Aussie rock band ends national tour at The Parish


“We’re so happy to be in Austin,” exclaimed Keith Jeffery of Atlas Genius from on stage. “Austin is where the music is!”

Atlas Genius played a sold out show on Nov. 9 at The Parish with The Royal Concept and headliners Wolf Gang. This was a bittersweet show for Atlas Genius because it was their first time in Austin, but it was also the final show of their three-month tour. Over the course of these three months, members of the band became like brothers, with the exception of Keith, the lead singer/guitarist and drummer Michael, because they actually are brothers.

Keith and Michael Jeffery hail from Adelaide, Australia, and first began to appreciate music through their dad. “Dad had a few guitars around the house, and we always thought it was cool, and we’d ask him to play this song and that song,” Keith said. “When I was about fifteen, I got really into playing music, because it was a great way of not studying and also expressing myself.” Along with their dad, Atlas Genius’ major influences are The Beatles, Ben Gibbard, The Police, Beck and The Strokes.

As far as band dynamics go, no band could wish for better. Keith is all talent and charm, while Michael is as endearing as his brother and plays the drums with the passion and ferocity of Animal, the Muppet. Suave Los Angeles native Kevin McPherson plays the bass and exudes rhythm, even playfully dancing backstage in his spare moments. Finally, keyboardist Darren Sell, who hails from across the pond, completes Atlas Genius and is as cool as can be. Steven Jeffery, another brother of Keith and Michael, is a member of the road crew and helps keep everything running as smoothly as possible. The Jeffery boys’ parents were on the tour, helping with merchandise, sound and supporting their sons.

The band’s first EP “Through the Glass” was released in June of this year, and their first full-length album, the title of which is still a guarded secret, will come out in February. The name “Through the Glass” is actually the name of a song on the upcoming album and was chosen as the name of the EP to create cohesion between the EP and album. Keith explained, “The song ‘Through the Glass’ is about when I used to play this solo gig in Adelaide and the back wall was actually a window that looked out onto the street. People would walk by and look in, and I thought they were checking out the show, but then I realized they were actually just checking themselves out in the reflection. That’s where the title comes from.”

Prior to the release of “Through the Glass,” Atlas Genius rose to stardom quite quickly. “I can pinpoint our big break to one exact moment, and one exact person,” Keith began. “We put our first single ‘Trojans’ up on SoundCloud and different websites, and about five weeks after we put it up a guy in New York was searching through an Australian website, which has about five thousand unsigned bands, so the chances of someone finding our song were nothing, but this guy from New York went on this website, clicked our song, liked it and ended up blogging about it. As it turned it, this was a really influential blog called Neon Gold. We started getting emails from labels, lawyers, and managers because of that. In two months we had thirty record labels after us.” “Trojans” hit Sirius XM satellite radio station Alt Nation shortly after it was blogged about, and the single sold around 45,000 copies before the band was even signed.

“Ideally, I always hope a song makes fans feel something, other than repulsion, and engages them in some way. I think a song is successful if it makes people feel something,” Keith said of what he hopes fans get out of Atlas Genius’ music. “Each song of ours is different and has its own little thing that I hope people can connect with.”

Now that Atlas Genius has seen every nook and cranny of America these past few months, they will be taking a short break and spending about two weeks in New York. Come the beginning of the year, though, they will be doing a lot more touring to promote the album and also hitting some festivals this summer. They say that they may even be back for SXSW this March.

With a name like Atlas Genius, chosen because of all members’ proficiency in map reading and navigation, this band will surely not have a problem making their way to the top of the charts or right back here to Austin very soon.