When I think of Rock Stars I always think of road trips and camping on a bus, travelling the world and having a ball of a time.  What we seldom remember is that Rock Stars are people too. Many of them are boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and often parents!

If you love South African music or have a radio or T.V, you will surely know of the band The Parlotones who have had some amazing local and international hits like “I’ll be there for you”, ”Rock.Paper.Scissors” and “Dragonflies and Astronauts”. I spoke to Paul Hodgson who is a band member in The Parlotones and who is also a father to a beautiful little girl! I asked him a few questions on what it’s like being a Dad and part of an international band:

q.1) How did you find out your wife was pregnant and did she have any strange cravings?

Well funnily enough, about a week before we found out my wife was pregnant; some friends came to visit with their toddler. He pulled all my neatly organised CD’s out the CD rack, messed juice and food all over the floor and couch and after they left my wife and I said “We’re definitely not ready for a baby yet!” Then a week later we found out she was pregnant…!

2) How did you choose her name?

It took forever to choose a name. If I liked a name, my wife didn’t. A name she liked was from a TV show I didn’t like, and so on and so on… We went through a whole bunch of baby name books and eventually settled on a name we both liked. It clicked with us both instantly. I have her name tattooed on the inside of my arm, which I always joke is so that I can remember it when I get back home from tour.

q.3) What is your favourite daddy and daughter activity?

Well she loves playing “School School” where she is the teacher and I’m the kid, and I have to do maths and spelling and colouring in and stuff. We also play games together on the Wii and go for walks around the neighbourhood.  But I’d have to say our favourite thing is swimming, she can swim for hours and hours, just like I used to when I was a kid.

q.4) What is her favourite food and what is her views on vegetables?

She is actually a very healthy eater; she prefers tomatoes and sliced cucumber over chips and sweets. She loves chicken korma. She eats the basic vegetables, peas, mielies, carrots, that sort of thing. She is a bit wary of anything that looks “weird” (which she gets from me!)

q.5) What do you miss the most when you are on the road away from home?

Definitely my family and especially my daughter. You miss out on so many little things that you’ll never get back. You learn to appreciate the time you have together and make the most of every moment. But also things like sleeping in your own bed, your own shower, things like that. The “normal” things that you never think about until you are away from home for 6 weeks.

q.6) Do you have any special traditions that you do together as father and daughter or as a family before you go on tour?

Um not really, we sometimes have a supper out or something, but often (and I don’t know why) we normally end up having arguments the few days leading up to when I have to leave. I think it’s the knowledge I’m going to be away for a long time and it creates stress that manifests in short tempers and arguments. It’s weird, but it happens without fail just before every tour.

q.7) Do you have to bring her any specific toys, trinkets or books from your travels?

Nothing specific, but always something. When she was smaller I would bring back teddy bears from different places that looked like the place they came from. Like one was a teddy dressed like a London cop, things like that. I also got her some little handbags from various airports, decorated with iconic images of that city, like NY or London, pretty cool. Obviously the style of the gift changes as she gets older, but it’s always something small because it has to fit into my backpack. And it’s always bought at the end of the tour; otherwise it’s utterly ruined by the time I get home!

 q.8) How does she feel about her dad being a rock star?

It’s normal for her, I think. She often says she’s glad I’m a rock star, but she wishes I didn’t have to go away so much. I think it’s only sinking in now how different our life is. Some of the older kids at school ask her about the band and stuff, and it’s a bit of weird thing for someone so young to deal with. She’s had lot of cool experiences because of the band, we’re often at Sun City and she gets to stay in cool hotels every now and again. She sometimes stands with our lighting engineer during shows and he lets her control the lights, which she loves. I try keep her out of the limelight as much as I can, I don’t put up photos of her on my Facebook and things like that. I try keeping the family life separate from the band thing. It’s a bit sad sometimes, especially when you have an awesome photo you’d love to share, but there’s too many people I don’t know on my Facebook and I’m not comfortable with them having access to my family photos.

If you would like to keep up to date with what Paul is doing, why not follow his blog  and hear more! For concert dates, go to The Parlotones official website  or follow them on Facebook

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