As far as the pop-punk checklist goes, Brighton's As It Is are doing pretty well.
They've signed to Fearless (the first UK band to do so), they're on the Warped Tour and theyrecorded their recent debut album, Never Happy, Ever After, with James Paul Wisner(Paramore, New Found Glory, Underoath) in Florida. "I was just grilling him on Underoath!" says lead guitarist Andy Westhead.
"We're focusing on those early 2000s Drive-Thru Records bands – and trying not to rip them off too much…"
"I had a bit of geeky moment where I was sitting there playing the same 1979 Les Paul Custom through the same custom amp in the same house that They're Only Chasing Safety was recorded in – and thoroughly enjoying myself."
Live, Andy favours a "Billy-Joe-esque" Fender HSS Strat. "I've got an American Standard Telecaster HH and a Jag," adds rhythm guitarist Ben Biss. "Then we both use Orange Dual Dark 50s."
The UK pop-punk scene is in rude health these days, but it's fallen foul of claims of homogeny. What then – aside from the fact that frontman Patty Walters is a YouTube celeb – sets these guys apart? "A lot of pop-punk at the moment is kids coming out of hardcore bands and playing pop punk," reckons Andy. "We listen to hardcore, but it's not what we've grown up with. We're focusing on those early 2000s Drive-Thru Records bands – and trying not to rip them off too much…"
Putting the 'pop' back in pop-punk, then? "Yes!" laughs Andy. "That's a better way of putting it. We're stealing that!"
- For fans of: Neck Deep, Decade
- Hear: Dial Tones