As Stand Atlantic have announced the details of their debut album 'Skinny Dipping', we chatted to vocalist Bonnie Fraser all about its creation and what it represents for the band in 2018.
SO WHERE DID YOU ACTUALLY RECORD ‘SKINNY DIPPING’?
Says vocalist Bonnie Fraser: "We recorded it at Electric Sun Studios in Sydney. It was the same place that we recorded the EP [2017's 'Sidewinder'] with the same producer as well [Stevie Knight]. It definitely feels like this is our team for sure, but that’s not to say that we won’t branch out and experiment in the future. We are very open people and always want to try new things and stuff. We appreciate and understand when something is working though but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to branch out."
SO HOW LONG WERE YOU ACTUALLY RECORDING FOR? WHAT WAS THE CREATIVE TIMELINE?
"We recorded it in 4 weeks. I don’t know what normal is, but I don’t feel like that is a normal amount of time. We were under the pump for 4 weeks. We hardly slept. It was brutal. But amazingly we finished exactly on time. That never happens. Literally at the last minute we put the last thing in place and it all just came together."
THAT SOUNDS LIKE THERE WAS A LOT OF PRESSURE. WAS THAT INTENTIONAL, AND HOW DID THAT EFFECT THE WAY THE ALBUM ENDED UP SOUNDING?
"I think we felt pressure more with writing it than recording it. When you know what you’ve got to do, it’s pretty straightforward but when you’re writing it’s so different. We are writing all the time really and getting into the studio meant that we could solidify all of our ideas. It was getting all those different bits together though where we felt the most pressure. It was just a case of us keeping to the schedule but once we were in the studio we just knew what to do. We just had to accept the time for what it was and get into it."
SO WHAT WAS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE BETWEEN THE THREE OF YOU? HOW WAS IT WORKING TOGETHER ON THIS?
"With recording, we take a very chilled, happy vibe. We’re really good friends with our producer and he helps with keeping the environment happy and stress free. With writing, we knew that we had to step away and have some time away. It was good that we were able to go overseas to Slam Dunk and everything. You need to know how to have that balance."
WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO THE MUSIC THAT YOU CREATE, IT’S VERY DIFFERENT TO THE PEOPLE THAT YOU PORTRAY YOURSELVES AS IN REAL LIFE. HOW WAS IT BEING ABLE TO BE THOSE PEOPLE WITHIN THIS PROCESS?
"From a lyrical perspective, I’m not very good at talking about my feelings. I’m a very lighthearted person and I don’t really like to bring up that much negative stuff. I will do to certain people, but I’m ultimately not very good at it. So writing is the way that I get that out. That’s why it comes across as rather serious a lot of the time. So being able to just be myself the rest of the time is important."
SO TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT ‘SKINNY DIPPING’ ACTUALLY MEANS?
"I had actually thought of the title before all the songs were done. It was somewhere in the back of my mind and I just wrote it down in my notes. The songs that I was writing were like a constant battle between feeling things that make you feel so free and how with that freedom comes a lot of vulnerability. Opening up about your feelings can be so relieving but at the same time people are scared to do that because now that person you are telling has something they can use against you. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in. So from that I thought of skinny dipping. It can be a really cool, fun, innocent thing where you’re naked and everything but at the same time you could get eaten by a fucking shark."
TELL US ABOUT THE ARTWORK AND ITS RELEVANCE.
"So when you think of the title the first thing that comes to mind is a person in water. We didn’t want to make it too abstract that people didn’t understand it. So we had the idea of a person in a lake taking off her shirt to skinny dip. Then we had the idea of the body that she is revealing to be shiny and bright was playing on the idea of opening up being so vulnerable but yet so beautiful. We knew we wanted to do a mixed media thing so there was this artist that we found called Aliza Razell who has taken the picture and painted watercolours over it. It was a really organic kind of thing. We just wanted to do what we thought was right. We feel like we have grown so much as a band and the album feels like a much mature step. We wanted to portray that."
WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE YOU CHOOSE 'LAVENDER BONES' AS THE FIRST SONG TO SHARE FROM THIS ALBUM?
"I think it’s just the overall vibe of the album, but it also doesn’t stray too far away from what we did on the EP. People who have listened to the EP and liked it, I assume will like this song as well. It’s in the same vein. We didn’t want to do anything too drastic, not that anything on the album is too far away. It’s also the sort of song where new listeners can get on board with it as well. I feel like this is the song that encapsulates the whole album."
THERE’S AN APPEARANCE FROM HANNAH GREENWOOD OF CREEPER FAME ON ‘CLAY’ TOO! HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
"It was the most organic kind of things. We are obviously fans of Creeper and have been for a while. We then found out that she likes our stuff too. So we met up at Slam Dunk and got on really well. We had always thought about having a feature on the album but we wanted to make sure it was right. We wanted someone that would compliment the song and not just force it, like so many people do. Then our manager said ‘what about Hannah?’ So we hit her up. Bless her, we think she was sick or on vocal rest and she still recorded it in one. We are so excited to have her on. It’s just such a lovely natural thing."
WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS YEAR HAS TAUGHT YOU WHICH YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO THIS ALBUM?
"We’ve learnt so much this past year that it’s hard to just put it down to one thing. We’ve grown so much as a band and as people. We knew that we didn’t want to lose people who enjoyed ‘Sidewinder’ and we didn’t want to change our sound because we like the music that we play. I guess it just taught us that at the end of day it comes down to what we already knew. It comes down to the songs. If the songs aren’t good and they don’t stand out, then what’s the point? That’s all we have focused on. We don’t want to let people down."
'Skinny Dipping' is set for release October 26, through Hopeless Records. You can get all the info on that here.