Nat and Alex Wolff
|Nat and Alex Wolff|
|Origin||New York, New York, U.S.|
|Labels||Nickelodeon/Columbia/SME, Saddleup Records|
|Associated acts||Polly Draper, Michael Wolff, Michael A. Levine, Boris Pelekh, Jake Hertzog, Chris Muir, Jesse Draper|
Nat and Alex Wolff are an American pop music duo from New York, New York, consisting of brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. The siblings are known for their work on the Nickelodeon television series The Naked Brothers Band, which was created and produced by their mother, actress Polly Draper. It was adapted from the self-titled mockumentary film that Draper wrote and directed. The duo's initial teen pop boy band called "The Naked Brothers Band" was depicted as part of its participation in their Nickelodeon series that aired from 2007 to 2009. They have released four full-length albums and have been nominated for several awards.
2001–2004: Early years - The Silver Boulders
While Nat was in preschool, he formed a band called The Silver Boulders with his friends, which included David, Thomas, Josh, Walker (son of news journalist Ann Curry), and Cal (son of actress Julianne Moore). Nat wrote his first song titled "Mama Don't Let Me Cry" at the age of five. At the time, Alex was not allowed to be part of the band, as Nat felt it would be unfashionable to have a brother in the same ensemble.
When Nat, who lives in Lower Manhattan of New York City, was 4 years old, his father, jazz pianist Michael Wolff (bandleader on The Arsenio Hall Show) played Nat music, primarily jazz. After hearing the music of The Beatles, Nat became inspired and watched all the group's films including Help!. Alex learned how to play the saxophone at the age of two and a half. As recalled by the boys' mother, actress Polly Draper (star on ABC's Thirtysomething), Nat and Alex were infants when they arose from a bath proclaiming, "We're the naked brothers band!"
After the September 11 attacks, six-year-old Nat composed the song "Firefighters" for a benefit he performed with his band, staged behind his Lower Manhattan apartment. Alex desired to be part of the concert, and so Nat created "a fake plastic saxophone" for him to play. The charity ended up raising over $45,000 and was donated to the children of the firefighters who were killed during the terrorist attacks. After the band's charity concert, the band performed shows at Christmas parties and wedding ceremonies.
After being inspired by Ringo Starr from The Beatles, Alex chose the drums as an alternative instrument to play. Alex learned how to play, as he viewed tapes of Starr playing, which resulted in him becoming a proficient drummer. This persuaded Nat to allow Alex to join his band. At the age of 6, Nat composed a melody without lyrics. He later desired to compose a song that sounded like The Beach Boys' music. Subsequently, Nat wrote the song "Crazy Car". In the aftermath, The Silver Boulders broke up; the siblings, along with original members David, Thomas, and Josh revived the band to its former title, The Naked Brothers Band.
In 2003, Nat was featured in his mother's play Getting Into Heaven at The Flea Theater. Nat also performed in The Heart of Baghdad at the same theater.
2004–2009: The Naked Brothers Band
Nat begged his mom to be a child actor by putting signs on his door that said: "I want to be a child star, Mom!" At first, she refused by explaining that it would be too difficult, so she made a compromise with Nat; in 2003, she let him film his own sitcom titled "Don't Eat Off My Plate." After that, Nat begged his dad to record a tape in the studio with Alex and him, so Mr. Wolff arranged a recording session for the three of them in the studio. While Ms. Draper saw them recording in the studio, she came up with the idea to make a "mock documentary" about the band as if they were huge like The Beatles. During the summer of 2004, the film took production at the family's real-life apartment and all around New York City, which at the time Nat was 9 and Alex was 6-and-a-half. Ms. Draper wrote and directed The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, which was designed as an independent family project with a low-budget under $1,000,000. The film consisted of celebrities who were friends with Draper and Wolff, including Cyndi Lauper, Julianne Moore, Ann Curry, Uma Thurman, Tony Shalhoub, Ricki Lake, Arsenio Hall, and the complete cast of Thirtysomething. The film also included Ms. Draper's niece Jesse Draper, her brother Tim Draper, and her nephews William "Billy" T. Draper, Adam Draper, and Coulter Mulligan. Michael Wolff produced the music with his longtime friend music composer Michael A. Levine; Polly Draper, Michael Wolff, and Tim Draper all served as executive producers for the film. Nat Wolff wrote and performed all the songs, except for "That's How It Is", which was written and performed by Alex Wolff.
In 2005, Ms. Draper entered the film at the October 23, 2005, Hamptons International Film Festival, where it won the audience award for family feature film. Meanwhile, Nickelodeon executive and the founder of Spike TV, Albie Hecht was in the audience that day. He ended up bringing the film to Nickelodeon—begging them to do a television series based on it. Tom Asheim, the vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon said:
- "At first, we were intrigued by the idea, but we weren't sure kids would get the vague-tongue-and-check-of-it. Then a bunch of us took it home to our own children and they loved it."
Eventually, Nickelodeon persuaded Ms. Draper to put together a television series. Draper recalled, "When Nickelodeon first asked us about doing a series, we said, 'How about a cartoon, so the kids could stay normal?' They said, 'No, we love your kids.'" In the summer through the early fall of 2006, the first season of the self-titled series took production. On January 27, 2007, The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie aired on Nickelodeon, and the self-titled series aired February 3. Polly Draper is the creator, head writer, executive producer, and frequent director of the series, while Albie Hecht is the executive producer and his production company Worldwide Biggies distributes the series. Kidz House Entertainment also distributes the series. It's located at Stage 1, which is a division of Broadway Stages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where the show is filmed. The series premiere brought Nickelodeon's highest-rated premiere in seven years.
Nat and Alex never really realized how big they were until October 8, 2007. Band members Nat, Alex, Thomas, David, Allie DiMeco (who stars as Rosalina and Nat's crush on the film and TV series), and Qaasim Middleton (who replaced former band-member Josh on the series) had an autograph-signing at Times Square Virgin Megastore for the band's release of their self-titled debut album The Naked Brothers Band. There were 1,500 fans that waited outside of Virgin Megastore for hours, some camped out overnight. In addition, they also had a live performance on ABC's Good Morning America with the band's song "I'm Out".
On April 15, 2008, the band finally released its second album, I Don't Want To Go To School. The album had a total of 12 tracks, along with two bonus tracks, and a poster. As part of a Wal-Mart special sale, it included a DVD featuring a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Draper-Wolff family and the siblings' bandmates.
The band then started its first national-tour around the country called Nat & Alex Wolff: Fully Clothed & On Tour, which started on November 1, 2008. Nat and Alex, along with professionally trained musicians that include Jacob Hertzog (Music Director/Guitar/Backup Vocals), Misty Boyce (Keyboards/Backup Vocals), Chris Muir (Bass/Backup Vocals), and Boris Pelekh (Guitar/Drums/Backup Vocals) performed songs from and even some from the upcoming episodes. Some concerts they performed at include the Capital One Bank Theater in New York City, the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, the Berkeley Performance Center in Boston, The Roxy in Los Angeles, and the House of Blues in Chicago, New Orleans, Florida and California. The tour ended shortly after on December 14, 2008.
The third season of the brothers' show began on October 18, 2008, with the television movie Mystery Girl. The third and final season of The Naked Brothers Band television show aired four TV movies and three holiday specials. The series ended on June 13, 2009, with No School Fools' Day. Many fans wondered the reason for why the show came to an end. There were many reasons, but in the end it was confirmed that the ending of the series was because the show was too expensive to be produced, and Nickelodeon would not approve the budget.
2009–2010: Duo career and touring
After The Naked Brothers Band television show ended, the brothers continued to pursue music but emerged as a duo group because the duo's old band name was owned by Viacom, a trademark of Nickelodeon. The other band mates — Jake Hertzog and Boris Pelekh on guitar, Chris Muir on bass, and Misty Boyce on keyboards — provided back-up instrumentation. They had also appeared at the siblings' initial tour in 2008. Following the 2008 tour, the brothers confirmed their first full-length summer tour, titled "Nat and Alex Wolff: Summer Road Trip Tour". It began in June 2009 and ended in early October 2009.
The brothers performed at Pop-Con 2010, alongside Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and many other teen performers. Thereafter, the duo performed at the Earth Day 2010 concert in New York and played many new songs there, such as "Fire and Kerosene", "18" or "Disappointed" and others.
After the brothers completed their tour in 2009, they revealed that they were working on a new studio album, post their Nickelodeon TV series. New material was written and recorded during that summer. Two demo tracks — a cover of Bruce Springsteen's song "Dancing In The Dark" and of The Beatles' song, "A Hard Day's Night" — were leaked onto the siblings' official website.
2010-2012: Black Sheep
The brothers began recording their studio album in early 2010, and it was planned to consist of 12 new tracks. Of the writing process, Nat said, "The material is a bit more mature, as I have matured as a [song]writer." Leading up to the album release, the brothers have starred in their own webshow on YouTube, which was written and directed by their mother and their official website produced it. New episodes have been uploaded weekly, most of which featured snippets of tracks from their upcoming album, Black Sheep. The album was to be released in the fall of 2011. The album was produced by their father and Daniel Wise, a client at The Soundmine Recording Studio.
2012-Present: Throwbacks and Double Singles
In October 2013, Nat & Alex Wolff released an album of previously unreleased songs, entitled "Throwbacks". The album primarily consisted of songs the musicians wrote during their time on their Nickelodeon show, The Naked Brothers Band.
In 2014, the brothers released a double-single, Cities/It's Just Love. Three months later, they released two more singles, "Last Station" and "Rules". On October 7, an additional double-single, consisting of "Where I'm Goin'" by Alex, and "Rock Star" by Nat, was released.
Musical style and influences
The brothers' career was inspired by their favourite rock band, The Beatles. Alex learned to play the drums by watching Ringo Starr on the Anthology tapes. This was the reason the brothers wanted to be in a band. Nat has also said that the two of them were very inspired by Nirvana, the Killers, The Doors, and Coldplay. Originally, the band was a bubblegum pop-style group, over time however, the band evolved to have a more rock-based sound.
- Nat Wolff - vocals, guitar, bass, piano (2004–present)
- Alex Wolff - vocals, guitar, piano, drums (2004–present)
|Title||Type||Recorded date||Release date||Composer(s)||Producer(s)||Label|
|The Naked Brothers Band: Music from the Movie||Soundtrack / EP||Mid-2005||April 3, 2007||Nat Wolff
|Michael Wolff||Nickelodeon/Columbia/SME Records|
|The Naked Brothers Band||Soundtrack||Mid-2006||October 7, 2007||Nat Wolff
Michael A. Levine
|I Don't Want to Go to School||Soundtrack||Mid-2007||April 15, 2008||Nat Wolff
Michael A. Levine
|Black Sheep||Studio album||Late 2008 - Mid-2010||October 11, 2011|| Nat Wolff
| Michael Wolff
|Throwbacks||Soundtrack||2008-2009||October 15, 2013||Nat Wolff
"The Naked Brothers Band"
- Crazy Car (2005)
- If That's Not Love (2007)
- I Don't Want To Go To School (2008)
- Face In The Hall (2009)
"Nat & Alex Wolff"
- Thump, Thump, Thump (2011)
- Cities / It's Just Love (2014)
- Last Station / Rules (2014)
- Where I'm Goin' / Rock Star (2014)
Concert and tours
|Tour||Fully Clothed and On Tour||November 1, 2008 – December 14, 2008|
|Tour||Summer Road Trip Tour||July 2009 - October 2009|
|Concert||Pop-Con||February 20, 2010|
|Concert||School of Rock Concert East||May 15, 2011|
|Concert||Gramercy Theater||May 29, 2011|
|Concert||Genghis Cohen Concert||July 15, 2011|
|Year||Award||Venue||Film or series|| Recipient(s)
(including Nat &/or Alex)
|Film writer/director or TV creator/executive producer||Network||Result|
|2005||Audience Award for Family Feature Film||Hamptons International Film Festival||The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie||Polly Draper, Nat Wolff, Alex Wolff, David Levi, Thomas Batuello, Joshua Kaye, Allie DiMeco, Michael Wolff, Cooper Pillot||Polly Draper/ Polly Draper||Indie film-turned pilot episode on Nickelodeon||Won|
|2007||Best TV Actor||Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||The Naked Brothers Band TV series||Nat Wolff||Polly Draper/ Albie Hecht, Polly Draper, Michael Wolff (co-)||Nickelodeon||Nominated|
|2009||Favorite Television Actor||Nickelodeon US Kids' Choice Awards||The Naked Brothers Band TV series||Nat Wolff||Polly Draper/ Albie Hecht, Polly Draper, Michael Wolff (co-), Bob Mittenthal (co-)||Nickelodeon||Nominated|
|2010||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young Actor||Young Artist Awards 2010||The Naked Brothers Band TV series||Nat Wolff||Polly Draper/ Albie Hecht, Polly Draper, Michael Wolff (co-), Bob Mittenthal (co-)||Nickelodeon||Nominated|
- "Video Library". wcbstv.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Lee, Felicia R. (January 25, 2007). "A TV Family Bound by Blood and a Band". The New York Times.
- Steinberg, Jacques (September 22, 2007). "Famous for Playing Rock Stars". The New York Times.
- Ann Curry, Polly Draper, Michael Wolff, Nat Wolff, Alex Wolff (April 12, 2007). TODAY: 'Naked Brothers Band' (telecast). MSN. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Driver, Dustin. "The Naked Brothers Band: Naked Inspiration". Apple. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- "Variety Profiles: The Naked Brothers Band". Variety.
- Fries, Laura (January 25, 2007). "Naked Brothers Band". Variety.
- "de beste bron van informatie over webarchiv. Deze website is te koop!". broadwaystages.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Interview: Nat and Alex Wolff of the Naked Brothers Band - Kids' TV Shows, Music - Kaboose.com". Entertainment.kaboose.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Sutton, Judy (August 11, 2009). "Chatting with the Wolff Brothers of the Naked Brothers Band". TimeOutChicago. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- "NatNAlex.com". September 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- "The Soundmine Recording Studio - Our Clients". The Soundmine Recording Studio. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- "The Soundmine Recording Studio - Our Staff". The Soundmine Recording Studio. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- Joey (2009-12-15). "Pop-Con w/ Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez & More! « 92.3 NOW – New York's Hit Music Channel". 923now.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- The Naked Brothers Band being interviewed at the New York Times Center Stage
- A TV Family Bound by Blood and a Band
- Nat and Alex Wolff on Twitter