Johnny Gregurich of The Forgotten shows us that not only is punk not dead, but it also can be a dedicated father and husband. Joining The Forgotten in 2000, he has become a mainstay in this iconic punk rock band shifting from bass to guitar late in 2005, and sharing the stage with bands like Rancid, Stiff Little Fingers, Cro-Mags, and Dropkick Murphys just to name a few. It was a honor to be able to chat with Johnny and I was stoked to learn a little more about him in this feature.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
I’m Johnny Gregurich, 33. I play guitar in the punk band The Forgotten. I also work in hydronic heating equipment. I’m married to a wonderful gal Suzanna Leigh and we have a very smart, nearly six-year-old named Johanna. between doing fun family stuff, fulltime work and a handful of days each month traveling one hour south for Forgotten stuff, I stay pretty busy.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
most dads probably have 2 of the same 3 busy tasks, my third difference would be my longtime band The Forgotten which I’ve been in since I was 18 years old. all dads have their hobbies, mine just happens to be playing shows, writing some songs and recording with a punk band. our touring abroad has slowed due to work and a couple of us becoming dads but our current lineup (since 2006) is musically strong as ever. I met Suzanna in 2002 while playing in The Forgotten so she’s been a strong supporter of my band-life for all but the first few years. balancing the three is always a challenge but one I’m definitely up for and grateful to have.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
getting married gave me the first real feeling of responsibility for a family of my own but when Jo was born and i became a father, that was magnified enormously. the instant feeling i remember (which is always there) is an enormous pressure and responsibility to keep this tiny little helpless thing safe from harm. other than the music stuff i’ve been a part of, i now have a living legacy whom i’m confident will make the word a little bit better place as she gets older.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
probably just knowing that someone loves you unconditionally, regardless of your shortcomings as a person. Jo is my drive to wake up each day and try to be a better person. it’s my responsibility to keep that loving relationship strong as Jo gets older. through work I was able to hang out with a local 49ers legend Dwight Clark and the father/daughter advice he gave me was “get in with her while she’s young” which I really took to heart. Suzanna and I try and duplicate events that we remember fondly as young kids so we bought a vintage 60’s travel trailer and started camping a few years ago. we even got all four of Jo’s grandparents out of camping retirement to join us!
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
Jo is quite the funny girl herself. she just titled herself “crack up girl” yesterday and said her friends and classmates would describe her as “funny”. she’s always telling jokes she’s heard or read from a joke book. Jo’s favorite commercial is the Ickey Woods Geico deli commercial. anytime the #44 comes up in a game or on tv, she does the ickey shuffle and the “whoooo 44, that’s me! gimme some! whooooo gonna get some cold cuts today!” she has no idea where it came from or what it means but it’s pretty funny watching a five-year-old girl reenact it.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
I try and make an effort to do at least one thing every single day with her that she might remember fondly when she gets older. when Jo chooses, it usually ends up being a board game or card game. other dads have mentioned it on modern day dads and it’s so true that the way I treat Johanna is what she will look for in a husband later in life. so if I ignore her, yell and talk down to her, that’s what she’s going to think she deserves in a mate. I try and tell her I love her as much as possible. I want to make her feel like the most special person in the world to me as often as I can. i try and set the example of the type of guy I want her bringing home someday. the wife is quick to remind me when I stray from the path too!
Thanks so much man! It was an absolute pleasure! Now I am going to listen to all my Forgotten albums for the rest of the day!
Get in touch with Johnny here: