Working Parents Feature:
Tyler Bancroft - Said The Whale/Be Good Artist Management
How does one balance being a parent and working in the music industry? What unique challenges are there as a touring parent? What changes would musician parents like to see from the industry in regards of parenthood? We wanted to start a conversation about what it’s really like to be a parent in today’s music industry and invited seven diverse western Canadian artist and industry members to talk about what it’s like for them….
Tyler Bancroft is the co-lead singer and founding member of Vancouver-based band Said The Whale, and the owner of a very small artist management company called Be Good Artist Management. He’s also the father of two beautiful boys - Grayson, aged 3 1/2 and Everett, aged 8 months.
Where were you at in your music career when you had your first child? Was there much discussion about how that life choice would affect your career within the music/entertainment industry?
My partner and I had tried to loosely time the start of our family with a gap in record cycles with my band - I was under the false impression that these things could be planned. They cannot. Conceiving takes time for many people. By the time we were successful, "making things convenient for my career” was at the very bottom of our list of priorities. My first son was born right smack in the middle of us recording an album. I missed a couple days in the studio, but was back in there 2 days after his birth. It was a wild time, to put it lightly.
As a working parent in the music industry, what are some of the biggest challenges you are facing?
Without a doubt the biggest challenge is the time spent away from home. I’m really lucky to have family nearby who are able to help out a bit while I’m away, but for the most part my partner is rendered a single parent when I go on tour. That is incredibly hard for her (and by extension hard for me). While I am in town, my biggest challenge is effectively managing my time. The music industry does not exist within the confines of 9-5, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to be present for my family when I’m being pulled in a million different directions. I'm working on being better at leaving my phone behind more often so my kids don't grow up with a zombie-dad.
What is one small change within the industry that could make a positive impact for working parents?
EARLIER SHOWS. I go to about 95% less shows than I did before having kids because I simply cannot stay out as late as I used to. My days start anywhere between 5am and 6:30am, so I do my best to be in bed before 11pm most nights, often earlier. This dad’s opinion: headliners should hit the stage at 9pm, latest.
How do you find support and community with other working parents in the music industry?
I don’t seek it out much, to be honest. The challenges I face pale in comparison with what my partner deals with every day on mat leave with 2 kids, so my primary focus is supporting her when I can. I’m not super concerned with my own well-being at the moment, I’m just trying to get us through it all.
What’s one specific example of an organization/venue/company doing something great to help support working parents?
I can’t think of any…
What could a music event, do or provide to make it easier for you to participate?
I think it’s really hard to cater to the "music industry parent" demographic in general, because everyone has such different ways of structuring their lives to cope with the challenges. For me, events that take place earlier are helpful, but that’s not necessarily something that would work for everyone. I think the music biz moms could speak to this a bit better, so I’ll leave this one for them.
Enjoyed reading Tyler's answers? Read more from other parents featured in our series:
Sage McBride (Shred Kelly)
Christine Rogerson (Live Nation)
Ed Durocher (Apollo Suns)
(Miesha Louie (Miesha & The Spanks)