with Aaron Molina of If Thousands
May 20, 2007
Aaron Molina is an interesting case in that he seems to be an early in his fatherhood career model for putting music on hold. A few years ago If Thousands seemed on the verge of something, starting to tour & do more soundtrack work, but things have been slowing down for a while & earlier this year Aaron announced he was no longer working on music outside of occasionally playing banjo in his bedroom.
Name: Aaron Molina
Band: If Thousands
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Aaron – I have never wanted to be a professional musician.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Aaron – 1) Making my first official CD & seeing it in a store outside of my hometown. 2) Playing that first show where it actually seemed that they were there to see us & enjoyed it. 3) Getting fan mail & sales from other countries & having our music used in film. 4) Being played on This American Life.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Aaron – 25. I just knew I wanted to be a father some day. Kids are so cool & I knew I could be a great father compared to some of the sad excuses I see from time to time.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Aaron – First, a lack of time. Kids require all of your time. But that’s what I want right now. I see no need to be out playing shows at 2a.m. or on tour. My daughter is #1 to me & it will be that way for as long as I can see. Positive impact would be the person I have become because of her. I want to be the best dad I can be & it is a quick way to find out your faults & weaknesses. Then once recognized, you change them. I’m not going to mess this thing up. I am lucky to be her dad & I have to be my best for her.
QRD – What are some negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Aaron – Being out late… playing music isn’t very lucrative either.
QRD – Has your daughter effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Aaron – Sure. I must hear the Beatles song “Blackbird” fifteen times a day. & I tend to listen to what I think she would get a kick out of.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Aaron – No. I have a full time job, so the music money has never really been there for me.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Aaron – Not really. A touring improvised drone band doesn’t pull in the crowds. I hate the road as well. I’m a homebody.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Aaron – Yikes! Well, both I guess. As a musician I want cool places for kids to go see shows & play. As a father I want good schools & parks to go play. Both are great for the community.
QRD – Would you rather see your daughter eventually become a musician or parent?
Aaron – Double yikes! Both. Whatever she wants. As long as she is safe & happy, I’m game. I will support her all the way. It would be cool to see her in a good band though. That would be fun. But hey, I want grandkids some day.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Aaron – All family now. My soon to be wife is a full time student & has a job.… School is more important for her & I need to be available & flexible. There was no thinking about this. It is what I needed & wanted to do. There will be time for music again.
QRD – Do you have a split/secret life between being a parent & being a musician?
Aaron – No. Just Dad.
QRD – What do your children think of your music?
Aaron – She’s two & a half. I really don’t play my stuff for her or myself. I’m sure she will think I’m a dork.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Aaron – Sure. Nothing serious, just for fun.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Aaron – About being a parent? You can mess up your life as much as you want, but when you have a kid... being a fuck up will fuck up your kids. Be responsible. If you can’t be, then you have no right to be a parent. I guess the same goes for everything. Be sincere & honest with yourself & everyone you deal with. There is no such thing as perfection, but if you’re honest & sincere then everything will work itself out.