Luke and Daniel Brindley have an unusual dual role in the local music scene — club owners and performers. After growing up in New Jersey and attending Rutgers University, the brothers moved to Virginia, and now co-own Jammin' Java and play music together as the Brindley Brothers. For the next two Saturdays (Sept. 24 and Oct. 1), these two enterprises merge as the Brindley Brothers play headlining shows at Jammin' Java, the last two in a three-part Saturday concert series. The brothers recently answered some questions about Jammin' Java and the upcoming shows via e-mail.
When did you start playing music together? We've been playing together for about five years. We were each doing separate things, then we started getting together and realized we should try and do stuff together. Our strengths really complimented each other. We started playing each others' songs, then it moved more into just my songs. We recorded two CDs under my name. It's recently transitioned into more of my thing.
I'm not working at Jammin' Java day-to-day anymore and Daniel's real busy with that. He still plays in the band though, but I'm doing music full-time.
Describe your sound. Song oriented pop-rock.
What are some of your biggest influences? New Jersey, New York City, traveling and highways, love, hope, Bob Dylan, Wilco, Mark Kozelek and Nick Drake.
What's been the most exciting moment as a band? I can't think of any specific event. But over the last year or so it has been amazing to see more and more people showing up to the shows. Also, seeing the positive response to the last record has been great. When you're creating something like a record, you just have to keep believing that it's good and try to stay with the original vision. You never know how it will be received. It's very gratifying to see something I've worked so hard on be received well. I'm more excited now than ever about the future of the music. The new songs are our strongest ever.
When, why, and how did you get involved with Jammin' Java? We heard about Jammin' Java in 2001 when we were still living in New Jersey. Daniel was in college and I was working in New York City. We heard from a friend of a friend that there was this music club/cafe/recording studio/music lesson school (and at that point, a guitar store) that someone had put a lot of money into building out that was now looking for new owners. We started coming down for a few days at a time to check it out, talking to the people running it and thinking about how we could make it work. We naively thought we could make it work — we did, but it was unbelievably hard.
Looking back, we had no idea what we were getting into. We were both looking for change in our lives and were at a point were we could take a chance and move down to Virginia. Music has been our passion for as long as I can remember and this seemed like a good way to make a living — in some part of the music business. We have learned so much about the other side of the music business, apart from what we've learned as performers — it's made us smarter about how we approach our own career. And musically, being exposed to so many thousands of different artists has been great.
What's been the most exciting moment for you as club owners?
Daniel: Every moment the club is packed and there is great music on the stage. I love it.
Luke: Being able to host world-class performers and have them love the place has been great. Recently, Jammin' Java was voted the #4 place to hear live music in the D.C. area. We've only been at this four years so that's a milestone for us.
Which do you enjoy more, running the club or playing in it?
Daniel: Both. I am equally happy in the office booking great bands as I am on stage being the band booked.
Luke: Definitely playing.
What does the future hold? Brindley Brothers are recording a new record with producer Jim Ebert (Butch Walker, Meredith Brooks, Marvelous 3) in September. Then we'll look for a new record label. We look forward to growing in the D.C. area and expanding beyond the region. We've got a solid line-up with great players and the future looks brighter than ever.
Brindley Brothers perform Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, at 9:30 p.m., at Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Tickets are $10. Call 703-255-1566 or visit www.jamminjava.com.