A DAY IN THE LIFE: James Fern
AS ONE half of the talented twin musical duo, The Fern Brothers, James Fern has the opportunity to express his passion and talent, all gathered during a life spent immersed in and being inspired by the greats of modern rock 'n' roll.
From an early age, James, along with twin brother Thomas, began singing - almost as soon as they could speak.
"There was always music playing at home, or in the car,” James said.
"Mum and Dad loved their music and we quickly learnt to.”
Unlike his brother, James said he wasn't blessed with perfect pitch.
"He can tell what note or chord is being played by just hearing it,” he said.
"I wasn't a very good singer at all to begin with, so from an early age I went off to choir practice and had to learn to sing in key and how to harmonise.
"It really helped me, and now it's not hard to slot in with other voices.”
For someone born in 2001, James has decidedly non-teenage musical favourites.
His first loves, inspired by the music played in the family home were Simon and Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers, both masters of harmonies.
"That's what I loved, the way their voices worked together and it's what I still love,” he said.
"It's something Thomas and I have worked hard at over the years.”
Aussie rockers Crowded House, along classics like the Eagles and Paul Simon's Graceland were other loves but the first song James really fell in love with was an acoustic hit from American hair metal outfit Extreme.
"More Than Words is still one of my favourite song,” he said.
"It's a beautiful guitar part, great melody and amazing harmonies.
"That was the first song I just had to learn on guitar.”
One things the Fern family has always done together and continue to do is delve into the vast YouTube catalogues for live performances of their favourite artists.
"That's what I love,” James said.
"The live performances of the great artists are just as strong, if not stronger than their recorded stuff, and you learn so much by watching them.
"We watch other artists cover the originals as well, to get ideas and inspiration for how we might be able to flip the songs we play.”
Since 2015, The Fern Brothers have played more than 70 gigs in Warwick, and despite being in the final year of schooling at the School of Total Education, don't plan on slowing down.
"I'd like to set some money aside to be able to fund our move to uni in Brisbane next year,” James said.
"Hopefully when we're there we can score some regular gigs so we don't have to find part-time jobs.”
James, also a talented academic and keen sportsman, is hoping to study physiotherapy, all while singing the songs that make him smile.