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“Rad Dad Feature: Jotham Oliver”

Jotham is an awesome guy that definitely puts his family first in everything he does. Even in the lyrics he sings in the hardcore band, Wisdom in Chains, his unwavering dedication to his family is apparent with almost every breath. Always with a smile on his face, it was a pleasure to be able to chat with Jotham and get to know him a little better. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to chat with Jotham, and it’s an honor to be able to introduce him to you.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Jotham Oliver. I sing in a hardcore band called Wisdom In Chains and I am a union carpenter in NYC. Whether I’m doing shows with my band or doing Union work my kids are the priority. It’s always not easy balancing careers and goals with parenthood but I am lucky enough to have a very supportive wife and she has always helped make it possible for me pursue my dreams and still keep a positive presence in our household. Without her it would be extremely difficult to do both.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

The biggest difference between life now and life when I was a kid is the huge improvement in technology. For me being a modern-day dad is about understanding the world my kids are growing up in is faster and more distracting than the world I grew up in and therefore trying to adapt myself to the new landscape. It’s not easy to relate with younger generations and I don’t think it ever has been but I suppose that’s the universal challenge of parenting.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

Becoming a father changed my priorities more than anything. I had a stepdaughter for years before my son was born but I never felt like a parent until the morning my son was born. It’s such a heavy thing to witness life coming into the light for the first time. I definitely felt like something changed in my wiring that day. I developed a deep connection with my stepdaughter that day also. They are always at the top of the priority list now. My music will always be a huge part of who I am and how I identify myself but I now see myself as a parent first.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

The greatest part of being a dad is watching another human develop a personality. I am a people person and I love the art of conversation. There is nothing cooler than having a deep meaningful conversation with your own kid. Teaching kids to reason and how to analyze another person based on their words is a valuable social tool. The only way to truly know someone’s personality is to spend time talking and I really enjoy talking and laughing with my kids. My son and I love standup comedy and he constantly writes jokes and tries them on me. I love it.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

My favorite band is Sick Of It All. They did a tour with Suicidal Tendencies a few years ago and they played Best Buy Theater in NYC. I took my son to the show with me. We were hanging in the dressing room with the band before they went on stage and had a great time. We watched SOIA play and they were great but my son had a weird look on his face for the entire set. Afterwards we left and we were walking through Times Square holding hands and I realized that he was walking so slow I was almost pulling him. I looked down and he was bawling his eyes out. I thought maybe someone hurt him as we were walking and I got down on one knee and asked him what happened. He had a hard time talking because he was crying so hard. When he finally calmed down he said that he didn’t want to tell me because I would be mad. I promised I wouldn’t be mad and he put his head down and said “I hate rock!” And he started crying on my shoulder again. I laughed because he was so cute and he actually thought I would be disappointed that he didn’t like my music. I said “It’s ok buddy. Kids don’t like their parents music until they get older.” Thinking about that still makes me laugh though.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Everyone says this advice but it’s very true. Enjoy the time when they are little because they grow up so fast. That’s my best advice for new parents.

Thanks so much for taking part in our feature. You are one of the raddest dads we know!

Wisdom In Chains has a new album coming out in May called The God Rhythm. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @wisdominchains and facebook.com/WisdomInChainsPAHC for tour dates and info and also check out wisdomneversleeps.com

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