Chase Atlantic, one of Australia’s and now the world’s fastest growing Alternative Rock groups is coming to Atlanta, playing Buckhead Theatre this Friday, June 21st. Mitchel Cave was kind enough to give us a quick interview while traveling with the band between cities.
Jason: Hey Mitchel, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Tell me about yourself and the band!
Mitchel: I’m 6 foot somthing, 22 years old… no I’m kidding. We’ve been making music our whole lives, grew up around music. We’ve always loved it. We’re really lucky that we grew up in an era where we could learn how to make our own music just by having a computer. Early on we were all doing our own thing, I was producing music on Fruity Loops and Clinton was playing Saxophone. I’ve known Clinton my whole life obviously because he’s my brother and we met Christian when we were 14. The day we met we clicked by talking about music. Funnily enough we were talking about Skrillex because he had just released his first EP.
Jason: I remember when that album came out and Dubstep exploded.
Mitchel: Well in Australia we didn’t know anyone who liked that music yet. When we met Christian we bonded so fast, like we already shared the same brain. From there, we were all still going to school but we made this pact to pursue music. We lived in different areas, Christian was going to University because he was older. We all kept working on ideas and kept talking, learning and sharing songs with each other.
Jason: So at what point did this become Chase Atlantic?
Mitchel: Well eventually we were just like let’s go for it, let’s make a band. At first we made a band called KIDS and it was trash.
Jason: As a lot of first bands are *laughs*.
Mitchel: *laughs* Yeah these songs were trash, so cheesy. We thought we were cool but we were not cool at all. I think we kinda realized that in the process and decided to start over. So we sat down and decided we wanted to write music that was more mature, we want to be respected, we want adults to hear this and be, “Wow I can’t believe kids are making this music.” It was a transition process and we had to come up with a new name. We went with Chase Atlantic but there’s no story.
Jason: It just sounds cool?
Mitchel: We just found a name we liked that wasn’t already taken, it’s not related to anything.
Jason: So what about the new sound… what were the new elements that defined it as more mature?
Mitchel: Honestly it came down to how much of our emotion we were pouring into it. We weren’t just making bubblegum pop. We were growing up and going through life experiences and using music as an outlet. We got into using a lot of ambience, reverb, delay, creating a lot of spacious sound. At the time we were really inspired by The 1975, they had just released their first album. We were still really young and it takes years to develop your own unique sound, but by taking ideas inspired by them we started playing music that we really respected. We started writing lyrics that were deeper than, “I saw a girl across the street and my heart skipped a beat” you know what I mean?
Jason: Right, when you try to write pop there’s a lot of checking the boxes to make sure it sounds like a pop song, but that can feel empty. But when you inject your life into it, that’s what makes it yours.
Mitchel: Yes, exactly. We were just like, let’s speak the truth. Maybe people will like it better if it’s real. So we started writing songs about how we were really living. That was our second EP Nostalgia and we started doing it for real, we were a real band. We started our own record company to upload to iTunes and Spotify, and started getting some real traction on Spotify.
Jason: Was there a point where you were sitting in your bedroom just freaking out “Holy s**t holy s**t this is really happening!”
Mitchel: Yeah! Well it wasn’t that, it was more “Holy s**t holy s**t I’m going to be broke for the rest of my life.” *laughs*
Mitchel: I was going to University and between classes I would just go to my room and write music and produce and I was always just working working working and I thought, if I put this much into it it has to work. But I was worried I was wasting my life and money. There was a lot of contemplation about that, “what if this never happens?” It was definitely the perseverance that made it happen.
Jason: I definitely feel you. I’m 30 and a new band I’m a part of (Challenger Deep) only recently had a release get 100k streams in a month on Spotify.
Mitchel: Exactly, there you go! Congratulations!
Jason: Thank you very much! You can’t plan for it to happen and you just kind of have to keep going.
Mitchel: That’s the thing, you can’t f*****g plan s**t! *laughs* You can’t plan anything. You just have to go in there and give it everything you have. The best results come when you don’t expect them. Just for an example our second EP has a song “Friends” and we were worried that no one would like it, it’s too dark, too edgy. But that song blew up and now it’s our most streamed song.
Jason: So now that Chase Atlantic is a thing and you’re traveling the world, what’s your favorite part about touring?
Mitchel: Honestly, playing the show. I kind of hate everything else about it. I love getting to be on stage,
seeing people and meeting people who tell us our music has affected their lives, because that’s not something we ever intended to do. Seeing people singing back to you, hearing the lyrics that you wrote… the most beautiful thing about touring is the acceptance of the audience and how amazing it is to play for them. And you get to see some cool stuff on the road, but it sucks.
Jason: So making the music, awesome. Performing the music, awesome. Everything in between can be a bit of a nightmare?
Mitchel: It’s s**t.
Jason: Well we appreciate the honesty *laughs*. Looking forward, what’s something that you are wanting to accomplish?
Mitchel: I don’t know, at the moment I’m really happy with what we’re doing. We just finished an album in 30 days, we created the whole album from scratch in about a month and a half. We never thought we’d ever be able to that.
Jason: Wow, was there something that inspired you to do that?
Mitchel: Not really, if anything we were uninspired, that’s why we did it. We literally just stuck our heads down and said “Let’s make some really good music.” We got in the studio and within the first couple days we were so excited about the songs. And when I say we put an album together in a month, it wasn’t thrown together. We spent that much time writing the album and then about the same amount of time perfecting it.
Jason: Gotcha, so as far as the musical content, the lyrics, the songs themselves were done and then you spent more time getting them ready for release.
Mitchel: And it’s not like we put down any song that we wrote, we genuinely wouldn’t make a song unless it was a good song. We only make good songs. We don’t make any throwaway songs. I want Chase Atlantic to be known as a band that only makes good songs.
Jason: Well it sounds like you’re on the right track! Thanks again for your time and I can’t wait to see the show.
Mitchel: Thank you!
Chase Atlantic plays at Buckhead Theatre this Friday, June 21st.