Atlas Genius talk sophomore effort ‘Inanimate Objects’

Australian rockers Atlas Genius may be famous for their unique brand of synth-heavy alt rock. But make no mistake — at heart, front man Keith Jeffery is still just a child of the ’90s.

“Nirvana… I love that band so much,” Jeffrey said. “Just guitar, drums and bass … It’s a classic combination.”

Jeffery talked more with amNewYork about that combo, their plans to augment it on their sophomore record, “Inanimate Objects,” and that other famous Australian rock group, in advance of their Sept. 29 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


What was the break-out of your single “Trojans” like?

Obviously, it was not something we expected. We put it up on a couple of web sites and forgot about it. [The song] got picked up a month later and spread like wildfire. It was a game changer for us. When you have a “hit,” it opens a lot of doors and allowed us to do this full time.

How is “Inanimate Objects” similar to your debut album, “When It Was Now,” and different?

The songs that are the closest to [the first record] would be “Molecules” and “The City We Grow.” Songs that we really push ourselves on like “Balladino” … I think is totally one of the most special songs and quite a departure from what we’ve done before.

Was there added pressure for your sophomore album, given the success of the first?

It’s good and bad. You want to meet expectations. You want to beat them. With this album, there is that expectation [but] what I try to do, through meditation or whatever, is to stay really focused at the topic at hand and somehow recreate that environment where you almost aren’t writing for anyone else. Any way I can try and trick myself into feeling that kind of innocence we had on the first album, that’s what I attempt to do.

Your voice reminds me of Daniel Johns of Silverchair. Were they an influence on your group at all?

No, I love that band. Daniel Johns is amazing. I’ve played a festival with him, but I’ve never had the privilege of speaking with him. His voice sounds younger now. He sounded older as a kid.