With a loyal following of fans around Delaware County and northeast Iowa, and with gigs scheduled from Des Moines to Wisconsin, things are starting to get serious for the Not Quite Brothers Band.
The band is made up of twins Sam and Isaac Johnson, Cooper Corcoran, Blake Marsh and Ben Schmelzer. Sam and Isaac Johnson are from Manchester and Corcoran is from Ryan. All three attended West Delaware High School. After school, they met Marsh, who is from Dyersville and Schmelzer, who is from Guttenberg.
Not Quite Brothers is known for high-energy shows and a diverse setlist. Sam Johnson believes that is what draws their fans.
“I think our fans like the variety of show that we put on. We are energetic on stage.”
Corcoran agreed, saying, “There’s something to be said about that. You can play a variety of good music, but the crowd needs to see the band having fun. When the band has fun, the crowd is going to have fun.”
Corcoran met Isaac Johnson in high school. Little did they know that meeting would lead to a five-piece band. “I met Isaac in a high school class and found out we each played guitar,” Corcoran explained. We picked up Sam and became an acoustic band, playing a few things in high school.”
The trio called themselves Not Quite Brothers. “Two of us were brothers and Cooper wasn’t,” Sam Johnson explained.
A year ago, they added Marsh and Schmelzer, keeping the name.
“People in our crowd know there’s a set of twins in the band, but they think it’s Sam and me,” Corcoran said.
Sam Johnson handles the vocals, with his brother, Isaac plays lead guitar. Corcoran plays rhythm guitar, Marsh bass and Schmelzer drums.
They cite a variety of musical influences, including Aerosmith, AC/DC, Blackberry Smoke, Zakk Wylde, Motley Crue and The Eagles. Many of those influences can be heard at their shows.
“People love the songs we play,” Schmelzer explained. “You don’t see many bands around here playing “Girls, Girls, Girls by Motley Crue or “For Those About to Rock” by AC/DC.”
The band also spends a great deal of time rehearsing. “Not to be cocky,” Marsh said, “but I think we are all really good musicians for our age. We are really tight and together after being together only a year.”
Corcoran said their September schedule, which includes an opening slot for the Pork Tornadoes, is a sign as to just how far the band has come. “We’re starting to cover a larger radius,” he said. “I’m pretty proud of that. I didn’t see that coming a year ago.”
All five agree they want to stay together. “I want to see how far the music can take us,” Corcoran said.
“I could see us getting to the level of the Pork Tornadoes someday if we wrote our own music,” Isaac Johnson said. “That would be really cool. But we are having a good time and playing the music we love.”