A few minutes with The Wiitala Brothers
Twin brothers Christopher and Trevor Wiitala have been playing music together for almost as long as they can remember, and after jumping from band to band, the two decided to go with what was familiar. With Christopher on vocals, guitar and tambourine, and Trevor on drums, the Wiitala Brothers music is simplistic, but strongly personal for their audience. The band does all of its own marketing, working diligently to get its music heard. When The Chronicle sat down to talk with the indie, alternative duo, here’s what the pair had to say:
The Chronicle: How did you guys start out? Do you come from a musical family, self-taught, or did you take lessons?
Wiitala Brothers: We’ve always loved music and our fascination with playing music started at a very young age. Our first instruments were a Fraggle Rock drumkit and a plastic Menudo guitar. We used to set up on our front porch and jam out to the radio. When we were around 8 years old we got our first proper guitars (a bass guitar and electric guitar). We took informal lessons briefly in our pre-teens which lead to forming bands. After high school we were asked to play in a friend’s band. We’d always written and recorded our own music while playing in other bands (together and separately), but once the last band we were in stopped playing music (around 2003) we decided to take a shot at making music on our own.
The Chronicle: Describe the creative process you go through-where does your inspiration come from? What’s the easiest thing to write about?
Wiitala Brothers: There’s really no set pattern to the way our creative process works.
We’re constantly working on ideas and they always come about in different ways. We find inspiration in everything and we’ve definitely
had the easiest time writing sad songs; I guess we live our lives in minor key.
The Chronicle: What has been your favorite venue/ city to play?
Wiitala Brothers: We’ve really enjoyed playing at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn, The M Room in Philadelphia and Comet Ping Pong in Washington D.C. We love playing Schubas in Chicago as well, so we’re really looking forward to our show there.
The Chronicle: Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a record deal? What is the ultimate direction you want to go in?
Wiitala Brothers: So far we have been doing everything ourselves. It is a lot of work, but at this point we’ve been able to keep going. Obviously if the right people approached us about working together we would seriously consider it, but so far we are very happy with the way things are.
The Chronicle: How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?
Wiitala Brothers: Because it is only the two of us, our music’s evolution has been slow, but as a band we are a much more well-oiled machine now than when we first started.
The Chronicle: What has been the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
Wiitala Brothers: I’d say the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far has been making our record. There were times during the whole process where we felt like it would never end and we wouldn’t get results that we were happy with. There were also difficulties with some post-production things, but we worked hard and dealt with the problems we faced and made the best record we could.
The Chronicle: Anyone you’d like to acknowledge who’s been particularly supportive of your music?
Wiitala Brothers: We definitely wouldn’t be where we are without the support our family and friends have given us.
The Chronicle: Is there anything unique about you guys/ or do you want to add anything that sets you apart from other musicians and bands?
Wiitala Brothers: Well there are a lot of bands with brothers in them, not to mention
twin brothers, but hopefully our songs set us apart just a little bit. That said, the music scene is definitely a different world than it was years ago when we were playing in other bands. The idea that anyone can create something that can be heard by a potentially endless amount of people is a great privilege and we’re thankful to be able to do that.
To learn more about The Wiitala Brothers and to hear some of their album, check out thewiitalabrothers.com.