Dad Interview with James Gofus
Name: James Gofus
Bands: Nebh, VQ
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a musician?
James – I owned a bunch of vinyl records when I was around 2 or 3 years old that were passed down to me from my parents. I was close with those records, as close as I was with my Teddy Bear. At three years old (in 1987), I would usually listen to the Bon Jovi 45s. I would say that listening to those 45s is what led to me becoming a musician. Music, for me, was like another world that I loved to be a part of, & I realized this when I was around 3 years old.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
James – I formed my first band when I was around 15 or 16 years old. We practiced a few times per week & played shows a couple times per weekend. We recorded our songs at home on a Tascam & eventually at a more professional studio. I would say that the highlight of that time was gaining a dedicated fan base that came out to our shows & sang along with our songs. That was a really great feeling to see that. We weren’t expecting anything like that when the band initially formed during our first practices.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
James – I didn’t realize that until I was in my later 20s. After high school, I went to college for both my Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees in philosophy. I graduated with my Master’s in my later 20s & at the end of my schooling I had more time to focus on having kids. As my Master’s was wrapping up, I started getting baby fever (along with my wife).
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
James – The positive aspects are that my family has given me a more mature mindset, which has correlated with a more mature mindset towards music & playing music. My music has really matured since the start of my family. The negative impacts are that I don’t have as much time to play & record as I did when I was in high school & college. My job, my kids, & my wife take up the bulk of my time at this point in my life. Fortunately, I have my own studio in my house. So, I go to downstairs to my studio room whenever I feel the urge to play & record something (& have a small window of time to do so).
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
James – Some positive aspects are that playing & recording music makes me really content. When I’m happy, then my wife & kids are happy too. I can’t think of any negative impacts my music has on my family because I have, in essence, chosen family over musical fame. I can’t be a touring musician at this time. When my kids are older, then I can play more shows. But while my kids are young, I have to focus on giving them a bright childhood.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
James – I’m not sure... I was listening to Venom’s “Welcome To Hell” the other day with them. My oldest son seemed to like it.…
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your children different than their piers?
James – Well, my kids were definitely introduced to a wide variety of musical instruments not long after they were born. I have been playing music since I was about 10 years old. &, because of all the music equipment I acquired over the years, my kids have access to a lot of different musical instruments in our home & they have been entertaining themselves with a lot the instruments before they turned 1 year old. So, I’m guessing that they will have experience playing music much earlier than most of their piers.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
James – Without being a touring musician, it’s really hard to make a lot of money in music. (I can play more shows as my kids get older.) I rely on my job for my financial income to support my family, not my music. I work as a city mail carrier for the US Postal Service. This gives me health insurance & a pension.…
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?
James – Yes. The band that I was in did a few tours when we younger & they were very fun & interesting. I hope to play out more like that when my kids are old enough to be independent &/or it’s easier on my wife to take care of them as the kids get older & more independent.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
James – I guess that being a musician has a greater impact on the world of art in the community. & that being a father has a greater impact on the community in that fathers are supposed to be mature & responsible, which should provide the community with more sensibility.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
James – If my kids are not interested in playing music when they grow up, then that is fine. Being a parent is something I think that they’ll love.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
James – They seem to like it. It’s not like the jingle type sing along songs that most kids their age like or listen to. My music might be a little gloomy for them.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
James – Yes. I’m looking forward to playing & recording music with them as they grow.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
James – As far as music goes, it’s great to get some type of recording equipment & record yourself playing. You can decide what you like or don’t like as you play back your music, which can help you grow as a musician.
QRD – Anything else?
James – Thank you to Silber Records for interviewing me & for the opportunity to release something on your label. I’m excited to work with you.