I’m in a D.C. band called Washington Social Club, and I have a wee problem. Wee as in wee one, as in a child, as in my drummer’s having a kid. Now, Bob, I love kids, and I’m superexcited for my drummer and his wife. The problem, from the band side of it, is that my drummer’s house has always been ground zero for practice, recording, and generally getting weird. Is there a way to make a rock ’n’ roll zone baby-friendly? Or should I just suck it up and find a new spot? —Martin Royle, Glover Park
Absolutely, you can make your rehearsal space baby-friendly! With a few small adjustments, there should be no need to look for a new spot.
You might consider an isolation booth for the baby. Most recording studios have a small room in the corner that’s normally reserved for vocalists. If your space doesn’t have one, build it. Apply sound-damping material to the walls, carpet the floor, and install dimmers for the lighting. Elevate the crib to viewing level, place an omnidirectional microphone overhead, and turn the baby’s mic up louder than everyone else in the band.
Try to keep illicit behavior and foul language to a minimum. If you have to smoke, step outdoors. Drinking in moderation is OK. When making important band decisions, always consider the baby’s opinion. Think Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies.
The baby is an irreplaceable part of your band. Embrace the addition! —Bob Mould
Bob Mould blogs at modulate.blogspot.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.