“We threw the rule book out of the window…” - hmv.com talks to As It Is
As they release their second full-length effort Okay. we talk to Patty Walters, frontman of Brighton pop punks As It Is, about moving outside of their comfort zone...
Your new album Okay. is out today! When did you start work on this album?
“We started writing the album in February of last year and we were writing until early July then we had another month writing in the studio with our producer, so it took most of 2016 to get it together.”
Did you find songwriting easier having done an album before? Or was it harder because there was more time-related pressure?
“We struggled a bit with that, we had to overcome a lot with this record, a lot of doubt and lack of confidence. But in the end, we just stuck with the songs that really made us feel something when we wrote them, the ones we had fun making.”
You worked with Mike Green on the album, what did he give you as a producer?
“Shortly after our first record came out we had a talk about producers and he was one we knew we liked, especially after we had a good idea of how we wanted this record to sound. We reached out to him and he came in and really helped, we even wrote a few songs with him that made the record.”
He’s worked with big bands like Pierce The Veil and All Time Low, but he’s done a lot of pop too, even working with singers like Gwen Stefani. Did he open you up to new sounds?
“Absolutely. I feel like we’ve really honed both aspects of our band on this record, both our poppier aspects and our darker sounds. Mike has done pure pop, but he’s also worked with bands who are way heavier than us. How versatile he is was a big influence on us, it’s why this record has turned out the way it has.”
How did you want this album to move on from what you did on your debut album?
“We wanted this to be a more honest record. I look back on our first album and I think it could have been more personal and a little more transparent. This record is a lot more outside our comfort zone, we really pushed ourselves and some of it was very uncomfortable, but I’m glad we did it. Musically we tried to not be as concerned with sounding like our band, we embraced all our influences, we threw the rule book out of the window.”
When did you settle on the album title?
“It was late in the writing process. We talked about the themes of the record and we fell in love with the simplicity of Okay and how many ways you can interpret it. We loved the progress from Never Happy, Ever After (the band’s debut album) to Okay, it’s a natural thing. It reflects the record really well.”
Finally, is 2017 going to be one long tour for you?
“We’ll be very busy this year. We really savoured our time at home last year while we wrote this record because we knew that we’d be gone for most of 2017. We’re braced, ready and excited to tour the whole world if we can. We’ve got our eyes trained on plenty of new places.”