Cairns boys (but now LA-based) Chase Atlantic unleashed their sophomore full-length, Beauty in Death last month (our review here) and should definitely be close to your ears if you’re open to expanding your musical horizons. The three-piece have honed in on their heavy alternative background and paired those influences with a plethora of musical styles like R&B, trap and electronic dance styles.
Now, you might be more familiar with Victorian alternative/rock outfit Rumours, who also recently unleashed their anthemic, genre-bending debut EP, If Only You Could Feel Something Too (our review here). Guitarist Harry Coote is a self-confessed Chase Atlantic fan so we thought it might be more fun to put him in the interviewer seat for once and channel those Aussie-bred, LA boys with some of their most pressing questions yet, from one small town band to another, musician to musician…
G’day guys. I just wanted to say that I’m a big fan of what you’re all doing. So first off, what question do you think you get asked the most?
Christian: What’s COVID been like?
What’s COVID been like, then?
Mitchel: HAHA, skip it, you can skip that question.
For people going into your new album Beauty in Death, how many times does the saxophone appear on the new album?
Mitchel: The perfect amount.
Clinton: I feel like I I try not to force it too much on our music. This album has some great saxophone moments on it. It was different to Phases where it had way more moments. I didn’t want to force it in this one but there’s probably like three or four bigger saxophone moments. A lot of it is hidden behind it.
Mitchel: The thing is, it’s like a good adlib, you know? You want to use things scarcely and sparingly when it’s effective. That’s what gives it its effectiveness. You know?
Christian: It’s our secret weapon.
Mitchel: If you’re just doing it all the time, people become complacent. What you want to do is just give them a little bit. There’s certain songs that you’ll want to listen to and you’ll be like, ‘Oh shit, I need to rewind to hear that part again’. Even just a three second part.
Clinton: Also you’ll find that on this album, there’s a lot of behind the music saxophone counter melodies. It’s a secondary voice kind of thing.
I’ve noticed that through your music before. There’s little accents that are creating the melodies in the back to actually amplify what you’re doing overall.
Mitchel: It’s the finesse of adding those little extra elements that just give it that little bit more of oomph.
Yeah, of course. I guess the counter question is, what’s the moment when you know you want to add something like that?
Mitchel: We’ll be like, oh, shit, we’re gonna need a saxophone solo to go here. We all produce equally so we’re not too worried about if something’s lacking in one area. There’s no spite, there’s nothing sad about not being able to play the guitar, do a saxophone solo or even like sing at one part. We’re very happy to let the music flow by itself.
Christian: You can feel it in your heart as well, when you know the style of song. We’ve been doing this together for so long when it comes to adding sax or even guitar parts it’s just — I can hear this song, a guitar or a sax would sound nice. As opposed to some other songs where you’re like, this is perfect as it is. We always try things, there’s no harm in trying things. There’s been a couple, not really with this sax, but there’s definitely a couple times where we can tell where it’s been, this isn’t gonna work. But sax for instance, always pretty much works. You just feel it in your gut.
I’ve noticed even in your Idobi sessions, and there’s a couple of live videos where you do certain parts on the guitar, and it just really adds to it. Even after seeing you live, I’ve seen that.
Christian: The live shows are very different to the strip backs and the recordings. With the more rock shows with the hip hop, influence.
Mitchel: That’s the beauty of it, we can draw the best from both worlds and implement them wherever they need to be implemented. It switches up the vibe.
So my band just released our new EP and a big part of what shaped that sound was PHASES. On PHASES, there’s just so much energy, and it’s so dancey, even when you have your dark underlying tones. In ‘Heaven and Back’, there’s a couple dark moments, but it’s still has that energy and you still want to move to it.
Mitchel: Heroin addiction that you can still bop to is pretty difficult.
Yeah, exactly. How do you create that? Is there a key to it? Or does it just happen?
Mitchel: I think it’s the irony. I remember when we made ‘Even Though I’m Depressed’, the beat and the intro we made was so happy almost to the point where it was almost not usable. But then we had the idea of just polarizing the complete opposite. It’s in the lyrics. The lyrics are so contrasting to the whole mood of the song. So I feel like that’s one of the things that we like to do is use irony to our advantage.
‘Even Though I’m Depressed’ is one of my favourite songs on the album easily.
Mitchel: Hey, I really like that song. I always forget about it.
I think my overall favourite would be ‘You Too’ though. For people going into Beauty In Death, how would you compare it to your old catalogue?
Mitchel: It’s better, that’s a start.
Christian: You know, I guess, we say this each time. We’re always perfecting our craft even more and there’s songs like ‘Heaven and Back’, and then there’s a song on Beauty In Death, ‘Slide’ which is us perfecting that kind of style of ours. ‘Slide is us perfecting that kind of thing that we did go into on ‘PHASES’ and ‘Swim’. In a sense though, Beauty in Death is bigger, better and it’s just more confident and more polished than it’s ever been.
Mitchel: We’re still growing, we’re still young. We’re still going through life’s challenges and tribulations. A whole bunch of shit was thrown on us in 2020, but we were able to overcome it and make our best music yet. So I think that speaks testaments to how the album is going to be.
On Beauty in Death, ‘Paranoid’ is my favourite. But I’m super intrigued about the feature you have on track six.
Mitchel: Oh yeah, ‘Please Stand By’ – it’s De’wayne Jackson and Xavier Mayne who are great friends or ours. We’ve got one friend who lives here in LA with us, and then one from all the way back home in Cairns which is where we grew up.
Christian: Xavier Mayne played at our Australian shows.
Clinton: We didn’t want to force any big features on this album because it takes away from it. Until they come forward and really want to get involved too. We don’t want to be doing anything like that.
Mitchel: You don’t want to force music. That’s the one thing you don’t want to do.
With the feature, how did that come to be?
Mitchel: Very organic, and it’s artists that we’re invested in, artists that we really see a good future for. That’s kind of what we want to stand by as far as taking a page out of our own book and applying it to other people that we really care about, and who are great friends.
I know you do a song with Xavier Mayne. But I think you have a song with Platinum too?
Christian: Oh yeah, ‘Hit My Line’. That’s probably one of the first things we’ve done where we’ve not really known him personally.
Mitchel: Yeah, we just did that. He reached out to us and we’re like, yeah, sure. We had some free time so we did it for him. Since then, we’ve done one more and it’s really, really cool. There’ll be some cool names on it.
You guys are from Cairns, our band actually originated in Wagga Wagga and we’re all in Melbourne now. You guys have found huge international success, and being from Cairns, how did you find that? What was the moment where you’re like, okay, this is it?
Mitchel: I think maybe it’s in the Cairns aspect. That small town mentality of wanting to do greater things than your peers around you. Not in a condescending way, but more of an aspirational way. I want to do more than what I see in my current environment. I feel like you look at a lot of rappers, they come from the slums, the streets and they want to do more. That’s what gives them the drive to make the music they make. It’s like a chip on your shoulder. You’ve got something to prove you know?
Clinton: That being said, it’s not just Cairns. Christian’s from Sydney, and the 5 Seconds of Summer boys are mainly from Sydney. I feel like in general, Australia is such a small country compared to the rest of the industry and the world. I think all Australians are that mentality internationally. But when you’re in Cairns, or Wagga Wagga, you definitely have that mentality. Even if you get to Sydney, as a musician, you’re like, okay, perfect.
Christian: From what I’ve learnt from a few Australian people, not necessarily musicians that come out here in LA, but in order to earn your spot and your place into America, you have to truly prove that you’re worth it. A lot of the Australians that are still here and have stuck around are incredibly hard workers, and know that this is what they want to do and where they want to be, as opposed to maybe some people who are from here and have the luxury of being American.
Mitchel: It’s a lot of hard work. You have to work your ass off, there’s no complacency whatsoever. We didn’t get lucky. There was no hype train that we rode to get here.
Christian: Every year we’re working for our spot to be here. We’re not on something where we can stay here for five years. Every year we have to prove that.
During your downtime between recording you played a lot of video games. Have you guys heard the Doom soundtrack?
Christian: Yeah, we played Warzone and no, no I haven’t.
The Doom soundtrack was written by Mick Gordon and it won a couple of awards. If you could do a soundtrack for any game would you and what game would it be?
Mitchel: ‘OUT THE ROOF’ for Warzone would have been perfect when the second season came out and they blew out the roof.
Christian: They literally said we’re blowing out the roof.
Mitchel: The whole thing is all the context and the lyrics works perfectly. it’s me and my people are going to kill every opposition in the game because there’s nothing left to do.
And finally, one last thing. What’s the first thing you do when you get back to Australia?
Christian: Go to New Zealand … haha no I’m kidding
Mitchel: Embrace our parents, give our parents a big old hug. Make sure that they feel okay because they’re the ones that stress a lot when we’re away for this long. They stress about their kids so we just want to make sure that they all know we’re all safe and sound.
Clinton: Christian. After that you get to go to the beach. You get Oporto.
Christian: Yeah get to Oporto, get a burger.
Anyway, appreciate your time from the bottom of my heart. This has been really cool. So thank you very much.
Christian: Good luck on your release, man. We’ll be watching.
Interview by Harry Coote @rumoursaustralia
Wall of Sound edit: Thanks for taking the reigns on this one, Harry! You nailed it! If you ever decide to take on a journalistic route, there’s a spot on the WoS team for ya…
Chase Atlantic’s album, Beauty in Death is out now through Fearless Records. Grab it here
Chase Atlantic – Beauty In Death tracklisting:
3. Out The Roof
5. Please Stand By (Feat. De’Wayne & Xavier Mayne)
8. Call Me Back
9. I Think I’m Lost Again
12. Beauty In Death