Outspoken Brighton, U.K., pop-rockers As It Is are back in America, and to celebrate the kick off of their tour today, they’re teaming up with PopCrush and Loudwire for the exclusive premiere of their new video, “The Fire, The Dark.”

The video shows footage from the band’s recent headlining U.K./EU Tour and officially welcomes guitarist Ron Ish, who was announced today as a permanent member of the band along with vocalist Patty Walters, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Benjamin Langford-Biss, bassist Alistair Testo and drummer Patrick Foley.

“Collectively, the team is the strongest it’s ever been and we’re all excited for our future together,” Ish shared. “The amount of love and support from fans all over the world has been incredible thus far and finally being able to announce my permanency with As It Is and say it out loud feels good. Thanks for having me. Got love.”

“The Fire, The Dark” is the latest single from the band’s recent release, The Great Depression, which saw the band taking sonic and aesthetic risks while tackling issues including how we view and discuss mental illness and toxic masculinity with vigor.

In line with their efforts to bring light to issues important to them, this tour is in partnership with A Voice for the Innocent, a non-profit organization that provides community, resources, and support for people who have been affected by sexual violence. They will have a representative at every date of the tour to educate fans and act as a resource for anyone that may need their assistance.

This tour is the band’s first return back to the U.S. since their run on the 2018 Vans Warped Tour. Fans will have the chance to hear tracks from their recently released and critically acclaimed album The Great Depression for the first time. With support from Sharptooth, Hold Close and Point North, the tour will be kicking off in Los Angeles on Jan. 17 and traveling to cities across North America before wrapping up back in Southern California on Feb. 22 in Anaheim. Tickets and VIP packages are available here.

With the release of the video, we caught up with Walters to chat about whether or not the band reached their goals with the album, their current tour and more.

Check out the new video and interview, below.

The whole point of The Great Depression was to open up a conversation about complex issues. Do you feel you accomplished that?  

I definitely do. I suppose our two main goals were to restructure the way this scene depicts depression and to shatter stigmas surrounding mental health along the way. This album has completely changed us as people and the band we intend to be in the future.

Have any reactions surprised you or led you to think differently?

When we first announced the title for the album without context, we received a handful of quite strongly worded emails expressing their distaste at the prospect of us romanticizing depression, which of course is the antithesis of The Great Depression. They didn’t realize it at the time, but they totally reaffirmed our belief in the album we were about to release.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned with releasing this album?

It’s probably to continue risking everything for the sake of our art. This album was always going to be our most ambitious and controversial album to date, but it’s equally been the most overwhelmingly positively received.

When you first debuted your new look with “Wounded World” it seems some people were a little distracted by the change in aesthetic. Were you expecting that? What was your original thought process behind a darker appearance for the band, and did you accomplish what you were hoping with it?  

I wasn’t expecting it, at least not on such a scale. With this album, we were very intentionally paying homage to the post-hardcore and emo bands that inspired us in our younger years, so the dyed black hair and makeup was very much a visual nod to that. It was kind of intense, but the album was so carefully constructed that there was no going back at that point.

When you openly talk about taboo topics it can ruffle feathers or turn some people off. What have you noticed as you speak about things such as mental illness or toxic masculinity from stage? Have you had to deal with pushback from fans or other artists?

There’s absolutely been pushback, but it’s been more validating than unnerving. This album has always been about the conversation, that finding your own unique thoughts and truths is more valuable than unconditionally mirroring what we have to say. We definitely have firmly founded opinions, but open-mindedness is something we need so much more of in 2019.

How have fans taken this album and made it their own?

It’s been so extremely exciting and humbling to see our fans finding themselves in the album. Seeing these songs manifest as art and tattoos and voices in venues every night, there just aren’t words to describe it.

For your tour that starts today, you are teaming up with A Voice for the Innocent, a non-profit organization that provides community, resources and support for people who have been affected by sexual violence. Can you explain what this partnership entails and why you wanted to partner with this organization specifically?

We became acquainted with AVFTI through the Vans Warped Tour and fell in love with them and their work. There will be an AVFTI rep present at every date of the tour to distribute resources and raise money for their organization. We also collaborated to create an AVFTI T-shirt with 100 percent of its proceeds going toward their amazing cause.

Along with having AVFTI set up a booth at every show, you are also taking outspoken bands with you on tour. What do you hope this tour accomplishes other than bringing your music to new people?

We absolutely love and hand-picked every band on this tour. In regards to embracing other outspoken bands, I think it’s just an authentic and shared passion to create meaningful and cathartic music.

AS IT IS TOUR DATES 2019

Jan. 17 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
Jan. 18 – Ventura, CA – Rock City
Jan. 19 – San Diego, CA – Soma
Jan. 20 – Mesa, AZ – Club Red West
Jan. 22 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
Jan. 24 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street
Jan. 25 – San Antonio, TX – Jack’s Patio Bar & Grill
Jan. 27 – Houston, TX – The Secret Group
Jan. 29 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar
Jan. 31 – Nashville, TN – The End
Feb. 1 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Hell)
Feb. 2 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar
Feb. 3 – Orlando, FL – The Social
Feb. 5 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Feb. 6 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club
Feb. 7 – Philadelphia, PA – The Voltage Lounge
Feb. 8 – Amityville, NY – Revolution Music Hall
Feb. 9 – Asbury Park, NJ – House of Independents
Feb. 10 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East
Feb. 11 – Toronto, CA – Velvet Underground
Feb. 13 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection – The Stache
Feb. 14 – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
Feb. 15 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
Feb. 16 – Saint Louis, MO – Fubar
Feb. 17 – Kansas City, MO – Encore at The Uptown Theater
Feb. 19 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
Feb. 20 – Salt Lake City, UT – Loading Dock
Feb. 21 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Feb. 22 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction

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