12 Juin As It Is
English Version :
We Will Punk You!: Hey! So first off we’re a blog called We Will Punk you which started like two months ago, but it’s not just about punk, it’s about any kind of music really, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Benjamin Langford-Biss: It’s just a really good pun, I like it.
WWPY: Yeah we’re proud of it. First question is, well, I’ve seen your merch and… who the fuck is Patty Walters?
Patty Walters: It’s a mistery! I don’t know, nobody knows. I don’t even know how that came about! (To Ben) Do we joke about that? No it just became a shirt…?
Ben: Everyone thinks we ripped off All Time Low for that shirt.
Patty: We might have!
Ben: No! They did do a shirt like that but, what people don’t realise is, it was the Rolling Stones who did a shirt with “who the fuck is Mick Jagger?”
WWPY!: Okay so, everybody is stealing from the Rolling Stones then.
Ben: Everybody steals from everybody.
Patty: They stole it from whoever the fuck was selling those from way back in the days.
Ben: It was just one of those statements where, like, all the bands have done it, and, like there’s a band and people think the band’s just the frontman, and we’re a band. We are, eh, it’s the “Paramore is a band” kind of thing. It was just making the same statement.
WWPY!: Fair Enough. Alright, so just finished your Okay tour in the US, with Roam, Grayscale and Sleep On It, some very good bands! How was it?
Patty: It was awesome! My favourite tour we’ve ever done in five years. It was just amazing. We brought bands that we love, like we loved their music and we loved them as people, it was just an awesome atmosphere, the entire time. It was like day 2 or day 3 and we felt like everybody was best friends already and you very very rarely see that… every person on that tour was fantastic and was having an awesome time. We got to play like sixteen songs each days! Yeah, it was just a great time! Really really fun!
Ben: I love touring America, whether we’re supporting and face certain struggles, or with the headlines it’s just really fun like even being out with those people made that tour amazing. I was a bit worried cause everyone on that tour new each other apart from Sleep On It, so we were a bit worried like “oh I feel a bit bad that they might not fit in” but they integrate themselves from day 1 so everyone was on the same wave then, everyone was helping each other and it was really great.
WWPY!: That’s super cool. You seem to have a really good connexion with bands like you played Download Festival earlier and I saw you popping on stage with Trash Boat, it was very fun!
Patty: Yeah! That was super fun, it was very last minute. It was as soon as they turned up, I was like “Hey Toby how are you doing” and he just said “Good you wanna come and sing?”…“Yeah Okay!” Yeah, that part [Dan Campbell’s part in Strangers by Trash Boat], I didn’t realise how high that was, that’s really high for me! Those are some high fucking notes. Ridiculously high. So I was like okay fair enough you need somebody to tag in for the bridge of that song but… yeah it was fun. We’ve known them for a long time.
Ben: You are not Soupy. I’m Sorry.
Patty: Yeah I wish I was.
WWPY!: You come on stage with a lot of bands, I remember seeing you with Roam at Slam Dunk and you did that song with Against The Current, Dreaming Alone, when you toured with them. That’s cool.
Patty: I love doing that kind of things, we both love doing that. The last day of the US tour Ben did guest vocals for Roam and I did guest drums.
WWPY!: Can we expect anything like that today?
Patty: Maybe! I don’t know. We haven’t talk about it but it might happen.
Ben: Actually, this is the first festival on this tour we’re playing with Roam. Normally, what I do is, I don’t tell them and I just run up, take Alex Adam’s mike and they’d be just like “oh okay Ben’s here!”. It will happen or it won’t happen. It will depend on where I am.
WWPY!: Well, I hope you’ll be there (NDLR: He was there). So you guys also have a very powerful connexion with your fans. Do you remember like the first time someone told you that your music really meant something to them? That it had a really big impact on their lives?
Patty: The first time must have been our first show in Glasgow.
Ben: Glasgow was the first time…. Well you probably had it before when you were doing your youtube stuff but us as a band, with our music, I think when we played our first ever tour and we were miles away from our hometowns, they were maybe 80 to 100 people there? I didn’t know we would have impact on people that way, especially with the songs we had out at the time, and I was like “Wow! Those songs affected people?”
Patty: We became so accustomed to play shows to nobody; to the people that worked in that venue and nobody else and sometimes they even went for their smoke break when we were playing and there was not one sold ticket. So for close to three years we played shows to nobody and I don’t know, our first ever tour was meant to be played to nobody but suddenly there was like hundreds of kids from Scotland all coming all at once, it was just so foreign to us, it went absolutely crazy. Hum, and ever since things have just been similar, and it’s just been awesome.
WWPY!: The number of songs people relate to in your new album okay. is quite impressive. I guess it must be hard sometimes to talk about it, and share the stories or even write them in the first place. How do you manage to speak up about such important issues?
Ben: I think that’s something I didn’t actually really think about going through this record and now, the one thing I struggle with is if I’m meeting kids after shows and so many people come after me and talk about Austen, and I didn’t realise how difficult that would be for them and for me to have a conversation about what have happened, or my experience with it… I think when you’re writing it, you’re kind of doing it to get your feelings out and after you’ve done that you’re like “okay cool that fits” but then actually in reality, when you’re talking with people about it then having to bring it up constantly, that can be quite tiring but if talking about it helps people then, I don’t know I’m always ready to talk about it.
Patty: We wanted to push ourselves lyrically on this album and be more personal, and when we started writing for this record, the first song I started writing is Hey Rachel. That was really the most personal song I’ve ever written at that point and it was really uncomfortable and I didn’t want to share the story with my bandmates and I didn’t want to share the story with the world but I kind of forgot about my comfort zone for a minute and really do something that was purely for the benefit of the album and for the benefit of the art. But equally when I started writing songs like Okay and when we started writing songs like No Way Out… and you know the message of this record is that it’s okay not to be okay? Well if we’re encouraging people not to be ashamed of what they’re going through and we’re encouraging people to be open and transparent with their problems, it would be hypocritical to not do the same. So we had to be vulnerable and we had to be human and it was really tough. It was really emotional at times, but it would have been hypocritical, you know, to have been selling ourselves short on elaborating, exaggerating. So yeah, it was tough but we understood what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted this album to be, and it demanded something that was hard at times, but now in hindsight we can look back and think “okay we did ourselves proud even though it was difficult at times”.
WWPY!: Well it’s an amazing album, and we 100% love it. On a very different subject now, you recently tweeted on the band account “Well one thing’s for sure, it’s never fucking boring being in this band”. Can you share the weirdest or most entertaining thing you’ve done as a band? Or just something fun you remember.
Ben: I’m trying to remember specifically WHY I tweeted that. Do you remember when it was?
WWPY!: Maybe about one week ago?
Ben: Hm, I can’t remember what it was about. I think it was something really boring like we had to live a festival very early because the hotel check-in was earlier than we thought so that was not terribly interesting… But for us it was like, we had to be really fast.
WWPY!: You’re always rushing from one thing to another aren’t you? Just the life on the road in general is entertaining.
Ben: Oh yeah! The thing is, when people ask us this, there are almost too many to count. I think…
Patty: I’m just thinking of some of the places we played, like the last show of that US tour was in what used to be a Chinese restaurant. We’ve played in two bowling alleys, and what used to be a record store and people were starting living in it and there were cockroaches everywhere.
Ben: And then we filmed the Speak Soft video at like five in the morning and we had to walk with our gear for a mile down the beach, in the sand, with our drum kits and amps… it was awful, really terrible. And it was like five in the morning because we needed the sunset for the video.
Patty: Because we needed light and we had to do it at sunset before people were awake and starting to come to the beach ha!
Ben: Next time we are in Australia, we are playing in the same town where we played in the background of a pub where they didn’t have a stage and it was basically where old people did bingo. So yeah…. It is never boring. We never know when we turn up somewhere what it’s going to be like or what’s going to happen that night.
Patty: It’s fun most of the time though.
Ben: It is! And even when it’s not fun, it’s fun to look back on. Give it a couple days and then we laugh about all the bad stuff.
WWPY!: Makes me think of that album name “Youth is only ever fun in retrospect”, it’s pretty accurate.
Ben: Oh yeah. I thought like college and school were shit at the time but in hindsight, actually, I mean it was just easy.
Patty: We were just joking with Roam, about how a year ago they got robbed before this festival.
WWPY!: Ah this one yeah, in Lyon!
Patty: And the day after as well! It was just a year ago and we’re laughing about how they got robbed.
Ben: You know what the only time we’ve ever been robbed is when we’ve been sharing a van with Roam. They bring a lot of bad luck to us!
WWPY!: Ha, they’re cursed! Well the last question we’re going to ask you is something we ask every bands: do you listen to any either European artists or non-English speaking artists?
Ben: Okay so the only French band I know other than Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! which doesn’t count since they sing in English is… well do you know or remember a band from like ten years ago, Kyo?
WWPY!: That’s fun because we asked this question to Boston Manor and Mike answered with the exact same band. I had no idea anyone knew about them!
Ben: I used to learn French – well I can’t speak French anymore – but I used to do French in school and my French teacher show us that song, Le Chemin, I love that song. That’s about the only French act I know though…
WWPY!: Well that’s more than most people. (To Patty) Waiting for your answer.
Patty: Hm………. I listen to like a few really like… I don’t know, Icelandic bands? On Spotify, that post-rock stuff. Sigur Rós, Björk,…
WWPY!: Well, that works! Thanks for your time; do you have anything else to say to your French fans? Are you coming back anytime soon?
Patty: We hope so! Thank you guys. (NDLR: They are coming back. With Neck Deep, Real Friends and Blood Youth; In Paris – 18/10 and in Toulouse – 3/11!)
Interview: Auxane Beau & Clémentine Tricaud
Photos: Rachel Guibert