These are my ramblings… just being honest…
The past 3 months have been the greatest months of my life!
The prospect of staring down the barrel of real life as a working musician, without the aide of a full time job, has been both challenging and scary. Basically I’m now a small business owner… again… (I used to run a small Cabinetmaking business back in Mackay) the thought of the next few years and how thin I need to run, in order to maintain all the necessary components of a business as a completely independent musician is daunting enough, but I’ve just been gifted the most rewarding weeks of my life and I can’t wait to see what treasures the future unveils. The only difference I see today to how life was back then is that I truly love what I’m doing now. Those years spent buried in saw dust, grinding out day after day in a tin shed, melting over a panel saw and wishing I had enough income to cover all the bills at the end of the month, I now know, were nothing more than preparation for this next chapter in my life. Its a far cry from those days but the lessons are still very much engrained in the calluses on my hands. I have to say my years working in coal mining were a holiday compared to the cabinetmaking industry.
With only a couple of short weeks til the release of my third full length album From The Bottom Of A Well, I’ve been reflecting on how I arrived at this point at all. All the radio interviews on the back of the first single Well Dressed Man and the constant chatting about myself, where I’m from and who I am ~ cause nobody knows who the hell this Brad Butcher character is ~ has surfaced a couple of memories that had been locked away for many years. I’ll get back to what they are in just a minute… The thing I’ve struggled with most is being comfortable on stage in front of an audience. Lets face it, they have high expectations. They’ve paid their hard earned and are now staring you down like you’re about to ask their youngest daughter out on a date. The challenge is to convey a complete sense of calm and control across everything you do, which is really difficult when your leg is shaking and you’re the only person in the room who has a great big white spot light shining directly on you! As silence falls on the room the job is simple – be honest, sing and play as best you can and try to create a few moments in the set that send them home thanking the person who’s idea it was to go and watch some Queensland bloke sing his songs. Easier said than done!
Back to those memories…. The irony in the fact that I’m on stage and singing at all makes my parents scoff in disbelief. I was born with the umbilical chord wrapped around my neck and had to undertake a whole bunch of speech therapy as a kid just so others could understand a word I was saying. Any one of my class mates, back at Mercy College in Mackay, might remember a certain school assembly I spoke at only to have the whole school laugh at the fact they couldn’t make out a single word in my speech (I might remember that one more than others, character building). I then spent 20 odd years screaming at my team mates to move up and tackle and every other expletive that goes with a game of rugby league, I definitely have my share of full swear jars. The feeling of setting up a great play and sending one of your team mates over for a try, or making that big tackle in a pivotal moment, it all comes rushing back when I’m on stage. I still get a sense of pride when looking back to those moments of winning a grand final with my old footy team, Souths Sharks, and the great sense of mateship and bonding that goes with team sports. Thats the same feeling I now get after a great set, the other side of the coin is when things aren’t so great… I’m my own worst critic.
I can remember going home after a game when I didn’t play so well and feeling like I had just crashed mum and dads car and was about to get in a heap of trouble. ~ don’t get me started on anxiety, thats another kettle of fish ~ It was something I cared passionately about and I hated letting anyone of my team mates down. This same way of thinking has set me up for the music industry. Its you against the world and if you aren’t prepared to be committed and hard on yourself, you aren’t going to go very far.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me continue to pursue my dream. I won’t let you down.
On tour throughout August & October w’ Sara Storer on the – Legend & Locals QLD Tour
New Album out August 4th. Available now for PRE-ORDER online – GET IT HERE NOW