As For You: Just Grinding it Out

As For You is kind of the blue collar end of Des Moines metal. Not as flashy or polished as Dead Horse Trauma (but then again, who is), nor as bombastic as, say, Green Death, As For You consists of five really talented guys—bassist Harpo Dunaway, drummer Brian Ickowitz, vocalist Josh Baumunk and guitarists Jeremiah Johnson and Harold Waits—who are just happy putting their heads down and grinding out some serious sounds.

“Me and Harpo and Brian were in a band called Calous,” said guitarist Harold Waits, recalling how As For You came to be. “When (Calous) lost our vocalist, we talked to Josh about coming in and replacing him.”

“And once that happened,” Waits continued, “we decided to just start anew.”

Starting anew begins with music. And as five guys coming together for a new project, As For You decided upon a democratic, collaborative approach to their song writing.

“Someone will bring in an idea and we'll all bring something different to it,” Ickowitz explained. “Or we'll just jam, and build off things that way.”

“We're all involved,” Waits added. “Even during practice, we'll just stop and take some time to write.”

Getting together and hashing their way through things as a group culminated in last year's release of their album, “The Process of Separation,” which was mixed and produced by former Mindrite front man Donnie Mengwasser. Now, after a year of touring and supporting that effort, the band's back in writing mode. As For You learned a lot from the process of recording album one, and are putting those lessons to good use for album two. But the important thing for the band is to have a product they believe in.

“I don't think any of us ever feel like a song is done,” Dunaway said. “Unless it goes to press on an album. But until the very last minute, we'll work over it.”

“I think we have a tendency to be a little heavy,” added Baumunk. “On this next album, while maintaining our heavy-ness, we'll work more on the melodies too. There will be a lot more melody.”

But in a way, just being able to keep grinding is a success.

“I've never been in a band where we've even gotten to a second set of songs,” Ickowitz confessed. “So this is pretty cool.”

Originally appeared in Cityview January 22, 2014