with Michael Jarmer of Here Comes Everybody
Michael Jarmer has been in his pop rock band Here Comes Everybody since 1986 & has been a father for three & a half years.
Name: Michael Jarmer
Band: Here Comes Everybody
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Michael – Pre-teen possibly, but certainly when I was a high school kid & discovered that I actually had some talent.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Michael – We took small tours from Portland to Los Angeles & back, & we’ve done shows with local luminaries & a slot or two opening for the likes of the Fixx & Moxy Fruvous. Those were exciting times.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Michael – I was 39.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Michael – Well, it’s slowed us down considerably, because it is more important to us to be good parents than it is pretending we’re rock stars. So, rehearsals are few & far between. Gigs happen infrequently & locally. The songs keep coming though. We carve out time every month for songwriting.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Michael – I can’t think of any negative ones. I feel it in my bones, though, that it’s a positive thing for a child to be surrounded by music & musical instruments.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Michael – I don’t think so. But fatherhood has worked its way into a lyric or two.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Michael – We have always supplemented our musical “career” with what is known in the trade as a “day job.” & mine happens to be one that I love. I am a high school English teacher.
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?
Michael – Probably not. Or maybe so. I just don’t feel any regrets in that department.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Michael – Being a father, I think, has far more impact, in that I am sure my son will touch as many lives as my music has, if not more, & in more significant ways.
QRD – Would you rather see your son eventually become musicians or parents?
Michael – I don’t want to impose my wishes upon my son. If he’d rather be a musician than a parent, or vice versa, that is his decision to make. Maybe it is that he can successfully do both, as I am trying to do.
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?
Michael – I find time for music, enough to satisfy that part of me that can’t go without. I don’t consciously or deliberately divide the time. We make time for a rehearsal if a gig is coming & we make time to write once a month almost religiously; but ultimately taking care of our boy comes first, but not at the cost of the other thing.
QRD – What does your son think of your music?
Michael – Our son, Emerson, is 3 & a half. He recognizes our music, requests it sometimes, can sing along with the words. Later, he’ll probably think we’re fuddy duddies. But for now, we have his ear!
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your son?
Michael – Sure. I think so. As long as he was willing & able. It would be a nightmare for everyone if it were not a mutually interesting thing to do.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Which young people? The
children of musicians? Or to musicians who are children
children? To the former, I say, like Joseph Campbell says,
your bliss. To the latter, young musicians who are thinking
having a family, I say, wait until you want it really bad, even if it
you until you’re 39!