Atlas Genius have done things backwards from day one. The sibling duo from Adelaide, Australia, built a home studio three years before playing their first live shows under that name, slaving away at construction during the day and playing covers in bars at night.
But once the alt-rock pair unleashed their first tune, the driving power pop nugget "Trojans," on the world in the fall of 2011, it instantly grabbed a global audience and set them on a fast track to non-stop touring and a major-label record deal.
MTV News recently caught up with singer/guitarist Keith Jeffrey and brother drummer Michael at the 2013 Woodie Awards in Austin, Texas, and one of MTV's "Artist to Watch" for 2013 said the recoding of their full-length debut, When It Was Now was equally unconventional, and, as it turns out, time-consuming.
"We did 98 percent of the album in our studio back home and then there were a few things we wanted to finish," said singer Keith about the sessions, which included material tracked in hotel rooms and other studios around the globe. "It's so hard to achieve so little when you're touring. Because touring is such a full-on thing. I wouldn't recommend it, but it has its uniqueness. Looking back it's kind of funny that we were doing it in hotel rooms in Chicago and Harrisburg."
Not to mention finishing some songs in the midst of last year's devastating Hurricane Sandy, added Michael.
While their career is already in overdrive back home, the duo said it has been surreal to play some of America's most beloved late night shows as they make their publicity rounds stateside.
"We've done a few late night TV shows ... when you're on these iconic shows you've watched growing up and now you're on those shows?" said Keith marveling at their rocket ride from casual viewers to late night stars. They'll get another chance on Thursday, when they drop by "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," after having plugged in on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in February.