A glimmer of hope, indeed: Creatively inspired by the days when emo wasn’t a dirty word and the rose tinted spirit of the late, great John Hughes’ celluloids, As It Is have spent 18 months moulding, melding and meddling with their craft, steadily building a reputation as one of the UK’s brightest new names via independent gigging and a self released debut (2013’s ‘Blenheim Place’). But, even with this DIY graft tucked firmly in their satchels, when the quartet reached out to their fledgling fanbase via Kickstarter last year to assist in the funding of a new recording, they simply could not have anticipated the wave of support that tumbled their way – the resulting donations exceeding their initial target by over double.
With this wind of fan devotion beneath their wings, As It Is – completed by vocalist Patty Walters, guitarist Andy and drummer Foley – set about perfecting the dynamic new material for ‘This Mind Of Mine’. Locking themselves away in Walters’ attic, the band summoned forth the glory days of Taking Back Sunday and The Early November, days when heart-on-sleeve lyrical catharsis perfectly synergised with raw pop sensibility. The resulting songs from these attic sessions were everything you might expect when you mix a brain, an athlete, a basket case… Hold on, wrong press release. But, As It Is’ latest creations did come to shimmer with the same quixotic chemistry as the members of John Hughes’ most beloved Club.
“Unlike our previous release, we wrote these songs without an agenda,” recalls Biss, who co-founded As It Is with Walters whilst ‘on the same pretentious music course at uni’; “We used to get overly hung up on ticking boxes – structure, duration – whereas this time around we just wrote and went with what happened naturally. We found this time around that we don’t disagree as much as we used to. Or at least we deal with things less like bickering shits.”
Bickering would certainly not be a welcome element in such close quarters, particularly when Biss and Walters – the band’s Minnesotan element – collaborate on the band’s dual pronged vocal, and indeed lyrical, output. As Biss explains: “When we write a song, the music always comes first, and from the vibe of the music we pick a theme that we think will suit the song. We then both write separately, even if we’re next to each other, and then piece together the best bits of what we have coherently. Sometimes I’ll write a line that Patty loves and he’ll splice it with a few things he has and vice versa until we have a song that grasps what we want to convey. It’s like writing lyrics knowing that it’s already relatable to two people rather than just one.”
It certainly hasn’t hurt the band’s cause to date that lead vocalist Walters is somewhat of a YouTube sensation, the frontman’s channel boasting over 120,000 subscribers for his acoustic covers of beloved pop punk and emo tracks. “His following has become insane,” notes Biss. “For us it acts as the best promotional tool a band could have at this stage. It’s surreal that we’ve yet to play north of Milton Keynes and we’re sending t-shirts to Japan and Australia. The fans we’ve gained through his channel are so dedicated and awesome.”
• This Mind Of Mine is released on March 17th, 2014
• Get a taste of what’s to come with track ‘Horoscopes’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDHkg674cd8
• Brand new lyric video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnPraSsFHTQ
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