Stand Atlantic, made up of Bonnie Fraser (vocals/guitar), David Potter (guitar) and Jonno Panichi (drums), launched into the international eye following the release of their Sidewinder EP. The group’s blend of hard-charged rock and soaring pop melodies quickly earned them a home on international tours with the likes of New Found Glory, Neck Deep and State Champs. The band also earned critical accolades including a Best International Breakthrough Band nomination at the 2018 Heavy Music Awards and inclusion in Kerrang’s Hottest Bands of 2018.
Now, Stand Atlantic’s forthcoming album, Skinny Dipping, set for release on October 26, is poised to build on that success and take them even further. The unfiltered honesty of the album’s ten tracks showcases an emotional maturity beyond Stand Atlantic’s collective years, a keen sense of self-awareness and desire to be unconditionally authentic even when, and perhaps especially when, it breaks their hearts. Lunchbox TV caught up with vocalist and guitarist, Bonnie Fraser, ahead of the release who said she was keen to get some new music out there.
“Dude, I’m so excited! I can’t believe it’s been so quick. I feel like we wrote it, recorded it, announced it and then now it’s going to get released within a month of announcing it. It seems really quick, but it’s good,” Bonnie said.
With a packed schedule these coming months, there will be plenty of celebrations shared within the Stand Atlantic community. “We’re playing a show in Manchester with State Champs on the day it gets released and we’ll go out and party and then we have a show in London the next day as well, so we’ll probably party again because it Jonno’s birthday, so we’re just going to celebrate very well in the UK, I think.”
Bonnie said Lavender Bones, Skinny Dipping’s debut single, is about suppressing how you feel to benefit someone else and ultimately putting yourself second. “I think it’s a really good snapshot of what the rest of the album is like sonically. I think it ties all songs together really nicely. It was also the last song we wrote for the album, which is kind of weird. I think it wraps everything up in a nice little package and shows people what to expect from the album.”
Based on personal experience, Bonnie said she was sure listeners would be able to relate to Lavender Bones. “I can’t really write about other people’s experiences. Some people can do that, but I just can not. I’m not really good at that. The song is about something that happened to me, between me and someone. I had feelings for someone that I shouldn’t have and it wasn’t something I felt like I should be expressing, but then I ended up being like, ‘Ugh, fuck it.’”
If Stand Atlantic won over your hearts with Sidewinder, Skinny Dipping is exactly the progress you’d want to hear from the band. “Without sounding too arrogant, we kind of took inspiration from the EP. We know what we liked from that sound and we wanted to enhance the good parts of that and also try and explore some other things that we didn’t get to on an EP because you only have a limited amount of songs on an EP, obviously. So, on the album, we got to experiment with different flavours, sounds and structures. We pushed ourselves a lot more lyrically and musically.
“At the end of the day, we just like to write music that we want to listen to and music we’re playing live and hope that other people it.”
Skinny Dipping in its entirety, will offer a pure insight into the life of Bonnie Fraser. “I wrote the first few songs and had about four done and I was noticing a theme throughout them and I think only two of them ended up on the album at the end, anyway, but I did notice the theme of vulnerability and freedom. I was like, ‘Okay, that’s cool. If we could extend on that throughout the album, that would be really cool and could become the concept behind that.’
“The title, Skinny Dipping, came into my mind and I was like, ‘It’s kinda weird, but I’ll just keep it in my back pocket and we’ll see what happens.’ As the album evolved and all the songs got written, that theme was still apparent throughout the other tracks and I just thought, it’s probably best that we still call it Skinny Dipping and had to fight the guys on it for a little bit and had to explain the whole concept behind it all. But, the songs on the album are all tied together by a theme. They’re not just random tracks – they’re all snapshots of my life in the past year or two.”
Creeper Fame’s Hannah Greenwood joins Stand Atlantic for a special collaboration during Clay. “It was so cool to work with her. She’s so lovely. We love her. We did think about a collaboration while going through the tracks, but we didn’t want to force anything or just do it for the sake of it because that’s just lame and we just wanted it to be genuine. We knew Hannah via the internet. We were just fans of each others’ bands and then we finally got to meet her at Slam Dunk. We were just hanging out and she was really cool. We just got on really well and we’re still friends to this day, obviously, and our manager was just like, ‘Yo, why don’t we ask Hannah to feature on the album?’ and we said, ‘That is the smartest idea you’ve ever had. I don’t know why we didn’t think of that in the first place.’”
Skinny Dipping comes as the perfect follow up to Sidewinder and will provide a deeper glimpse into what Stand Atlantic really stands for (pun intended). “This album definitely represents us and who we are, the music we want to make and the direction we want to head. It’s an album that shows people what we’re about and introduces us to the world. We’re just showing ourselves and who we are.
“I hope when listenders put down the album, they are left thinking about it more. Hopefully it relates to them in some kind of way as well. I hope they know all the songs are real and we’re not trying to be something we’re not. I just hope they feel something.”
Skinny Dipping also marks Stand Atlantic’s first release since signing with Hopeless Records, a decision Bonnie said she believes will really shape the future of the band in a positive way. “We had a contract with Rue Records and it was just coming to an end. Hopeless got in touch with us and we were just going back and forth and we had some other record labels interested as well, but, at the end of the day, Hopeless was the one for us. They understood what we wanted to do. They just came across so passionate and they still are, obviously. At the end of the day, that’s the main thing we look for in whoever we work with. As long as they’re passionate and care about what they do, then that’s a good fit for us. Hopeless is just one of those records that when you’re in a pop-punk group growing up, it’s the label you want to sign to. To have them on board was just insane and very cool. We’re very grateful.”
When Lunchbox caught up with Stand Atlantic’s Bonnie Fraser, the band was keeping busy with multiple shows across the US. They will be heading to Australia next hear for a headlining tour with The Dead Love.
“The tour has been very good, thank you. It’s scary – the rooms are fairly large (nervous laughs). It’s our first time over here and we’ve eaten way too much Taco Bell, but on the whole, it’s been really cool and we definitely want to come back very soon.”
While touring overseas can be scary, exhausting and exciting, Bonnie said it’s the memories and experiences made with her bandmates along the way that made it most worthwhile.
“Last night, we drove through the Taco Bell drive through three different times because they kept messing up our order and we kept driving back through. But, one of the most memorable things that happened was, we were playing in North Carolina and the venue was like an old saloon and there was a sign on the wall that said ‘Square dancing only,’ and we made the crowd just randomly erupt in a square dance.”
With an album release and Australian tour coming up, the next two years look promising for you young musicians.
“We just want to do what every other band wants to do and that’s to reach as many people as possible with music and do this for as long as possible. We want to go to more countries that we haven’t been to before and meet a bunch of more people and introduce the world to who we are and what we’re about.”
Skinny Dipping will be released on October 26 via Hopeless Records.
“Please pre-order it (laughs).”
Skinny Dipping Tour 2019
January 20, Rad Bar, Woollongong NSW
January 25, Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW
January 27, Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
February 1, Crown & Anchor, Adelaide SA
February 2, Northcote Social Club VIC
You can also catch Stand Atlantic prior to their tour at Unify Gathering, January 11 – 13, Tarwin Lower, VIC.