You’d likely recognize Lucky Blue Smith—the model, actor, author, musician, and general millennial multihyphenate—as the blue-eyed, blond-haired Adonis from a high-profile assortment of fashion campaigns (Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Philipp Plein). Nowadays, though, Smith is picking up fans in other sectors. His first book, Stay Golden, is out today in the U.K. and in the States on November 1. He has a movie called Love Everlasting, too. And last night, at the famous Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Smith and his sisters Starlie (vocals), Daisy Clementine (guitar), and Pyper America (bass)—who make up the pop-surf-rock band called The Atomics—played their first big California set. Yes, he’s a headlining musical act, too (drums).
While the evening’s other marquee event—debate number three—saw Donald Trump rather unpatriotically not admitting to accepting the outcome of the election if it doesn’t go his way, the Smith kids are as all-American as they come (Pyper has the country, literally, as part of her name). These Utahans are close-knit, confident, and aurally raised on everything from the Beach Boys to The Notorious B.I.G. The Atomics (a clever throwback name) pull inspiration from four points of the compass—that is, the four siblings—and their sound is groovy yet current. For example: “Voulez Vous,” their new single released earlier this month, has the steady snare drum beats and twangy guitar strums of a Hawaii Five-0vignette—yet its urgency and tempo is all contemporary pop. It’s fantastically catchy.
Here, the family Smith talks hard work, Hollywood, and a huge love for Kendrick Lamar, just hours before their show. Lucky submitted a bonus photo diary from the big night, too (see the slideshow above).
Congrats, guys, on the show! What does it mean to you to perform in L.A., especially somewhere as legendary as the Roxy?
Pyper: It’s kind of been a little bit of a time coming. The cool thing is, right now, we’re in our manager’s office, and it’s right across the street from the Roxy, so it’s weird how it has all worked out. We’ve been working for a while for this. We moved here a little over three years ago—and we’ve been writing, meeting people, and building it ever since. And now we’re finally doing our first show in L.A.!
Pyper: So it’s really exciting; it’s kind of a magical moment. We’ve always told people we’re in a band, we play music, and now we will finally have this show happen.
What do you do to calm your nerves beforehand? Do you have a group routine?
Starlie: I kind of go into my own world. It’s hard for me to communicate with other people before a show, because I am so in my own head. Together, we do a little huddle and say a little prayer before, and then we get one another riled up. We jump up and down.
Who is the most nervous? Who is the most relaxed?
Pyper: I think I am good at hyping the band up.
Lucky: I think I am pretty relaxed.
Pyper: Lucky is really low-key; he’s chill. Starlie is serious—she’s in her mode, her world, on point. And Daisy is pretty chill, too. She makes sure everyone is feeling good.
You recently performed new material back in Utah, your home state. What was that like? Was there a memorable moment?
Lucky: Yeah, we did some in Salt Lake City, and a couple in our hometown, Spanish Fork. One thing that I thought was awesome was that some people came to all of the shows—we did five in total. By the last show, I saw them singing along! And these were new songs. It was really cool and crazy. They knew the songs already. It was a really awesome thing to see.
Who are your shared musical idols?
Daisy: It kind of varies depending on who you ask. Obviously there are different influences for Lucky’s drums or Pyper’s bass or my guitar or Starlie’s vocals. But, together, we all love The Black Keys, and we listened to a lot of Tom Petty growing up. Starlie and Lucky are really into hip-hop; Pyper loves disco. We have so much inspiration, and we’re putting all of ourselves into the songs. It sort of creates this new genre.
I am one of four siblings, also, and when I was little, our family car-ride songs were always Shania Twain. Did you guys have something similar?
Daisy: The first band that comes to mind is the Beach Boys—Pyper just said it, too. My mom would play them every single day, wherever we were going. We know all the words.
What has been the most encouraging thing you’ve heard about your music?
Starlie: It’s so nice when people tell us that our music is different but that they really like it. We get a lot of compliments—that there’s nothing like our sound out there, but that people are into it. It’s cool to be doing your own thing and have it resonate.
Tell us a dream musical collaborator or collaborators.
Lucky: Dead or alive?
Lucky: Starlie! This is a serious question. I might not be the best to ask.
Daisy: I think we would want to work with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Starlie: Kendrick Lamar! A million thousand percent! I am in love!
Lucky: I like old-school hip-hop. I’d say Biggie Smalls, because he’s just a beast.
What’s next for The Atomics?
Lucky: We’re pretty much going to take over the world.
Pyper: Yeah, true that.
Daisy: The plan is to get the music out there. And then start playing shows wherever we can.
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