10 Questions with The Brother Brothers

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

By Kristen Day – Marketing Intern

Making up the two halves of The Brother Brothers are fiddle player Adam Moss and cellist David Moss. Their harmonious folk sound has traveled across the world on street corners, music festival stages, and on February 27th– 28th, four special locations at Purdue and in Greater Lafayette. Before their visit this weekend, I caught up with the band to learn more about what makes them unique:

Q. (Kristen) You guys are from the Midwest which has been (unfairly) characterized as a boring place. How did your Midwest upbringing positively influence your music?

A. (The Brother Brothers) The Midwest is not boring. It is vast, and full of unpopulated farmland, but not boring. It is in our opinion, an essential ingredient in the recipe of America. Every kind of music has to come through the Midwest to get to anywhere else in America, so in a sense, we got to see how music travels.

Q. You’re also identical twins. What’s one question you’re tired of being asked about it?

A. It’s hard to narrow it down to one. We sometimes find being twins a barrier to conversing and getting to know people quickly. It’s an easy thing for people to fixate on, which leads them to talk about the superfluous rather than the meat. However, that’s the poison of small talk. I feel like anyone, in the public eye or not, is tired of discussing their most outward feature, but it’s just the nature of humanity.

Q. You’ve both worked separately for the first part of your careers. How did you decide to work together?

A. We decided if we didn’t start a band now, we weren’t going to do it at all.

Q. Songwriting is a team effort for you both. How do you mesh your individual styles into a cohesive sound? What advice do you have for students who want to jump into songwriting?

A. The only way to start writing songs is to just do it. The journey is the honing and perfecting of the craft so that you can strive to be proud of the music and poetry that you make. It can also be a community endeavor. I would be quite surprised if any great songwriter didn’t have a community of others that were their benchmarks and sounding boards.

Q. You’ve opened for some amazing acts, including I’m With Her at Purdue in 2018. For people who don’t know your sound, what are 4 adjectives that characterize your music? (Have fun with it!)

A. Harmonious, Mellow (sometimes), Heartfelt, Sincere.

Q. You’ll be performing shows all over Purdue’s campus. Who do you hope hears your music?

A. Hopefully, we’ll find an ear in everyone who’s open to receiving our music. We explore a lot of feelings that are close to the internal heart. Our show is an inclusive and safe space for anyone and everyone to explore their emotional selves, and experience the collective moment we’re attempting to create.

For Adam:

Q. I’ve noticed you play viola and violin. What’s the appeal of having both instruments in your repertoire?

A. Well, I have a 5 string violin, so it’s like a viola and violin combo. The appeal with having the lower strings, is to create more low mellow accompaniment, while still allowing for some more “fiddly” moments.

Q. You guys will be performing pop-up shows all over campus. How does that take you back to your busking days?

A. We’ll see. It’s been a while, but I think the instinct will come right back.

For David:

Q. You previously played with the band The Blue Hit. What’s a surprising difference between performing with a larger ensemble versus a duo?

A. While in The Blue Hit I wasn’t a frontman, just the cello player.  Developing the muscle of performing in that capacity was a very humbling experience that could only be crafted by doing it. Speaking, timing and stage presence were all things that I had to grow comfortable doing.

Q. You have lived and traveled all over the US. How have your travels influenced the way you think about people and songwriting?

A. Travel is the number one thing I tend to write about. I like to look at the planet as a canvas of shared experiences.

What a beautiful interview. Thanks to The Brother Brothers for letting us into their world. We can’t wait to catch the band at one of their four pop-up performances on February 27th– 28th.

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