how have your offspring affected your musical career?
jessica would-be-goods: what career?
stephen the real tuesday weld: “dad, is this your music?”“YES!” “it’s not very good, is it?”
kim baxter: after having our son, it was definitely a struggle trying to figure out how and when to play music. but since my husband and I are both musicians, it was a no brainer that we had to figure out a way to keep playing. we’re both happiest when playing, recording, and touring, and we wanted our son (who’s now 3) to see us working really hard at doing something that we love.
corin tucker: it’s tricky to tour when you have young kids. mine are both in school now so we’ll see if it’s any easier.
gordon the fan modine: made it necessary.
matt lorelei: well, stephen and I have toddlers so being away from home to tour isn’t really an option. but that’s ok since touring is sort of a drag anyway. it mainly makes logistics difficult. but on the other hand…
kelly velocity girl: they’ve actually encouraged me to play again. my oldest constantly begs me to play guitar, showing the complete lack of a critical faculty in this regards on her part. when I do play she prefers only the strumming songs, none of this fancy dancy finger picking slow sappy nonsense thank you very much. total rockist.
daniel handler: fun to have a kid at soundcheck.
claudia the magnetic fields: the birth of my daughter two years ago has affected absolutely every aspect of my life. I solo parent a two and a half year old, which means that my brain is almost constantly fogged in and I have limited free time. so the music management work that I used to rip through in a week, now can take me months. emails are dropped, calls not responded to. ¶ we took her on the road in 2012 for nearly 9 weeks. it was ridiculously intense. there was a lot that was fun and joyful, but I can’t say I’d want to do it again, at least not with that aged a person. just the 24 airplane flights alone with an 18 to 20 month old spinning around on my lap was enough to wipe me out. not to mention all the cars and trains and new hotels each day, constant moving and rushing about. ¶ musically speaking, I find myself newly engaged in singing and playing instruments. she inspires me to engage creatively more, building and drawing things, reading books aloud, singing songs together. and I purchase a lot of kids albums and kid-friendly folksy or pop albums. so perhaps the great upside to this relationship is that I have a newfound curiosity in the musical world and in my musical self, which perhaps I had lost sight of.
mike black tambourine / manatee: not much, since I don’t have one. I still have a band (manatee) and manage to write and rehearse once a week, and play some shows here and there. theo is actually a bit of a fan of manatee and has come to a few of our gigs, which is quite fun.
andrew eggs/talk it: it is just the greatest thrill when your kids like a song you wrote. sometimes I hear my oldest son singing the melody of one of a song by my new band and it’s just the coolest thing.
bridget st john: I’ve written children’s songs I probably would not have otherwise written. I gladly put my career on major hold to raise her. she is trying to help me get more involved with all that current technology can provide to help my career.
alicia the aislers set / magic trick: well, I was skeptical at first and didn’t fully absorb that it would really affect things on such a drastic level. I remember seeing rose melberg when I was pregnant and she was like, yeah, the first three years it’s pretty impossible to do much else. I was like, nawww!, I can do it!! and then, low and behold, things were much harder to balance. I just wasn’t physically able to tour or get enough hours to give as much of myself to music. I was able to record with still flyin, which I was grateful for, as it was such a large band that they weren’t necessarily depending on me to tour or whatever. I was super stoked for the support I got from them in that I was able to take lida on tour for two weeks when she was 1 1/2. that was awesome. these days I have a new band called magic trick, and we just released our second record. I’m not able to go on all the tours. it’s financially and family-wise not the easiest thing to do to pack up and leave for 3-4 weeks at a time. but tim, my bandmate, is awesome in that we knew this from the beginning. and we started off working together primarily in the studio. we didn’t envision a band, that tours, etc. they are actually out on tour now across the states touring with father john misty, with a friend sitting in for me. and that’s ok. it’s my choice. I do the west coast shows, local stuff. lord knows I’ve spent enough time on the road. (I’ll pass on the boredom of soundcheck, ha ha). it’s just not worth it for me to miss my daughter for that whole time. I find real satisfaction in the studio and local shows. the occasional adventure, like with the aislers set, or something, is cool, but I feel like I am much more able to prioritize in a healthy way. sometimes, like now, I miss them (the band), but until we as musicians can actually support a family on touring, etc. that’s just not gonna be a possibility. at the same time, sometimes playing a show or something, there are those transcendent moments when I feel like this (music) is what I should be doing all the time. it’s what I’m good at.
photo of jessica griffin of would-be-goods, london, 2001, by gail o’hara.