Bonnie Fraser & Miki Rich – Stand Atlantic ‘Going Hard Without Any F.E.A.R.’

Stand Atlantic are easily the biggest pop punk act in the world right now.

It’s a big call, but it’s true after listening to their third full-length, F.E.A.R. However, when sitting down with Bonnie Fraser and Miki Rich recently (via Zoom), they act like anything but. To be honest, they’re actually some of the most humble musicians you’ll ever meet and it was an absolute pleasure to chat about some of my favourite aspects on their newest release, F*ck Everything and Run that dropped on Friday.

This time last year, Stand Atlantic had just released their first single since 2020’s Pink Elephant – a banger of a collab titledDeathwish alongside US emo pop rapper nothing, nowhere. This saw the Sydney pop punk quartet level up their abilities, with 2021 also seeing out one of the biggest tracks in the genre. Little did we know back then, this was initially a one-off single, as Bonnie reminisces of ‘Deathwish”s impact that developed into the overall concept for F.E.A.R.:

“We had no idea what the album was going to sound like whatsoever. At that point, we hadn’t written anything else.”

Miki further chimed in with, “Bon had come to us with that song, and it was the first song where we all just went, ‘this is sick. We don’t need to change anything. This is like, the best.’ But I think it definitely kickstarted this album.”

F.E.A.R. is an album full of frustrations picked straight out of Bonnie’s mind and the external pressures she’s exposed to from being in a band and in life. So many overwhelming emotions, which resulted in a manic blend of musical styles while still sticking to their pop punk/rock origins, of course. But was there a particular song on this record where she felt like she just needed to let it all out?

“I think ‘bloodclot’ has a little special place in my heart and is the most personal song on the album. But then there’s also, ‘Molotov’. We just went balls to the wall for that one. That was the first time I’ve kind of written lyrics with a certain kind of intention and something that’s bigger than just my feelings. I think that was important for us to do. I feel like on every song we go hard for everything. I regret doing it now though because playing it live hurts.”

Speaking of getting heavier and going absolutely ham on F.E.A.R., a song we need to bring up here is ‘Cabin Fever’. It’s undeniably Stand Atlantic’s darkest attempt yet, especially as it nears that earth-shattering bridge:

“Yeah, that was crazy. I wrote ‘Cabin Fever’ with Nat Sherwood who’s like an old mate through the scene and growing up in the local Sydney scene. We wrote that in his studio at the start of the pandemic, and that sound is kind of like his thing. He produces and writes that kind of music so that’s how it sort of started. Then we were like, ‘let’s put some fucking guitars in the chorus and make this thing go f*cking bang and then chuck my mum on there and it was fly’.

‘Cabin Fever’ is basically a song that stemmed from frustration with the music industry as a whole. I was just so fed up with being told what I should be. It was so contradictory to who the f*ck I am. There’s a lot of pressures that come with being in a band and you kind of feel like you’re getting swallowed up whole by people that don’t really give a f*ck about you.”

Bonnie’s lyricism, outlook and attitude to life is something that is somewhat of a testament to the band’s talent and what keeps them miles ahead of their peers. I don’t know about you, but I just love her unapologetic sense and no f*cks given attitude to writing music:

“The way I write songs has always been the same since I was a kid and I don’t really talk about my feelings in real life. So the only way I feel like I get a feeling out is by writing it down through music and writing lyrics. I feel like I’ve always kind of done very metaphorical things because I still don’t really want to say exactly what I’m thinking or what I’m feeling. With ‘Van Gogh’, that was just shutting out external pressures and opinions of people that don’t give a fuck and just trying to shut them off. It’s like well, should I just cut my ears off like old mate?”

Of course, she’ll listen to and work alongside others when she has to. Stand Atlantic have produced some unique and incredible collaborations of late. Alongside nothing, nowhere, the album also features fiery tracks with some of America’s upcoming emo pop scene, like Royal and the Serpent and Tom the Mail Man. So is there anyone else they’d seek to do a bangin’ collab with?

“There’s a lot of people. Fucking Pink! But honestly, anyone that’s like, willing to do one. I think that we’re open to pretty much anything at this point. It would just be cool and such an honour to collaborate with anyone who’s like, a big artist or just talented.”

The world is certainly their oyster. Especially if their upcoming touring schedule is anything to go by. Now that we’re back to some kinda normality, STAT fans in the UK, USA and their home country of Australia will all garner a taste of this skyrocketing four piece this year. Between the F.E.A.R. headliner in the US and Slam Dunk Festival in the UK slotted right in the middle of it, these guys barely have a day off. At least they’re saving the best for last though. We’re not biased or anything, but playing to a hometown crowd always hits differently and this highly anticipated Australian headliner in July will be their first full national tour on home soil since 2019:

“We haven’t played Australia in so long. So we’re really stoked to come back home. Because we didn’t really get to play Pink Elephant much, we’re trying to make a healthy blend of both of them, so people don’t feel like they’ve missed out. Also, it’s fun for us. Then after Australia, I’m back in LA to start writing.”

stand atlantic tour 2022

It’s pretty obvious that Stand Atlantic are living on cloud nine right now. They’ve just dropped what could potentially be the biggest groundbreaking pop punk record of 2022 and are about to play a shit load of shows across three continents. But after two years of nothing, Bonnie, Miki, drummer Jonno Panichi and guitarist David Potter are making up for lost time. They’re going all out, guns blazing every day this year. And if you think you know what the future of Stand Atlantic sounds like, the pair are pretty adamant on keeping everyone on their toes:

“It’s never a sign of what’s coming next. It’s literally just, the best way to end the album. That’s the fun part about not wanting to fit into anything. You just get to go with the flow.”

Yeah, we all need more of that STAT ethos in our lives. See you all in July!

Interview by Tamara May @citylightstam

Stand Atlantic’s new album F.E.A.R. is out now through Hopeless Records.
Get it here

Stand Atlantic – F.E.A.R. tracklisting:

1. doomsday
2. pity party (feat. Royal & The Serpent)
3. van gogh
4. dumb (feat. Tom the Mail Man)
5. hair out
6. deathwish (feat. nothing, nowhere.)
7. switchblade
8. nails from the back
9. bloodclot
10. don’t talk [to me]
11. xo
12. cabin fever (feat. my literal mum)
13. molotov [OK]
14. i wonder what kind of garlic bread they serve at MENSA

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About Tamara May (1085 Articles)
Wall of Sound's Head of Album Reviews. Weekend Content. Pop Punk Enthusiast.