The Von Trapp secret to success

If you want success in the music industry it seems all you need is to make like the Von Trapps and sing with your siblings.

Countless acts dominating the charts are linked by a lot more than their love of music, they share the same DNA.

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg, aka First Aid Kit, have been lighting up New Zealand audiences recently with their joyful harmonies on their tour of the country.

And, if they make it look easy, that’s because it is when you have a talented sister at home ready and willing to dive headfirst into the music industry with you.

“We’ve always been singing together but as First Aid Kit when I was 14 and Johanna was 16,” Klara told Ladygunn TV.

“I started playing guitar and started writing songs pretty quickly after that. Then Johanna started singing harmonies and we played a few shows together and then we said ‘we should do this together”‘ she said.

And it’s not just the sisters who are doing it for themselves, Australian acts Sheppard, Angus & Julia Stone and New Zealand act Broods have brought brothers and sisters on board.

But for the Stones, who recently released their third album together after a four-year hiatus, they weren’t even sure if they would work together again.

“We were enjoying the time apart, enjoying our different directions. There was no conversation of, ‘When are we doing another Angus & Julia record’ It never even came up,” Julia said.

There’s definitely a down side to your sibling seeing you experiment with all the good and bad the music industry, and various groupies, may throw at you.

But then there’s something about that sibling bond that is hard to shake off, and when legendary music producer Rick Rubin told the Stones he wanted to work with them, they managed to reunite for the third record.

“We found a new way to make music together,” Julia said.

“I think we had enough space from each other to be able to really listen to this time and appreciate each other’s ideas, thoughts and feelings,” she said.

Another brother and sister duo, Broods, are still in the honeymoon period (and that’s not meant with any Game of Thrones connotation) of being in a band together

“There’s something about singing with family that’s just really tight, it works really well,” Georgia Nott, of Broods, said.

Georgia and brother Caleb are just about to launch their first album together, Evergreen, and have been winning fans over with their song Bridges.

As they prove when they perform on stage, these New Zealanders have an easy chemistry that comes from playing with each other, basically, all their lives.

A year ago, the Notts decided to write music together and became Broods. Growing up with the same diet of music meant they wanted to go in the same direction.

“I had a conscious vision and idea of what I wanted it to sound like,” Caleb said.

“Electronic, we really wanted something electronic,” Georgia said.

When they began writing together, their familial bond came into play and both agree it all came very easily to them.

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“It’s just really comfortable and quite natural,” Georgia said.

But sometimes, just having two siblings on stage isn’t enough.

Brisbane band, Sheppard, have three siblings in their midst: Emma, George and Amy Sheppard and three non-siblings, Jay Bovino, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon, to balance things out.

The popular band, who had a No.1 hit with Geronimo, hit the jackpot when the siblings started jamming together.

Amy told Network Ten’s Studio 10 TV show, that while working on an assignment for TAFE, she discovered just how good her music could be with her brother on board.

“I don’t think the magic happened until I brought George on board for an assignment. I wanted some harmonies and I got George on at the last minute …and then he started singing and I said ‘this is amazing you’re on every song now’,” she said.

All these siblings are probably in line for long and happy careers as long as they don’t borrow each other’s clothes, argue over who has to take the bins out, squabble over who is their parents’ favourite.


They made great rock hits together, but Liam and Noel Gallagher proved it’s not all trust and harmonies between brothers in bands. Here’s hoping the aforementioned sibling groups don’t go the way of this feuding pair.

These three brothers were unashamedly cute and cheesy when they burst on to the scene with their song MMMbop and are proof that you can get through your awkward teenage years in a band with your brothers….and live to tell the tale.
The trio are coming to New Zealand next week.

The Bee Gees
Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb hit those high notes together, harmonising in their upper registers as only they could. Perhaps it was the unconditional brotherly love that allowed them to be comfortable enough with each other to experiment in that potentially embarrassing falsetto range.

Kings of Leon
Most people would find it awkward to sing about their sex in front of their brother, particularly if it was on fire. But not brothers Caleb Nathan and Jared Followill who make up Kings of leon. In fact, they’re so comfortable, they even brought their cousin, Matthew Followill, along for the ride.