In the next instalment of our #FreshSOLE campaign, we caught up with pop punk band As It Is in their hometown of Brighton to chat about all things shoes. We filmed an exclusive acoustic performance with them and sat down with drummer Patrick and bassist Ally to get the lowdown on their journey so far.
ST: For the uninitiated out there, can you sum up As It Is in three words?
A: Happy music/sad lyrics. Wait, that’s four words.
P: Nostalgic pop punk.
ST: What’s your biggest achievement as a band been so far?
A: Getting through the Warped tour.
P: Finishing our first physical record as a group is probably the thing we’re most proud of.
ST: How did the band first get together?
P: Andy and Patty met each other online when they worked on another project, then Ben and Patty met at university and I answered an ad online to join the group.
A: I didn’t come along until later, I also got in touch with the guys online, but knew Andy from university too.
ST: Was it very natural, or did you have to work at it?
P: I don’t think any of us expected the band to be such a long-term thing, so at the time, it was just five mates playing music together, it was very natural. It was easy.
ST: Do you find it easy writing together too?
P: Yeah definitely. We make an effort to do it together, it’s the only way we write really.
A: It’s much harder though now we’re on the road to make the time to do it.
P: We have a policy within the band, that no song will be completed or finalised before all five of us give it the thumbs up.
ST: You released your debut album earlier this year, how has the reception been to that?
P: It’s been amazing.
A: Yeah, we got a status update the other day and we’d sold something like 15-17 thousand copies. Every time we do a tour, the crowds get bigger and more enthusiastic, so that’s great. It’s all just snowballing at the minute.
ST: Did it feel very different to recording an EP?
P: Just recording the new album the way we did, we went over to America and recorded it properly with experienced producers, rather than in our mate’s attic. The whole experience was great.
A: It was done on a much bigger scale. Your playing was also really under the microscope, so by the end of recording the album, we came out of it the other side as better musicians I think.
ST: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
A: We have quite a diverse taste of music as a band. I think my big musical influences growing up were Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine. I really like hip hop and soul music too.
P: I think in terms of a band, a lot of the old drive through records influenced us a lot, people like The Starting Line,New Found Glory and Taking Back Sunday. The sort of stuff that was relevant when we were first discovering music.
ST: You mentioned that you just finished the Vans Warped tour, how was that?
P: It was amazingly tough. It was genuine hard work and was hard not to burn the candle at both ends. It’s like musical summer camp!
A: It was some of the biggest crowds we’ve ever played to as well, which was great.
ST: What’s been your favourite gig to play so far?
A: It’s got to be Eindhoven – funnily enough, our first ever sold out show was there.
P: Every time we go back there, we’re guaranteed such a good crowd. I couldn’t tell you what it is about Holland, but it’s just such a good atmosphere and the fans are great.
ST: How do you find touring the US? Has it been a big change to playing in the UK?
P: Yes, on so many different levels. Firstly, the distances are so much greater, there is so much more travelling involved. Food over there is different too.
A: Yeah, you can’t cook anything, so logistically it’s difficult. It’s always just cheaper and easier to get Taco Bell. Also the kids in America seem to travel a lot further to see bands. Some of the guys we met on the Warped tour had been to two or three different dates and travelled around with their parents.
P: We’ve had great hospitality there too, people are so welcoming. We stayed in some amazing places, where people have been kind enough to open their houses to us, it certainly gives you perspective.
ST: What’s the best and worst thing about being on tour?
A: The worst thing is probably not getting to see as much of our friends and family as we’d like. That’s definitely hard.
P: There’s a lack of stability, living out of a bag or suitcase. But in the same way, getting to travel is also one of the best things about it too. It’s a catch 22.
A: It’s always about the feeling you have on stage when you’re playing too. That makes it all worthwhile.
ST: Do you have an all time favourite shoe?
P: This is a tough question! I’m a big fan of Nike Safaris.
A: I like a classic black Vans trainer. I also really like the Nike Skateboarding range. I like Janoskis and P-Rods at the moment. They were icons to me growing up.
P: I really like the Nike Rifts. I think they were for lads in Ibiza, but I really liked them! Reebok Classics too, I hear they’re making a comeback!
ST: What about shoe brands?
P: Obviously Vans and Nike.
A: Etnies too. New Balance of course.
ST: Trainers with socks?
ST: Laces tied or tucked in?
ST: Crisp white or well worn?
Both: Well worn.
A: A bit of character.
ST: Summer flip flops or all-year-round trainers?
A: All year round trainers, or just bare feet.
P: No, I’ll wear flip flops on holiday. I’ve got some Havaianas!
ST: Lace up or slip on?
Both: Lace up.
ST: Patterned or plain?
A: Plain, as a general rule.
ST: Shoes off in the house?
Both: Yes. It’s been drilled into us!
P: Unless I’m not wearing socks. Then it’s nicer for everyone for me to keep my trainers on!