For Atlas Genius, ’63 Days’ is a song and a movement
If You Go …
What: Atlas Genius
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Friday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m.
How much: $22-$25
Tickets: Belly Up box office; www.bellyupaspen.com
The life of a rock star isn’t always all its cracked up to be. At least that’s what the Australian rock duo Atlas Genius says on its new song “63 Days.”
The track — the duo’s first new music release in two years — is a surprisingly raw and intimate look at the challenges of touring and the strains it puts on relationships.
“You go out on the road and you do your best to make the important people in your life feel like they’re important,” singer and guitarist Keith Jeffrey said recently from Los Angeles. “But sometimes you fail at that. You get distracted with all that comes at you each day.”
Keith and his brother-bandmate Michael were thrust onto the world stage in 2013 with the runaway global success of their song “Trojans.” As Keith tells it, they went from gigging around southern Australia in relative obscurity to touring the world and playing to massive crowds in cities they’d never before heard of. It was a shock to the system.
“It’s something that we weren’t bracing ourselves for,” Jeffrey said. “We were playing catch-up for a long time. … There’s no training for it. You just have to hang on and do the best you can. It’d be nice if there was a rock ’n’ roll college you could go to and prepare. But you’ve just got to live it.”
“63 Days” is the duo’s attempt to make sense of the madness in a touring musician’s life and to commit to loved ones back home. The song’s chorus is literally a promise to come home when they’re needed.
“It was a hard one to write, in that it’s difficult sometimes to open up that much when you know it’s not just for you and your girlfriend or your wife or whatever — that everyone is going to hear it,” Jeffrey said.
Atlas Genius brings its current tour to Belly Up Aspen tonight, when they’ll play songs from their two albums along with “63 Days” and a few unreleased tracks from their forthcoming third record (Jeffrey said Atlas Genius hopes to release it in early 2018).
The Jeffrey brothers are also using “63 Days” to launch a campaign what they’re calling “63 Days of Love.” It challenged fans to help others, get involved with charities, and connect with family and friends for 63 days. It also calls on participants to regularly do a daily “soul stare,” pressing one’s forehead against another person’s. The brothers demonstrate a soul stare in the “63 Days” music video.
Jeffrey said that the band wants to use its position to help heal a divided world.
“Both in America and Australia, it’s been a rough year or two culturally and politically,” Jeffrey said. “And it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you sit on politically. There’s a lot of disconnect.”
Whether it’s giving to hurricane relief efforts or fighting for marginalized people, Jeffrey said, he’s hopeful the campaign will inspire Atlas Genius fans to make the world a better place in some small way.
“It seemed like a good tie to use the platform we have to make a small difference in reminding people that we’re all here wanting the same things,” he said. “There are so many lived being shattered and so much unhappiness. We have this opportinuity to remind people that we’re here together.”
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