Dad Rock Dialogues is a new series of Q&As where two generations bridge by having local dads interview young, up-and-coming bands.
As parents we dream about who or what our child may become, or how our child’s life might impact the world one day, staring down in marvel at this small person we helped bring into the world, asleep in their crib, appearing to have not a worry in their world, wondering what the world will be like for them in the future. We wish them success in whatever they choose to do, of course secretly wanting a particular outcome (a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a businessperson), but can’t recall thinking in terms of an artist, a writer and, oh my, a musician.
Windigo, an emerging Calgary band who might be described as an indie pop sound with their whimsical music and harmonizing vocals, sat down with me at Phil and Sebastian’s in Marta Loop and talked about their experiences with their parents and how it shaped where and who they are today.
BeatRoute: What did you think you wanted to do for a career when you first went to high school?
Chris Burynuik (guitar): I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, though I felt some pressure that I should know what I wanted to do… actually I always wanted to be a palaeontologist and now I am studying anthropology.
Jen Severtson (vocals, bass): I have always been interested in theatre/music and teaching, and thought I might end up as a music teacher… I may not have the patience for teaching, as I realize most young students are there because, not of their own choice (their parents sent them) and would rather be playing sports or something else.
Anthony Kameka (guitar, vocals): I thought I wanted to be a chemist, like my dad, but soon became interested in music and knew that music would always play a role in my life.
BeatRoute: What were your parents’ aspirations for you when you entered high school?
CB: I feel I was really lucky and had amazing parents, who gave me total freedom to choose and I was taught the right things in life from them, to make the right choices later.
JS: My parents gave me lots of information and allowed me to decide whether I use it or not, never pressuring me, and gave me support on anything I decided to try or do.
AK: I was totally different than my band mates: my direction was pretty clear from my Dad, who grew up in Jamaica and had to help support his family and didn’t go and finish high school until he was 30. So, having an education and a career was very important to me, through him… that is what I did and I went to university and became an accountant and continue to follow music, as well.
BeatRoute: What do your parents think of your choice in a music career today?
CB: My parents are really supportive but my dad doesn’t show emotions very well and therefore doesn’t get too involved in my music — perhaps he thinks I am still the fourteen-year-old playing guitar in my room. Music isn’t really something I talk about with them now and I know they are really supportive in what I do.
JS: I grew up in a household with music and my parents are really supportive in my choices and really excited for what I am doing.
AK: The pressure is off, once I graduated with my degree and they are proud of what I have done and where I am going.
CB: It’s nice to feel your parents are supportive, but, without any actual feedback on the music or the show, I don’t feel they are really engaged in what I am doing.
BeatRoute: When your parents come to your shows, does it feel awkward, different or embarrassing to you?
CB: It would feel like a weird dynamic for them being there.
JS: My parents are kind of like old fuddy-duddies and go to bed at 8:00 and having them at our show would be really different, though, they know how I have been with my friends in the past and don’t expect any different at our shows. Anytime they come to a show, it’s like anyone close to you, it is a sign of love, and that’s good.
AK: I have been playing shows since I was 13 and my parents have been there and support me, and I am happy and comfortable that they are there.
CB: It’s really a testament to our parents and their raising of us, for us to be able to get up in front of an audience and perform, with confidence. They gave us that.
By Charles Cochrane
Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino