six hours being like the longest?
I’ll tell you what, it’s been mentally challenging to try and keep your sanity. I think the longest drive we’ve probably did was about sixteen hours and I think that you reach a point after about nine or ten hours where everyone’s just lost the plot. Yeah it just gets a bit ridiculous in the van. So yeah the drives have been hugely different. I mean on the average UK run, you play maybe what eight to ten shows in the UK and that’s the size of Florida and we play three shows in Florida. So that puts it into perspective so it’s just vast size difference of the US. Show wise, I don’t think there’s a huge difference between UK fans and US fans. I feel like once upon a time, there probably was but I think the internet has helped sort of because you can have friends you’ve never even met in completely different countries and discover really obscure bands from like the suburbs of any city around the world. Just through searching Facebook or searching Google or whatever. Any sort of differences sort of don’t really happen because people know so much about music worldwide. Rather than sort of specific pockets, scenes so much.
Perfect than I wanted to ask you. I know Fearless has signed international bands and they do still have them but it’s pretty much you, Chunk (Chunk! No, Captain Chunk) and Tonight Alive. How did that signing come about considering it mostly is American bands that get signed?
I feel like we’re probably a little bit in the dark of the behind the scenes workings. It was a case of we sat down when we first decided to go with our current manager. We sat down and sort of discussed first of all, whether we wanted to think about signing to a label at any point in the future. Like we weren’t big enough to even go like these are the labels we want to approach, blah, blah, blah. Anything like that. If an offer comes along from anyone, like who we would consider going with. It was maybe a list of like two or three labels with Fearless being at the top and it was like okay cool it was the end of that. Then a few months later, we just got a message over Facebook from our manager just going like Oh Fearless is interested. It was like, okay but that was basically the extent of that. Then okay, Fearless are really interested, they’re thinking about putting in an offer. Oh, okay, they’re actually interested! Not fake interested. So yeah that was basically pretty much the start of that. The whole talks process was we said to our manager who we wanted to sign with and Fearless were apparently interested.
I’ve heard that before that they’re super casual to the point where it like doesn’t seem real. Like where they’ll hit you up like over Facebook, they won’t even hit you up like over email.
It’s a good thing. I mean it doesn’t need to be like a massive sort of fan fare, pompous sort of congratulations you’ve got an offer from us! Don’t you feel amazing? It’s two likeminded, for lack of better word, entities or groups of people both wanting to achieve this same thing together and that’s what our experience with Fearless has been. It’s been great in the sense that we have likeminded thoughts about like the music industry and how record label/band relationships should operate. It’s a case of working together to create something really good. They’re helping us and they seem to be liking what we’re producing for them. Which is good. It’s always handy.
Then speaking of the things that you’re producing for them, it is your Fearless debut and it comes out in the UK April 20th then it comes out here the 21st. Maybe to start it off, why the title “Never Happy Ever After”.
So that title comes from one lyric of one of the songs. It’s a song called “Sorry” which is track number three I think. We basically went through the lyrics and just tried to think about what like the themes of the record were. The sound of it. Trying to find something that summed up like the record as a whole. I think we’ve tried to make a quite diverse record. I mean there aren’t any like reggae tracks on it but it’s not like all three minute pop songs and it’s not all ballads but there’s a bit of diversity to it. So we wanted to try and find something that sort of summed up everything. We felt that it was a nice little play on words that sort of took the lyrical tone of the record and was sort of summed up in a nice little short package.
Nice, I like that and then how do you go about the writing for this one. Was it one person, was it more collective, did it kind of change every time? Were they all new songs, older songs, like how did you go about the choosing for this album?
So it was completely collective. We got one song on the record which we recorded before which we thought was like a good way to bridge older fans with newer fans. They can all latch on to that one song but then the rest of it, it was a case of fear of how it came about. So we had the message from Fearless that they wanted to work together and then it was a case of our manager going right, so we want to try and get this record out before this time next year. Thus talking in 2014 which means we need to have it completely done by this time early 2015 which means over Christmas, it all needed to be recorded. So we recorded by the end of the year. Okay which means it needs to be written before like fall and this is a conversation we’re having maybe like a year ago. It was like okay, we can do that I think. So we were all working at the time and we knew from how we had written the EP was a case of sitting in a room together and writing. We knew that the EP was a massive step up from anything we had done previously. It was like okay, this works for us. We’ll do the same again. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’ll do the same again but we all had jobs. So okay, that’s going to be a little bit of a snag. So basically, we all decided to jump in and do it. We get a second chance at getting a debut record done so let’s just do it. Quit our jobs, moved to Patty’s parents house and I basically lived in their attic writing the record over about three months in the summer of 2014. Basically every day. I think we had one tour in the middle of it which was like five dates which was a nice little break. Then had a few days off here and there but it was pretty much rock solid all the way up till we flew out to Florida to record the record. Yeah it was just a case of everyone sitting in a room bouncing ideas off each other and everyone has input on everything. Like Foley, our drummer, helped write a lead line for one song. He was just like I’ve got this idea in my head from what we’ve worked out. I think it should go like this and he just sang it. I was like brilliant, sounds great to me. Then Patty and Ben both play drums as well. I don’t play drums but still try to have my input on the drums and just basically try and craft all the songs as best we can. If it’s something where some people are really unhappy with something, then everyone has the right to say no I don’t like it and we go back and re-look at it because if they don’t like it, there’s got to be a reason behind it. If they can articulate the reason, and we can discuss it and work through it then we’ll probably get a better song out of it. So that’s sort of how we do it.
Perfect, then this is pretty soft compared to what we’ve been talking about. Maybe the first CD or first cassette you ever remember buying as a kid and the first concert you ever went to?
The first CD I ever bought was Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” if you remember that, do you remember that?
Yeah I do.
I remember it said on the front cover the Italian international super hit.
The one hit.
Yeah, the one hit. So yeah that’s quite embarrassing one. It’s a bit of a tune. Yeah I only bought it because my favorite football team growing up, well still is was Chelsea and they play in blue. As a little kid, I loved the title and always wore a lot of blue attire. I think the first ever concert I went to was a band called Status Quo with my dad. Have you heard of Status Quo?
So good old dad rock.
Yeah, god they were getting on a bit then so they’re really old now.
Then to end it off like I said, you’re still very new to touring in the states and you’re on this US label but what is coming up for As It Is once this album comes out?
So after this, we do the Warped Tour kickoff party. That’s why we’re cutting this tour short, to fly over to LA and do that. Then we’re going straight from LA to Europe to Germany to do a European tour with Silverstein. Then once we finish that, we play our record release show in London on the day the record comes out. As soon as we get back, very busy. It’s been a solid two months of touring which is by far the longest we’ve been away. So that’s when the record comes out. Which will be great because we’ve been done with it for ages. I keep forgetting that it’s not out yet. So that comes out and then we do a UK co-headline run with This Wild Life and have a couple festivals. Hit The Deck festival and at the end of the UK run, we’ve got Download Festival. I’ve been going to that for the past five years just as a fan so to get to play that is quite cool, it’s like we can tick that off the band bucket list.
Then we come back to the US for Warped Tour. We’re doing the whole of Warped Tour. Which is going to be I think another amazing experience.
Only the best tour that exists in the summer. It will be my sixth year covering Warped Tour. The tour is such a great opportunity for you as a smaller band here. Just a huge opportunity.
Absolutely and it’s also growing up in the UK, Warped Tour is this mythical thing. Like I always wanted to go to the Warped Tour growing up. You see the lineup come out every year growing up and you’re like, right well seventy five percent of these bands I love and how am I not getting to see this. I only ever wanted to go and this is the first time I’m going and it’s to play the entire thing in my band. Which just is crazy. That’s a real dream come true there.
Well then maybe to end it off, are there bands that you are excited to see on Warped Tour or maybe bands you haven’t met yet that are maybe playing the tour with you?
The Wonder Years, super excited to see them. I’ve seen them loads of times but always enjoy seeing them. Who else is in there?
I think most have been announced besides like some main stage bands maybe but I think the majority of it has been announced.
And if they haven’t been fully announced, they’ve probably leaked. Motion City Soundtrack I’m excited to see because I’ve never seen them before and I can’t wait to see them. Man Overboard, they’re just great songwriters so I’m excited to see them.
You always have a good Fearless representation on the tour.
Yeah there is! It’s one of those things too when your mind just goes black. Silverstein, I’m excited to see. All the bands that we seem to be touring with at the moment are going to be there. We did the European tour before this with Trophy Eyes who are on Hopeless and they’re from Australia. Such great lads. So it will be good to see them again. Silverstein will be really cool, never seen them. Obviously I’ll get to see them when I’m on tour with them and then This Wild Life who we’re doing the UK run with. We’re excited to see them. Set It Off are playing it as well.
It will be a good time.
Yeah! It will be nice going into Warped Tour knowing people. Like Neck Deep is on it. We’ve seen them before but they’re always good to watch.
You’re going to be a happy camper.