with Christian Daly of The Judge
Name: Christian Daly
Bands: The Judge
Websites: bansheegraphics.net, www.facebook.com/wraithsofavalon
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Christian – I don’t think I have ever realized that I wanted to be a professional musician. I just wanted to rock. I think my band got its first paying gig, my senior year of high school. It was enough money to cover the gas to get all our gear there. In the 80s Colorado wasn’t exactly a hot spot for local music. The bars didn’t pay hardly anything, but I just loved taking the songs that we worked so hard on out & showing them off. Like, “Hey look at what I made!”
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Christian – I think the first was getting to play violin & viola in the Evergreen Junior Philharmonic. It was just us kids, but it was pretty cool to have an audience & play.
34 years later after first picking up the electric guitar, the fact that technology has come so far that I can actually publish my own music is pretty awesome too. The first time I saw my song up on iTunes, I thought that was pretty awesome.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Christian – 30. I have a beautiful son who lives in Canada with his mom. It was not the marriage I was hoping for, but I love him to pieces. I got a reprieve & a second chance with my current wife 8 years ago & it is the best thing ever. My son & daughter are the light of my universe.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Christian – There is definitely no negative impact. I don’t have a “career” really. Again it all comes back to writing & playing & recording. All the songs for all these years & I am inspired by my family. If I never make a dime, it won’t matter because my kids can always say their dad rocks & that is kind of cool.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Christian – Well, getting the kids interested in music is a big deal to me. Especially now, when so much really empty music is mainstream. I can’t play forever & so I do hope to give my children a sense of how great music can really be. I think that is a positive. I think my wife would say that my obsession with guitars is a negative impact on my checkbook. Chicks just don’t understand.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Christian – Heck yes. I had one song that I wrote & played at my little sister’s wedding. My sister passed away from cancer later that year. I started looking at my kids & watching how they walk around in this magical place that I can’t be in anymore. Then discovering that I could record my own stuff just started the ball rolling. Because of them I was driven to make the “Quixote’s Lament” video starring them. They were absolute warriors while we put that together & when it was finished I got to realize that they allowed me into their magical world for a little bit.
After that, I knew I wanted to get them into the music side of it as well as the video & so we recorded “Only Rock & Roll”. Again, they were just insane with how good they were. They got down their vocals in under three hours. Then, that evening, we drove to a fireworks show & listened to the finished track. I was almost driven to tears by seeing how impressed they were with themselves.
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your children different than their peers?
Christian – They are still the same kids they have always been. They were already different from their peers just as they are different from each other. I do think that it has given them a bigger world to play in. What do kids do best? They play. I think it is the responsibility of parents to give them as big a playground as they possibly can.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Christian – No I work for Boston Scientific & make manuals & labeling for medical devices. That pays for me to be able to make music while also giving me the ability to help people in a very real way. I have friends who are professional musicians & work their tails off to make a living at it. I don’t envy them. Especially not today when music that makes so much money puts most of that money in the pockets of business people & not the artists. It has gotten to the point where the business now makes the music & that is messed up. That is why 90 percent of what is on the radio now is just a rip-off of something that was really good & written by real songwriters & musicians.
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?
Christian – Doesn’t really apply. I never toured
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Christian – Definitely being a father. People forget songs & songs go away. Kids are around for a long time & helping & working & doing things with other people.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
Christian – I don’t believe in absolutes with hypotheticals. I guess the only answer I can give is that whatever they do, I want them to be happy people.
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?
Christian – My wife really helps out with this. She takes the kids to their grandparents’ house on some weekends & that’s when I break out the recording gear. If I am just practicing, I do it while the kids are upstairs watching that horrible Disney channel.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Christian – I am guessing they dig on music pretty hard. They are always running around singing something. Papa has control of the radio in his car, so I make sure that they get a healthy dose of Zeppelin, the Who, Dokken, you know, the good stuff. They like the pop stuff too, which is fine. As long as they are enjoying music, that’s the real deal.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Christian – Done it!!! Will do more!!!
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Christian – Didn’t Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young already say it?
I guess it would be the same thing most parents say & don’t get listened to. Be good to yourselves. Don’t make the mistakes I made. You aren’t going to get along with everybody & you shouldn’t be expected to. If you act honorably & keep love in your soul, you will end up finding people who are the same way & that is a pretty great thing.
QRD – Anything else?
Christian – Well, I would like to add that my Dad loved music & had a record collection with everything from Broadway shows to Robert Johnson. He played it a lot & that kept me open to so many different musical forms. He started me with violin & after violin lessons I would carry my fiddle down to my football practice. Imagine the amount of grief I got for that from my teammates. At first I hated violin & I hated football, but my Dad kept me after it for a couple of years. I am a little slow on the uptake, but I think it was important that he kept me on it until I could realize how wonderful both music & sports were. As I said, kids like to play & do their own thing. Sometimes I think it takes a little extra push from parents to get them where they need to be.