Monthly Archives: September 2015

AS IT IS INTERVIEW

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.

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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!

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ST: What about shoe brands?

P: Obviously Vans and Nike.

A: Etnies too. New Balance of course.

ST: Trainers with socks?

Both: With.

ST: Laces tied or tucked in?

Both: Tied.

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?

P: Patterned.

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!

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Thanks to Ally and Patrick, and make sure you catch our As It Is videos and posts on our social channels for behind-the-scenes access and that exclusive acoustic video.

SWEENEY LONDON: #LIVEYOURCITY LAUNCH

To celebrate the launch of the Sweeney London Autumn/Winter ’15 collection, we collaborated on an ambitious project with a group of menswear influencers and premium footwear brand Sweeney London.

Sweeney London challenged some of their favourite London-based influencers to go out, explore and document the capital and to create a series of images that capture what it means to #LiveYourCity. From fashion to food, from music to photography, Sweeney London hand-selected a diverse range of creators that unlocked some of London’s hidden gems, under-the-radar locations and iconic scenes to present a vibrant, eclectic panorama of the city that Sweeney London calls home.

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The range is designed with a youthful, independent spirit, blending the key aspects of premium quality and construction that make our shoes special with an aspirational, unconventional attitude. With smart styles that give you the confidence to fulfil your potential to casual weekend styles for independent explorers, the range is all about tearing up the established rules and coming up with your own way of doing things, and living your city in style.

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Once the group of London influencers, writers, stylists, photographers and bloggers had completed the #LiveYourCity project, we reconvened at Ruffians in Covent Garden (also the scene for part of our campaign video) for a traditional London celebration of burgers, booze (graciously provided by Stella) and shoes. The winner was revealed as photographer Ron Timehin, whose eclectic, striking shots and inimitable London style impressed the judging panel. He received an exclusive London experience of a night’s stay at the Ace Hotel, dinner for 2 at neighbouring Andina and £500 to spend on Sweeney London shoes.

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Instagram: @SweeneyLondon | Twitter: @Sweeney_London
Facebook: /sweeneylondon | #SweeneyLondon

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Facebook: /soletradershoes

<< Shop our Sweeney London range here >> 

Autumn Shoe Guide

Instant rockstar chic. Ankle boots and skinny jeans are to the rock ‘n’ roller a kind of unofficial uniform. The seamless lines of the boot fit the slim silhouette of skinny jeans perfectly. For warmer days, bare legs and boots are the perfect combination for an autumnal style transition.

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This boot was originally designed for industrial workers, but due to its classic design aesthetic and impeccable quality it has recently become popular with a more urban crowd. Worn with a checked shirt and denim jacket this is a perfect look for the weekend.

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A brogue is the perfect companion to wear with a slim-fit suit. We suggest opting for a colour such as dark brown to complement your autumnal outfit choices. Wear them without socks for a modern, yet infalliable masculine look.

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Sometimes you want a pair of boots to look smart. Sometimes you’d rather it protected you from the relentless British weather. But then again, sometimes it’s all about how they feel – these Vivienne Westwood rain boots being a perfect example. Excellent at keeping your feet dry yet stylish, we’re welcoming the rain.

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Shop our new autumn range here >> http://www.soletrader.co.uk

 

Nike Air Max

Launched in 1987 the Air Max with its visible bubble has been Nike’s most versatile trainer – feasibly the one sneaker that suits all, whether you’re channeling the hipster vibe or prefer more of an urban look the Air bubble shows no sign of popping.

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Nike designer Mr Tinker Hatfield deservedly gets the credit for designing the original Air Max. However his trainer concept was developed with the help of three other architects, who go by the names of Messrs Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini. It was these three people who dreamt up the postmodern Pompidou Centre in Paris, which is a significant inspiration behind the Nike Air Max design, as it also exposes it’s inner design features (much like the bubble) through its skeleton-like construction.

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With a string of celebrity fans including President Obama, Kanye West and Eminem, the Air Max shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect transitional sneaker, which will take you through autumn in sport-chic style.

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<< Shop our Nike Air Max range here >>