"We won’t be put in a box..." - Stand Atlantic talk their new album Pink Elephant
Australian foursome Stand Atlantic made a big splash with their debut record, Skinny Dipping, at the end of 2018.
Skinny Dipping was a sugary wall of smiles, with a sound that owed a lot to Paramore, Jimmy Eat World and their former tour mates New Found Glory and State Champs.
Now though, they're moving on, and have returned with a step up in every sense on new album, Pink Elephant.
Recorded with Stevie Knight, who was at the controls for Skinny Dipping, the album is a confident, assured, breezy and catchy as hell LP of pop-punk.
But, as singer Bonnie Fraser reveals to hmv.com, it's an album that finds her addressing some things she was desperate not to...
It’s a very strange time to be releasing a record, have you managed to enjoy the process at all?
"I think we have, obviously it’s never going to be as exhilarating to release an album during the pandemic, and the cynic in me definitely finds the negatives very easily, but we couldn’t be happier with the way we’ve adapted our plans. We’re so thankful we even had an album ready to go in the first place! The touring will start up again at some point soon, we’re hanging out for that so we can properly give this album it’s full potential!"
Did you have a goal of how you wanted the album to move on from what you did on Skinny Dipping?
"Definitely, I think if we went in with no vision, it wouldn’t have translated at all and it would have been very clear we didn’t know what we were doing. We went in knowing the main focus of this album was not to alienate entirely what we’d done on Skinny Dipping but just prove to not only ourselves, but other people that we won’t be put in a box and we have a lot more to offer than the sound heard on Skinny Dipping."
You worked with Stevie Knight on the album again, why did you decide to work with him?
"Over the course of the 18 months we’d started working with other people over the globe and we still just felt that Stevie was the right fit. We have a special bond with him and he feels like a fifth member at this point."
"We trust him so much, and, most importantly we all just have so much fun together. I think in order to pull off what we were wanting to achieve with this album, it needed to come from the original foundations of where we started, and Stevie was integral for us in that respect."
What does he give you as a producer?
"We’ve always just had this chemistry with him in terms of songwriting. He’s also just become a close friend for all of us and having that trust and openness for creative ideas is really important."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"I was going through a period of time where I was having to constantly have these tough conversations that I honestly just did not want to have. I hate talking about my feelings at the best of times, so when it comes to things that are important and a big deal I just supress, supress, supress. Ater actually forcing myself to do these things I was realising that having conversations that are tough are always the ones you’re meant to be having and that create the greatest growth and change in yourself."
"Pink Elephant is the merging of the concept of ‘addressing the elephant in the room’ and the reference that pink elephants are made to a state of delirium and imagination. It’s the idea that holding onto these thoughts and feelings is not healthy and can create an illusion in your head that changes your version of reality, because you’re only ruminating in your own thoughts, just let the universe deal with it so you don’t have to anymore!"
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"I feel like a lot of these songs took a while to get right. I’m gonna go with 'Wavelength'. We had the main hook for so long and it changed so many times..."
And which came together most quickly?
"Definitely 'S'hh!', 'Jurassic Park' and 'Eviligo'."
When did you settle on Pink Elephant for the title? Were there any other titles in contention?
"I’m really weird when it comes to this, I always seem to have the album title before the whole thing is even written. I kind of like it though because it gives me a guide to stick to and create a cohesiveness conceptually between all the songs, even if stylistically they couldn’t be more different."
Are you able to make any live plans at the moment? Or are you looking towards 2021?
"We’ve just announced some tours for Australia and for Europe and UK in 2021. I think trying to organise something for this year is very wishful thinking. I don’t want people to feel unsafe when they come to our shows."
How have you spent lockdown? Have you kept writing?
"We're always writing, we’ve been trying our best to stay busy, thinking of ways we can keep interacting with our fans and just keep things interesting. Challenging but it’s a good exercise if nothing else..."