with Jon Attwood of Yellow6
Name: Jon Attwood
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Jon – Probably about 15-16. I’d only become interested in playing guitar after punk & thought I could do it. A bit late to the party, my first proper band made its live debut to a mix of hatred & disinterest in 1981. That gig made me realize that keeping the day job was probably a good idea. (I have had a day job ever since so have never been a professional musician - still an amateur after 35 years.)
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Jon – Having my music played by the late, & very much missed, John Peel - a dream come true. Also having music used in film & TV, playing shows in USA & Europe, being able to release the music I like when I like.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Jon – I never really made a conscious decision, but in a way it was now or never due to age (& that was about 45).
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Jon – I don’t have as much time these days to spend on music & work better when I have some sort of (self-imposed) deadline. I find I would rather use my vacation time with the family than trying to do a short tour, so I now rarely play live. This has meant I don’t get the exposure, sales or interest in the music I used to. However, with the type of music I play, this hasn’t made a huge difference. Though I do miss playing live.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Jon – None really, as I’m only a part time musician.
QRD – Has your daughter effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Jon – Aside from the soundtrack to Frozen, I am more selective about the music I play when my daughter is in the car etc., going for less extremes I guess. Aside from that, not a lot I don’t think
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your daughter different than her piers?
Jon – Hard to tell at the age of 3, but she is constantly singing & shows an interest in other people playing music, though not much inclination herself yet.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Jon – Not really relevant as I have a day job so get a regular income.
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?
Jon – Yes, given the opportunity - but I didn’t really have an audience until later anyhow.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Jon – I’ve been a musician as long as I can remember, so it’s part of what I do, so hard to say there; but I know being a father has changed my outlook on life, which I guess has an overall impact.
QRD – Would you rather see your daughter eventually become a musician or parent?
Jon – Both would be ideal, but ultimately whatever she wants & is happy with is good with me.
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?
Jon – Family comes first, but I tend to get a bit of time each evening for music, which I try to spend as wisely as possible.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Jon – Too early to say at this age - I don’t have any expectation that she will like my music, so if she does it’s a bonus.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your child?
Jon – Absolutely, though I’m sure she wouldn’t want to appear in public with the old man (literally!).
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Jon – Don’t be afraid to express yourself however you feel.