Mothers of Rock and Roll

MAY-COverThese women are amazing. They can rock out with a guitar, sing, play trumpet, or be entrepreneurs, business owners, all while being mothers. We asked some of the incredible women in the Northern Colorado music scene to answer a few questions. 

1. How do you balance your career and your personal life?

2. How do you incorporate music in your home?

3. How does your child inspire you?

Dani Grant, owner of the Mishawaka Amphitheatre & founder of Spokesbuzz

1. Fortunately, even with a full work week my job is flexible so I can be at the games for my girls, help with pick ups and school events and still make it back to the board meeting by 6:30. Much of my work can be done with my family around; my daughters have been at work with me at the Mishawaka for days, so we get to eat and play together between my working in the production office. Plus they can sleep through Dubstep.
2. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. We have wake up music, dinner music, dance party music, clean your room music… We play name that artist in the car and we sing together daily. I share my classic music icons like Jack White, Led Zeppelin, and The Pixies with them to balance out the Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. We share love for indie alt rock like Little Green Cars and bands like Vance Joy, Ting Tings, and Cults.
3. My children inspire me by their pure honesty and their listening skills. I’ve had comments from my 10-year-old daughter Eva like, “Mommy, I like how this band is onstage but they seem like they need practice because they aren’t together.” Brilliance can be so simple. My daughter Gretta can latch onto Depeche Mode because she says she hears their influence in music she listens to on Top 40 radio. My oldest, Abbott, knows the words to every song I have played for her. She focuses on lyrics and song composition more than I do, finding bands like Dawes and others appealing because of their songwriting. Most of all, they all tell me the Beastie Boys suck and have dumb words and I laugh because that’s the way they wanted people to think of them.

Wendy Woo, Musician

1. I have a lot of help. My husband, Charles Snyder, who is a Loveland native and an Engineer at GE, loves music and the Colorado Music Scene. He helps strengthen my online presence. He makes all of the videos on my YouTube page. He notifies me when gigs roll in or messages need answering. Charles helps me balance the business side. I have made great friends since I have moved up here almost five years ago from Denver. My best friend Valerie and her four boys in combination with my three kids, two boys and the youngest a girl, hang out enough that we practically make up our own daycare. Chris Maestas and Mitch DeZwarte are long time band members both of whom have since moved up to the area and both of whom have recently had newborns. I would not be able to pull this off if I didn’t have family and friends close by. They are what help me balance my personal life.
2. We have a basement with a Bose PA, a drum set, an acoustic bass, electric guitars and keyboards. It’s where the band rehearses when I can get everyone together once or twice a year. We more often get all the neighborhood kids together after school and work on writing different songs. The kids come up with great little internet inspired rap tunes and lay them down on top of drum and keyboard grooves. They all take turns singing, mixing sound and fighting over who will be the drummer. The one thing I have them all do to keep a steady jam is to repeatedly count to four. Our newest hit song is titled, “Grill This Trout.”
3. My children remind me to play. They remind me to mess with Play-Doh, paint a picture and turn the house into an imaginary race track. They also trash the house, treat me like a jungle gym and challenge my ability to run the remote control. I love every minute I get to spend with them, but at the same time I cherish every minute I spend in the studio and on the stage getting a little Rock and Roll mommy time to myself.

Shaley Scott, Musician

1. Sometimes I feel like I don’t balance it…lol. I feel as if at all times, I have a million things spinning in my head and it can be overwhelming. Being a musician means instability, it means odd hours, it means being gone, and it means that nothing is ever the same. Every week is different and that can be hard. I travel to Los Angeles quite a bit, and I just got back from a week in Austin for SXSW so, it can be hard. I couldn’t do it without my sister, my parents, and of course my husband, Andrew Tuin; he is my rock. You have to have a good support system in place and you have to know that when it’s family time – it’s FAMILY time. Sometimes I have to miss out on shows, and have to make tough choices because my family needs me. That’s just the way it is. Sometimes I have to make a show, a meeting, or last minute trip, because it’s an opportunity… so, it goes both ways.
2. Music is all over our home. My daughter has always been exposed to it, and from a young age she would sit in my home studio with me while I wrote and recorded. Everyday we turn on the speakers, put on music, and dance together around the living room. We also sing and make up songs together, and she even needs music to help her fall asleep at night. My husband, (although not technically a “musician”) has a natural ear for music. He plays piano by ear, he has a passion for it and even when I’m not there, he has “Daddy Dance Parties” with our daughter in the basement and exposes her to another type of music that helps keep her well-rounded. There’s not a day that goes by where there’s not music in our home. It’s awesome.
3. Oh boy….how does she NOT inspire me? She has changed my life in ways that I couldn’t explain to anyone. I want to be a good person for her and she inspires me to make something of myself and make her proud. She invokes emotions in me that I didn’t know I had and I feel as if I could write a hundred songs about her and still have something left to say. She is the fire inside me that was probably always there but now it is there in a human form. She helps me learn about myself and want to be better. Her smile can HEAL me, and her tears can BREAK me – it is the most beautiful thing. Until her, I didn’t know that kind of love existed. The real question is – do I inspire HER? That is what I can only hope for. That one day, I can inspire her the way that SHE inspires me.

Liz Evans, Production and Promotions Manager at Avogadro’s Number

1. I’m pretty sure all working parents struggle to achieve balance, and I’m not sure it is even one of my goals. The pendulum swings freely between work and my personal life and I don’t try to push it one way or the other. Abbey is often present when I’m listening to bands who are looking to book with us, and is brutally honest (and hilarious) with her opinions. She helps plan events like Dead Jam and Avograss. My tiny cohort. On the other hand, if I’m totally honest, there are times when I’m with her that I wish my phone didn’t beep at me with work emails. Don’t we all?
2. Our home is literally a music venue. Abbey was named after the famous Beatles album. She is learning the fiddle from one of the baddest-ass fiddle players in town. She believed Neil Young was her grandfather until she was 3. She talks about Jerry Garcia as if he were here today, and she attends live music about six days a week.
3. Abbey dances like nobody is watching (though you can’t take your eyes away). She is deliberate, courageous, and kind. She looks straight in your eyes when you speak. I admire the way she accepts things, and people for what they are. She has a strong sense of who she is and follows her own path. These are things that I strive for every day.

Greta Cornett, trumpet player for Mama Lenny & the Remedy, 12 Cents for Marvin and the 3 Twins; co-founder of the Fort Collins Musicians Association and the co-creator and festival organizer of FoCoMX; talent committee member and blogger for Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest; marketing director for the Boulder Theater and the Fox Theatre

1. We include Mattie Lou in everything we do. We bring her to shows and anything else that’s happening in our lives. It’s a little different to rock out with a toddler, but she’s tons of fun and loves our local music scene.
2. It’s kind of funny, anytime she sees a van she calls it a “band van.” So I’m sure music is affecting her in ways we’ve never even thought of. She’s grown up with both of her parents having band practice and playing lots of music in our house. I gave her an old mouthpiece that is her “trumpet” and she follows me around the house buzzing into it.
3. Mattie Lou is the best thing that’s ever happened to us. She’s such a wonderful little person, just so full of life. You want to make sure that you teach your child how to love, enjoy the small things, and live life to the fullest. And ultimately to us that is family, friends and music. So being able to share with the person that matters most, the thing that matters most is incredibly rewarding.

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