The Atomics Take Off at Coachella

The Atomics Take Off at Coachella

The Atomics Take Off at Coachella

The family band talk about their Coachella performance, unique music release strategy, and more.

The family band talk about their Coachella performance, unique music release strategy, and more.

Text: Ian David Monroe

"I feel like our brains are sort of fried because for months all we’ve been practicing and looking forward to is this," says Daisy Clementine Smith, one-fourth of The Atomics. The Smith family band—consisting of Lucky Blue, Pyper America, Starlie, and Daisy—have just finished their set at weekend two of Coachella, and not a single one of them can decide how they think it went.

"It went good, not great," says Daisy Clementine.

"We actually had some technical difficulties," chimes in Pyper America.

"You know what, I would have done better not being sick," asserts Starlie, the oldest and only non-blonde.

Lucky Blue seems content letting his sisters speak for the group, likely a skill learned from being the youngest child and only boy: "It was chill this week."

The group seems unnecessarily critical of themselves, as is often the case with new acts. They are, after all, playing Coachella, and with only two official releases ("Voulez Vous" and "Let's Live for Today")—an impressive feat. The rest of the tracks, produced by Rock Mafia, are played exclusively live. Further, Coachella marks only their sixth performance with the tracks, though they've been working up to this moment for years, if not a decade.

To pursue their dreams and be closer to the action, the entire family picked up and moved from Utah, where they had a six-bedroom house, to a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. When Lucky Blue needed a new drum set, big sister Starlie purchased it with her tip money earned while waitressing. That was years ago, and now, with the whole family modeling, they are in a much different place.

Playing the tracks first at shows before releasing them has given the group a unique chance to see what resonates and what doesn't, allowing songs to "come and go," as Pyper America puts it.

During our interview, the four all find something they do agree on: they no longer enjoy playing a particular song in their set, though they won't name it. After a few back-and-forth behind-hand whispers, they admit it's track 3 in the setlist. When pointed out that not committing completely to a track like that one, is a luxury most artists dream of, Daisy concedes, "Right, it's true! That’s why it’s good to take your time and really get to know your songs and play them and see how you feel later. Because that was one of the first songs we wrote and our style keeps evolving with every song that we write, so if we would have released our first songs that we really wanted to release right when we wrote them, we would have regretted it. Because the stuff we have now, we wanted to release more than the last stuff."

The band has definitely evolved and are hitting their stride at just the right time. Simon Fuller, the man behind American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, and, at their peak, the Spice Girls, has signed on to oversee the group. And while their stardom rises, mom and dad are there to keep them grounded. On Sunday, during their show, Momma Smith was on-hand proudly wearing a hand-stitched skirt bearing the band's logo and the names of her children. When asked about how her kids manage to do it all, she jokes, "That’s the secret. I'm in the band."

The Atomics


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