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Tripel threat: Career, Band and a Baby

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mambo4, Jul 18, 2012.


  1. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    My little family will be +1 soon, and my band is making worried noises about my commitment level. They like me in the band, but fear I will not be able to juggle my Career, the band and fatherhood.

    I read a few threads about children and bands. Some guys quit to raise kids, some toughed it out -but many had work situations that allowed for it.

    Has anyone successfully juggled a full time (40 + hours /week) Career, A band, and having a baby?
     
  2. Klonk

    Klonk

    Apr 28, 2011
    Norway
    Yep. I don't get to do much TV or other hobbies, but as long as I contribute at home every day except rehearsal day, it works for us. Danger signs for us are my wife feeling she has to do all the work, or our daughter complaining she doesnt see me enough, then it's time to take a break for a week or two to reach "equilibrium" again.

    I work fulltime in a bank, have one kid (soon two) and play in two-three bands, one very regularly, other two more project based.
     
  3. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    nice to know it can be done!
    although I work project based so sometimes its 60+ hours a week.
     
  4. I know a couple guys who are doing the full-time job, a full-time 80's cover band (by FT I mean probably close to 60-70 gigs/year), and have multiple kids. In both cases they have kids with special needs too.

    That said their kids are older now (12 is the youngest) and it was a good 6-7 years after they were born before they could get back to gigging again. That's their story though, YMMV
     
  5. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Well the obvious answer is to sell the baby to someone

    Just kidding. Depends on what kind of band obligations you have/how often you meet
     
  6. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    First of all, Congrats on the New Addition.
    No kids here, but...
    Priorities, man. If you can make all 3 work, fantastic.
    The wife's gotta be on board with everything too.
    I would never encourage anyone to give up their music, but you may need to tweak that schedule some. Gotta work, gotta feed the little one. Your fun and personal satisfaction will most likely have to take a bit of a hit... Priorities, Man!
    Congrats again.
     
  7. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    as long as you are not touring out of town you will be fine

    gigs are at night when when wifey and baby are asleep. when you get home at 2 am you can change a diaper and give a bottle
     
  8. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    It definitely cramps your style a bit. There is a give and take to it. You need to have the right bunch of people (like with anything) and need to be really up front when your situation changes. If you offer to step down, one of two things will happen, they accept your resignation or they scale back and to be honest, you will probably need to scale back. But don't give them the impression that you can keep going at full throttle if you don't plan to do that. Make sure to talk this through with your wife/sig other and develop an expectation level from both sides. Good luck.
     
  9. I like the Tripel part. I just love Belgian beer! :D
     
  10. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I'll be honest. I guess that there are only a relatively small percentage of people on this board who are truly successful pro musicians. That means that a significant percentage must be guys like me who have always had to balance family needs with a full time job and a band.

    It's always been clear to me what my priorities are. Wife and children first and foremost. Second, the job because I need to support them the best I can and finally, and amongst other priorities, whichever band I happened to be with at the time.

    There have been times when putting the family or the job first has meant either putting the band on the backburner or quitting completely. The good thing is that as long as you keep practising you can always pick up a new gig when other priorities allow.

    Fortunately I've only been without a gig for around 5 years out of the last 40, but you may need to be prepared to do the same.
     
  11. BelleNoireBass

    BelleNoireBass

    Apr 18, 2012
    Bay Area
    My bands lead singer/rhythm guitar works 50+ hour weeks, wrote basically all the songs and has been in the studio recording off and on for a month for our EP and his kid just turned 1 a few months ago so it all depends on your ability to juggle these things and how much work you are willing to put in. It can be done.
     
  12. Oneirogenic

    Oneirogenic

    Nov 10, 2009
    So many factors.... make sure wifey is cool with how much time you put into band. Your baby's habits could largely effect how things go. Using myself as an example: my son (firstborn) was not a great sleeper for the first 18-20 months of his life and also very temperamental and was sick often. I was not in a band during this time but I'm sure if I was it would have been hell and the wife may have killed if I didn't fall over first from lack of sleep. I joined my current band about 3-4 months after my daughter. She is an altogether different story. Slept through night almost every night, very mellow tempered, and never got sick. I currently juggle family of four, 50 hour work week, 2 rehearsals a week, and 1-3 gigs a month (originals band), and I have a DIY ambient project along with regular practice. It can be done but say goodbye to any other hobbies or non family social activities. I no longer have any regular hangouts with my non musical friends and I have zero time for my videogame hobby.
     
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Your time and commitment to your band will almost certainly drop - and it (IMO) should. Family needs are really important especially in the first years. Kids grow and your time requirements will drop off, but the degree that they need you (and that you need them, really!) when they are so small is critical.

    If the rest of the band is young, single, wants to party and gig a lot - it might not be a good fit for a while. Your ability to do a lot of gigs will drop off. If the band is OK with limited gigging - it can definitely work.
     
  14. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    Thanks for all the feed back.
    Band commitments , currently, are 2 rehearsals/week (one weeknight, on weekend morning) and 1-2 gigs/month.
    Wife is awesomely on board with this time commitment.

    It does however look uncommon that people are pulling off all 3.

    I dinlt notice the "tripel" typo, but as a fellow fan of Belgian beer, I'm good with that.
     
  15. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm doing it, but it is not easy, and I have scaled back somewhat on my gig commitments since our babies were born.
     
  16. Dantreige

    Dantreige

    Oct 22, 2009
    Wisconsin
    Yes! And I did so as a single father. (For a few years.)

    In my twenties I worked full time Monday through Friday. 6am-4pm. I played almost every Friday and Saturday. I did work 3rd shift for a while as well. (Sunday 10pm-6am). I sent my kid to a sitter during the day (or school) while I slept. It was like working 1st shift. I just swiched sleeping and working around. (I also had a live-in girlfriend at this time, so my kid was not home alone at night.)

    The real question is, how bad do you want it? I won't BS you and say it is easy. Sometimes it really sucked. I had "manditory overtime" a lot on Saturdays. It's hard to get home at 3 am and go to work at 6 am, catch a nap and then go play again!

    Make sure you discuss this with BabyMomma. She will need some time too. Are you willing to give it to her? If you spend time rehersing/playing you better give her equal time away.

    I have always used my band income to help our family. It could be a night out or a meal at a resturant or simply grocery money. I think that is why my wife has always been supportive of me. I also involve my family with my music. Because I am in a cover band, we do a lot of "street dance" type of gigs. My wife and kids are there with me on those occasions. Sometimes, I just hire a sitter and my wife comes out and has a night out by herself.

    Good luck and grats!
     
  17. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I did it for years but I never took on too much. I left a startup band because the mrs worked nights and I couldnt get a baby sitter. I refused a semi pro offer because there was a lot of travelling.

    Now the youngest is 20 and I have a lot more free time.
     
  18. Dantreige

    Dantreige

    Oct 22, 2009
    Wisconsin
    I think you can get some time saving here. Cut one of the rehersals if you can.

    I should have added that I do not "practice" with my bands. We have a rehersal (infrequently) to go over new material or fix problem areas. My practicing is done at home. I like to involve my kids (three kids, ages 22, 10, and 8 now). Sometimes we just mess with vocal effects or sing harmonies together.

    I will not join a band that does not conform to this ideal. It would not work for me. As others have said, family first.

    You can have it all. It just takes work.
     
  19. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    +1 on the rehearsals, last gig on bass was 4 rehearsals and 1 gig. Last 'gig' as a band leader was 4 songs at a party, 1 scratch band, 1 rehearsal and in. You dont need to practice twice a week for a year for 1 gig.

    If you start up a band you need to put in some time at the beginning. I dont think U2 rehearse every week.
     
  20. jpeck02

    jpeck02 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2011
    Danville, CA
    The biggest mistake you can make is to stop doing the things in life that you love just so you can do the chores at home. Once you become a miserable shell of yourself, your kids and wife will beg you to join a band. Been there, done that. It's called a mid-life crisis. Keep doing the things you love and balance your life.
     

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