Music, Me and My Kids

Prior to having kids, I would drive down the road blasting Deftones – White Pony as loud as the car could play it, nowadays it’s more Storybots – Velociraptor at a sensible volume that gets the heads bobbing in the car. That or needing to stay as silent as possible as the kids nap, oh precious nap time!

There are many things that I can say have shaped me through the years. At 32 I like to think I’m confident of who I am. I’m comfortable with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I have no bloody idea what I’m doing with my life beyond trying to be a good husband to my wife, a good father to my kids and to basically not be a dick to people.

But of all the things in my life that have played a part in me being the person I am today I’m not sure if there are many, if any, as influential as music. Since my formative years I’ve been in a constant relationship with music that is just as relevant to me as a dad as it was when I was a snotty 12 year old.

When I was 9 years old I spent the summer visiting my Nan. My uncle was a young guy who still lived at home and had the most amazing collection of computer games, videos and music. He not only introduced me to The Beatles but would take me to karaoke nights where he would sing and he would even pay me £1 to get up and sing ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ by the Beatles. This was the beginning of my love for music but also got me thinking about girls. 
My dad was always a bit trendy for his age. When I was 12 he was into Oasis and Paul Weller, but in those days who wasn’t? At the same time my Mum played Luther Vandross and UB40. I was bought my first CD player when I was 13 and the first CD’s I ever owned were Will Smith ‘Getting Jiggy Wit It’ single and ‘Everything Must Go’ by Manic Street Preachers. Both these CD’s opened my musical world as the Manic’s had a more raw and edgy nature to them than the standard Indie offerings of Oasis, Blur and the likes. And whilst not being cool now, Will Smith opened my ears to hip-hop which would later progress through R-Kelly, 2Pac, Beastie Boys and Dr Dre & Snoop.  
SLXLMFuneral For A Friend
Music has given me a common ground to connect with people and make friends. One time I was stood on a train platform on the way to a Funeral For A Friend gig when I found out it was cancelled. A couple of guys hear me talking about this nearby and they’re pretty annoyed too. I invite them back to mine to drink and party and nearly 15 years later we’re still friends. There are countless people I’ve met through the years purely through a shared love of a band. Music connects people. 

I’ve faced many challenges in life and at every stage when I might not have been able to turn to a person for comfort, music has been there. The breakup of my parents coincided with a love for the angsty nu-metal of Linkin Park, Papa Roach and my all-time favourite band Deftones. My late teens/early twenties was my experimental stage whereby I discovered progressive metal such as Devin Townsend & Tool as well as the originals such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. In my mid-twenties, I learned of worship music by Hillsong and Matt Redman that gave me opportunity to experience music in a whole new light focusing more outward.

Every band that I’ve listened to has left a lasting impact upon me. Whether it’s the lyrics or the music, maybe just one particular chorus or an individual drum beat. Music has been a constant in my life that has helped me to understand the world. From Rage Against the Machine, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Hendrix, Elton John, NWA to Ocean Colour Scene. Each band and particular songs evoking memories both happy and sad as well as helping to deal with the emotional situations in the moment. Music has given me the words to express myself when I couldn’t conjure up my own.


Through the years I’ve found my taste in music has expanded many times be it heavier, angrier, lighter, more soulful, more obscure, mindless, you name it and I’ve probably listened to it. I’m not into modern pop music but I get it. I get why kids connect with it even if I don’t like it. Music is powerful.

I always thought ‘I can’t wait to get my son into metal’. Yet now, through writing this I can see that my discovery of each song/band had its own impact upon me. I need to let my kids experience that same discovery and not knock their choices, even if it is One Direction or EDM, I have no idea what that is but I hear it’s popular.


The Xcerts have been danced to in our living room over 200 times
I love to sing and dance with my kids. They love it too , we have near-daily dance parties in the house. I try to introduce them to some of the music I love and for the most part that goes really well. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to see your son or daughter headbanging away to a song that means so much to you. I truly hope that these are memories that stick with them. That these times of pure and simple fun remain with them long after they forget the song we’re dancing to.
I’m also aware that as they grow up I need not try to shape their taste but give them the opportunity and freedom to discover their own bands that will shape and travel with them through life. This might mean dancing around the living room to Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, but who cares? Enjoy this time whilst you have it.

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