When Australian band Atlas Genius was busy studying for Fall 2011 midterms as full-time students, the world was busy discovering the group. The success they received from their first single “Trojans” came unexpectedly.
“We released that song, the first one that we finished basically, and we didn’t expect anyone to really hear the song,” said vocalist and guitarist Keith Jeffery. “But it spread really quickly and got a lot of attention and then radio play as well.”
The group then had a decision to make.
“It was really an interesting time when the song started to take off, we had to decide, ‘Are we going to focus on this or are we just going to let this play out and just keep studying?’ In the end music is our passion.”
The Australian-natives are scheduled to take the stage Friday at the Newport Music Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Jeffery said once making the decision to pursue music, his life was dramatically altered.
“Everything really changed, it went from being students going to class four or five times a week and just being music one or two days a week for a while, to … touring,” Jeffery said. “Our lives have changed a huge amount.”
However, the success didn’t come easy, and Jeffery urges other students pursuing music to realize that.
“I think that music is one of those things where you have to put in the years. You really have to be willing to make no money for a long time,” he said.” If that’s your real passion, then you should do it, but don’t expect to get rich or for it to happen quickly. “
Since putting in its own years, Atlas Genius has released its first full-length album, “When It Was Now,” and traveled around the country about four times, said Jeffery.
After touring Australia and the U.S., Jeffery realized how different traveling each country was.
“The population of America is so much bigger than Australia, so many more cities to go to,” he said. “You can do an Australian tour in two weeks and you’ve done everything.”
Even with the many cities the band has toured, Jeffery said they will always remember their first U.S. show in August 2012.
“We played our first American show in Columbus, Ohio. It was great, it was the first time we played over here,” Jeffery said. “America is one of those countries we’d always wanted to play, and it was quite a big crowd, too. It was a really memorable first show.”
Daniel Balk, vocalist and guitarist of New York-based band The Postelles, also playing Friday, has positive memories from playing in Columbus as well.
“Newport Music Hall is a place where we’ve played before, it was a beautiful theatre and I’m really excited, actually I think everyone on the tour is pretty excited to go back to that venue,” Balk said.
The show was originally scheduled at The Basement but was moved to the Newport Music Hall due to ticket sales, said Marissa Luther, marketing director at PromoWest.
“We’re expecting a great concert as always and we think it will be a pretty good crowd,” Luther said.
The Newport Music Hall is located at 1722 N High St. Tickets are available for $12 in advance through Ticketmaster, or $15 the day of the show. Haerts will also be playing.