Brighton based As It Is have shared a music video for “The Reaper”, from their recently released album The Great Depression. The track and music video directed by Zak Pinchin features Aaron Gillespie of Underoath, who are also under the Fearless Records umbrella.
When we interviewed As It Is vocalist Patty Walters, he shared his stance of “if you don’t ask, it’s not going to happen” when it came to seeing if they might be able to get Aaron on board vocally. “We thought we’d throw it out there into the universe and see what happens. And fortunately Aaron was open to collaborating.”
Patty also shared with us that “The Reaper” was one of the last songs written for The Great Depression, and that it came together in the studio. This meant that they were able to write the song and Aaron’s part with him specifically in mind, which Patty feels benefits the song and gives it something more purposeful than the association of the artist alone. “I think his part and his reinterpretation of the melody and the delivery really suits him, really suits the song, and really benefits everything about the journey of the song and the music for sure.”
“Now, what I see and what I dream, they don’t align.”
“The Reaper” signifies the ‘Bargaining’ stage of The Great Depression, and it is a moment where the album’s character (The Poet) comes face to face with death. Guitarist and vocalist Ben Langford-Biss describes it as “one of the most crucial and challenging moments in the narrative”, and an offer of ‘escape’ for The Poet’s pain. He expands on this to share that the visual aesthetic that Zak Pinchin used was influenced by the band’s favourite horror movies and TV shows, as well as the emotional state of the character. “To confer these themes of turmoil and conflict, the sort of inner claustrophobia The Poet is experiencing, we wanted the video to be gritty and dark.”
The video also ties into the stages of grief that were used through The Great Depression, with the four band members being trapped in rooms that represent the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, or acceptance. Ben shares “Each of us faces off with death in some respect, whether that be in a literal or metaphysical sense, and there is an external antagonist controlling the events in the rooms – forcing us to face our fears, our grief, or even ourselves. We were super excited that Aaron Gillespie was able to be a part of the video, to play the part of this puppeteer/antagonist!”
“The Reaper” is a darker turn on The Great Depression, and The Poet faces Death with horror. Lyrical storytelling of this confrontation with Death, someone he sought, while not actually wanting to give up ‘his wasted life’, echoes the album’s romanticisation theme. In amongst this really strong and guitar-focused track, we’re pointed toward the incongruence between dreams and reality.
Watch “The Reaper” via YouTube: