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Mates of State Discuss Balancing Rock and Parenting In Dark Rye Video

Rock ‘n’ roll is known for many things, but producing world-class parents isn’t one. Jason Hammel admits as much in the video above, filmed for Whole Foods’ Dark Rye online magazine, but that hasn’t stopped him and his wife, Kori Gardner, from attempting to raise a family while piloting a successful indie rock band. Together, Hammel and Gardner are Mates of State, a terrific drum-and-keyboard duo responsible for a string of great albums and, perhaps more importantly, two beautiful daughters.

Their first child, Magnolia, was born in 2004, and by the time she was 10 weeks old, they’d started taking her out on the road. They weren’t sure how it was all going to work — or how they were going to support themselves purely with music — but they figured it out. Magnolia’s sister, June Elizabeth arrived in 2008, and with two kids in tow, Mates of State are still going strong. Their most recent album, ‘Mountaintops,’ dropped on Barsuk in 2011, and the pair recently wrapped shooting for ‘Rumperbutts,’ their feature-film debut.

“We feel like this can help enhance their lives,” Hammel says. “It doesn’t have to be a detriment to it.”

In the Dark Rye clip, the pair explain how they juggle recording, touring and filming movies with the demands of being parents. The key, they say, is loving your kids and striving to be positive role models, and those things aren’t exclusive to people with regular nine-to-five schedules.

“I think it’s really important to do what you want to do in life,” Gardner says. “How can we be happy? That will make them happy — setting an example by doing what you really want to do. You can do anything you want. They’re seeing that first hand. That creates a positive environment for everybody.”

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