In a world full of performative positivity, Stand Atlantic give us a healthy dose of rage with their new album F.E.A.R., out now.
Denied the shows, festivals, and various in-store acoustic performances that would normally dominate their calendar, Stand Atlantic have spent much of their time over the last few years just like us – stuck indoors. That lanterned energy that would usually be unleashed on stages around the world was instead harnessed and funnelled into their brand new album, F.E.A.R.
As much a philosophy as it is a record, Fuck Everything & Run is by both name and nature an album for our times. Unashamedly pissed off and high on pessimism, F.E.A.R. tells a story that seems far more relatable than the ones you tend to see on your timeline.
Tagging in guest features in the form of rare commodities such as Royal & The Serpent, nothing, nowhere. and Tom The Mail Man, Stand Atlantic didn’t invest all that pent-up energy into running in circles, nor conforming to the ‘boxes’ they might get put into in comment sections. Instead, they used it to confuse, surprise, and ultimately deliver, as vocalist Bonnie Fraser and bassist Miki Rich tell BLUNT.
Talk me through the war room discussions around F.E.A.R. When did you decide to make an angry album?
Bonnie: I didn’t. It just fucking happened because that’s genuinely how I was feeling. It felt like we didn’t have any control over our career or our lives at the time. We were being told what to do, obviously by the government, and for good reason. But yeah, just everything was piling on and we didn’t know where we stood in the world, I feel like. And it’s just very frustrating when you can’t do anything about that, and that’s where a lot of the inspiration for these songs came from. And even on a small scale, I was getting pissed off at YouTube comments, just stupid shit like that. I was just so over everything, so that is it.
We had a lot of demos. It was just picking the right ones that we loved, and the ones that just showed the best scope of this band. Because I’ve said it a million times, but we don’t want to be boxed into anything. I think that’s just rude. I feel like we are quite a versatile band in the sense of A, we listen to a bunch of different shit all the time. And B, I just think our skillset is more than just one little…
Miki: Power chord – but I think the singles show that too. I think with the singles, you get a vibe but then you also have no idea what’s on the album. Like, “I love it…but I don’t get it.”
It does feel like a reaction; as though Stand Atlantic, in one way or another, have been pushed too far…
Bonnie: [During lockdown] I couldn’t do anything. I felt disgusting as a person, I didn’t know who I was. Like my whole purpose and lifestyle had been taken away, as I’m sure everyone else’s had as well. And it was just one thing after another thing. All I had to look at was to see how the band was going, I guess. And normally I don’t really like doing that, but that was all I had. And so I found myself reading these things and they were affecting me way more than what they would normally in the real world. And so it just added to the whole, “Wow, I hate everyone. Y’all suck.”
There were a lot of negatives to the lockdown, but it seems as though it created a situation for you to make a great album. Do you think F.E.A.R. would have turned out different if Pink Elephant hadn’t been released during global lockdowns?
Miki: I think the album would’ve sounded very different though.
Bonnie: What, this one?
Miki: Yeah, I think we would’ve had less time. We’re already like, “Fuck this let’s do whatever”, but then I feel with the big break, we had more time to be like, “Fuck this let’s do whatever”.
Bonnie: I think it was also part of it, in my head anyway, I was like, there is a chance that we might not even get to perform this one either. Or we might not even be able to do another record because the world will fully explode. So I was like, if this is our last record, this is what I want it to be. I want us to at least feel like we’ve actually done the thing that we wanted to do, which is show people that we are not just one-trick ponies and we can do anything. And so can anyone else.
Talk me through how you picked up these collaborators because surely no one is denying a call from Stand Atlantic at this point in your career.
Bonnie: I feel like that was part of the strategy really, because this album is diverse and we’ve always said we don’t want to be put into a box, so let’s go for things that aren’t what is in our…
Miki: – World, yeah. And your mum!
Bonnie: And my mama. It’s cheeky. It’s cheeky. People are going to expect her to sing on it.
Miki: I think it was kind of nice for us to know that other artists are willing to work with us.
Bonnie: Because you can get boxed into this thing that makes it hard to prove yourself in a way as a different band and something that people can be excited about. And it’s cool that people back it. I think it was kind of validating in that way and just proved that I don’t know, we work really hard to write good songs and I guess that’s the payoff there, which is cool.
F.E.A.R. feels like the album version of one of those stress-relief rooms you can rent, and smash up with a sledgehammer. Now that you’re on the other side of that, how do you guys feel within yourselves?
Bonnie: I’m more negative than ever, baby. It just enabled me to be more negative…[Laughs]. Nah. It was definitely gratifying and relieving to be able to finish it and be like, sick, we actually put everything we have into this. And against all odds, I felt like we managed to make it work, and we did the job that we were meant to do.
F.E.A.R. is out now on Hopeless Records.