When preparing to interview The Atomics, it wouldn’t be unheard of to wonder if, perhaps, any part of their image was manufactured. The four impossibly gorgeous Utah-bred, L.A.-based siblings with the nouveau hippie names making uber cool surf-rock music when they’re not slaying it on the catwalk—all four are signed to Next Models—would it all seem a little too… perfect when I met them? The answer is hell (or, in the words of brother Lucky Blue, I should say “heck”) no. The family band—genetically and musically blessed as they are—are trying to conquer the music industry in earnest, and doing a bang-up job. FLARE got to know the siblings Smith in New York City ahead of their performance at the H&M Loves Coachella launch party, a collection for which they’re the beautiful faces, and just weeks after the family walked in the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan (well, Lucky Blue walked with his model girlfriend Stormi Bree).
At just 18, drummer Lucky Blue is the youngest in the foursome and the only brother. If you recognize his piercing blue eyes or expressive eyebrows, that’s because he’s walked the most major runways and fronted some of the chicest fashion campaigns including Tom Ford and Calvin Klein since being scouted by a modelling agent at just 10. In person, he gives off laidback Cali vibes and is a man of few words relative to his siblings—perhaps he’s just used to letting his older sisters take the reins—but his words are kind, positive and full of genuine support for his family.
Next up in order of age is Pyper America, 19, on bass. By far the most outlandish of the bunch and with a beauty that’s Charlotte Gainsbourg-adjacent, she’s unguarded and unabashedly goofy; her second joke Instagram account @pyper.tv is dedicated to silly videos of characters with names like “Beverly Hills mom.” It’s also immediately obvious that she and Lucky, less than a year apart in age, are super close as they huddle together during the interview.
Daisy Clementine, 21, is the classic loose-curled blonde, blue-eyed, all-legs, all-American beauty that plays a mean lead guitar inspired heavily by “Chuck Berry guitar licks” and The Ventures and Dick Dale surf-rock-inspired reverb.
Finally, there’s Starlie. The alabaster-skinned, raven-haired counterpart to her lithe sandy blonde siblings, Starlie is the eldest sibling at 23 and, as it quickly becomes obvious, the unofficial leader of the group. She handles not just vocals for the band but writes most of the music with their dad, Dallon, a chilled out dude in a mechanic shirt who I also chatted with backstage. Starlie recently became an accidental advocate for self-acceptance and body confidence in recent weeks after posting several Instagrams celebrating her acne and not-skeletal body and it’s a role she relishes.
We grabbed some time with the ridiculously good-looking family band on the rise to chat about their upcoming performances at Coachella, the importance of self-love and what it’s really like working with family.
A family band feels like a throwback. How did you start playing music together?
Starlie: We got instruments for Christmas.
Daisy: And our parents really influenced us because my mom’s dad had a music school and my dad grew up playing in bands with his buddies in high school so music was part of growing up. Always The Beach Boys in the car, especially if we were taking a trip to California because we were in Utah for most of our childhood. My dad would play guitar and sing songs for us as we were falling asleep, too.
Who had the most control over the music selection?
Pyper: Starlie was the bossy older sister.
Starlie: They were not too much younger than me but just young enough that I had all the control.
Lucky: I never got to pick what went on.
Starlie: And then they started coming up with their musical choices and favorites and now it’s kind of equal.
What’s your music writing process?
Starlie: It starts off with me and my dad going to the studio with Rock Mafia, who we’ve been working with on all of our songs, and we’ll come up with something and then the next day or whenever, Lucky will come do the drums, Pyper will come do the bass, Daisy will do guitar, and everyone gives their input.
What’s the biggest challenge of that creative process?
Starlie: Considering everyone’s opinions.
Daisy: Yeah, everyone is very opinionated and we all want to be heard and it can be tricky to remember to give the song what it needs and not what you want the song to have. Sometimes I’ll think “I wish the guitar was more like this” but then that’s not right for the song, so we just have to remember that. That will come with more experience, since we’re still very young at songwriting.
You already mentioned The Beach Boys. What other musical or cultural forces have influenced your sound?
Lucky: I like a lot of disco and I know Pyper does as well. And I like James Brown and old school hip-hop beats.
Pyper: The Lords of Dogtown movie soundtrack.
Daisy: I love Chuck Berry and Dick Dale and The Ventures. My guitar sound is heavily influenced by surf music with a ton of reverb and Chuck Berry-inspired licks.
Who would be a dream collaborator?
Pyper: The Black Keys.
Starlie: I always say Kendrick Lamar but no one agrees.
Lucky: I agree! What the heck?
Starlie: Sorry, they all support me so much!
Daisy: Britney Spears.
Starlie: Gwen Stefani! That would be sick.
Who’s the most comfortable performing and who gets the most nervous?
Pyper: We’re all very comfortable.
Daisy: We all have our own style of performing, too. Lucky’s so chill in the back and just does his thing, Pyper’s wild and so fun to watch, and Star is just a star, you know? Dramatic and such a great performer.
Have you guys always been comfortable in the spotlight?
All four in unison: Yeah!
Starlie: I’ve had my shy moments for sure but it was never a shyness of singing. I always wanted everyone to watch me and give me attention.
Pyper: Classic Starlie.
What’s your approach to festival style?
Lucky: Stay away from the trends.
Pyper: Yeah, just do you. Create your own wild style.
Starlie: I think I’m just going to wear H&M PJs the whole time. Be comfortable! Like, why torture yourself, really?
Do you ever feel pressure to produce content for your many social media followers?
Lucky: Of course there’s pressure, but if it’s just natural, then it’s easy.
Starlie: Sometimes I have nothing to say for a week. I don’t have anything to post, I don’t want to take a picture of myself because I’m bored of it, but then I feel bad because I’m “supposed” to be active on social media. I confessed it all on Snapchat once and I was like “This is so annoying, you guys, I’m so sorry.”
Pyper: So you confessed your hates about social media on social media? That’s so funny.
Daisy: Social media is such a great tool for expressing yourself and connecting with people all around the world but it can get to a point where it gets in the way of actually living your life. And so I try to be aware of where I am and what I’m doing in the moment and then if I feel like posting about it, great, and if not, if I just want to experience the moment, then that’s great, too. If you do what you want and try not to overthink it, you can never go wrong.
Starlie: And you can be a positive influence and make a difference in people’s lives on social media. I posted this photo of me recently with my acne because I was like “I don’t feel good about myself and that’s not going to work for me. I’m going to show it to the world and make myself think that I’m pretty.” I just tried to trick myself but I ended up inspiring a lot of people which was really, really nice.
Starlie, you’ve gotten so much positive feedback for that post and the other one about accepting your body.
Starlie: Oh my gosh, I looked in the mirror and thought “I hate my body” and then I was like “No. You’re not going to be down on yourself for your outer appearance. You’re going to love yourself and you’re going to show the world and not be ashamed.”
How does it feel to be getting so much positivity in response?
Starlie: I was surprised! And then I spent a lot of time crying because I would read people’s comments that I’d helped them. I love promoting self-love and being confident.
Watch The Atomics’ new music video below and shop the full H&M Loves Coachella collection here.
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