Mike Vallely is a name that is as synonymous with “hard working” as it is with “rule breaking”. A pioneering skateboarder and musician, you would be better off listing the things that “Mike V” can’t do. Born in New Jersey, by the age of 14 Mike was enveloped in punk rock music and skateboarding. With a lengthy career still in both, Mike V is at the helm of his own company, Elephant Brand Skateboards, and current lead singer for the infamous hardcore-punk band “Black Flag” and “Good for You”, both bands featuring legendary Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn. Some may or may not know, that aside from this wild life, he is also a dedicated husband and father. This, to us, ultimately defines a “Modern Day Dad”, and without any further adieu, enjoy our “Rad Dad Feature” with Mike Vallely.
1. Mike, Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your
career with being a dad?
My name is Mike Vallely. I ride a skateboard and I sing in a band. I don’t really use or relate to the word “balance” when it comes to being a father and husband. To me “balance” in this context implies that somehow, in someway sacrifices or compromises are being made one way or the other. I just don’t think in those terms. The Hollywood stereotype of the father who works too hard and misses out as his real life slips by has always annoyed me. I think you can have it all. To be a complete person of any value to anyone, you have to have your work and your family firing on all cylinders at all times. Love and Strength. Consistency in effort across the board is what’s important not “balance.” Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are you have to be all the way present in that moment or you’re letting the universe down. Maybe that is “balance.” But I personally wouldn’t use that word to describe it.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
It means being completely open to the world unfolding in front of us — Carrying one’s values forward and yet adapting them to reality.
3. How did becoming a father change your life?
My life hasn’t changed. I’m still me. That’s the greatest gift that I feel I can give to my kids.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Having a cheering section and being a cheering section. Family should enhance the best in all of us.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
No stories to share here but I will say this — The joke is always on me… And I’m happy for it.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Pretty cliche stuff here but true. Enjoy every moment. It goes so fast — Too fast. Even the toughest, hardest times will be missed someday. Take it all in. When you start looking ahead — You start leaving reality behind. Reality needs you.
Thanks for your time Mike, you are definitely an inspiration, a driving force in music, skateboarding, parenting and a great example of what it means to be a “Modern Day Dad”.
“No rules, no divisions, no schools…
Just a skateboard as a paintbrush and
the world as an empty canvas.” -Mike Vallely
More Info on Elephant Brand Skateboards here: http://elephantbrandskateboards.com/
More Info on Black Flag here: http://blackflagofficial.com/
More Info on Good For You Band here: http://goodforyouband.com/