Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
For Kristin Hersh, 30, making music has always been a family affair. In the early '80s she formed the postpunk alternative band Throwing Muses with her stepsister Tanya Donelly. They toured in a van, and her first son, Dylan (now 10 and living with his father), slept in motel bathtubs. When the band begins a tour next month behind Limbo (Throwing Music/Rykodisc), its seventh album, Hersh will leave her Rhode Island home with her other two sons—Ryder, 5, and Wyatt, 3 months—husband-manager Billy O'Connell, 32, and Captain, a terrier mix. (Dylan joins them this summer.) Writer-reporter Lisa Kay Greissinger caught Hersh between diapers and soundchecks.
What's it like touring with kids?
I'm nursing—I have Wyatt all day—so we have a nanny who takes care of Ryder. But we are also up until 3 or 4, so the nanny has to get up and pour the cereal. We try to do something with the kids in the afternoon—the zoo or a children's museum or lunch.
Do your kids like your music?
The first show I let the the older boys come to, they laughed at my jokes and clapped at the end of each song. When I came offstage they gave me hugs—they had tears in their eyes.
How have they handled the travel?
Once Ryder had his security blanket thrown away by a hotel maid, and he has never forgiven or forgotten. He thinks the maids ate his blanket. He is a little embittered, but other than that he deals. And he knows the difference between Seattle and Sydney—I didn't know that when I was 5.