AS It Is vocalist Patty Walters joined HM for a chat on the eve of the release of the new album Okay. Patty may not be a household name, however if the astute observations and thoughtful responses to HM’s enquiries are anything to go by, he has both the wisdom and the band behind him to make it a reality.
Despite As It Is hailing from Brighton in the UK, Patty sounds unmistakably North American. It turns out he was born in Virginia, and spent his formative years in Minnesota before making the move across the pond with his family at the ripe old age of five.
On the eve of the presidential inauguration, HM enquired if Patty was keen to share an opinion of the elevation of Donald Trump to POTUS.
“I wouldn’t say optimistic but I am hoping for the best. If I am wrong about what President Donald Trump is going to bring to the country I will be pleased.
“I cannot agree with the majority of the things that that man stands for. The majority of the things that man condones and the majority of the things that man facilitates. Because his attitude and his slander is contagious and he’s giving the green light to so many people to be negative people.”
In a poignant observation starkly highlighted by the protests held in conjunction with the presidential inauguration, Walters offers a reminder of what many people fear will happen over the next four years.
“It’s a real shame that it’s potentially creating a more divided America. But like I said, if I’m wrong I will happily admit that I was wrong. So, I’m going to remain optimistic, or at least hopeful. Hopeful is a better word than optimistic.”
What about the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU?
“I think I share a similar opinion to the majority of people that I speak to in the UK. It’s a shame that I voted in both countries, in the UK to not leave the EU, and in America for Hillary Clinton to be President and I lost both times.”
Patty is a young man not afraid to share his view on political matters. On another issue dividing the USA, he offers commentary on Australia’s approach to firearms-control legislation and policy.
“Hopefully you guys maintain your policy on gun control, that is all I’ll say. You guys have it right over there that’s for sure”
Far from disaffected with his homeland, Patty offers the following comment as testimony to his patriotism.
“I’ve lived in the UK for most of my life. I’ve held on to my (American) accent dearly. I love where I am from. I really do, I think America is an awesome place.”
The attention and adulation of fronting a band whose popularity is on the rise is never more apparent than how traditional media types report on the band. Patty is on the front cover of a recent copy of Kerrang!, with the band named as one of the stars of 2017. So what are Patty’s feelings on achieving the front cover of such a widely circulated publication?
“It’s all kinds of bizarre and so full circle in a way. I discovered alternative music by discovering Kerrang! TV and music videos of alternative bands. Pop-punk bands and Kerrang! played a huge part in why I’ve ended up wanting to do this my entire life. So, to be part of their magazine in any way, let alone be on the cover, is surreal and it is a huge honour. It really is.”
Anticipating a raft of territories to cover in support of Okay, how does he finds rigours of touring?
“I love it, I really do. Touring is a really incredible opportunity that I always try to appreciate as much as possible. Because it’s not always easy, a lot of the time it can burn you out. It can exhaust you pretty quickly.
“When you’re attending a show, you don’t always see the less than glamorous side of being in a touring band. Stuff that I definitely didn’t used to see, you kind of appreciate. Before I was in the boat of touring as a musician.”
HM has been following As It is on social media, and noticed the level of engagement from fans in response to many posts. In a day and age where posts are simply grabs for ‘likes’, is it a purposeful strategy to apply considerable detail to their social media posts?
“These things don’t always stick around for a long time. We’re just trying to appreciate it while it’s here, make the most of it while it’s here. Just have the best time that we could have had while we are doing it. Because sometimes these things only happen once, sometimes they never happen.”
Asked if he has achieved what you wanted to achieve with As It Is if it all ended tomorrow, Patty’s comments mirror the previous response.
“Absolutely. When we started this band our expectations were very low. Only in the sense that being a Pop-Punk band from the UK. Nobody got signed to labels like Fearless Records and Hopeless Records. We really just applied ourselves and cared as much as we could. We’ve achieved so much more than we even intended to when we started the band. So, it’s really been incredible.”
So how does the band anticipate the fan reaction to Okay?
“It’s been a really amazing response initially. I think with our previous record we were nervous to release the songs, the whole record. Whereas this time personally I was terrified. I was really overcome with terror in regards to releasing these songs. A few of them are such a drastic departure from what we came to kind of define as it is sounding like. We really just wrote some stuff that even we didn’t expect to end up on this record.”
“I’m excited for everybody to finally get to hear the record in its entirety and start getting to play some of these songs live for the very first time.”
Okay is out now on Fearless records
Catch As It Is touring Australia late January and early February
Jan 31: Perth @ YMCA HQ
Feb 1: Perth @ Rosemount Hotel
Feb 2: Brisbane @ The Brightside
Feb 3: Brisbane @ The Lab
Feb 4: Sydney @ The Lair
Feb 5: Sydney @ The Lair
Feb 7: Newcastle @ Drone
Feb 10: Melbourne @ The Evelyn Hotel
Feb 11: Melbourne @ The Evelyn Hotel
Feb 12: Adelaide @ Fowler’s Live