INTERVIEW: Chase Atlantic
After growing their fanbase in Australia by constantly touring and through the use of social media Chase Atlantic moved to Los Angeles a year ago where they signed a record deal with The Madden Brothers and started working on further evolving their sound as a band. Their debut album hears them fusing rock, hip-hop and moody synths together for a versatile sound that impresses with a DIY production and vulnerable storytelling. I recently chatted to lead guitarist Christian Anthony about their growth as a band, the use of dugs and sex as symbolism and their upcoming headline tour. Check out the chat below;
TB: Your debut album is finally in the world and sonically it’s very diverse and mature and shows a massive growth from your first EP’s. Do you think moving to LA had a major impact on the recent growth of Chase Atlantic musically?
CA: Yeah, we moved about a year ago and we’ve been going back and forth to see the family. We’ve definitely grown since being here, the difference between 17, 18 through to 20 you mature a little more and then you have some experiences in another country so it has definitely altered the sound. I must say though that we do write some of our best songs while we are back in Australia. Nothing beats being home.
TB: The RNB influence seemed to become more prominent in the most recent material for the record. What were you inspired by to introduce this sound and when you went into the studio did you know how you wanted it all to sound or was it very DIY?
CA: I would say it’s very DIY. Each song is a different experience, whether its a different girl that one of the members has spent some time with and has inspired one of the songs. It’s all very experienced based, so the songs come quite naturally. Mitchell and I start with a hip hop layer and then Clinton will add the band layers to it. Sometimes they just feel right the way they are, songs like “Consume” even though we added some live drums and guitar to it, it is still more of a hip hop song. I would definitely say its about the experience and how we feel sonically whether it’s going to be a band song or more urban or RNB.
TB: Yeah, because on the new material I am definitely sensing a more The Weeknd vibe
CA: Yeah dude, you are right on the money there. The Weeknd is a big inspiration to us. Just the way he can diversify himself on that “Starboy” record is incredible.
TB: Some of the songs are very emotionally vulnerable, did you have any anxiety surrounding the release over how people would perceive it?
CA: Yeah, I mean you always have anxiety when you’re releasing anything especially when you’re starting out as a band in a foreign country it’s always nerve racking to see what people think of the songs. With songs like “Uncomfortable” and “Angeline” where you pour your heart out you hope that people can relate to it in a sense where they understand it and don’t just throw it off as just like “oh these emo boys” *laughs*. The best part of music is the releasing of the music even if the anxieties are permanent you just want to get the music out there to the world.
TB: How did your parents back home react to the new music because lyrically you are quite open about sex and drugs?
CA: When we make the drug references we use it as a metaphor. I feel like our music is a bit left of reality, it’s almost a dream like state. And I feel like drugs is such a great metaphor for us to use because when you are on drugs you are in that dream like state. So it’s more metaphoric than like “hey guys, we like to take a lot of drugs and write songs about it”. I have had a couple people come up to me and ask why we wrote a song called “Drugs & Money” but it’s more a play on that we always seem to write about drugs and money in our songs to reference other things. We could pick a different subject, but maybe not *laughs*. But our parents have been really understanding and they know that we are good boys *laughs*.
TB: Lyrically were the songs a collective effort or was there someone whose stories took more prominence on this record?
CA: Mitchell is definitely the main lyricist, he’s fantastic with metaphors and he can explain a really boring story in a way that just sounds so interesting. So he usually starts off with the main lyric concept and then we go from there and add some ideas on. He’s a whizz kid when it comes to lyrics so he was definitely more prominent in the storytelling on this record.
TB: You guys have just toured the states with Sleeping With Sirens and are about to kick of a headlining tour there too. What song from the new album are you most enjoying playing live and is there any you haven’t played yet that you are really excited about?
CA: Yeah dude, all 8 of the new songs we have never played live before so we’re really excited to play those. Actually, we did play “Okay” and “The Walls” on the Sleeping With Sirens tour but if I had to pick one new song it would be “Angeline”. I just feel like we can make a really nice emotional connection with the fans through that song. It’s going to be nice to strip it back from the hype and the rock songs and to just have a nice intimate song with the people we love.
TB: And I have to ask, when are you guys heading back to Australia for a tour?
CA: Dude, I’m so glad you asked! I just got some very exciting news before, it’s nothing 100% yet but it sounds like Chase Atlantic are coming home, we got a bunch of shows to do! I’m very excited to come home, I miss my Australian family and all our friends who have supported us since the very beginning.
TB: When you write a song about someone in particular do you send it to them to give them a warning or do you release it as a fuck you and hope they hear it?
CA: *Laughs* That’s a great question actually! When we were younger and working on songs like “Roxanne” and “Gravity” they were all about real people. So back then we would send it to them and be like “hey we wrote this song about you” *laughs*. I think the beauty of writing a song about someone is letting them figure it out for themselves. We had one person from the album say that their favourite was “Angeline” and that was quite funny because it was definitely about them *laughs*.
TB: Musically you guys have already grown so much and experimented with a lot of sounds so what do you think will be next for you sonically? Will it be more defined or do you have a sound you want to experiment with?
CA: We’re gonna go indier and all learn how to play the guitar and become a guitar only band, no other instruments *laughs*. Just kidding, I think we will just play it by air. I don’t think we will ever have a solid sound, we will always be changing and evolving so who knows. I will say one thing, for this Sleeping With Sirens tour and the upcoming headline tour we have had to force ourselves to become more of a rock band because we are competing with some rather heavy bands. So we’ve kinda stepped up our game and realised that we just love to play rock music live. So I would say for the next record I could see us going towards a more rocky direction. I can’t speak on behalf of all the guys but I would say thats where I see us going.
TB: Okay, so let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I give you some sentences and you finish them with the first thing that comes to your mind okay?
CA: Shit, okay! *laughs*
TB: If we could form a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be…
CA: Harry Styles
TB: The most unexpected thing on our rider is…
CA: Beer, actually thats not too unexpected is it *laughs*
TB: My fellow band members would describe me as…
TB: My guilty pleasure song is…
CA: “A Little Bit Longer” from the Jonas Brothers *laughs*. Like come on, Nick Jonas finding out that he has diabetes is so sad. Gets me every time.
If we weren’t called Chase Atlantic we would be called…
CA: K.I.D.S That was the original name we started off with and then once we started realising all our emails to each other had the subject name KIDS we were like “shit we probably should change our name” *laughs*.
Chase Atlantic’s self titled debut album is out now and you can catch them on tour in America throughout November. Check out the dates at www.chaseatlantic.com