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  • Brandi Carlile met twin brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth at a Seattle recording studio.
  • The Hanseroth twins were previously in the band Fighting Machinists.
  • Carlile and “the twins” are more than bandmates — they are family.
Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth, and Phil Hanseroth attend MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City
Tim Hanseroth, Brandi Carlile, and Phil Hanseroth | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Brandi Carlile’s breakout single The Story hit the charts back in 2007. But it wasn’t until recently that her music career really started to take off. Two people who have been by her side since she was a teenager are her bandmates — twin brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth. Who are these Seattle rockers who Brandi Carlile fans simply call “the twins?”

Brandi Carlile met ‘The Twins’ at a Seattle recording studio

Carlile was introduced to Phil and Tim Hanseroth when she was just 17-years-old by the producer of Pearl Jam’s album Ten, Rick Parashar. Carlile told NPR that it was the late 90s, and she was cutting demos in the upstairs bedroom of a recording studio.

“I couldn’t afford to be down in the big studio — which is where a whole bunch of Alice in Chains stuff was recorded, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Temple of the Dog. It was kind of like the Seattle institution at the time.”

The Hanseroth twins were previously in the band Fighting MachinistsThe Hanseroth twins were in the band Fighting Machinists

While Carlile was upstairs, the Hanseroth twins were in the big studio downstairs recording with their band the Fighting Machinists. She had heard some buzz about the band around Seattle. And when they all decided to hang out together one night, they became immediate friends.

“Her sense of humor, the way she kind of, presented herself,” Tim recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh man. This is going to be a friend for life.’ “

‘There is no Brandi Carlile without the twins’

The Fighting Machinists eventually broke up. And it wasn’t long before the trio started playing the Seattle music clubs together — and they’ve been playing music together ever since. Carlile and the Hanseroth twins are all part of the band known as “Brandi Carlile.” In addition to playing guitar and bass, Phil and Tim co-write most of the band’s songs.

“There is no Brandi Carlile without the twins,” the singer told Variety. “One of my biggest regrets is going with my name as the name of the band.”

Their music is ‘a side effect of the friendship’

It’s clear they’ve been friends for a long time, as Carlile affectionately refers to her bandmates as “those bald b*tches.” Tim says they’ve always shared the same wicked sense of humor. He described their music as “almost like a side effect of the friendship.”

When the trio signed their decade-long deal with Sony, they agreed to split all of the money they made three ways. No matter who wrote the songs. Phil explained that splitting things evenly among the band from the beginning prevented someone from rewriting the last verse “just so they can get a few bucks.”

Carlile added that if she didn’t share the band’s success with the twins, it would be “like watching a comedy by yourself…I don’t want a swimming pool if they can’t have one.”

Brandi Carlile and the Hanseroth Twins are family

Carlile and the Hanseroth twins are more than just friends and bandmates. They are also family. The trio and their spouses all live together on a rural property outside of Seattle. And Phil is married to Carlile’s younger sister, Tiffany.

“It’s like, me and my wife and our two daughters. Tim and Hanna and their son and daughter. Phil and Tiffany and their two kids, a boy and girl,” Carlile explained.


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“And then, married to my wife’s sister is our long-time cellist, Josh. Married to my wife’s other sister is our engineer, Jerry. And so there are more kids kind of being added to the compound, and yeah, we kinda all live in the same place.”

The “compound” is where Carlile and the Hanseroth twins wrote Brandi Carlile’s new album In These Silent Days, which is available now on iTunes and Spotify.