with Chris Bonner of THe BAcksliders
Name: Chris Bonner
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Chris – Five. I had a toy acoustic guitar & piano. I wanted to be Elton John or Elvis.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Chris – I have opened for Ween, The Toadies, & Rancid. I met Willie Nelson once. He said, “Hi,” & I had trouble speaking.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Chris – 23. When I found out my girlfriend was pregnant.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Chris – I try to serve both my family & my music equally, but sometimes there are compromises on both sides. Sometimes when I am answering interview questions my two year old daughter wants to climb on me. The older children Coleman (10) & Tennessee (12), help out with the gear & sometimes give lyrical suggestions.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Chris – Time away from the kids on the road can be hard. Taking them on the road can be equally hard. There is really no good way to swing that one unless you have a nanny & a great big tour bus.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Chris – My youngest son is into harder music so sometimes it makes me self-conscious about the ballads.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Chris – Oh hell yes. What are you gonna do? Straighten up & fly right. I tried a straight job for a couple of years. It didn’t make any one of us happier.
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?
Chris – I can’t look at it that way. I book tours & worry about the ramifications later.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Chris – I would have to say a musician. Being a father is only a body of work your kids can truly appreciate until they grow up of course, so it’s too early to tell.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
Chris – Both or neither. It’s up to them. The kids take piano, drums, & guitar. I want them to have options, but not necessarily children.
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?
Chris – We schedule heavy on the kid side - baseball, band, scouts, school - & we schedule heavy on band stuff & let fate sort it out.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Chris – Coleman (10) says we are his third favorite band behind Nirvana & Motley Crue. My two year old likes us. Tennesee (12) says we are pretty good.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Chris – Yes. As soon as they are good enough, they’re in the band.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Chris – If you have kids, treat them nice.
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