Bringing sounds that are both unique and freshly blended with a variety of different genres (R&B, hip hop, rock, pop), Chase Atlantic have been gaining a large following since their start in Australia. Now, having made their mark substantially on the music scene back in their home country, brothers Clinton and Mitchel Cave, along with longtime friend Chris Anthony, look to take the U.S. by storm. I had the chance to sit down and chat with the dudes from Down Under about their self-titled debut album, as well as other things, while they continue their tour across North America in direct support of LIGHTS.
Being such a major player in the music scene in Australia prior to moving to LA, have you found that the U.S. market is more of a challenge to break than back home?
Chris: You know it’s funny because Australia is such a smaller market than over here in terms of music, that you would think it would be easier to break, but some of the toughest audiences in the world are in Australia. Over here we’ve toured with bigger bands, rather than doing it ourselves back in Australia like what we did for the last three years. As much as they like to say that they support local artists/music and everything like that, there is definitely still a sense of “tall poppy syndrome” there. It will happen though eventually; they will come around and be more inclined to support more of the Australian artists in the future though, for sure.
Clinton: Although if you’re a rapper or an EDM artist, then you have a lot of hype back home. The culture there really revolves around those types of genres. But to answer your question, we moved to America as we were progressing and with the differences in terms of what is popular here as opposed to Australia, you can’t really compare the two.
When you guys were first starting out, making Youtube videos and recording in each other’s bedrooms, what artists or bands had a large impact on you guys?
Mitchel: Sonically, we were always kind of wanting to be sounding the best with production, so we definitely drew influences from bands who had their sound down flawlessly. You know, bands like The 1975, The Neighbourhood, Tame Impala and artists like the Weeknd were very much a reason to how we sought to craft our music. Even though we definitely had drawn a lot of inspiration from those artists early on, over the years we made of our sound and style that has set us apart. I mean, when you’re young you have to take bits and pieces from other artists, which is the only way you can grow and learn how to make something that eventually is different.
Clinton: Yeah, you haven’t really had enough of the music life to really know how to just make something completely on your own without a little help from other songs when you’re first starting to make music.
Yeah for sure! But, so far the sound you guys have been defined for with the release of your first LP last year is the sound you plan on keeping?
Chris: Oh yeah dude, that’s our sound. It will continue to evolve over the coming years, but at its core it will always be what it is to this day.
Mitchel: It’s our foot-in-the-door and how we plan on gaining more ground.
Starting off from Dalliance, it seems you guys have really captured a unique sound with these latest tracks. What inspired the evolution of your sound; the R&B influences, hip-hop and instrumentals like saxophone?
Mitchel: We definitely had to be more unique. There was a lot of potential there with Dalliance and people liked it, but we didn’t feel like it was important enough to project us into a new place.
Chris: I think coming to America as well had a big change on us and our sound. The music scene is very different here and we started going out a little bit more and steering away from the alternative rock genre in terms of what we wanted to primarily focus on. It got a little too boring for us, you know? Like, we still love the 1975 and bands like that who we listened to earlier on, but we just fell in love with the sonic values of artists like Travis Scott and the Weeknd. Just how hype it was and how it made us feel, we took a little bit from that and what we had done previously and went from there.
The new album definitely has those influences mixed in there, in terms of just how heavy and exciting it can get at times. Another difference between your previous work and now, is that you guys really crafted an album with a dark and mature aesthetic. With songs like “Into It” and “Triggered”, were you writing in character of someone who has achieved this rise in fame (much like you guys) and is spiraling not knowing how to deal with it?
Mitchel: A few of the songs like “Triggered” for example, was written in the eyes of a character but there’s not too many of those songs on the album. A lot of the songs are based on real life experiences and events, even though they are slightly exaggerated to give more of creative sense and artistic feel. Still though, they are very much real and a part of us.
Chris: Also, when we wrote “Angeline”, we were staying in a very beautiful house and were in a very good head space. Experiences like that, good or bad, helped us compose a lot of the lyrical aspects.
Considering you guys have been self-producing all your work leading all the way up to this latest album, which by the way is impressive with the sound quality/engineering, can you describe the writing/producing process of the new LP?
Mitchel: Thanks man! Yeah, we tend to hold ourselves to a very high standard.
Chris: Clinton is crazy good with vocal production as well and Mitchel is a genius at making beats. Ideas were circulating throughout and because we’ve been making music for so long together, no one is afraid to just throw an idea out there. The addition of the saxophone and the jazz element was a product of us growing up and listening to a lot of ’80’s music like INXS.
What has all this success taught you most about yourselves? You know, from making Youtube videos and recording in your bedrooms to getting signed to Warner Bros., recording in professional studios, and touring the world with big-time musicians/artists?
Mitchel: I think the most important thing we’ve learned is to always trust in ourselves and most importantly in what we are doing. A lot of people have different opinions and what they tend to write helps us learn in a sense, but we still stay true to ourselves. No matter what “they” say, we’re still going to make the music that we love.
Chris: Sometimes you doubt yourself, especially early on when you’re not to sure if what you’re doing is the right thing.
Mitchel: Yeah, there were always people saying that we needed to get “more poppy”, but we trusted in ourselves and made a sound that people have grasped on to. I know it might sound arrogant, but most of the time when we believe in what we are doing and our work ethic, the results are a product of our hard work.
Touring with LIGHTS, and then with the announcement of your Spring tour across Europe with Sleeping With Sirens, what are some of your benchmarks you guys hope to accomplish by the time 2018 is over?
Mitchel: We’re playing a lot of festivals which is something we have always wanted to do. Playing Bonnaroo, FireFly and Warped Tour has always been a dream of ours, so to check it off the bucket list is pretty satisfying.
Chris: Putting out a second album would be great as well! Meeting new people in different countries is also something I’ve personally always have wanted to do. Getting down to South America is definitely one goal of ours before the year ends.
Clinton: We just want to keep gaining ground and get more and more popular. That’s why were playing all these shows; were trying to build something we can really coast off of. We want this year to be the year we really break through which would then lead to headlining gigs.