AS IT IS : The « Okay not Okay » Interview

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Here we are, the third and last interview of The Longlive Rockfest : As It It ! We met Patty and Ben to speak about bands, family and touring. We have some time to do an « Okay not Okay’ interview that we wanna share it with you, so let me introduce you these really cool guys!

20170612_173614Photo credit : Chloé Bunel @ Above The Noise

Hello guys ! Welcome to France ! To begin with, for those who don’t know your band yet, how would you introduce you ?


Ben : We are a band that doesn’t fit in anywhere… (laugh). Do a better description!
Patty : We’re a band with miserable, MISERABLE, lyrics.
Ben : Generally, fun to listen to otherwise. We’re just loss and misery…
Patty : Oh yeah !


You have been on tour with most of the bands here tonight. It seems quite like a family reunion…


Patty : Yeah, it is…We were on tour with State Champs, with Sleeping with Sirens…
Ben : ROAM too, Warped Tour with Pierce The Veil…We know pretty much everyone ‘cause we’ve done so many festivals with this lineup and it’s so much fun…
Patty : Just hanging out together…
Ben : It’s fun backstage. Good vibes.

And who’s any best friends in the family?


Ben : Probably, ROAM…
Patty : Yeah….Unfortunately. I guess we know State Champs very well by now…
Ben : We know State Champs pretty well but I mean, we were playing shows with ROAM for something like 4 years now, you can’t top a friendship like us!


You were at the Download Festival yesterday. How was it?


Patty : It was fantastic ! It’s meanly a metal oriented festival so with that in considerations it was great. Not even with that in considerations, just objectively, it was a really cool show. We didn’t know what to expect but it was really fun. Real great vibes. Good atmosphere. Definitely.


Your second album, Okay, is out now. It seems to be so much more personal than your first one…


Patty : Yeah, we really wanted to write something more personal. We all just kinda push ourselves to write about our past, about our family’s life and just about the inner workings of our lives. We tried to be more opened with each other. Before we wrote some of these songs we kinda sit down and have story time, just to have late talks about, you know, what it was for us growing up and about what we are going through recently. We became much closer to each other because we had to be more opened.
Ben : Definitely. I think on Never Happy we were true and honest. It was looking back maybe quite self-indulgent and self-involved but I just think it was a lot less like only on one level. Okay covers more set of topics.


With Hey Rachel, you speak about the brother-sister relationship. It’s a really powerful song. What’s the story behind it?


Patty : The story was growing up. When my sister was ten, or maybe eleven years old, she started to going through a struggle with depression and anxiety. It led her not being able to continuing school or seeing friends and just being herself. Ten years ago, what we commonly know about depression is different. I was much more younger. There was this huge stigmatization. We didn’t openly speak about mental health. I didn’t know what to do ’cause I was so scared. We just lost touch, stop talking and hanging out. Over the years we become close again but I never apologized for acting that way. So this song is just kinda all my regrets about these last 10 years. It’s a really important song for me.


This album seems to tell us « It’s okay not to be okay »…It’s quite emo, right? So, emo is not dead?


Ben: Definitely not! I did a tweet today actually which was « Thank You For The Venom is the best song ever« , FACT! My favorite bands haven’t changed in like ten years. All my favorite bands are like 2000 emo bands. These bands are clearly our best influences like collectively. Especially I think lyrically. If we can help kids as much as these bands help us, it’d be amazing. That’s why I’m in a band!

20170612_173607 (1)


And so tell us a little more about those influences…


Patty : You know those kind of bands are huge for both of us but we are 5 people with very eclectic tastes in music. We’re very different.
Ben : Patty and me must be the most similar but Andy it’s more Green Day, Foley it’s Sum 41 and no one know what Ali likes. He likes anything as long as it’s weird…Jazz fusion, big on the Hip hop, big on anything groovy. But when I meet you (Patty), I saw your bag patches and I was like « Oh he likes the same bands as me. I’m gonna talk to this person! » and I didn’t cause I was nervous. (laugh)


Last February, you were on stage in Paris with State Champs, how was it to met your french fans ?


Ben : The first show we played in Europe was in France, so France has a really special place for us. That Paris show was great. We had lot of technical difficulties BUT the show was great. We don’t really noticed a difference between our french fans and the rest of the world first but I really don’t think there aren’t nicest and caring people anywhere else in the world. We love to meet people everywhere we go.
Patty : The shows here are always really fun and today it’s our first time here in Lyon!
Ben : We’ll see if it’s drastically different or not but I know it’s gonna be pretty fun.
Patty : I think it’s easier to me in France than in other countries in Europe cause think people speak English in France…I don’t know, maybe you teach more English in school here…You know sometimes like, in Germany, there’s the language barrier and it’s really tough. People here seem to have a high understanding of what I’m saying and that’s always the hardest thing about meeting fans in different countries. (laugh)
Ben : One of the most difficult show in Europe was Portugal. That was completely tough. I speak the most on stage between songs if there’s a language barrier it becomes so difficult : you try to make a joke or to get a reaction and if there’s no knowledge of English, it’s dead silence. (laugh) And I was sick for that show. So unwell. The fever, I can barely sing. So I had a really tough time but anyway in France it’s so much easier, SO MUCH EASIER!


Will you come back in France for your own show?


Ben : We want to !
Patty : We hope so !




Being here today…

Both : Okay !

Downloading your songs…

Patty : Okay !
Ben : Okay, legally or not legally. I don’t care if you are listening.
Patty : We downloaded so many songs illegally in the past so…

Listening to James Blunt…

Ben : Okay ! (laugh)
Patty : You listened to his last album. (laugh)
Ben : I used to make fun of my mum listening to James Blunt but now I’m older, I understand.
Patty : I do believe there’s actually nothing better than a guilty pleasure! If you like James Blunt, fucking go for it ! (laugh)

Sharing your food…

Both : Not Okay !
Patty : I’m not like that at all…
Ben : Even with my wife, I’m like « my food is mine « . When I used to eat meet, my mother was vegetarian so I always ordered meat dishes so she couldn’t eat any of it. (laugh)  And now I have to order vegan things but no one else apart you and me in the band like it cause they all say « vegans are the fucking devil! ». (laugh)

Wearing the same shirt 3 days in a row…

Patty : I mean it’s not okay but it’s also our live.
Ben : Not okay but…it happens.

Crying because of a movie…

Ben : Okay.
Patty : Definitely okay !

Speaking to your animals…

Both : Okay !

Doing duck face…

Both : Not okay !


Patty : Not okay…I mean it had a time. It’s not okay at our shows! That’s nothing that never happened! We had breakdance here on stage but nobody never came up and twerked…


Ben : Maybe someone would now.
Patty : We will ask for it.


Wearing a t-shirt from a band to a concert of another band…

Ben : That’s okay…
Patty : That’s okay now. That never used to be okay but now everybody does it. Maybe in ten years it won’t be okay again.

Missing your show today…

Both : Not okay !
Ben : There’s nobody else playing today. You have no excuse!

Speaking French…

Ben : Okay…well no not okay …
Patty : It’s okay…
Both : C’est d’accord ! (= It’s okay !). (laugh)



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