Dillinger 4's Erik Funk: My 2-year-old son hates our music

Dillinger 4's Erik Funk: My 2-year-old son hates our music
Photo by Brian Garrity

Founded in 1994, Dillinger Four is 19 years old. They've played something like 10 or 14 D4ths of July, depending who you ask. They're toured the globe, released records on Fat Wreck Chords, and they all work full-time in addition to being Twin Cities punk godfathers. In the past year, though, the band members have become fathers themselves: Drummer Lane Pederson has a son and a daughter, and bassist Paddy Costello is a new father as of this May.

Gimme Noise chatted with guitarist/vocalist Erik Funk on his own family's growth and how it balances with the band -- and how new recorded material is a priority.

Gimme Noise: Both you and Paddy are recent first-time parents?

Erik Funk: My wife and I adopted a son from South Korea. We brought him home back in August, so we have a two-and-three-quarters old right now. It's been awesome and amazing. We skipped the baby part and started with toddler. I don't know much about the actual infant part, but I can tell you that having a toddler from day one is pretty tough, keeping us pretty busy.

We worked on it for three years to bring him home so people who know us knew we've been doing that forever. [The adoption process] is a lot of work. We're not even technically done. It is, but every few months there's something else you have to do, at least for a little while longer.

I have a son, Paddy has a daughter, and our drummer Lane has a son and a daughter. They're a little older. We've created enough children to replace ourselves. There are four now, so the future of the organization is secure.

Has having kids affected your band schedules at all? You haven't been particularly active since Civil War in the first place.

That's the thing. Last year was kind of an off year because I knew we were going to be traveling to adopt and we didn't know when that was going to happen. Really, you don't know up until a matter of weeks before you go. This year we're doing a little bit more. I think next year we'll actually be pretty active if no one has any more kids. Once we're all settled in and you get a schedule together, I think we can actually pick it up a little bit.

On a local level?

Locally, I feel like when we're not producing any new music, a few local shows a year is probably good because that means there's not going to be a huge variety in what we're playing. When we finally get to a point where we can do some music and put something out then we're usually pretty busy for a year or so. We are going to put something out again. We don't know exactly when but we discuss it heavily. We're not the kind of songwriters who are sitting around on a bunch of songs. Always, going all the way back, it's been, "We're going to make a 7-inch," or "We're going to make a record," and that becomes the focus and we make it. I'm not sitting around with a notebook full of lyric ideas and Paddy's not that way either.

Is it too early to ask if parenthood themes will seep into the lyrics?

I always try to avoid that obvious stuff if I can. It's like when bands get that second or third record and that record is all about touring and life on the road because that's all they've been doing and it's really boring. I imagine, at least for my part, I would make a concerted effort to not do that.

Does your son like D4?

No, he hates it. He loves music, all kinds of stuff. We don't just play kids' music for him, we play all kinds of stuff and his favorite stuff is all over the map but, without fail, when I try to play Dillinger Four, he is not having it.

He loves playing music. He's got his own guitars, keyboards, and drums. He's really musically interested but not in what I do. Normally he kind of likes everything except for my band, which he clearly dislikes. Which I think is hilarious.

Catch the three-day Dillinger Fourth of July at Triple Rock on Thursday through Saturday evenings. Dillinger Four play on Friday. More info here.

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