Halloween is upon us and with it comes As It Is’ spectacular horrifying video for ‘The Reaper’ (Featuring Aaron Gillespie).
Directed by Zak Pinchin, the creepy melancholic atmosphere of the story and cinematography not only brings the track to life, but also brings a great twist to Halloween this evening. Speaking of the video, Ben Langford-Biss says, “The Reaper is the moment in the record’s narrative where The Poet becomes so desensitised to the concept of death, that death appears and manifests before him, offering an “escape”- not in a malicious way, but as a means of release from the pain The Poet is feeling. It was one of the most crucial and challenging moments in the narrative, and it was the last one that came together – lyrically and musically.
To confer these themes of turmoil and conflict, the sort of inner claustrophobia The Poet is experiencing, we wanted the video to be gritty and dark. We ended up taking visual influence from some of our favourite horror movies and TV series, and our director Zak Pinchin really clicked with what we were trying to get across.
The video shows each of us waking up trapped in rooms, each room representing one of the four stages of grief that the record is chaptered into; denial, anger, bargaining & acceptance. Each of us faces off with death in some respect, whether that be in a literal or metaphysical sense, and there is an external antagonist controlling the events in the rooms – forcing us to face our fears, our grief, or even ourselves. We were super excited that Aaron Gillespie was able to be a part of the video, to play the part of this puppeteer / antagonist!
Both the song and the video are so different to anything we’ve done before, and we’re so fortunate that our fans have embraced the darker and heavier side of our band & our constant desire to progress in new directions. And we just cannot wait to finally bring this album to life on stage when we finally start touring The Great Depression era this week: first in Japan, and then in Europe and UK (which culminates in our biggest headline show to date at the London Forum on December 1), and then we’ll be returning to the US in early 2019 for our first time since Warped Tour! There’s so much more to come from this chapter of our band, we are only just getting started‘
As if the bands US tour announcement wasn’t enough! Check out the new video and tour dates below!
Inkling desires for a change in style have pushed As It is to a much grittier approach, one that borders the post-hardcore genre. Falling away from the jukebox happy 50’s style release ‘Okay’, As It Is are taking us back further in time, to a time of ‘The Great Depression’.
Interestingly, the 12-track album is split into four sections, ‘Denial’, ‘Anger’, ‘Bargaining’ and ‘Acceptance’. While not apparent at first, the tracks do relate to their corresponding sections, despite not entirely adding any extra flair to the album. ‘The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)’ not only creates a deeply eerie opening, but also strikes the conflict of two sides, Wife or Death, good vs bad. Not only does the track incorporate vocals from lead guitarist Ben Langford-Biss, but also conceptualises the idea of the albums protagonist ‘The Poet’s’ struggle. On the other hand, ‘The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)’ is a full honest approach to the stigma of male mental health. The sarcastically styled satire of the track approaches anger in a different view, one that mocks the stigma that ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. This is where the bands previoua pop-punk approach comes in, bringing a catchy chorus keeping the satirical message cyclical in attempts send a message.
However, the lack of Langford-Biss’ gritty vocal input does give a very personalised theme to the tracks and with the outspoken nuance of speak out, but never be listened to being cycled so constantly, it’s the incredibly impacting lyricism presented that adds the final kick. ‘The Haunting’ causes a forcefully impacting image. If the echoing chorus lyric ‘You dream to die’ isn’t forceful enough, the saddening expression of your sister staring at your grave truly forces the listener to first hand to the message, something also expressed in the closing track of the album. ‘The End’ was written according to Langford-Biss ‘In the case of Chester [Bennington] who was so open in both his lyrics and away from music, often people aren’t really listening’. Yet, it is perhaps the powerful spoken word ending that leaves the biggest impact. The creation of the image of ‘crimson arms’ and a ‘broken neck’ to ‘tell me you made this choice’ is paired with the intensive painful emotion heard through Walters vocals, something that doesn’t always come through in music, but try shows a vulnerability willing to be exposed to send a message.
Yet, through the gritty raw kicks As It Is bring to the album, the band do know how to bring a softer sensitive side to their music. Through the inherently powerful messages of how mental health awareness shouldn’t be stigmatised, ‘The Truth I’ll Never Tell’ instead shows a more sensitive personal view, that behind such an inherent desire comes the true feelings behind it. It is here that lyrically, this track has more underlying than what would appear at a surface level listen. That’s the beauty and severity of the lyricism of almost the tracks on this album, the depth lies when you truly wish to listen. Musically, ‘The Fire, The Dark’ brings a personalised sensitivity through its simplistically styled backing and heavy bassline courtesy of Ali Testo, incorporating high melodic notes, similar to that of a lullaby, as a contrast to the deeper verses.
Simplicity however, doesn’t always help portray a message, this is where ‘The Question, The Answer’ perhaps falls. At first the acoustically styled opening portrays a questioning topic in lyricism, presented in a simplistic, yet, less interesting way. The issue occurs from the chorus, becoming overlayered and overcomplex with backing vocals, strings, melodic undertones and other unnecessary additions thrown in that don’t necessarily strengthen the track, especially towards its end. On the other hand, it is a lack of interesting additions that bring down the tracks. ‘The Handwritten Letter’, while probably having the most pop-punk style of the album, doesn’t bring anything to push it out among other tracks. Not to say these tracks aren’t good, but it is hard to stop them slipping into line of fillers ammount a hierarchy of strong singles and other tracks.
‘The Great Depression’ theme in itself is a microcosm for the huge issue of mental health and As It Is have a very strong album on their hands with a very strong message. If this is the new approach the band are taking, we could be in for a real diversion away from their original sound.
With a new album set to come out in 5 days, As It Is’ new single ‘The Fire, The Dark’ is our track of the week!
Speaking of the track, singer Patty Walters says, “The Fire, The Dark’ is about self-destruction. Weighed down by his regrets and resentments, The Poet turns to habits of self-destruction as a coping mechanism, isolated and completely withdrawn from the world, neurotic and unstable, consequently jeopardising his relationship with his wife.
This song in particular is one of the boldest musical departures from the As It Is many have come to know. It was a pleasure and a privilege writing this song alongside Larry Hibbitt of Hundred Reasons, a band whose sound directly influenced ‘The Great Depression’s darker direction.”
As an introduction to ‘The Great Depression’, Walters also comments that The Great Depression’ is about the societal romanticisation of depression, the disrepair of present-day human connection, told through the story of a man who finds himself face-to-face with Death. This album is about asking questions rather than offering answers, exploring the lines where consolation and glorification collide, and asking if art is too subjective to offer a universal solution.
We’ve approached this subject with the tremendous respect and sensitivity it warrants. Mental health awareness and prioritisation has always been immensely important to us, and we want to use this platform for good and to challenge problematic behaviours and stigmas. More so than ever before, we’ll be working alongside incredible non-profits, donating proceeds to worthy causes, and using our music in hopes of creating a positive change.”
Since their performance at Slam Dunk Festival as well as interesting barriers claiming ‘The Great Depression Tour’, As It Is have now released all details for he upcoming shows.
Supporting their upcoming album ‘The Great Depression’, As It Is will also be taking Trash Boat, Holding Absence and Courage My Love on the road as supports!
Pre-sale codes are available by purchasing a pre-order Of the new album; released August 10th!
Well, not quite. As It Is have announced the release of their third studio album, titled ‘The Great Depression’.
Moving from the 50’s era style of ‘Okay’, the pop-punk group have now switched up their look to become much darker, bringing more conversation to the stigma of mental health.
‘we’ve approached this subject with the tremendous respect and sensitivity it warrants.’ Says As It Is frontman Patty Walters, ‘Mental health awareness and prioritisation has always been immensely important to us, and we want to use this platform for good and to challenge problematic behaviours and stigmas. More so than ever before, we’ll be working alongside incredible non-profits, donating proceeds to worthy causes, and using our music in hopes of creating a positive change.”
‘The Great Depression’ will drop on August 10th 2018 through Fearless Records and brings a slightly more unconventional approach to its tracklisting. Coming in four distinct sections, the album has 12 tracks all falling under a category.
Stage I: Denial
01. The Great Depression
02. The Wounded World
03. The Fire, The Dark
Stage II: Anger
04. The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)
05. The Handwritten Letter
06. The Question, The Answer
Stage III: Bargaining
07. The Reaper (ft. Aaron Gillespie)
08. The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)
09. The Truth I’ll Never Tell
Stage IV: Acceptance
10. The Haunting
11. The Hurt, The Hope
12. The End.
As It Is are now bringing you Stage 1, with their new single ‘The Wounded World’.
Fearless Records have announced that As It Is, Real Friends and I Prevail are due to release new music over 2018 as well as other bands on their label.
make sure to check out the bands on Fearless Records new video or check out the list down below!
As It Is
Eat Your Heart Out
Ice Nine Kills
Plain White T’s
The Plot In You
The Word Alive