There’s absolutely no doubt right now that the pop-punk scene is alive and well, with the underground movement remaining fertile ground for bands since its heyday in the early 2000s. years, the Australian quartet ATLANTIC STAND were born and, with a variety of line-up changes since their conception, have only impressed even the most elite genre critics. With two albums and a third novelty TO FEAR under their belt, SUPPORT ATLANTIC take the familiar sounds of a genre we know and love and give it that modern edge it desperately needs to stay relevant. They took time out of their relentless touring schedule to chat with us from the sunny streets of Los Angeles.
“I don’t really talk about my feelings, like, in general, so for me writing songs has always been the natural way to express myself and put a feeling to bed and get over something – I treat it like a therapy in a way,” says the singer, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist bonny fraser. Using songwriting as therapy has proven beneficial to many over the past few years, adding a whole new, more personal level of lyricism that most listeners could relate to and relate to. New SUPPORT ATLANTIC release is no exception. With the album being entirely conceived during the pandemic, Fraser found herself returning to the sometimes melancholy and indignant roots of the genre. “I was tired of trying to write about my life when I hadn’t lived it and I feel robbed. I feel so robbed and I feel angry, and I feel frustrated. I had no control over anything in my life and it was just bullshit so I had to write about it.
Like many musicians in 2020, fraser found herself writing about the pandemic and the feelings surrounding it, but that’s only because it’s been the best part of two years for most of us – it’s hard not to be inspired automatically from such a traumatic and life changing experience as a global lockdown. The musicians found their lives on hold, unsure if they would have a job to return to when the possibility of it all being over was just a distant dream. “A lot of people started going through the pandemic which is sick for them, but for bands that were already doing it before, it wasn’t a good time at all. It was pretty scary,” says fraser. “One thing I hated was the fact that I had to write about the pandemic because it was my whole life at the time, but I didn’t want it to be a ‘pandemic album’. I promised not to say the words covid, pandemic or virus and allude to them instead of being completely obvious.
The pure chaos of TO FEARopening track judgment Day recalls the chaos inside most of our heads that had been building up over the past two years. It’s the perfect opening for such a personal album, and it not only gives a glimpse of fraser‘s head during the writing process, but makes us feel seen and we know we weren’t and aren’t alone in those moments.
When asked about the title of the album (TO FEAR), she laughs at first, saying, “Every record we made, I got the title before I even wrote it. What’s really stupid or really smart, I don’t know. I had the phrase ‘fuck all and run’ and how it spelled fear in my head and I kept trying to put it into songs but it never worked so I just dropped it because , like, it obviously wasn’t meant to be . Then when the album finally started to take shape, I had a hard time coming up with a name for it because there’s no story or linear concept to this album other than the fact that it is anti-concept, and I just thought ‘oh my god, this fits perfectly’, and I ended up sticking to my theme of having the fucking title before the album was even written .
TO FEAR has a much darker and grittier sound than ATLANTIC STANDprevious versions of. The group has obviously evolved since their previous releases and, as cliché as it sounds, it looks like they’ve just grown up. Instead of opting for the standard pop-punk formula they are often locked into, they have blended a multitude of genres to create a body of work that captures the chaos of the past two years, which is only heightened by the lack of linear storytelling. through.
“We felt like we were all over the place and at the same time, we never wanted to be that band that’s locked into one genre or scene. We do our best to give people something a little more diverse than your average alt band,” says fraser. “With lean dipping (the band’s first album) we dipped our toes in the water a bit, then with pink elephant we pushed a little more. But this time, if we were to commit to the band we want to be and what we think represents us best, we shouldn’t worry about what people will think.
It’s that kind of attitude that made their latest release stand out from the rest. Instead of making music just for someone else, SUPPORT ATLANTIC chose to write music entirely for themselves. “It’s just great to see the growth of a band at a time when we thought we were going to die. All we had to do was the fact that our “Spotify numbers were up”. Yeah, cool, what does that mean?! Where are the shows? It’s only when it’s tangible that it kicks in and feels good because you can see it connecting with people. The growth over the past two years has been truly rewarding.
Growing up in the age of social media and keyboard warriors made Fraser so laid back and indifferent to criticism. “At the end of the day, we know how to write a song and not make it shitty. I hope,” she laughs. “We can do whatever we want stylistically, and the fans have been very supportive of us. Obviously you get the plebs who are like “not my taste, they were better on the first album”, but like, shut the fuck up. It’s been really positive, but at the same time, that’s why I appreciate the comments on YouTube. As much as I hate them, at least they don’t kiss us for fun. She laughs. “They are honest; I will respect it.
ATLANTIC STAND are one of the few bands today that don’t feel they have to conform. While many feel locked into one genre, they are adamant about breaking free from it and instead using the surge in popularity in the genre and other bands with female members to propel themselves forward. “If I had this representation growing up, it would have changed a lot,” says fraser. “I still would have ended up in a band, but all I had when I was growing up was April Lavigne), so it was just guys in bands,” she laments. “It’s just nice to see that you have a place in whatever field you want to be a part of.” She starts laughing under her breath until she bursts out with “Up the tits!” Quite possibly the perfect feeling from one of the most exciting female voices in alternative music right now.
FEAR is available now through Hopeless Records.
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