Patty Walters, YouTuber and frontman of ‘Transatlantic-Pop Punk band As It Is’ sat down with us ahead of their Leeds Cockpit show on 7th April to talk the power of YouTube, touring and future plans.
Start off by telling us a little about where you come from.
My name is Patty Walters, I sing in As It Is. I was born in America, I lived in Minneapolis ‘til I was five and I’ve lived in England for the past seventeen years. Moved down to Brighton for University where I met the band and that’s where I still live.
So you just said you’re originally from the U.S. How was it to grow up in the UK?
It was amazing. I love the UK. I mean, for the most part it’s all I’ve ever known but I keep going back every summer to America. But I love the music scene, that’s what’s keeping me in the UK is just, you know, the London shows and the Brighton shows they’re amazing. That’s why the rest of my family have all gone back and I’m still here and never plan on leaving.
You’re well known for your YouTube videos, your covers especially, what made you get into that?
YouTube was a platform for me to get somewhere, four/five years ago. Myspace was dying out, Facebook music wasn’t really a thing yet. So, I watched so many YouTubers – watched the CTxFC, watched the Shaytards – and I just felt like uploading a couple of covers and kept doing it because my friends were watching them. And it all, yeah, over time – over about four or five years now – it snowballed into something pretty cool.
Did you ever think when you started uploading those videos, that they’d be as popular as they are now?
Absolutely not because, I remember even two, maybe it was three years ago now, just the idea of having 10,000 subscribers – having a five digit number of subscribers – I was like ‘that’s dreams… that’s dreams away. That’s dreaming big.’ So to have 200,000 going on 300,000 is like… I mean, significantly less than that is more than I ever expected. So it’s turned into something pretty cool.
And you also went to Florida recently I noticed. How was that?
Playlist live, yeah! Absolutely amazing. I went to VidCon almost a year ago and met a bunch of people for the first time. I was at around 40,000 subscribers at the time, so to go there (Playlist Live) with 200,00 – I’ve done so much in this year – and to have Shay Carl know me and Dave Days recognize me was really cool. But I just had so many more friends to hang out with and it’s just kinda – it’s really fun. It’s just like seeing friends you haven’t seen in a year and partying, just days of parties.
Like you said, you’re also the frontman of As It Is – tell us what is going for your band.
We’ve been going for about, I think, two years now. We just put out this EP ‘This Mind Of Mine’ and we’re doing, I think it’s about 7 shows in the UK and then we leave on the 12th for Europe which we’ve never done before. We start in France go all the way to Prague and then go back to the Netherlands, hitting Germany in between. It’s going to be amazing.
You mentioned you just released your new EP ‘This Mind Of Mine,’ what went into the creative process for making this EP?
The previous EP we all wrote quite separately. we came together with ideas and wrote it but this time we all got together in my parents attic and just jammed for days and days writing the songs as a four piece. That’s how we write everything. Ben and I wrote the lyrics together, so we wrote the lyrics to the entire EP collaboratively and we recorded thanks to a Kickstarter that we put together. The fans funded it and raised more than we even expected to which was very cool.
How much did you raise?
So we were shooting for £1800, I think and raised a little over £3000. And that went into press, which has helped us significantly since then.
I noticed your music video for ‘Can’t Save Myself’ was put up on Rock Sound also, which is great for you guys.
It was amazing. We were band of the week on Rock Sound but our fans are just so incredible that it got a response that Rock Sound didn’t even expect. So now that’s why they keep featuring us and they follow us on Twitter now and it’s nuts.
So would you say that YouTube also helped to get your band name out there, as a lot of people already knew about your own videos?
It totally helps. It’s quite possibly the best platform in the social media right now. YouTube and Twitter. It’s why – I mean, we played so many Brighton shows but on our first tour in February we went all the way to Glasgow and people knew the words. I think the reason why people are listening to us in the U.S, Australia and Asia is greatly because of my YouTube channel. It has such an international reach and we love our fans all over the world.
You mentioned your February tour, which was your first headling tour-
First ever tour, we’d never toured before that. Furthest north we’d played before that was Bristol. So to go all the way north to Glasgow was really cool.
Now you have two tours packed so close together, February and now April, and also your Leeds Cockpit show is almost sold out – that must be pretty incredible.
It’s completely insane. We had the February tour and then we had Europe already lined up for April, but the February tour had such an insane response that they were like ‘Do you guys wanna do another UK one and play all the towns you didn’t play?’ So we’re not doing any of the cities we did last time, we’re doing Leeds, we’re doing Norwich, we’re doing Cardiff and it’s crazy. It’s just so cool to hear on Twitter about fans that are queuing outside of the venue before you wake up. But you know, we were so down and missing tour in those so we were just looking forward to this every single day. So to be back is so much fun.
You’re off to Europe after this and then what’s next for As It Is?
We’re putting something together for July and we’ve got a Brighton show supporting The Swellers, who are one of our favourite bands, which is either May 5th or May 6th. In between I think we’re going to start writing again. Hopefully we have a pretty fun year, we just wanna keep touring and we wanna keep writing and just meet as many people as we can. And to tour the U.S, which is a dream that all of us have had, ‘cause Pop Punk is such a U.S. dominated genre. So to tour as a Pop Punk band in the U.S. would be huge for us and I can’t wait until we can.