By Mary Valterria
Their faces may look exactly the same, but their sound is drastically different.
Riverside City College students Victor and Anthony Duran are twins who formed their own band called The Brothers Duran.
Victor and Anthony Duran perform solo and as a duet at all types of venues, including Back to the Grind and Mission Tobacco Lounge in downtown Riverside. Most recently, the brothers were featured in a garage-band type house-show located in Moreno Valley.
RCC student Liz Vargas said the house-show provided a small and intimate setting.
“I thought the venue was great and well thought out,” said Vargas. “(The setting) correlated with the music most bands were playing.”
People hung out in the driveway, others hung out in the living room of the house. The chatter all revolved around the bands that were scheduled to play.
Once the glass doors slid open, there was a make-shift hallway blocked off with white plastic sheeting. A fog machine tucked away in the corner steadily pumped fog into the space, making it a little difficult to see the path.
At the end of the hallway was a converted garage. Dim light came from two vintage lamps in each corner of the room and there was a revolving multi-colored light device that revealed only silhouettes of the people in the room.
As the fog continued to seep in from the hallway, Anthony Duran stood on a stage-like surface.
The songs he played were serene, melodious and the lyrics were well written.
Vargas said once she saw the dim lighting and fog, she figured the show would feature a mellow, indie rock type sound.
“Anthony’s performance was really good,” Vargas said. “Everyone was standing and the crowd (seemed) energetic.”
Anthony Duran engaged the energetic crowd in between each song he performed.
“It’s going to be electric … literally,” Anthony Duran said as he prepared an electric guitar for his final song.
The final song was edgier than the others. The strings were bold and authoritative and the lyrics were accusing. Anthony Duran showed some range in his vocal ability during this seductive piece.
Audience members clapped and cheered as he finished his set, which was composed of songs that he wrote himself. The loudest cheering came from Victor Duran, who was front and center for Anthony Duran’s complete performance.
As the stage was being set up for the next band, Victor and Anthony Duran discussed their musical journey.
The brothers, who both cite the band AC/DC as their earliest musical inspiration, were about 10 years old when they first started creating their own sounds.
“Our dad showed us concert videos,” Anthony Duran said. “I knew then what I wanted to do.”
Victor Duran described what it was like when they received their first set of guitars from their mother as a gift.
“At first we were scared or embarrassed to play for each other,” Victor Duran said. “Then after a while, we just did it.”
Victor Duran further explained that the young Duran brothers progressed to making mix tapes and eventually began playing for their family during Christmas gatherings.
As the twins got older, they explored different genres of music. The brothers chuckled as they reflected on their younger years.
“We went through hardcore phases,” Victor Duran said. “Things your mom wouldn’t necessarily want to hear from the other room.”
“She was so patient,” Anthony Duran added as he beamed with nostalgia.
Anthony Duran said that even though he and Victor Duran grew up in the same bedroom, the brothers eventually discovered individual sounds. The new-found styles finally set them apart musically.
Anthony Duran said he tends to lean toward acoustic sounds, although he has been experimenting lately with delay petals to accentuate his music which can sometimes be drawn out and soothing.
“I mostly do the singer/songwriter genre,” Anthony Duran said.
Victor Duran compared his music to his brothers.
“My music is very eclectic,” he said. “It’s like hip hop meets ambience.”
Both brothers said that although their individual sounds are different, it works well together once combined, setting The Brothers Duran apart from other duets.
“We think the same, we have the same cadences … the connection is the biggest strength that we have,” Anthony Duran said.
Victor Duran agreed with his twin and offered insight as to why the brothers are able to work together so well.
“We feed off our twin telepathy,” he said.
Anthony Duran added that their schedules were the only real challenge they face as twins who live and play in a band together.
Victor and Anthony Duran not only attend RCC, they also both work for Teavana in Rancho Cucamonga and care for their grandmother.
Despite their busy schedules, the brothers seemed to have been well prepared for the night’s performance.
At midnight, the twins took to the pseudo-stage as the Brothers Duran. The multi-colored lights began revolving once again as heavy fog rolled in.
The Brothers Duran began their performance and everything from the strumming of guitars to the occasional running of fingers through their hair was done in perfect unison. Although their mannerisms were almost identical, the distinctness of their individual sounds was easily recognizable.
Some of the compositions started with Anthony Duran’s signature acoustic style and moved into Victor Duran’s modernized rhythm, which featured fervent guitar strokes and unforgiving intonations.
As The Brothers Duran weaved in and out individual musical techniques, they still managed to keep a collective harmony.
“When The Brothers Duran played, the crowd seemed … relaxed and chill,” Vargas said. “Everyone was sitting down and just enjoying the music.”
Vargas added that she plans to attend future shows featuring The Brothers Duran.
Fans of the band will have plenty of opportunities to see the brothers in action, since they are each actively involved with multiple projects, including another band named ILKA, which they are both a part of.
Both Victor and Anthony Duran have each released music on Spotify including Victor Duran’s album titled “Moveable Earth” by Morning Person and Anthony Duran’s EP called “Mirrors of a Better Life.”
Victor Duran said that both he and his brother have “stuff all over the internet” and that fans should definitely check it out.
The Brothers Duran said they are working on making new music and are looking to release new albums in the future.