Surfing on Sound Waves
In a city not known for surfing, beaches, or punk rock, a very unique sound emerged. Combining elements of indie rock and classic surf rock, the genre of surf-pop was born. In Atlanta, one of the big names for this sonically joyous genre is a band called The Antarcticats.
The band is comprised of four members (Andrew Joyce, Lisa Rossi, Chris Senador, and Chad Miller). The Antarcticats have toured around the East Coast and into the Northern US. “We had a blast on both trips”, said Joyce, “But the Drunken Unicorn and Mammal Gallery are definitely band favorites for local venues.” The venues are open-spaced and have a personality that reflects the open-mindedness of the Atlanta music culture. Antarcticats started out as a trio, when Andrew, Chad, and Chris Young (the band’s former bassist) decided to combine elements of punk and surf-rock in a new band.
Getting Comfortable: The band’s lead guitarist Andrew, lays down to play guitar during a show. The band’s high energy playingstyle is exhibited at their shows, with guitar solos in uncomfortable positions such as laying down.
Photo courtesy of Tournabout media
The band took on their friend Chris Senador to play bass, because Chris Young moved to Athens to pursue a career as a luthier (a guitar builder). They also invited a fellow friend and bandmate, Lisa, to play guitar in Antarcticats. With the full band making waves in the Atlanta indie movement, they’ve released one album, Irregardless/Short Stories, and a single, Teeth.
“My biggest influences were classic surfy-bands, like The Beach Boys, Dick Dale, and Dion and the Belmonts.” Joyce said. In addition to surf-rock sounds, the band has also drawn inspiration from alternative/emo-indie bands. “If it hadn’t been for Green Day and Blink-182 back when I was in middle school, I probably wouldn’t be in a band right now”, Miller commented, “I probably wouldn’t even be playing drums if it wasn’t for them.”
The lyrics are very vivid but easy to connect to. The first song off of Irregardless/Short Stories, called “Quarter Life Crisis”, has one verse that goes:
“Tell me, tell me, what's the point? When every move seems to disappoint years go by yet there's no change the stomping grounds that I used to claim yeah it's still the same there”
Coupled with the vocals comes some very awesome guitar playing. The tone is a bit punchy, definitely emulating a punk rock vibe. However, the chords jangle just enough to provide a very harmonious balance between surfy and punk. When they write songs, it usually starts with chord progressions or a simple structure. Then they jam around and fine-tune the structure until they have a song they like, and it evolves into its final form from there.
Andrew does also have a bit of advice for all the musicians out there. As all the members are either studying or working, scheduling practices and coordinating amongst all the members can be difficult. “Make sure that someone in the band keeps everyone on track, and regularly schedules practice time. A lot of high school and college musicians will get behind on school, or work, and then decide to postpone practice, and then it just snowballs until eventually the band hasn't practiced in months and fizzles out. If you can just find one night a week to meet up and play for a few hours, you'll have a much better chance of staying together.” Joyce advised.
The Antarcticats are playing their next show on September 22 at Under The Couch, and we highly recommend you go and check them out.
A Story to Regard: The Antarcticats released their debut EP, “Irregardless / Short Stories” in 2015
Graphic Courtesy of TheAntarcticats