Wrapping up the week with an interview with one-half of the Brighton, U.K. based band As It Is. These guys have been a favorite of mine for some time now, and their blend of British pop-punk is some of the most honest and refreshing music that I've heard in quite some time. Andy and Foley were nice enough to devote some time out of their busy schedules to talk about how the group first got started and what they love the most about being in a band together. Here is the transcript from that interview:
Give us your names and what you guys do in the band?
Ali - Bass, Andy - Guitar, Ben - Guitar, Foley - Drums and Patty - Vocals
How did you all come together to form the group?
Foley: Andy and Patty met first through joinmyband.com with the intention of starting a pop-punk band. Although nothing materialized, the two still kept in touch and when Patty met Ben (who was also keen on starting a pop-punk band) at university the three came together to start jamming/writing. I (Foley) was then auditioned also through joinmyband.com and as soon we all began to play it just seemed right. Finally, Ali joined most recently through Andy as both were also at university together.
How would you describe your sound to those who aren't familiar with the group?
Foley: Well we’ve been described as a mix between The Wonder Years, Transit and State Champs which I was very happy with. However, I am sure Ben would insist on me mentioning the Early November and Taking BackSunday. So yeah, maybe a sub genre that encompasses the use of emotional and self deprecating lyrics backed by catchy guitar lines and pop-punk drum beats.
What were some of your earliest memories listening to music growing up and how has it shaped you to this day?
Foley: I was brought up in a household where music was the focal point of almost every occasion, which is why it has always been very important to me. I was always a sucker for anything with a good beat or bass riff. – especially the Big Band genre where the drumming would always blow me away i.e. the legend that is Buddy Rich. However, I remember starting secondary school and borrowing a friends compilation cd and stumbling across Fat Lip by Sum 41 which had me hooked on pop-punk instantly. It was from that day onwards that I knew I wanted to play pop-punk music so I learnt how to play drums and started a band with a friend where all we would do is play songs [pretty badly] by Yellowcard, NFG and Blink.
What is the U.K. music scene like at this very moment, what are some of the positives and challenges facing it?
Andy: I think the UK music scene is really healthy. Maybe a little too healthy in places with so many gigs happening each night in major cities across the UK that it can be a little hard to stand out. However I think this is forcing bands and artists to push themselves to make their voices heard and this can only be a good thing.
Describe the recording process for "This Mind of Mine" and what the whole experience was like for everyone?
Foley: The recording process of ‘This Mind of Mine’ was completely new to each and every one of us as the previous EP was pretty much self engineered in Patty’s loft. We were extremely fortunate to be in a position this time round as, through Kickstarter, we were able to head out to Stakeout Studios to complete the process properly this time; so heart felt thanks goes out to all those who pledged. Whilst recording, I would say that we would all collectively agree that we learnt an awful lot about each other as it can be an extremely high pressured environment. However, we all seemed to compliment and support each other, which is why we all survived the process.
What is your favorite song off "This Mind of Mine" that you're especially proud of?
Foley: We are all so proud of ‘This Mind of Mine’ and even more grateful for the response it has had amongst people. However, if I were to pick a particular song off of the EP I would have to say ‘Bitter, Broken, Me’. The reason being is that its fast, punchy and upbeat so great fun to play live.
A few of you guys appeared shirtless for Critical Wave's "In The Tub" series, can you describe what that whole experience was like?
Andy: Haha yeah it was great fun! We’d seen other bands do those interviews and thought it was an awesome idea. I’d say the experience was actually relatively normal. Living together on the road for long periods of time you inevitably end up seeing, accidentally (or sometimes purposely for more outgoing members of the band) more of each other than you’d care too.
What's on tap for you guys for the rest of the year, planning any shows in the U.S. sometime in the near future?
Andy: The plans for the rest of this year is writing and touring. And lots of it! No plans to visit the US just yet. But we’re really hoping that it might happen sooner rather than later.
Lastly, what does being in this band mean to you personally?
Andy: Personally being in this band means getting the chance to go to new places, see new things and meet new people with my friends while playing the music that I love. It’s really as simple as that.
Thanks once again to Foley and Andy for taking some time out to do this interview! I truly love the depth and quality of talent that is constantly emanating from the U.K., and it's great to hear directly from those acts and get a feel for what the scene is like over there in the London area and draw comparisons to our own music scene here in the States. For more info on As It Is, 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.