Identical twin brothers Jeffrey and Jason Linford never gave up on their dreams. Now, with their company and music duo, the Hollywood Bug Guys, it’s paying off.
“It’s finally starting to get traction. It’s just super-exciting,” Jason said. “We’re on a mission to revolutionize the music industry through pest control.”
The brothers have always played music. Growing up in Mesa, their mother taught them to sing and play violin as children, and they were dubbed the “twin fiddlers.”
“Jason knew early on that that was an opportunity, being the twin fiddlers,” Jeffrey said. “We gradually expanded into our pest control, but it all started with our music.”
Pest control wormed its way into their lives in 2004, as the duo used their profits to pay for collect. The brothers attended Brigham Young University. While there, Jeffrey was approached by a friend to start selling pest control.
“I thought, ‘Oh, no, is this what my life has come to,’” Jeffrey said.
Although initially skeptical, Jeffrey got creative. Instead of the traditional door-to-door pitch, he found a way to incorporate his love of music into the sell.
“I went with my violin and played some fiddle tunes,” Jeffrey said. “And I basically was like we don’t fiddle around with bugs. Then people would let us in and talk to us about our music and our pest control and I started signing up customers that way.”
Jeffrey did this for about a year until roping Jason into the job. Jason, who was pre-med and pre-film at BYU, was interested in pursuing his master’s degree, but Jeffrey knew there was a different plan.
“The economy just crashed in 2008 and 2009 and I realized all these great jobs are struggling, but pest control is still thriving,” Jeffrey said. “So, I thought, it’s good to go into a recession-proof industry.”
Jeffrey had to persuade Jason to get involved, but the minute he agreed, it was a “breakthrough moment.”
“I said I’ll do pest control with you if we make a piece of paper and we sign a contract with each other,” Jason said. “You have to sign this paper and agree that we will never give up on music or entertainment because I felt in my heart we could probably make it together in music entertainment than individually.”
Jason and Jeffrey started their own pest control company, Green Worx, in 2010. The brothers were splitting time between Green Worx and classes at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
“We would go every other week to come back to Arizona and drive back,” Jason said. “So, we live in Hollywood, in our cars, and we go to school and sometimes we’d wear our Green Worx clothes because we’d drive back all night long.”
The school’s faculty noticed the brothers’ Green Worx apparel. Their clientele grew and they expanded their business to Hollywood.
“It was like lightning hit my head,” Jason said. “I said, ‘Jeff, we’re the Hollywood Bug Guys. That’s how we’re going to do it. We’re going to get into every door in Hollywood by being the Hollywood Bug Guys.’ If it’s about who you know, you might as well be treating their bugs.”
A friend referred the duo to a casting agent looking for twins with a unique talent. That’s when they got a call from “The Gong Show.”
“The crazier the better, they said,” Jeffrey said.
The brothers performed their cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” (with “exterminating” bug backup dancers) on “The Gong Show” in front of celebrity judges Dana Carvey, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson.
“Since ‘The Gong Show,’ things have just taken off,” Jason said. “About six production companies want to sign us and do a reality show. We have not said yes because we want to find the right fit.”
Back in Mesa, the brothers write their own music in the “Practice Pad,” a live music venue and recording studio.
“We’re making our own little venue,” Jason said. “It seats about 50 people and we’re going to open that sometime this year. We’ll probably have a concert about once a month there. We are getting more of an online following.”
That’s not their only goal. They’re chasing big dreams of an album, a TV show and another the Hollywood Bug Guys location.
“Very shortly, L.A. will be just as much a headquarters,” Jason said. “Not that there aren’t serious artists (in Arizona). There are just so many more out there. The concentration is so high and it’s great to network in both places. Especially bringing that energy back to Arizona.”
Information: 480-439-5081, hollywoodbugguys.com.