It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the band Noi!se. It only made sense to get in touch with Jesse to do the feature. As much as I have studied his guitar playing, it seemed logical to get to know him a little bit more on the parenting front and have him take part in our feature. They say don’t ever meet your heroes, as they will let you down, but that just isn’t the case with a guy like Jesse. I was stoked to see that we had a lot of similar ideas regarding raising children, and it’s always a pleasure to find other people you can relate to when it comes to raising kids right, working hard, and living your dreams.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My name is Jesse O’Donnell. I’m the husband to my beautiful wife Karen and the father of two girls, Lilydale (10 years old) and Clover (5 years old). I am also the guitar player for noi!se, and a hardcore band called earthmother. When I’m not spending time with the guys in the bands or my family, I work in my recording studio recording all of the other hardcore, punk, and metal bands in town. And on top of all that, I also have a day job Monday through Friday driving a delivery truck for Dillanos Coffee Roasters. It’s a very busy schedule, however I somehow manage to be able to spend time with the kids every day. My girls (wife included) are still top priority above all the other things, and I think that by simply remembering that at all times, I am able to keep everything else in place.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
It’s an evolving modern world. Keeping an open mind is important so that your children will be open minded when they reach adulthood.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
Anyone who grew up in the punk rock sub culture is definitely going to see some drastic changes in life! I don’t tour as much. I don’t play local shows as much. I don’t really even go to shows anymore unless I am playing it. I am totally ok with all of that, but it was kinda hard at first. Like the party is over. Time to grow up now! Ten years later, I look back though, and realize that it’s really not that much different. It’s just not as frequent, because the priorities in life have changed. And if I do find time to watch a friend’s band play somewhere, hopefully it’s all ages so that I can bring the kids with me.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Watching these kids grow up and finding things about them that remind me of myself or my wife. For example, Lilydale having a natural musical talent playing piano. Clover is learning how to be a hair dresser like her mom at the young age of five. Every now and then they just say somthing about a song that they think sucks or somthing and I think, “yup! That’s my kid!”
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
My wife hired a professional photographer for some family pictures. The kids were not in the mood at all. They were more in the mood for fighting and arguing at the moment. As the photographer was setting the girls up for a pose in these two little chairs back to back, Lilydale was sitting in her chair pouting and Clover was just standing next to her chair and screaming. The photographer finally just threw her hands up and took the picture anyway. Today this picture still hangs in our living room. It wound up by far being the best family photo in the house!
(another was) We were at the park. Just Clover and I. She must have been about 2 at the time. I was pushing her on the swing when it was time to go. She didn’t want to leave yet. She was heavily protesting the idea. When I picked her up to carry her home, she screamed for help at the top of her lungs. Everyone at this park was staring at me like I was kidnapping her. Luckily no one called the police!
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Don’t sweat it! It’s hard at times, but it always turns into one of those things you will laugh about later. Like the time Lilydale rubbed black boot polish all over the bed spread. It sucked at the time, but we can’t help but to laugh at it now!
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. You are an awesome Dad, musician and great guy all around.
Follow Jesse here: http://instagram.com/hilltopnoise