After signing with Long Branch Records towards the end of last year, it seems like As Everything Unfolds have been slowly pushing down their foot on the accelerator to soar through the ranks of their peers.
Upon dropping their black and red drenched debut album ‘Within Each Lies The Other’ back in March, it seems like even being a new band unable to tour with the ongoing pandemic, they’ve been facing wave after wave of achievements and accolades. Along with literally millions of streams and a spot on Download Festival‘s line-up in 2022, they’re also a part of Download Pilot too.
Whilst at the pilot event festival, we spoke with vocalist Charlie Rolfe about the new record, her love for My Chemical Romance, months of lyrical hints ahead of the album, the magician tarot card concept, and what’s yet to come.
DP!: How did you find your set earlier today? Were you feeling anxious in the run up to going onstage?
C: Oh my god. When Lotus Eater went on that stage before us we were all in our dressing room warming and stuff, and Jon [Cassidy, keyboardist] literally came in, slammed the door and went “there’s fucking loads of people out there” and I was like “Yep, good.” Obviously it’s good that there was so many people there to see us, but at the same time I was like “Oh my god”.
We were kind of expecting it not to be full but by the end of it I could see some people that were coming out of the tent, like what the fuck is going on? There were loads of people at the front too going mad and singing along to all of the words, and it was weird. Weird for us, because it’s been two years since we’ve played a show and the last show we played was not a big one at all, so we’ve gone from one extreme to the other.
DP!: Obviously with COVID in-between and the big two year gap that you’ve mentioned, but that must’ve been very surreal for you all.
C: Exactly, yeah. I mean, honestly we were quite lucky with how the timing all lined up. We had pretty much all of our album campaign to sort out so we’ve been very busy both online and physically whenever we could. It was a bit of a risk doing it when we did with the pandemic and everything, but I think it was a risk that was worth taking for us. I think it has paid off a lot, in terms of our online following especially.
DP!: You also did a livestream not too long ago to celebrate the release of the album. What was that experience like, especially in comparison to a physical live show like what you played today?
C: It was weird, but I feel like it was good. It was basically like being in a practice room or doing a sound check but just over and over again. We pre-recorded it to make sure that we could get it all done properly, because we had a lighting guy, we had a sound guy, we had it all because we thought if we’re going to do it then we want to do it properly. We had different cameras set up and stuff and it was all edited properly and mixed.
We’ve done livestreams before, and the only thing is that when it’s recorded live there and and streamed there and then often the mix is shit, so at least when we’ve got it all sorted in advance it was done. People seemed to really enjoy it, and for us a lot of our fans are overseas as well, so it was a good way of connecting with them through the album. For them we don’t know when we’re going to be able to head over there just yet, so here you go – here’s the closest thing you can possibly get to seeing us until things are a little more clear.
It was received far better than we’d expected and we made far more than we expected too, and that was really nice because that money went back into paying the people that helped us; the sound people, the lighting people, the venue that we hired, and for them they were like “Oh my god, thank fuck for giving us some work”, and I shared that with our fans on our Discord, and thanked them and let them know that they’ve helped to pay these peoples’ bills.
DP!: That’s really nice, and especially because there will be fans out there who maybe don’t think too much beyond all of the people and effort that goes into a set or performance beyond the band themselves.
C: Yeah, and, you know, one thing that we’ve always, always held down is that we like to pay our creatives. No matter what, whether it’s £20 or it’s £200. Whatever they’re charging, if it’s worth it and you’re happy with their product then why the fuck would you not pay for it? Because I’m a photographer and I do this and that, I’ve always held down that that’s important for us and we do like to do that, and not only that but you get a better product when you pay for it. I’m glad that some people were able to get some paid work out of it.
DP!: Speaking on your debut album, ‘Within Each Lies The Other’, how did you find the reception to that? What were your expectations compared to what actually happened?
C: We didn’t expect it. At the moment ‘On The Inside’ is on 1.3 million plays on Spotify, just that one song, which is absolutely crazy to me. The album itself is on 4.5 million or something like that. It’s honestly pretty mad, but definitely a much better response that we thought.
DP!: What was the writing and recording experience like for the album? I noticed you’d done subtle hints on Instagram of lyrics and song titles for a good few months before it was even announced, so it must’ve been something you’d been working on and sitting on for a little while?
C: Someone noticed that I was dropping small lyric hints?! I think you’re the only person who’s picked up on that. This album has been a long process, but writing a debut album has quite a lot of pressure around it, so we wanted to get it right. At this point we also weren’t on a label so had no external pressure, but it felt like a nice natural process for us as a band. The album itself was recorded right before lockdown began so it’s been recorded and ready for quite a while, but it gave us a chance to be more creative and stuff with the artwork and videos and stuff.
DP!: With this being your first full-length record, how did the experience of putting that all together compare to that of your EPs for you? Was there a concept or a foundation that you wanted the record to sit on and branch off from?
C: We always loved the idea of following along a theme that we could stick to, and in doing that it makes the branding easier too. These are all things that we learned from the last EP, and having a direction has helped hugely pull everything for the album together so it all flowed.
DP!: You’re a big fan of the ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ era of My Chemical Romance, and the aesthetic of As Everything Unfolds during this era and the album itself very much tips its hat to that. Was that a conscious decision for this record? What other influences played an integral part with this album?
C: I can’t deny that the ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ era of My Chemical Romance is a huge visual inspiration for this album, a homage if you will. Although it has its routes and inspirations there, I drew ideas and art from various different places including the magician tarot which is what they whole album concept is based around and it ties into the visuals and the lyrics.
DP!: You also signed with Long Branch Records to put out this album. What’s it been like working with them? Did you discuss deals with any other labels before settling with them?
C: They’ve been great to us. We cannot fault them and they’ve treated us fairly.
DP!: Has there been any discussion or work on some follow-up material yet?
C: Behind the scenes we’re working very hard on new material, but we’re yet to properly tour on this album yet so we’re trying to enjoy the ‘Within Each Lies The Other’ era.
DP!: What’s planned for As Everything Unfolds for the rest of 2021 so far?
C: We’re playing a few UK festivals and touring the UK with the amazing Holding Absence in October and November which I’m really excited about. They’re one of the best bands around at the moment.
DP!: Any final words?
C: Yeah. Don’t give up on your dreams, because I’m at Download after playing here earlier today and I never, ever thought that would fucking happen. Dreams can come true.
As Everything Unfold‘s debut album, ‘Within Each Lies The Other’, is out now via Long Branch Records.