Australian trio Chase Atlantic were just gearing up to release their debut album when they sat down with GoldenPlec to talk about their musical journey to date. Vocalist Mitchel Cave, guitarist/saxophonist/vocalist Clinton Cave and guitarist/vocalist Christian Anthony are sat in the Warner Records offices in New York, despite having done a long day of press, the three are totally personable, kind and engaging.
Pre-release nerves? Not Really. “Just excited!” Lead vocalist Mitchel confirms, with Clinton adding, “[we’re] not too nervous because we feel confident with it. There’s always a bit of nerves because people might hate it but at the same time it’s pretty much what we’ve been doing but better.”
The resounding feeling seems to be eagerness to finally have it out, as Christian Anthony adds, “we’ve just been working towards it for such a long time so we’re excited to get it out there!”
In a turn of events, the album was supposed to be released on Friday but the band surprise dropped it today (Wednesday) instead. After getting people to tune into Zane Lowe's show on Beats 1, to release the single 'Okay', the album also appeared on Apple Music and Spotify.
The album includes a few songs that fans might be familiar with, but there’s plenty of new material too. As Mitchel explains, “some of them are tweaked versions of old songs but we’ve also been building this repertoire of new music that we have and we finally realized we had enough music to make an album.”
As far as recording the album went, it was a pretty natural progression. “We spent months locked up in the Madden Studios in Los Angeles,” says Clinton. “We produce our own music so we’re the ones behind the computers, we engineer and mix it all, play all our own instruments, we write all our own music ourselves. So it’s just the three of us locked in a studio for eight months.” With regards to how the album came about, Mitchel adds that there was never really an end goal this time around. Rathe they “just went in every day and made music until we had enough.”
The afore mentioned Madden studios refers to Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte – a pair who often work with other bands in the studio. Clinton explains the way the groups became acquainted: “a few years ago Joel slid into our DMs! They hadn’t started the company yet but they were obviously thinking of it and they said they liked our music. Then by coincidence through another management company we met them again in Los Angeles like a year later and they’d started the company so we started working with them just to see what they were like and what they were doing. They started growing and so did we so we decided to collaborate and join forces. They really look after us.”
Although the pairing is a very friendly one, it is still mostly business. “Every now and again they’ll jump in the studio,” says Mitchell, “and have a listen to what we’re making and be like, ‘you guys don’t need any help. Just keep doing what you’re doing’… It’s like a family relationship, we’re really good friends and business partners so it works out perfectly.”
Chase Atlantic’s music is nearly undefinable, by taking on a variety of influences and musical tastes they’ve landed on something pretty unique. “We listen to a lot of hip hop,” says Mitchell. “When we’re listening to bands we’ll listen to a lot of Tame Impala, Lost Dinosaurs, just like stuff that we really vibe with. For us, rather than a cult following of an artist or a band, we find things that we’re really drawn to sonically or production-wise. And we just curate these playlists of songs we like.”
So when it comes to their own music, Chase Atlantic incorporate elements of hip-hop, R&B, but also more alternative and rock elements in recordings. Then, when it comes to live “it’s more of a rock show,” says Clinton, with Mitchel adding that when playing live, band’s line-up is completed by two friends, Pat Wilde and Jesse Boyle. This is also interesting with regards their current tour – in support of Sleeping With Sirens – a relatively heavy band. However, it’s turned out that it works pretty well, as Clinton says, “now that we’re on tour it works. We go pretty hard when we want to!”
This contrast in genre has its challenges, as Mitchel explains, “it increases pressure but in a good way - it’s made us step up our game quite a lot so it’s been quite insightful.” Christian adds that, “it was a lot more scary definitely at the start… but as we’ve grown a little bit and the more shows we play we don’t really worry about it – we just do what we do best and if people like it then it’s good news.”
With the presence of saxophone and the intricacies of their music it isn’t too far-fetched to assume the members of Chase Atlantic were classically trained. “Mitchel and I were,” Clinton confirms, “but Christian also was but in a different way – he was more like a rock-classical training whereas we were, like, classical music trained. I think I reached the peak level of saxophone that you can get to which is cool but it’s not helpful in this situation. I had to relearn how to improvise and play differently. Mitchel as well was a classical vocalist, lot of opera singing.”
“I was a little church boy,” Mitchel laughs.
The band have relocated to Los Angeles – a business decision, with some real-life consequences. “It’s good for business,” says Clinton, “but you lose your minds a little bit. It can be really fun, there’s a lot there a lot at your fingertips…” To which Mitchel adds, “it’s very intense!”
Clinton agrees. “Everyone is doing their own thing. If you’re going through anything emotional or having a tough time thinking about morality and stuff then it’s probably not the best place to be.”
The song ‘No Friends’ (featuring ILoveMakonnen and K Camp) alludes to the feelings of isolation living in the city. As Mitchel explains, “that was kind of when I was going through a period of having a lot of people that you know in the city but they’re people that are kind of your friends but they’re not true friends. They’re just people that are in your life.” This collaboration came from a mutual interest in each other’s music and it was also a test for the Chase Atlantic guys to see how it would work to feature another artist on a song, whilst avoiding the trap of it being “corny”.
Living in L.A. also has its upsides. There are endless possibilities there, something which the trio are not letting go to waste. “we’ve done a lot of writing sessions since we went to LA,” explains Mitchel. “We’ve learnt how to become not only artists but at the same time producers and writers for other people. To be respected as a writer, or as an artist, are both very good things.” But the sense that it was just a necessary move remains clear. “There’s a glass ceiling in Australia with how far you can take your musical career. And we felt like we didn’t want to become one of those Australian artists that gets trapped.”
“For us there was really no other option,” adds Clinton. “It was pretty much we go here and try our best or that’s it. Obviously, you can try anywhere but it’s a lot tougher.”
With their ability to transgress the bindings of any particular genre, engagement on social media rising, and a sizable following digging into the surprise drop of the debut album, the future looks bright for Chase Atlantic.