“I started when Ella was about one,” explains Lucky Diaz, discussing the musical introductions for his now 10-year-old daughter. “One of the first things I purchased Ella was a cute little boom box. Every night before she went to sleep I would play a CD of something I wanted her to be exposed to. She learned about so many artists this way. THE BEATLES, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, MILES DAVIS, THE BEACH BOYS, BUDDY HOLLY, the list goes on and on.” Leading LUCKY DIAZ AND THE FAMILY JAM BAND, he, along with his wife, Alisha Gaddis, have become some of the biggest names in the growing “kindie” movement – their prolific output resulting in no less than four albums since 2012 – two of them in Spanish. Now, ahead of Rock Father’s Day 2014, Diaz and the entire family are on the road in the midst of a 60-day road trip and tour, where he took a few moments to talk Fatherhood during a stop in Gallup, New Mexico…
LISTEN: Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band – “When I Grow Up”
Name: Lucky Diaz
Watch: Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band – “Thingamajig”
JAMES (THE ROCK FATHER): Was there ever any concern that you wouldn’t be able to balance your family life with your musical career?
LUCKY: It wasn’t a concern for me. Obviously when one has children that becomes priority #1. I grew up with a mother as a fine artist so our home was always a controlled madness of interesting characters, art and creative experiences. Funny enough, we’ve been able to give Ella that same experience and then some.
JAMES: Has being a parent changed your creative output or the way you view your musical life?
LUCKY: Yes, I actually create more now. I want to set a good example for Ella – s a father and as an artist. It’s 2 fold, really. I want her to see the work behind the art and want her to see that one should follow their dreams. No excuses. Let’s live this life. Let’s be our true selves.
Watch: Lucky, Alisha and their daughter, Ella perform “Say What?” Live…
JAMES: What’s the hardest thing about balancing your music with your parenting duties?
LUCKY: Ha! I think it’s a little tricky on tour when you’re hauling gear, in the studio recording or engaging with fans after the show. Making sure Ella has what she needs or stays safe is top priority. We all see our kids climbing up things they shouldn’t, about to eat some fire candy or see them about to jump off a ledge they shouldn’t! I sometimes have to stop, parent, then come back to what I was doing. It’s a balance for sure.
-WHAT FATHERHOOD MEANS-
JAMES: Being such a musical family, what are some favorite artists that you like to enjoy with your daughter?
LUCKY: I just asked Ella and she said: “THE BEATLES and THE BEACH BOYS would be the big ones.” I took her to see BRIAN WILSON at the Hollywood Bowl when she was 6. We sang along to all of their hits. It really stuck with her. Same kind of experience with THE BEATLES. We took a family trip to Liverpool to go to the Cavern Club. We walked Matthews street and felt the energy all around us. It was really special. She also digs our friends THE POP-UPS – killer songs those guys produce!
JAMES: What’s the most “rock and roll” thing you’ve done with her so far?
LUCKY: Taking Ella to a rock show a friend of ours was playing at an “all ages” venue in Hollywood. Punks were looking down (at her) smiling as she rocked out. It was late, we shared some tacos from a taco truck in East LA. It was a beautiful night. Not bad for a 9 year old.
LISTEN: Lucky Diaz la Familia Musica – “Tu Eras Amore”
JAMES: Final question – I’ve been asking everyone to name some favorite toys…. yours?
LUCKY: Ella and I have a love affair with Remote Control cars. We love to work on them, race them, crash them. It’s pretty awesome.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts about being a father! It’s an honor and privilege to be a dad. Wait, I’m somebody’s dad? Ha!
LUCKY DIAZ AND THE FAMILY JAM BAND are on the road this summer – and Alisha is blogging from the road! Click here for dates near you, support some fine kindie rock and get your collection started (or expanded) with these albums, all available now!