21 Questions with Atlas Genius' Keith Jeffery
So we've all heard of the flirtatious game high school crushes with uncontrollable hormones play. If not, well it's simple you asked a total of 21 questions to each other, it could be anything, but usually with their hormonal tensions it's mainly questions like, "Do you think I'm hot?" Some may also know 21 Questions as the title to a 50 Cent track. Yes, 50 does ask some interesting questions as well, like, "If I went back to a hoopty from a Benz, would you proof and disappear like some of my friends?"
Now that it's clear high school lovers and 50 Cent have different version of 21 questions, I decided to bring the game back in a non-sexual, purely goofy and music format. Yes, I played yet another version of 21 Questions with Keith Jeffery of Atlas Genius.
1. Up On The Sun: What was the very first instrument you owned? Keith: Hmm, that would probably be my dad's guitar. The first one I bought was a Gibson Nighthawk, so that was the first one I actually owned for myself.
2. What made you want to start playing music? Nirvana.
3. I know from attending Outside Lands this past August; you had an interview and solo music session playing "If So." But you also expressed your love for Nirvana and Kurt mainly. What is it about him that is so powerful in your eyes? I think he was so captivating live. I never got the pleasure of seeing him play live, but I've seen a lot of the live footage. It's really hard to take your eyes off of what he is doing, even though you've got one of the world's greatest drummers right behind him.
I think he was so unpredictable; you never knew what was going to happen. There was a lot of desperation and honesty in the songs, which is really powerful. There's nothing extra and you just get to the core of what a good song is.
4. The band originally started out as all brothers. [Michael, Keith and Steven] What caused Steven to leave the group? Steven had commitments in Australia, so unfortunately he wasn't able to tour with us, although he was involved with the album. At some point he might join us. Touring is such a commitment that controls everything else in your life. It's just a call that he made, and we supported him. We're the three closest people you'll ever meet.
5. What is your favorite song to cover? I actually love playing The Police, especially music that is made for a three-piece band to play. "Roxanne" is really identifiable.
6. Where was your first paid gig? It started as a free gig; we played at a local bar. It was really so that we could get out there and try. And at the end of the show, the bar owner paid us $100 bucks just to keep playing. So we were kind of happier about that.
7. What was the biggest blooper that you've have ever had on stage? The last tour that we did this summer in America, we got an email the day before a show from this guy we didn't know. It read something like, "My girlfriend is coming with me to the show tonight, I really want to propose to her on stage."
So we kind of had to think about this, because if she said no, it could really be a downer on the show. But they ended up on stage, he got down on his knee, and thankfully she ended up saying yes. So that was kind of unusual for us. I was really nervous; I won't lie.
8. If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would that be? There are two places that I really want to go to that I haven't been to yet. I really want to go to Japan; I've never been there. Atlas was supposed to play some festivals there, this summer, but it clashed with Outside Lands in San Francisco. [And then] I'd love to go Alaska to be honest.
9. So I hear you're a vegetarian. How long has it been without meat? It's been over two years. I don't really miss anything. I thought that I would, but I don't really; there so much great vegetarian food these days.
10. Which artist would you walk a mile in their shoes or have a day in the life of? It would be probably John Lennon or Paul McCartney during the studio time and working on Abbey Road. I think that would be incredible. It's one of the most remarkable times in musical history.
11. Some like to compare Atlas Genius' sound to some sort of Death Cab for Cutie-meets-Beck hybrid. Would you agree? Well I love both artists. I definitely hear a bit of comparison. I don't know if people really hear Beck in what we do, but I definitely respect him as an artist.
12. If you could tell your 13-year-old self something, what would it be? That's a hard one. I think you shouldn't waste to much energy on criticism. It's okay to be creative. I think have more belief in yourself.
13. Do you like all the remixes people make, or is it more of an 'ehh, whatever' thing? Well, I like the fact that people remix, [but] obviously certain remixes I like more than others. Sometimes it's incredible and I wish I thought of that. Now you can create almost whatever you want; during the past it was almost set as [to] what was the trend and scene, and today there are almost no limits.
14. What is the last show you enjoyed as part of the crowd? It was Vampire Weekend, a couple of months ago.
15. What 's your favorite TV show right now? Probably like most Americans, Breaking Bad.
16. What is the funniest thing you've seen going on in the crowds as your performing? I don't know, you see a lot of things; I think it loops back to what I said before, about an engagement on stage at our show.
17. Kurt Cobain or Paul McCartney? Kurt Cobain. But that's a tough one. It's like choosing favorites.
18. If you had to pick an animal to represent you and your sound, what would that be? Had to be an animal. [Laughs] I'm a Pisces, so I guess I'd be a fish.
19. What do you do to entertain yourself on tour? Writing is always a go to.
20. Favorite Beatle? John Lennon.
21. So the band's name apparently came from one of Michael's dreams. Is that true? Well, sort of.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.