Dads look for balance between fatherhood, music
Vinnie Waite likes to fall asleep to the sounds of metal music and drums.
In fact, Vinnie loves to play the drums. Head over to Vinnie’s house, and there is a good chance you’ll find him hitting a snare drum with a drumstick while his father, Chris Waite, holds Vinnie in his arms. There may be half-eaten Cheerios and animals crackers on the floor by the drums because Vinnie is 10 months old.
“I want to teach him everything I know,” Waite said.
Local musicians Waite, Aaron Seibert and James Williams count on understanding wives and accommodating band members to make being both a musician and a father work well, they said.
It requires balance. There are times when they need to rehearse, and there are times when they can’t travel to gigs because they need to be Dad.
“You just have to make it work,” Seibert said.
Seibert is the vocalist and guitarist with Jack+Jill. Waite is the drummer in the same band.
The local acoustic rock group plays Monday, June 22, at Weavers’ Tavern and Wednesday, June 24, at Smuggler’s Brew Pub.
Booking local gigs is much easier when it comes to family, Seibert said. Jack+Jill looked into playing a show in Moab recently, but the band had to commit to playing two consecutive nights in order to schedule the show. Seibert had to say “no.”
“It is a little rough sometimes,” Seibert said while holding his son, Ezra, in his lap.
Ezra is only 10 weeks old, so Seibert is a relatively new father. Ezra has brown hair like his dad’s, although it’s not as long — yet.
“I definitely wanted kids,” Seibert said.
Waite, Seibert and Williams all knew having children would affect their musical careers, but they wanted both.
“There are times when I can’t jam, but I want to be the best musician I can be to support (Vinnie),” Waite said. “I enjoy music a lot more.”
Williams intentionally incorporates family into his musical career.
As a guitarist in The Williams Brothers Band, Williams schedules band rehearsals at opportune times, making family get-togethers and barbecues part of rehearsals.
His two daughters, Chloe Williams, 7, and Kiya Williams, 2, love music. They both sing and Chloe plays piano.
When people ask Chloe what her dad does for a living, she proudly tells them, “My dad plays guitar in a band.”
Now that Chloe and Kiya are getting older, they can stay overnight with a baby sitter, allowing Williams and his wife to travel to shows. And Williams is less likely to find sticky handprints on his mysteriously out-of-tune guitars.
“Kids are rad,” Williams said. “When I come home, I’m just Dad. I’m folding laundry and changing dirty diapers. Plus, they give me something to write about.”
The Williams Brothers Band, made up of Williams and his brother, Phillip Williams, play a show at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Rockslide Brewery.
“You can’t take (just) any gig,” James Williams said. “It has to work into the schedule.
There are times you have to say ‘no.’ ”
And there are family-friendly shows in the afternoon or early evening that young children can attend. Vinnie, Chloe and Kiya all have seen their fathers perform.
“Sometimes I go on stage with my dad,” Chloe said.
On the occasion the shows are late at night or out of town, the men perform and go home.
Seibert has learned that when he gets home, no matter how much he wants to cuddle little Ezra, it’s best just to let him sleep.
When Waite gets home, he always talks with his wife, but the sound of his voice often wakes Vinnie.
“And then he’s up for 1 or 2 hours,” Waite said, shrugging his shoulders.
Williams said sometimes when he’s on stage he really just wants to be with his gals: his wife and his two daughters.
“It’s tough, and it takes a lot of work to give the other what it needs,” Williams said. “It’s all about balance.”
Or, in Seibert’s case, “We have great baby sitters in Grandma and Grandpa.”