Since they played their first show together at 13 years old, the members of MyBrother MySister made a name for themselves in Midlands music.
Guitarist and vocalist Dylan Kittrell and drummer Jenni Scott, are students at Dreher High School and are the grunge-pop duo. Even at 17 years old, they're far from out of place in Columbia’s music scene, surrounded by seasoned veterans.
Scott and Kittrell became a band in late eighth grade but started taking the idea seriously in ninth grade. MyBrother MySister found its place when Mat Cothran of Elvis Depressedly put them on one of their shows with two other Columbia-based groups, Those Lavender Whales and Dear Blanca. It was the first performance where Kittrell and Scott played to the crowd that they “wanted to play to,” and it’s only gotten better from there.
“People dug it, but it got better,” Kittrell said. “I feel like everyone adopted us for a while to help us grow.”
Despite being years younger than most of the bands they share a stage with, the scene welcomed them with open arms. The faith of their musical peers has been an asset to their success so far, but they say it isn't always fun being the youngest in the room.
Scott said, “people think we’re impressive because we’re young,” and while older age can reflect experience in the industry, it doesn’t necessarily reflect talent.
“I can’t help it, so I might as well be good while I’m young,” Kittrell said.
Kittrell and Scott aren’t siblings, but the band name is drawn from a few connotations. Kittrell lost his sister to a terminal disease, and he views the name as a way to honor her, as well as a take on Kittrell and Scott’s friendship.
“My sister died when I was younger, and that affected me,” Kittrell said. “I became better friends with Jenni. She’s like my sister in a way, but it’s also an ode to my other sister.”
Over the years, Scott and Kittrell grew as friends and musicians, and music came as second nature to them from the start. According to Scott, she’s never had drum lessons.
“I don’t know why, I’ve just always been attracted to playing drums the most,” she said. “It just came very naturally to me.”
Over the last few years of playing together, the band's sound has grown just as they have. Since the release of their first album in November 2014, “Go Back Home,” produced at Archer Avenue, their music has headed in a different direction. Traditionally, Kittrell described their music as having “the same sort of drive through a song,” but they’re working to expand their sound with more changes.
“It’s kind of different than most rock music, in a way,” he said. “A lot of my friend’s bands have five different parts in a minute of a song, and our songs had maybe five parts in the total time of a song.”
In the studio, Kittrell and Scott record themselves and layer the recordings as their own backing band. Because they can’t be their own backing band on stage, their friends Martin J. Hacker-Mullen on guitar, Andrew Graybill on bass and Ian Graybill on synths join them.
“I think it sounds exactly how I want it to,” Kittrell said.
Kittrell and Scott know they probably wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of their parents along the way, and they’re grateful to have the parents that they do given the circumstances of their popularity.
“Shout out to my mom for loving Dave Grohl,” Kittrell said, laughing.
Had their parents not loved music and the band, MyBrother MySister could’ve been nixed after a bad test grade. Moms are always their kid’s biggest fans, but they can’t always be roadies, too.
“They think it’s sick,” Kitrell said. “I’m having to tell my mom, ‘No, you can’t come on this tour with us’ because she’s like, ‘Alright, I’m ready.’”
Kittrell and Scott are looking forward to playing shows and going to class as college students. MyBrother MySister is seemingly much more than just a high school band. They recently opened for one of their biggest influences, Alex G, in Asheville, North Carolina.
They’re humble about their success thus far, but musicians believe in them for a reason. As the youngest of a community of musicians, their mentors are becoming peers, proving that age really is just a number.