If you’re familiar with what we do here at Plug-in, you probably already figured out that we like looking for creative smaller bands and to dig for the little gems out there. Our paths crossed with Stand Atlantic, last year and after a few months of getting familiar with their music, release, after release, it was about time we made mention of them. Get to know Stand Atlantic, a great alternative pop rock band band from Sydney, Australia (of course) with whom we got the chance to sit and chat while they were on their debut European tour at the end of last year.
Since 2014, it took Stand Atlantic hard work and reinvention to get themselves where they are right now. Always consisting of good mates Bonnie Fraser (vocals/guitar) and David Potter (bass), but under a different name, the band then joined forces with drummer Jonno Panichi. Stand Atlantic was born. Fun fact: Bonnie and David went to the same music school as Jonno, but never met him there.
Mid-2017, Stand Atlantic decided to sign a record deal with Rude Records, which seemed like an evidence to them, since the label immediately understood their vision and where they wanted to go and how they wanted to work. This signing came at the right timing, for the promotion and the release of their first EP, “Sidewinder” (Sept. 2017). “When writing this EP, we looked at it as if it was an album. We started with a lot of small ideas that we narrowed down to 5 songs”, explains Bonnie.
With the help of Steve Knight, their producer, they learned how to tap into their strengths and take more risks. The positive response Stand Atlantic received for the release proved that the effort of thinking outside the box paid off. “When the first single [Coffee At Midnight] came out, people really got excited and by the time the EP was out, last September, everyone was already eager for more.”
In the last couple of years, Stand Atlantic already reached a certain recognition in their homeland. Seeking for the equivalent in the rest of the world, they immediately seized the opportunity to fly out to Europe for the first time in the end of 2017. As many of you know, they toured as the main support for Roam on their last headline run in the continent. Describing Roam as “the nicest dudes”, the trio agrees that this tour served them well and was therefore a perfect “first time”, for them.
The run was nearing to an end when we caught up with Stand Atlantic. Obviously, oddities and tour-tales came up in the discussion. Like the joy of discovering very cheap drinks in Slovakia, ending up completely wasted with some locals, followed by a dark and sketchy basement…leading to even more drinks! On another note, singer Bonnie remembers completely “blowing” Coffee at Midnight one night in Berlin, for reasons out of her control. “It was an obvious screw up that everyone could hear”, confirms David. Fortunately, the show followed suit nicely and people were still into it, which highlights the warm welcome Europeans gave to the band. Even in the way they were treated by industry professionals and venues, Stand Atlantic acknowledge that their first encounter with the old continent was a success.
Getting there, however, came with its fair share of hard work and sacrifices. For the trio, the most challenging aspect of being in a band is the mental side of it. It means being able to completely commit to the band, give everything, without knowing if it will pay off or not: “Always pushing yourself without having a plan B. Especially when your band is all starting, you have to be able to fit work in the mix to afford your bills, but at the same time, be ready to let go off all the commitments you have, and be able to drop everything when it’s time to go on tour.” The bass player, for instance, had to quit his job ahead of the tour in Europe, coming back home to no job and no place to stay.
Furthermore, coming form Australia, the challenge is also to get the music known overseas and catch international labels’ interest. From their perspective, it seemed almost impossible for young alternative bands from their country to even think about it, until Trophy Eyes got signed to Hopeless Records: “They opened the way and showed there was a way to it”, Potter notes.
Stand Atlantic are happy with where they are right now. With a successful EP under their belt, an solid record deal and a second European Tour happening within only a few months, the trio doesn’t really try to project themselves much further. Right now, they focus on writing good songs for people to enjoy. Even on the road Stand Atlantic are always writing.
Stand Atlantic are currently playing shows around Europe (including one headline show in London and appearances at Slam Dunk Festival), catch them before it’s too late!