AS IT IS PATTY WAL­TERS, GRILLED. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN

Kerrang! (UK) - - News - WORDS: JENNYFER J. WALKER PHO­TOS: THOMAS BROOKER

You know PATTY WAL­TERS – AS IT IS front­man, for­mer Youtube per­son­al­ity, and the kind of guy who sails through life with­out a care in the world, right? Wrong. The pop-punk star might just be the most mis­un­der­stood man in mu­sic…

Patty Wal­ters is tied up in a Brighton prac­tice space, and he kind of likes it. He even goes as far as to sug­gest his cap­tors (that’s us) put duct tape over his mouth. As tempt­ing as that is, it won’t work, be­cause we’ve wran­gled him here for his most dif­fi­cult in­ter­view ever. A se­lec­tion of the tough­est ques­tions he’s likely to ever answer, sent in by K! read­ers, de­signed to make him squirm.

Af­ter a solid hour of in­tense ques­tion­ing, we learn a lot about the As It Is front­man. In fact, we find out he’s not ex­actly the guy we thought he was.

Be­fore Patty un­veiled his emo-throw­back makeover in April – which saw him blacken his hair and rim his baby blues with eye­liner to match the aes­thetic of his band’s dark lat­est record The Great De­pres­sion – he ap­peared to be the perki­est guy in all of pop-punk, with a Dis­ney Club-like de­meanour and perma-smile. But it turns out that was all an il­lu­sion.

The man be­fore us to­day is painfully in­tro­verted, has zero self-con­fi­dence, is yet to find hap­pi­ness and pretty much hates the en­tire hu­man race. He also has more in­tegrity than al­most any pop star in the world to­day, is un­apolo­get­i­cally him­self, and he’s own­ing the lot.

One flame-grilled, enigma com­ing right up… EL­IZ­A­BETH: What ques­tion do you wish some­one would ask you? “Maybe, ’How are you?’ We ask peo­ple how they are all the time, but we don’t

ac­tu­ally ask peo­ple how they are – it’s just a pleas­antry we ex­change in a shal­low way,

and we’re not ac­tu­ally ask­ing how peo­ple are. I think it would be nice to be a lit­tle more hon­est, vul­ner­a­ble and sin­cere with peo­ple.”

JOSH: You’re ve­gan, you’ve never tried al­co­hol and you used to cover Dis­ney songs on Youtube. What do you say to peo­ple who think you’re a square?

“Ha! I love that. I think, I’m my­self, for my­self. Peo­ple have ev­ery right to think I’m a square, that’s quite al­right with me. If you’re seek­ing to please ev­ery­body you’re gonna fail. So that’s en­tirely fine – it’s the na­ture of this in­dus­try and this pro­fes­sion.”

RYAN: How did the re­cent break-up of your long-term re­la­tion­ship af­fect you?

“It was in­cred­i­bly tough – one of the hard­est things I’ve ever done in my life. At the time we were still in love, but some­times you can be in love and also be in a toxic re­la­tion­ship. It’s a shame when you have to be apart from one an­other to move on and grow, but I’m glad we’re still friends and want each other to be happy. That break-up taught me you have to be self­ish – you have to care about other peo­ple, but you have to put your­self first.”

GREGG: What are your big­gest flaws?

“Oh God, where do I start? I’m a ter­ri­ble com­mu­ni­ca­tor. I don’t talk. When I have to I will, but for the most part I’m bad about tex­ting, call­ing, email­ing and stay­ing in touch. I’m painfully in­tro­verted and pretty con­tent with that. I could live in a cabin in the mid­dle of nowhere for a year and be fine with that. And that’s kinda shit – I don’t ad­mire that trait, but it’s also the re­al­ity of me, and I’m ac­cept­ing it. When we’re not on tour I dis­ap­pear – my band­mates don’t hear from me, and the group text is muted. I’m an enigma when I’m home, and I’m happy about it. How does that fit with be­ing a front­man? It’s a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde thing. I’m quiet and with­drawn, but on­stage I’m charis­matic and vi­brant. I get to wear some­body else’s skin for 30 to 60 min­utes and feel like I’m some­body who is con­fi­dent, good with words and larg­erthan- life. It’s al­ways been a re­ally healthy, cathar­tic way of feel­ing bal­anced.”

RYAN: Have you ever felt un­com­fort­able in your ca­reer?

“This in­dus­try is such a boys’ club some­times. Well, all the fuck­ing time. That’s not me – I’m not an al­pha male, I don’t have ban­ter. A lot of the time I feel very out of place, but luck­ily the in­dus­try is cor­rect­ing a lot of those things. Peo­ple are a lot more con­scious of their words and their ac­tions. The in­dus­try is be­com­ing a much more con­scious and in­clu­sive place, and that’s great. Com­pare how peo­ple be­haved on tour even just a decade ago to now.”

RUDI: Have you ever wanted to step down from your po­si­tion in the band?

“When we formed the band I sug­gested we got a bet­ter singer ( laughs). When I asked Ben [Lang­ford-biss, gui­tar] to join he thought he’d be on drums, so no­body thinks they’re par­tic­u­larly good at their pri­mary in­stru­ment, it’s just how things ended up. I don’t like the sound of my voice – I don’t think I’m a good singer. I’ve put a lot of work into it, and I ac­tu­ally prac­tise singing when I’m home, but back then I didn’t know how to sing, and I didn’t for years af­ter that.”

XIOMARA: In the spirit of the song The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry), how im­por­tant is it to break down emo­tional bar­ri­ers for men?

“Mas­sively. I never felt mas­cu­line grow­ing up – I’ve iden­ti­fied as male my whole life, but I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily feel mas­cu­line. I al­ways felt like quite a fem­i­nine, an­drog­y­nous boy, and there are so many ex­pec­ta­tions – you’re sup­posed to be­have a cer­tain way, and you’re not sup­posed to be vul­ner­a­ble or show your feel­ings or your tears, and that’s not healthy. When was the last time I cried? Re­cently, be­fore we left for Ja­pan. I was so stressed that I made my­self sick. I wasn’t sleep­ing, I was over­whelmed, and hav­ing a cry made me feel a lot bet­ter.”

SILVER: What’s your big­gest in­se­cu­rity?

“My lack of con­fi­dence. I have this mas­sive in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex where I al­ways com­pare my­self to oth­ers. It’s dif­fi­cult to re­main con­fi­dent and em­pow­ered when you’re con­stantly com­par­ing your­self to other peo­ple on so­cial me­dia. When I was in school I com­pared my­self to ev­ery­body around me, and I never felt nor­mal or com­fort­able. But I’ve also got­ten bet­ter at ac­cept­ing that I am me. I can only be the best self I’m ca­pa­ble of be­ing. If you get 99 com­pli­ments and one in­sult, you’re gonna re­mem­ber that one thing. Neg­a­tive crit­i­cism al­ways hurts more when you agree with it. I don’t think ev­ery per­for­mance I’ve done has been fan­tas­tic, or ev­ery song we’ve writ­ten has been great, so if some­body shares that sen­ti­ment, then it cuts deep and you feel pretty shit about your­self.”

CHRIS: What do you think is the big­gest in­jus­tice in the world to­day?

“Prob­a­bly the greed and ig­no­rance of mankind, in so many fuck­ing ways. Fas­cism. Pol­lut­ing our fuck­ing earth, and peo­ple be­ing gen­er­ally hor­ri­ble to the world, an­i­mals and each other – this self­im­por­tance and en­ti­tle­ment that we can do what­ever we want to. Ev­ery­one is so self­ish. Peo­ple are shit.”

CRAIG: What is the key to hap­pi­ness?

“I will tell you when I find it ( laughs). I’m still search­ing, and I think any­one who has an answer to that ques­tion is full of shit. Not only is it, for the most part, a fu­tile bat­tle, but it’s also dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­body, there’s not one universal se­cret to hap­pi­ness. If you have it it’s not gonna be the same for some­one else. I’m not there, but I’m closer than I used to be.”

EMMA: What hap­pens when we die?

“It’s mor­bid and not very ro­man­tic, but I think when we die, we die, and that’s where our con­scious­ness ends and we be­come worm food. It’s not pretty, I wish it were dif­fer­ent, and in a big way I re­ally hope that I’m wrong, but I can’t help how I view these things ( laughs). There are so many peo­ple who have opin­ions about heaven, but the truth is I don’t be­lieve in a whole lot; life ends and then we’re six-feet un­der or we’re turned into ashes and stored in an urn some place.” K!

AS IT IS ’ THE GREAT DE­PRES­SION IS AVAIL­ABLE NOW THROUGH FEAR­LESS RECORDS. THE BAND ARE ON TOUR NOW – SEE THE GIG GUIDE FOR IN­FOR­MA­TION

“I’M NOT AN AL­PHA MALE. I DON’T HAVE BAN­TER” PATTY WAL­TERS

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