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INTERVIEW: Everything F.E.A.R., Touring & More With Stand Atlantic’s Bonnie Fraser

We feel very fortunate to have been able to digitally sit down with Stand Atlantic vocalist Bonnie Fraser to discuss numerous topics, including but not limited to their brand new album f.e.a.r., touring and staying sane throughout the pandemic. Check out the conversation we had right below!

Thank you so much for taking the time and congratulations on the new album! How have you experienced the response so far?
It’s been really really good. The only negative thing I’ve read so far is that someone tweeted “I like the new Stand Atlantic album but there are too many swear words” and I just replied “nah fuck it”.

But the response has been really good. We have all been really happy and really surprised at the same time, it’s cool.

Other than the swear words, the music itself is also a bit heavier than your previous music. Was that by accident or are you more into the heavier music right now?
We’ve always been into heavy stuff throughout our lives, but mostly it was just the mindset I was in. I was so angry and frustrated and that’s the way it came out. We didn’t know, with the whole pandemic thing, if the world was ever gonna go back to normal. So we wrote the album as if it was our last record, doing everything we wanted to do. That’s why it’s so diverse. We were just trying everything and we had the time to experiment a lot more.

It must be very nice to be on the other side of the world and playing shows again.
Yeah, of course. I’m glad it’s not our first tour back, though. We did a tour in January and February, so it’s nice that we had a bit of a break and now it’s good to be back on the road again, which is what we love to do.

About the time between your albums, first one released in 2018, then 2020 and now 2022, is that something that you strive for, 2 years between?
It’s mostly a schedule thing, each album has its own life span that you can tour and promote before people start getting bored and asking for the next shit. In the past, we were touring so much, so we only had limited time to write. But during the pandemic, we actually had a lot of time to write and we had more time to experiment.

With the pandemic, everything’s been very negative. What is your most positive experience from the creation of this album?
Spending time with Stevie Knight, our producer. I stayed at his place for 7 weeks, writing the thing and we were just laughing and having a good time. That is also why I wanted to put some voice memos on the album. It was nice to do a thing that makes both of us feel really good and accomplished and be in each other’s company. That was the highlight for me.

The artwork is a lot of fun, there is so much going on. Can you tell us a little bit about how it came to be?
I can’t remember when we even started working on the artwork, I don’t think that all the songs were written at that point. We definitely just wanted to do something different. I was scrolling Instagram, trying to find inspiration for what kind of style we wanted. There was this guy, I think his name was Dan, he does a lot of collage work and he was very much in the zone of what I was thinking, We got into creating an image of hell. In the record, there are a lot of references to that sorta thing and the devil and shit like that. Once we had that sorted, we tried to add mini things that represented a lot of the songs. There’s a picture of Van Gogh and he is crying and has no ear and the devil is actually holding his ear. There’s even a little molotov cocktail in there. I just like the bright colors. It just took ages, finding out what you want, then finding someone who can do it. It’s a lot of back and forth and changing things. You want to get it right. You don’t want random artwork that doesn’t make any sense.

There are a lot of fun collaborations on the record. We’re guessing that was a little bit different because of the pandemic.
Yeah, the pandemic didn’t halt the collabs. Every song we have a collaboration on, the full song was written and when people come one, they either write their own verse or sing the one that was already written. I also hadn’t met any of these people in real life. Recently we met Royal & the Serpent, that was really cool, but Tom The Mail Man and nothing,nowhere., still haven’t met them in real life, which is crazy to think. But I like that it was pretty different for us. We’ve only collaborated with Hannah Hermione Greenwood from Creeper on our first album so far, which was so sick.

So, having three on this record was really cool. I enjoyed it!

We didn’t want people who were already doing the same thing we were doing, but people from the outside. To show that it’s okay to have other genres of people on your shit.

Are there any artists that you’d really like to release a song with?
No, I don’t have any goals like that. There are always so many new artists popping up and there are so many artists currently doing sick stuff. Anyone that’s talented and that we respect, I would be down to do something with. Maybe I should start setting some goals! But for now, it’s all chill. Just people that are creative and can add something cool to the track.

You’ve made huge waves with every record. I there anything that you hope to achieve on this current cycle that you haven’t been able to before?I feel like every band kind of wants the same thing, you want to chart in a certain country or get this many Spotify listeners or whatever.For us, we don’t really set a goal. We know where we’re at and as long as we’re breaking that and showing growth, that’s all we care about. The fact that we got the opportunities we have on this record, it blows us away. We can’t believe it that people think we’re a real band. We are just happy to be here and want to make the best music we can. It already takes us around the world, doing what we love and the fact that other people are starting to see that and to see that we take this seriously, even though we’re a bunch of fucking nerds.. having the respect of your peers, it is just comforting and nice and gratifying.

We just want to make sure that people stay, even though we change the way we sound. Keeping people that were there from the start, but also getting new people to listen, all while still trying to make good songs.

Do you have a personal favourite on the record?
It used to be hair out, but as soon as songs come out as singles, they are not my favourite anymore, because it belongs to everyone else now. So now it’s bloodclot, cause it’s the most personal song on the record, so it has a special place in my heart. It is also the closest thing on the record to a ballad.

Since the album came out on the first day of this leg of your tour, how did you decide on the setlist?
We were worried because we opened with a song that isn’t a single, but is on the new record, doomsday. So we were thinking “Should we open with that because people might not know it.” It was such a weird balance trying to figure out what new songs to put on the setlist. We were thinking about that first show and how people were not going to know the new stuff. But now we’re thinking about how we still have the rest of the tour while the album is out, so maybe we should put more new songs on the setlist. But we’ve got a healthy mix of old and new now.

As a band who’s had 3 records under their belt now, what is one piece of advice for artists who are just starting out?
I don’t know, because every band has a different story of what they consider helped them reach success. But for us, I would say write good songs with people you trust, and focus on songwriting because at the end of the day the music will speak for itself. If the music is really good, people will notice that.

Be true to yourself, don’t think you have to fit a certain mould or an image that doesn’t feel like you. Take a minute and think about what you actually want. I feel I have succumbed to that kind of pressure of what people expect of me or what I should be. People that don’t even know me. It took me a while to realize that.

So just be yourself and don’t be a fuckwit either. People will talk about that and who wants to be that? Surround yourself with people that you really respect and who know you and respect you and love you for who you are.

What is on your playlist right now?
Nothing! I can’t listen to music anymore. I do like the new Turnstile record, as did everyone else on the fucking planet. But I don’t listen a lot to music right now because I feel like I listen to it every day of my fucking life. So I feel like I am overcritical of it and I don’t want to be like that. I really love Frank Ocean, he’s a fucking god.

f.e.a.r. is out now. Stream it below and catch Stand Atlantic on the road!

author avatar
Glenn van den Bosch