With the unexpected Internet sensation that was its debut single “Trojans,” Atlas Genius flew onto the scene seemingly overnight.
It simply posted the song on Neon Gold Records, and its members went back to their regular lives. Major record labels flooded the band’s email account 45,000 downloads later, and it ultimately signed with Warner Bros. Records and released its debut album “When It Was Now” in February 2013. The band has since toured the U.S., Canada, parts of Europe and even its homeland, Australia.
“I have to admit I’m guilty sometimes of getting caught up in the day to day of what we do,” Jeffery said. “It is quite remarkable when I think about what’s happened in the last year or two years. I definitely appreciate it. I think we all do.”
Jeffery said the band has played over 145 shows since August 2013, and that time has certainly matured the group as individual musicians and as a whole.
“I think you get better as a band the more you tour, if you keep pushing yourself,” Jeffery said. “There are always things that you want to improve on and change as a performer. The more you do it the more comfortable you feel on stage.”
In addition to improving as a band, Jeffery believes he has matured as an artist and performer.
“When you’re rehearsing and writing, you’re always improvising,” Jeffery said. “You get to a level where you feel comfortable enough to take chances with a song on stage. I think those are the most rewarding times for me.”
Jeffery was forced to improvise during a show at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware this past summer. With an unbelievable amount of traffic, the band arrived just eight minutes before having to go on stage. Jeffery played a few songs by himself and was still able to move the crowd while the stagehands scurried around setting up for the show.
Jeffery said that the band ended up arriving about four hours behind schedule.
“When it’s your own show, you can sound check and make sure you’re getting everything right,” Jeffery said. “It’s more unpredictable, the festival thing, but it can be a moving experience.”
Atlas Genius is a band of brothers. Keith Jeffery mans lead vocals and guitar, Steven Jeffery slaps the bass and Michael Jeffery plays drums. Although all band members have some differences, Jeffery said that working with his brothers has been an overall positive experience.
“If you write with people whose opinions you respect and like and trust, then it improves the process,” Jeffery said.
With the way the music industry has evolved, many artists feel the need to produce hits or singles to be played on the radio. Atlas Genius doesn’t bother with that and sticks to its writing process as it has since the beginning.
The band said it tries to write songs with certain beats and tempos, but that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to having preconceived notions about its songs. For it, trying to write hit songs leads to unnecessary pressure, and it’s helpful to understand that some songs lend themselves to radio while others don’t.
Atlas Genius continues to tour, most recently playing in Tempe at the Marquee Theatre on Saturday. If you haven’t yet experienced this band’s music, it is surely worth checking out.
Visit their website at atlasgenius.com
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Keiser_Drums