Transatlantic trio, As It Is — Patty Walters, Ronald Ish, and Alistair Testo — have announced their brand new album. I WENT TO HELL AND BACK, will be released on February 4th 2022 via Fearless Records.
To celebrate the announcement, the band has shared the video for new single, ‘I MISS 2003.’ The music video for which, will instantly transport you to the musical and cultural glory days of the early noughties.
“This was the last song written for the album, written and tracked in the last two days of recording,” the band shares. “Thematically, there was little left unsaid on the album, which is always a liberating feeling because no risk is off limits anymore. Why not write a love song about the bands that sparked a fire inside you? Why not decorate all the lyrics with band names and song titles? It was a true joy to write, and in its own weird way, it felt like we were writing this in the 2000s. So if you were there, we hope this song takes you back. And if you missed out, we hope this song makes you feel like you lived through it all with us.”
I WENT TO HELL AND BACK, might have come to life over a two year period where Alistair Testo, Patty Walters and Ronnie Ish questioned their life choices and wrestled with a world in a constant throng of chaotic uncertainty, but the band’s fourth album couldn’t sound more excited. The fourteen tracks are powerful, and fearlessly chase the unexpected. It’s the sound of a band still having fun.
Looking back today, Walters realises that As It Is are still here because “there was more to say.” Yes, he questioned the future of As It Is but, as you can hear across ‘I WENT TO HELL AND BACK’, he questioned pretty much everything. “It hasn’t been easy,” he says, “there’s been a lot of battles, mainly with myself, but I’m proud of the outcome.”
Avoiding another concept record (“too predictable”), ‘I WENT TO HELL AND BACK’ is a sprawling collection of songs that explore the confusing, conflicting emotions of the past two years. Walters has always been an introvert but without the outlets he was used to (touring, volunteering, conversations with friends and strangers) his mental wellbeing deteriorated through lockdown. He’s doing better now (“therapy is cool”) but for a long while, “I was just trying to survive. If I got out of bed, that was a great day.”
“As profoundly pessimistic as this record sounds on the surface, it isn’t all doom and gloom,” he promises. “Feelings like sadness and hopelessness will eat you alive if you let them. I hope this record is there for anybody feeling as lousy or as inadequate as I was. “
“I don’t relate to happy music – never have, never will,” he continues. “Sad music, it reminds you that you’re not alone. It isn’t going to fix things but sometimes it’s enough to know that other people understand”.
Walters hopes ‘I WENT TO HELL AND BACK’ feels like “catching up with an old friend. We can talk about all the good and terrible things that have happened, and how we’ve grown from that. We’re not the same band and I’m sure our fans aren’t the same people they were last time we put out an album, but I hope they haven’t forgotten why we were friends in the first place.”