Drake brothers band together


Photo courtesy of Lee Hutchinson

The Holmberg brothers preform at Sweetwater Concert for the Cure on August 28, 2019.

Among the many friendly faces at Drake High School, senior Ray Holmberg and freshman Paul Holmberg stand out. One thing in particular that makes these siblings original is their band. 

After playing music together for the majority of their lives, the brothers released their first single, “Mystery,” at the beginning of 2019. The song was met with great enthusiasm, not only from the school but from more than 90,000 listeners on Spotify. Now, with their second single produced, and live gigs under their belts, the family duo looks to release new songs in order to advance their music careers together,

Having grown up surrounded by music, Ray and Paul Holmberg’s love for their craft began at a young age. Paul received his first set of drums at age six, and Ray got his first guitar at nine.

However, their love for music wasn’t always apparent, as the two shared a passionate dislike of guided lessons. 

“I started playing [guitar] around nine and hated it for a year or two. I hated lessons, but I picked it up again at age fourteen and started liking it,” Ray said. 

“I also hated lessons,” Paul said. “I didn’t pick it up again until recently.” 

One thing that they did love about music was performing together. “We’ve always played together,” Paul said. 

For years, the brothers played at school talent shows, performing covers of various songs. When they were younger they were also in a band with a couple of friends which they called RAMP, cleverly named after the initials of the four members. 

“We’ve talked about having another band member now, but I think it’s kinda cool that it’s just the two of us,” Ray said.

Ray wrote their first song, “Mystery”, his sophomore year. “We got studio time as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and decided on the song to record,” Ray said. 

Their second song, “Favorite Shirt,” was released in July of this year. The brothers were motivated by the positive responses from their classmates and the community. “It was kinda weird at first, hearing ‘Mystery’ play in the gym,” Ray said.

“Everyone knows Ray and our music, it’s trippy,” Paul said, regarding his feelings of starting his freshman year at Drake. 

 They’ve learned a lot from working in the music industry through the trials and tribulations of producing music while in high school. With busy schedules, the two find it difficult to make time for their music — Ray with sports and college applications, and Paul with dance. The idea of producing an album over the summer was tossed around, but “that was a bit of a stretch since we didn’t have a lot of time,” Paul said. 

Next, the issue of money came into play.

Studio time is costly, and “the guy at the studio was trying to take too much money and too much credit,” Ray said. 

However, the two are at no shortage of songs for an album. Ray, who always jots down any song ideas, has around 40 songs written and the band performs about fifteen of these at their live shows. 

When tasked with predicting their future as a band, Ray and Paul are optimistic. Ray plans to attend college next year and study music but hopes to stay in California. Paul hopes to drive to wherever Ray is and record music together, but to “do a lot of individual brainstorming” while apart. 

Despite being open to alternative paths, the band cites their music as a dream career. 

“There’s nothing else I want to do,” Ray said. As for the tangible future, the brothers plan to release a music video for “Mystery” and have another single on the way. “I wanna go crazy, to just go for it,” Paul said. It seems the brothers are well on the road to success.