"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...
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...
THE 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!