The Crookeds walked a different road to get to their debut EP. MORE: LOSER: Call Them …
It’s been almost three years to the day since Hysteria spoke with Chase Atlantic. Back in 2018, a persistent attitude and the release of their self-titled debut album had led the Cairns natives to America on a country-wide tour.
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With an “a little bit of exaggeration never hurt anyone” mantra blended into their music and their character, the trio have been based in Los Angeles pretty much ever since, their countless EPs and another full album cementing their reputation as hard-working, sonic nonconformists. In 2018, we said, “fortune favours the brave” and today, that statement holds true.
Over Zoom, the boys laugh, slightly embarrassed. “I guess fortune has favoured us–maybe our bravery levels could keep going up, but!” says vocalist Mitchel Cave. “Yeah, just, being true, not changing for anybody else and doing what we thought was cool,” adds his brother, Clinton Cave, of their path to the present. “If we told you that a few years ago, then that’s still the same plan!” says Mitchel.
A master plan, indeed, evident in Chase Atlantic’s new studio offering, Beauty in Death. “There’s the album artwork up on the wall,” says Christian, indicating a framed image behind the boys, of a distorted character in red, cloaked by smoke and with what looks to be a silver devil figure hovering above its shoulder. “Triple platinum and it hasn’t even been released yet!” jokes Mitchel.
There’s a psychedelic feel to the artwork the boys so proudly show off, one that is reminiscent of the action they delivered in the music video for one of the album’s singles, SLIDE. Indeed, delving into realms of untouched consciousness is largely the intention of Beauty in Death. “SLIDE is a good example of what a good portion of the songs on the album are going to be like,” says Christian. “Very captivating,” adds Mitchell.
He continues. “When it comes to music, I think it’s important not to always be surface level, that the music wants to be appreciated and you want to dive deep.”
“You want to feel like you’re being taken out of the real world.”
… it’s like we’ve perfected that sound and ideology we’ve always danced around.
[Chase Atlantic ]
With this album, you get that. It’s quite easy to get lost in its soundscape of hybrid R ‘n’B-pop, with certain elements of hypnotic synth and riveting guitars drawing your attention deep into what’s going on sonically, as opposed to analysing the condition the experience of listening to the album renders you. “Have you ever seen that movie Flatliners? I feel like that’s a good analogy for the music,” says Mitchell, his band mates nodding knowingly.
“It’s like, you go into this realm and you’re immediately pulled back out of it. Then you’re sent back into it, pulled back out of it, back in, and all of a sudden there’s demons ruling your life.”
You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking Chase Atlantic had pushed themselves to be in a place of deep thought when creating this release. “We’re very pensive people by nature, I’d say,” Mitchel says somewhat sarcastically.
Chase Atlantic have always blurred lines when it comes to genre and their influences–“Anyone and everyone who’s got good music,” says Christian–but Beauty In Death has far less at work compared to 2017’s self-titled album and 2019’s Phases, as if it were the band’s intention to have a little more focus and a little less frenzy. In unison, the guys say, “Yeah!” “It’s far more in-depth and detailed,” Mitchell says, his concentration on his answer turning deep, despite his earlier quip to the contrary. “At the same time, it carries the value of what characterises good music in general.”
“We wanted to be more honest. And the more honest we become, the more mature the music is going to become because, as you know, life isn’t sugar coated. Life is pretty fucking shit a lot of the time.”
“If you can make music that’s honest to that while still making people happy, making enjoyable music … because music was made to enjoy, it wasn’t made to make you sad. Music is food for the soul, so we wanted to make music that was as honest as possible.”
“I guess even in the title, Beauty In Death, [writing the album] was a year when we all were faced with the possibility of mortality, that it can all be taken away really quickly,” says Clinton, breaking a long silence. “With things like [single] HEAVEN AND BACK, we’ve always done the juxtaposition between life and death and this one, it’s like we’ve perfected that sound and ideology we’ve always danced around.”
“We even sat down at the start of the year  and said we want to take a break from touring and focus on a record and just the chaotic world around us, we implicated perfectly in the music and it resonated with our sound.”
“It was tough on us mentally, but funnily enough it did go into the process of making the album. The music imitates life.”
Mitchell concludes, “The harder life is, the better I think our music will become.”