Butler gives lads his sound advice

John Butler performing at Bluesfest 2010.
John Butler performing at Bluesfest 2010.

TEENAGE members of the band Lifeline have been humbled by advice given to them by iconic roots musician John Butler.

Lifeline, a Northern Rivers urban groove four-piece, won the "grommets" section of the Bluesfest busking competition last week.

The band's prizes included a chance to play at Bluesfest in the Busking Tent, recording time in a professional studio and a one-hour mentoring session with Mr Butler.

"He (Butler) told us about being a touring and recording musician," said Lifeline's 15-year-old keyboardist, Louie Swain.

"He said getting a massive hit single isn't the best way to go if you want to get big and stay big. He said you have to keep touring and build up your support, then you can just plateau at the top."

Louie's dad Andrew said Butler's career advice had grounded the young lads.

"He was a really good mentor for them because he's really level-headed and cluey," Mr Swain said.

"He said, 'You guys are good and you're going to make it, but don't go crazy'.

"When you get someone like that who they really respect, it's really good for them, especially at that age."

Lifeline's members are Louie Swain of Newrybar, Patrick Hethering of Lennox Head and Anatole "Toto" Serret and Jade Deegan of Mullumbimby.

All are just 15 years old and have already played at several large-scale festivals and supported renowned surf band, the Beautiful Girls.

The dedicated youngsters write their own songs and have no hesitation playing new ones under pressure.

"Even at Bluesfest the other day they played two new songs," Mr Swain said. "I was thinking, 'You guys are nuts'.

"But they're not just kids mucking around; they're really good musicians and they can pull it off."

Lifeline has made plans for the future.

"We want to focus on recording lots and we really want to get an EP out soon.

"That should take up most of the next few months," Louie said.

Topics:  bluesfest, john butler, lifeline, louie swain



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