Tuesday, June 03 2014 16:36

Rock Father's Day 2014: Artist Spotlight - John Joyce of POOCHAMUNGAS #RockFathersDay

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"They’re part of the subject matter, have helped with songs and song titles and are my best critics," says POOCHAMUNGAS frontman JOHN JOYCE about his 9-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. The self-proclaimed "stay-at-home Firefighter Dad" wears many hats, flipping between his duties as a "Rock Father" and those of the Chicago Fire Department, where he's worked for nearly two decades. Now, ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014, it's just been announced that John is preparing to take the stage at Lollapalooza, a newly-minted member of the "Chicago Kindie All Stars," who will perform on the growing Kidzapalooza bill.

BLOCK PARTY"The kids inspired me to write music. I played guitar before, and wrote, but the two didn’t come together until I had my daughter," continues Joyce about the relationship between his creative output and his family life. A student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music pre-Fatherhood, I'd asked John about his thoughts when he first realized that he'd soon become a Father for the first time. "The birth I remember (a story for another day), though I don’t really recall the pregnancy announcement other than feeling the happiest and most overwhelmed at the same time."

A friend of mine and longtime supporter of the site, I've spent some time with John and his kids on a few occasions, once paying a visit to Bass Pro Shops to see the freshwater fish display (and a diver in the tank at the time), and hitting the Chicago Toy and Game Fair last Fall. John is a true Rock Father - and I've witnessed it first-hand...

John Joyce

Currently performing shows in support of his second full-length album with POOCHAMUNGAS, last year's BLOCK PARTY! (Amazon | iTunes), I asked John to share a few thoughts about balancing his different jobs, and how music and family have become woven together...

#RockFathersDay - John JoyceTHE ROCK FATHER (JAMES): What do you find to be the hardest about balancing your music with your duties as a parent?

JOHN JOYCE: Time. Family. Job. Band is the order in how things work around here. So I try to fit it in when I can.

JAMES: How have you introduced music to your children?

JOHN: Radio, CDs and my guitar. My daughter has great taste. When she was little, I composed a CD of her favorite songs which included VAN MORRISON, EDWIN STARR, THE BLUES BROTHERS and THE TEMPTATIONS, among others.

JAMES: That said, what are some favorite artists that you like to enjoy with your kids now?

JOHN: We’re big into the kindie scene with JUSTIN ROBERTS (big fans of The Dowd), RECESS MONKEY, THE NOT-ITS!, and of course, the POOCHAMUNGAS. DAVE HAMILTON'S latest album, CROW & RAVEN (non-Kindie) is getting a ton of play right now. They love it! (and the parents dig it too!)

JAMES What's the most “rock and roll” thing you've ever done with your kids?

JOHN: My son breaks out his drums, keyboards and guitar and say’s “Lets Jam” - Can’t get more rock n roll than that! My daughter rushed the stage at her first Justin Roberts show as well.

JAMES: Last question - since we're big on toys here at Rock Father HQ, what are some of the favorite toys at POOCHAMUNGAS HQ?

JOHN: My daughter loves to ride her bike, while my son loves flashlights and cardboard boxes. My favorite toy is my Taylor guitar and harmonicas!

Check out more from POOCHAMUNGAS on Facebook, and look for them at JEFF FEST in Chicago on July 27, and of course, catch John at Kidzapalooza this August!
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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