Conley and band experience early success

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Anna Kreynin

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Although some teenagers may make fun of their parents’ hobbies, junior Andrew Conley’s mother’s participation in a garden club served as the connection to a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the opportunity to earn a spot in the band, Life in a Tree.

Stemming from Grafton, Life in a Tree was originally composed of DJ Underwood, Tyler Miller, Jimmy Cooper and Molly Lutz, Grafton High School juniors.

Conley’s mother’s gardening, however, yielded a friendship with percussionist Cooper’s grandmother, who inquired about Conley’s keyboarding talent. “My mom came home and told me about [the conversation],” Conley said. “I looked up the band and gave Jimmy a call. We talked and set up a meeting and I auditioned.”

While other teenagers jam in basements and school talent shows, Life in a Tree performs its indie, alternative rock songs at slightly larger venues including State Fair, Summerfest and, on Monday, the Morning Blend show.

“The [Morning Blend] was a once in a lifetime opportunity where we got to see how a television production is run,” Conley said. “To be able to perform on one is life changing.”

With the release of two professional albums, music critics around the world have noted Life in a Tree’s talent. According to Alex Faulkner’s “The Faulkner Review,” “After listening, their age becomes an irrelevant issue except as a good press angle.” The band’s newest album, “For All You Listeners Out There,” “hooks you from first time you listen to it, which is the result of the great guitar riffs, vocals and beautiful melodies,” JamSphere magazine said.

As up-and-coming musicians, the members of Life in a Tree have big goals for the future. “One day we hope to tour the country,” Conley said. Musically, however, Conley said the band’s goal is to “write songs that inspire others and tell stories about [the members’] own life experiences.”

“Our band’s goal is to be the best that we can be,” Cooper added. “We want to be making music that people will enjoy and we want to continue to play great shows.”

Despite the publicity and the potential for fame, Conley is staying grounded, focusing on the lessons he has learned. “This experience has allowed me to grow quickly and have experiences that not many other people are able to have in their lifetimes,” Conley said. “I have matured a lot from being in a band and learned many valuable lessons about the music industry and what it takes to put on a professional show.”

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