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Renaissance Twins

A Conversation with Alien Atmosphere

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Nick Kwilosz is one minute older than his brother Matt. Matt is left handed and Nick is right.

When they talk, their sentences occasionally flow together. Together they comprise the alternative rock/pop band Alien Atmosphere.

The Tucsonan brothers, now 24, first performed together at their eighth-grade talent show and have been engaged in a multitude of projects together ever since. Nick, the guitarist and singer, won his first songwriting competition at 14. Matt, the drummer, won the Arizona Men's Physique bodybuilding competition at 19, and was featured in Muscle and Body Magazine.

"It works that he plays the drums," Nick said. "He's kind of barbaric anyway."

"I tried playing guitar but broke all the strings," Matt said.

Since its creation in 2015, the twins of Alien Atmosphere have been as equally busy with the image and foundation of the band as with the music. And just like the songs themselves, with their slick, layered production, the image and planning of the band has been well thought out.

"We've been working on our website, promotion, logo and marketing," Nick said. "We don't want to make all this music without anyone knowing who we are."

"That's why we haven't released an album yet," Matt said. "First, we want to work on a radio campaign to find out which of our songs people like. You don't want to spend thousands of dollars producing an album in studio and have no one listen to it."

Part of their band planning and marketing was coming up with the name Alien Atmosphere, which Nick says is a reference to the music industry: The industry is uncharted territory; you never know what will be big next. Plus, alliteration is always fun.

"We were thinking of doing the whole Black Keys, 21 Pilots, White Stripes, 2-person-band look," Matt said. "But with me being a bodybuilder and Nick having long hair, we figure we could look unique instead."

They're also busy planning out what to call their fanbase, landing somewhere around "Invaders" or "Aliens." This mononym goes well with their habit of handing out alien antennas to the crowd at shows.

"It was hilarious," Matt said. "When the band we opened for went out on stage, the whole crowd was wearing antennas, and they were like 'What is going on?'"

Although Alien Atmosphere generally plays shows with bands that have a similar style to them, they've performed with various other bands to surprise outcomes.

"One time we played a metal show with Trapt," Matt said. "And after the show, these two scary looking guys marched up to us. We were afraid at first, but then they were like 'You guys rule!'"

While I prefer their more understated tracks, such as "Destiny," the twins say finding their one hit song is difficult, as various people seem to like various songs of theirs, with no clear favorite. However, as it stands, their entire discography consists of only six tracks.

The twins have also filmed an (as of now unreleased) alien invasion movie trailer for their band and have come up with a slogan: "Alien Atmosphere: an invasion that can only be heard."

When it comes to actually performing their music however, the band is restrained. They feel playing a show every week lessens the impact of individual shows. They'd rather play a concert only every few months and hype them up as much as possible.

"We don't want to be salesmen, selling presale tickets every week," Nick said. "We want to be musicians."

Their next show is planned for Dec. 29 at 11 a.m. at the University of Arizona. Alien Atmosphere is opening up for Neon Trees, a band they more or less looked up to when they were younger.

"We grew up listening to their music in high school," Matt said. "This could be our biggest show."

Their careful planning and marketing of their band comes from Nick's time at California State University Northridge, where he got a business degree.

"Being separated from your twin for two years sucks," Matt said. "That's a big reason Nick moved back, and we started this band. We'll go over mountains and walls to be together."

The brotherhood doesn't stop at a band, either. Nick and Matt also buy, restore and sell classic cars together in their spare time. They are also creating a YouTube series, Twin Turbo, about their mutual passion for classic cars.

"I have all these crazy ideas, and I just do them," Nick said. "That's some of the best advice I could give: Find out what you don't like and then what you do like, and then do it."

"We chose our childhood dreams and just ran with them," Matt said. "It'd be a hell of a time to be on your deathbed and know that you actually tried. A common saying is 'You only live once,' but I disagree: You only die once. You have to live every day."

"We dip our hands in everything," Nick said. "It's just in our blood, I guess."

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