Now that your band is on its third/fourth album — tell me a bit about the evolution of Grand Atlantic from a power pop styled band to a Brit-pop styled indie powerhouse.
PU: The transformation hasn’t really been a conscious one. When we started the band, we had a pretty clear idea of the sound that we were trying to produce and I think the first record reflects that. I guess with the couple of lineup changes we’ve had and also as we’ve toured more and more it has had an effect on the sound. The other thing would be the fact that we’ve had more life experience and as such, I think that has given our music a darker edge perhaps. We are also interested in exploring slightly different territory as well, rather than trying to replicate the same album over again.
“Constellations” seems a much more serious album than in the past. And there seems to a defiant streak in the lyric (i.e. Fresh Ideas in Home Security) woulds you agree?
PU: I think serious could possibly describe it? We wanted it to be more dangerous and edgy than the others and were definitely interested in throwing caution to the wind a bit more. I certainly felt more at ease to experiment this time round having made two records that we are very proud of and that turned out the way we had intended. We also have more confidence in our abilities I guess but mostly this album was made in a completely different way to the other two.
So now than Oasis is no more, who’s band do you like better Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds or Liam’s Beady Eye?
PU: I’m not sure. I have only heard a few of the Beady Eye songs and none of Noel’s. I must confess that I’m not really that interested. I did like the song Four Letter Word off Liam’s album very much but I’ve been spending a lot of time lately delving into some great music from the 60s mostly.
How has the tour been so far? Anything about performing at this point stand out for you in a positive or negative way?
PU: The tour has been amazing. We had hoped to be back in the States for a run in October but had to postpone, which was disappointing. The shows have been going very well and we’re touring in Australia with a friend’s band called We All Want To which has been fun. There seems to be a lot of love for the band over here at the moment and that is a really nice feeling. We are also playing some of the best shows ever which is awesome. The other cool thing is that we can play every song off the new record in our live set and that’s what we’ve mostly been doing. It has been hard to fit some of the older material with the new stuff, but we’ve reworked a few songs which has been cool.
Will the bands sound continue to evolve? I was quite fond of your earlier stuff.
PU: The bands sound will definitely keep evolving. It’s something that we only have so much control over and I think as an artist, I feel like we have to keep moving forward if we want to keep things fresh for ourselves. It’s great to be able to keep challenging yourself as a songwriter and also try different things. I’m not really sure at this stage which direction we will go, but it has been great for us to take more risks and I think I’m a bit addicted to the idea. ; )
What music festivals are in the works?
PU: We’re planning to come back to the States for a longer stint next year, so I’m not sure what will happen there. In the immediate future, I’m organizing a mini-festival here in Brisbane in December with a few other people called Eight Miles High. It’s a 60s influenced psych, garage, surf, mod showcase with DJs and a whole bunch of cool stuff. We’re going to play it along with some great local bands and also some interstate ones as well. I’m pretty excited about it and the lineup is killer.
After this tour, is it back in the studio or a long break similar to “How We Survive”?
PU: We’re probably going to do some more Australian touring early next year. I’ve started writing a few new songs, but we haven’t discussed a deadline. I’m keen to record a new one as soon as humanely possible. I guess it’d be nice to have something in the works for later next year but we shall see.
Thanks for the interview, Phil I look forward to the next chapter in the band’s development.