Keith Jeffrey is currently sipping a Stumptown Coffee in his West Hollywood pad. “This coffee is so strong,” he notes. “The good thing is I’ll be able to talk so fast that we’ll cover four times the topics we otherwise would have.” With or without the punch of caffeine, Jeffery has a lot to discuss. As frontman of the smash indie rock act Atlas Genius (which also features brother Michael and keyboardist Darren Sell), the band is just now coming down from a whirlwind past couple years after they were plucked from obscurity in their native Australia and catapulted to worldwide fame thanks to hit viral single “Trojans”which gained prominence in 2011. “It got discovered relatively quickly after we released it online with zero promotion,” Jeffrey explains of the catchy rock song which later went gold. “It was and wasn’t a slow process.”

While the band currently lives in Los Angeles, they cut their performance chops in Adelaide, Australia, a modest city that lies in the south of the massive continent. “I miss Australia but I love being here,” Jeffrey explains of the decision to permanently relocate from down under to the City of Angels. “Culturally and artistically, being in LA makes a lot of sense for us. There’s so much music happening and collaborating is much easier when you’re in a city like this. Being able to hop in an Uber and head to the studio is just great. That’s not so much the case where we came from.”


Michael Jeffery (Left) and Keith Jeffery (right) of Atlas Genius, indie rock band known for it’s hit, “Trojans”

The children of supportive parents, the Jeffrey brothers caught the music bug early on and were in and out of various bands throughout their formative years. “We didn’t want to focus too much on it to much in the press when ‘Trojans’ was blowing up, but we literally played thousands of shows over the years, whether it was covers, or weddings, or our own music,” Jeffrey explains of the initial origins of Atlas Genius, a name that came to brother Michael ina dream. Says Jeffrey of those years, “I actually worked out the math and we performed 75,000 songs on stage during that time. No wonder something eventually clicked.” (Keith points their success to the 10,000 hour rule, popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.)

“Trojans” was strong enough to land the guys a record deal with Warner Brothers, and their debut album When It Was Now was released three short years ago. Recorded entirely down under, it also spawned a second hit song in “If So.” For their follow-up, the band decided to work in Los Angeles and certainly felt the pressure of attempting to live up to their past success. “It was a really stressful time to be honest,” says Jeffery about recording Inanimate Objects, their highly anticipated sophomore album that dropped last summer. “We worked on it at the end of an 18 month tour that took us across Europe and Australia. Then we trekked around America six or seven times and everyone was just burnt out. We went from having this huge family on the road to all of the sudden me in a room alone just working on songs. Mentally, I found it a very hard thing to deal with.”

Confounding their predicament was the fact that Keith was just getting out of a long-term relationship, a heartache that he channeled his emotions into the band’s latest single “Stockholm.” “That song was written in Sweden, obviously,” he explains while continuing to nurse his Stumptown. “I was staying in a hotel by the airport, and was on the treadmill in the gym there when the idea came to me. I jumped off and sprinted back to my room to write it down. Lyrically if you listen to the verse of that song, it’s a stream of consciousness as I was processing the end of the relationship while trying to find some positivity.”

Today the brothers have plenty to be positive about, namely a new tour in support of the album, which includes an appearance at Pasadena’s upcoming Make Music festival on June 11th. In addition, they’re still continuing to explore all LA has to offer, whether it’s hiking Runyon Canyon or hitting up Melrose Avenue’s Crossroads for some vegan grub (which, according to Jeffrey, has “phenomenal artichoke oysters.”)

And about “Stockholm,” the single he wrote while heartbroken in Sweden? It’s currently climbing up the charts and is on its way to becoming the band’s next hit. “The best songs come from those moments with super strong emotions,” he points out. “Sometimes I hesitate to go there because it feels easier to push it down and not deal with it. Writing is like going to a therapist; it’s probably going to be terrible, but at the end of the process you feel so much better.”