Mike Park is a Rad Dad in every sense of the word. Known for his additions to amazing ska-punk bands like Skankin’ Pickle, The Chinkees, and The Bruce Lee Band, and founder of the infamous “Asian Man Records”, it’s amazing he even had the time to speak with us. A few years back our family was pleasantly surprised to see him in the Yo Gabba Gabba live show after which my daughter got a long history of the bands he was in that filled up my iPod. Without any further adieu, I’d like to introduce you all the Mike Park, activist, musician, and all around rad dad.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My main job these days is running a record label called Asian Man Records that deals mostly with punk influenced sounds, but I also run a children’s music label called fun fun records. The children’s label has been a lot of fun. The premise of that label is to work with musician who’ve been involved in the punk community over the years as their fan base has now moved on to being parents themselves. I’m also a musician, but I’ve cut that down so much the past 8 years that it’s mostly a hobby these days. Working for yourself give you so much freedom, so I can be there with the kids before they go to school and be back by 4:30 to hang out and enjoy the fun and the not so fun times of being a dad.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
For me it’s just being as positive a person I can. To lead by example. Not to give in to the pressures of tv/video games, but to surround by children with music, songs, dance, and other activities to keep them entertained. It’s also about being a team player with my wife. To break the stereotypes of what a dad/mom are supposed to do.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
The biggest part was touring. While I still tour here and there, I used to be on the road 8 months out of the year, but I try to keep it to a couple months at the most these days. I remember being on tour in England when my wife was pregnant with our second child and feeling so deflated that I couldn’t be there to help her out. That’s when I decided to give up being a full time musician. But I did do a 3 month tour with the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba a few years back. I couldn’t pass it up as it was just such a big opportunity. I was gone for 3 months. My wife was ready to kill me when I got back.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Watching the growth of your child through the years. Watching them learn, watching them get excited about something new. Seeing yourself in them is crazy. Thinking back and going that was me when I was their age. Just falling in love with your family and having that bond through good and bad times.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
I don’t know if you’ll view this as funny or disgusting. My son when he was around 10 months old was being rather quiet in his play pen while I tried getting some work done. Upon checking up on him he had reached into his diaper and was covered in feces. UGGHH!!! It was terrible, but kind of funny too.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
It’s no cake walk. This is easily the hardest job I’ve ever had, but I love it. Cherish every moment with your family. Keep them away from the television. That thing is poison. I do support music videos…. especially by Koo Koo Kangaroo. Watch those and have the whole family dance around together.
Thanks so much Mike! I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us! Look forward to hearing more from you in the future! Find more about Mike via these links: