Since its humble beginnings in 2006, Slam Dunk has become one of the largest independent festivals in the country, and is a must for lovers of all things pop-punk, emo, metalcore and alternative. As Slam Dunk approaches, GIGSoup’s Tom Forrester is catching up with bands and artists, to find out what it means to them playing the UK’s premier pop-punk fest. Next up is As It Is frontman, Patty Walters.
After winding down his career as a YouTube musician, Patty formed As It Is in 2012, during his time at Brighton University. Joined by guitarists Benjamin and Andy Westhead, bassist James Fox and drummer Patrick Foley, the band began their career by covering tracks by the glitterati of the pop-punk world.
After cutting their teeth on covers, As It Is released their own music with début record; ‘Never Happy, Ever After’ in 2015. The début was a slab of pure pop-punk bliss, and was warmly received by the alternative community.
Since then the band has gone from strength-to-strength; releasing another instant pop-punk classic, in 2017’s ‘okay’; and the vital post-hardcore self-help of 2018’s ‘The Great Depression’.
While As It Is has seen a few changes in the intervening years-the band is now rounded out by Ronnie-Ish on rhythm guitar, and Alistair Testo on bass-one thing that has remained constant, is the role of Slam Dunk in the band’s story, and their contribution in ensuring that the festival is the powerhouse that it is today.
What can fans expect from your set at Slam Dunk? How do you select which songs to add to your set?
This set is going to be really, really special. We’ve spent the past eight months crafting a headline set that we’re extremely proud of, but we definitely have a couple surprises in store.
What do you guys think of this year’s lineup? What other bands are you looking forward to seeing?
The lineup for this year’s Slam Dunk has to be their best yet, it’s unreal. There are loads of bands and artists I’m hoping to catch, but my top three are definitely Lights, Justin Courtney Pierre and Glassjaw.
You’ve played Slam Dunk in the past-what are your favourite memories of playing this festival?
I first went to Slam Dunk as a fan in 2011, and I’ve been nearly every year since. I cried watching The Starting Line who recently returned from their hiatus. We shared a stage with them and some other heroes of ours in 2016, the same stage we opened in 2015 and headlined in 2018.
How important do you think a festival like Slam Dunk is to the modern alternative scene?
It’s incredibly important, now more than ever. Rock isn’t the mainstream movement it was a decade or two ago, but to watch Slam Dunk still growing and celebrating the underground yet thriving alternative scene is amazing.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2019? What’s next for the band?
We’re in the process of reimagining ‘The Great Depression’ in its entirety across four EP’s, the second of which drops this month. We have some more awesome festivals across the UK and Europe this summer, and then we finally have some time back at home to scheme up some really exciting plans.