In the series “Music Life with Kids”, mica – music austria and Austrian Music Export explore the question of how professional musicians fare when they have children. In the eleventh part of the series, MICHAEL “MILE” LECHNER (Sharktank) gives us an insight into his everyday professional life with a child: In which phases is the family extended to help with childcare? How are times blocked for the family and will his young son also accompany him to festivals in the future?
What has changed for you since becoming a father?
Michael Lechner: My life has been enriched in a way that I didn’t know before. Suddenly there was a new little person in my life who gives me a lot of joy. But I also had a lot of responsibility. I have definitely matured as a person and have learned to appreciate smaller moments more than before.
“I HAVE DEFINITELY MATURED AS A PERSON AND HAVE LEARNED TO APPRECIATE SMALLER MOMENTS MORE THAN before.”
Are mothers treated differently than fathers in the music scene?
Michael Lechner: I can’t really answer that. With me, personally at least, as a father I don’t notice any difference from how it was prior. However, it is known in my immediate sphere that I have blocked out certain times for my family when I am not available professionally.
On tour with (small) children? In concert in the evening and childcare? What networks do musicians use?
Michael Lechner: I coordinate as well as possible with my family and my partner. During the week the daycare, or soon pre-school, helps. When I’m on tour with the band, my partner usually stays in Vienna with our son. For such phases my mother-in-law from Lithuania also flies to us and we expand our little family, otherwise my parents also help. Most of the year, however, I am with my family and we lead a pretty mundane life.
What would you like to see from event organizers and where do you think something urgently needs to change?
Michael Lechner: I always think it’s nice when there are areas for children at events and festivals. Because my child is just 2.5 years old, we have not yet traveled to a festival together. But it is planned for the future and then I will be able to report more.
“I ALWAYS THINK IT’S NICE WHEN THERE ARE AREAS FOR KIDS AT EVENTS AND FESTIVALS.”
Is there a general need for more sensitivity in the scene? What is missing? Is special needs being addressed?
Michael Lechner: So far, I haven’t experienced any disadvantages. In fact, I’ve only been a somewhat ‘serious’ musician for a short time and became a father shortly before that. So I only know it all with a child and can hardly draw a comparison.
“I’M QUITE OPEN ABOUT IT. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A DAD AND A MUSICIAN.”
Times have changed, social media serves the private life as well as the professional environment. How do you deal with that in terms of your dual role as dad and musician?
Michael Lechner: I deal with it quite openly. There’s nothing wrong with being a dad and a musician. Both are part of my life. I like being a father and spending time with my family. For me, it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Translated from the German original by Arianna Alfreds.