A great philosopher from Australia once said: “We’re not a band.” But for the sake and fluidity of this Chase Atlantic tale — we’ll have to refer to them as such. All jokes aside, when Mitchel Cave uttered those four words during our interview, it became very apparent that he was fully aware of Chase Atlantic’s proclivity for transcending music categories and the influence that they’ve already had on two continents. Therefore, calling them the unsung heroes of the SoundCloud rap era might come across as lazy and cliché. And simply labeling them as the darlings of the alternative rock scene might be a little too poetic. In all actuality, they’re film directors, music producers, storytellers, fashion designers, and anti-record label enthusiasts. Or … to put it more moderately, they’re an Aussie trio comprised of two siblings and a childhood friend.
Mitchel Cave, Clinton Cave, and Christian Anthony are three multi-instrumentalists who have trekked some of the most infamous roadshows in rock music — from the Vans Warped Tour to Lollapalooza. Songs about sex and drugs have chronicled the rock ‘n’ roll story of Chase Atlantic, dating all the way back to their adolescent years during a shared collegiate stint at the Conservatory of Music in Brisbane, Australia.
As independent musicians in Australia, their rise to prominence resulted in an appearance on national television. But nevertheless, they lacked the resources to ascend to the mainstream. That was then, this is now. Today, the Los Angeles transplants have creative control of their music, ownership rights, and full autonomy over their live set designs, not to mention a heightened level of excitement to play live shows again, now that most of the COVID-19 restrictions have lessened. Therefore, Oct. 1 seemed like just as good of a time as any for Chase Atlantic to commence the Beauty in Death North American tour. “This is our biggest headlining tour to date,” Clinton says. “We are on top of organizing all audio production, visual stage production, and musical arrangement. It’s been pretty hectic with such a large workload. We are also in the process of writing and producing new music so it’s been a very busy few months to say the least.”
Headlining, producing, engineering, recording, and performing, while also navigating the business side of things might seem a bit risqué for a young trio of musicians who just released their third studio album. But nevertheless, the last time they cooked the ingredients for what could have been a recipe for disaster, the final product resulted in hot plate of rebranding and genre-bending music that was so innovative, it spawned a harmonic fusion that had never been achieved before: a self-titled album called Chase Atlantic. Without this LP, we may have never gotten to hear their rap prowess on new songs like “OUT THE ROOF” four years later.The band previewed the breakthrough album while they were on tour in 2017 and they haven’t looked back since.
The Tour That Started It All
The 2017 release of Chase Atlantic’s self-titled LP was a firm departure from the pop-rock compositions that once dominated the track lists of their early years. They introduced their debut album to the world during their Up Close and Personal Gossip Tour. It was the first time that they incorporated heavy elements of hip-hop into their music. Chase Atlantic wrote, produced, and engineered the entire album themselves, making them one of the first artiststo successfully merge SoundCloud rap and alternative R&B with pop-rock and alternative rock. Conceptually, the transition resonated so well that it practically seemed effortless. It was almost as if someone grabbed the members of The 1975 and locked them in a recording studio with The Weeknd and Post Malone.
Just three years prior to this inventive drop, Chase Atlantic was universally viewed as a pop-rock band. But Clinton Cave quickly shattered that misconception with his music production on rap songs like “The Walls” and “Into It.” Those tracks featured 808 Glides, trap-rap ad libs, live rock instrumentation, and his very own saxophone riffs. The vocal cadences from Mitchel Cave and Christian Anthony resembled a mixture of hard-hitting alternative rock vocals with trap rap cadences and melodic singing, proving once and for all that whenever the guys from Chase Atlantic chose to broaden their horizon, it’s a career-defining decision that is typically well received. Case in point: Within 12 months of releasing their debut LP, Chase Atlantic became a headlining act and the fifth most touring band of 2018. Surely their out-of-the-box thinking and innovativeness will endear them to the attendees at their live shows this fall, just like it did with their listeners while on tour four years ago.
Tour Life > Pandemic Life
Just prior to the first COVID-19 surge in the US in 2020, Chase Atlantic signed a rental agreement to move into a new home in Los Angeles. So, as much as they missed their friends and family back in Australia, they were forced to remain stateside for precautionary reasons — with no tour dates or international flights in sight. They didn’t know it at the time but the rough patch that they were about to encounter would become the inspiration for their upcoming tour, two years down the road. “I think from a creative standpoint, this tour represents two years of being stuck inside (our house) with our thoughts, which has given us time to reflect on our past tours and figure out what we can do to be better and bigger than before,” Christian Anthony says.
Mitchel Cave offers a slightly different perspective as his thoughts that seemed to be focused more on capturing the depths of their low points and making an album out of it during the quarantine lockdown. “A lot of shit went down that year,” he says. “There was the pandemic and health issues within (our group). It did help to create our album. And if anything, I’m just proud to have made an album at such a difficult point in our lives. It was the music that kept us going.”
Of all the songs listed on their album Beauty n Death, “OHMAMI” is perhaps the best example of the exuberance and freedom that they felt once the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and they were finally able to recommence the fast-paced lifestyle that the hardworking musicians have grown accustomed to. It’s an alternative R&B track that features a pairing with Maggie Lindemann. “It all started with a DM from us to Maggie,” Anthony says. “We asked if she’d be interested in doing a song together or remixing one of ours. I think we are similar ages and grew up listening to similar artists, so naturally she was fully able to immerse herself into our world and how we write. Her use of double meanings and references to some of our older songs was also very impressive. She was truly the perfect feature.”
Chase Atlantic dropped a special version of “OHMAMI,” with Lindemann on Aug. 31, and the music video for the original track was officially released about three weeks earlier. It’s essentially a short film inspired by music from Chase Atlantic. “We produced, directed, and edited the video ourselves with a one-man camera team and photographer,” Clinton Cave says. “We were inspired by the exploits of the early ’80s and ’90s mainly through the cocaine business. Aesthetically, we were inspired by films like BLOW and Wolf of Wall Street. We also loved the Miami aesthetic from GTA Vice City.”
This music video is highlighted with Hollywood cinematography, compelling acting performances, and the band’s trademark color scheme, which begs the question, what exactly is the inspiration behind the imaginative presentation of Chase Atlantic? “Anime, hip-hip, and video games!” Mitchel says. “With all of our cool ideas, we take the music that we see and match it with the aesthetics that we can imagine it for. Like with ‘Phases.’ That song is anecdotal, uplifting, beautiful, and peaceful so we used a pink and dark purple aesthetic. And then for ‘Beauty in Death,’ the title says it all, so we went with black and red. We just go with the mood that the songs give us. We don’t want to have visuals that don’t represent how the music makes us feel.”
If Chase Atlantic can convey this level of artistic expression during their Beauty in Death North American tour, their spectators are in for one hell of a show. The public should expect nothing less from the pupils of pop-punk legends like Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden.
Perhaps after this tour, they’ll break new ground on a major hip-hop tour like Rolling Loud or even a festival like The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash. Only time will tell.