Tokyo Spares is a family band, with drummer Peta joined by husband Jadon and sister-in-law/best friend Sez. The youngest member of the family, Peta and Jadon’s little boy, Roland Rad, likes music just as much as his parents do. Peta played drums throughout her pregnancy, and is upbeat about being a mom and a drummer. Tokyo Spares’ brand of female-fronted garage rock is loud, gritty and catchier than chickenpox. A new Tokyo Spares album is currently in the works. The drum tracks were recorded while Peta was 7-months pregnant, so she reckons that Roland will have “epic timing” from listening to a click track for three straight days.
-By Jane Boxall
Drummer: Peta Godfrey
Location: Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Band: Tokyo Spares
Baby: Boy – Roland Rad Lavington
Born: 22 October, 2009
Drums: Sonor white pearl limited edition drums with Tiger Series cymbals
TomTomMagazine: Congrats to you and Roland and hubby – is Roland your first little ‘un?
PetaGodfrey: Yep, our first. He is three-months-old now and gorgeous as hell.
TTM: How would you say that motherhood (and pregnancy before that, of course) affected your life as a drummer?
PG: Made it more interesting if anything. While I was pregnant and playing, bubs would kick around inside which was so weird but great cause I knew he would be a little rocker. PLUS I didn’t have to carry my gear and set up which was the biggest bonus.
TTM: Did the rest of Tokyo Spare take care of roadying?
PG: Yes, it was awesome. I would carry like a snare or a tom in to the gig then go and relax over a lemonade on the rocks
TTM: And did you play drums throughout your pregnancy?
PG: Yes, it was funny actually. I kept saying I would stop and we would play our last gig but they just kept coming in and I felt great so agreed to them . We played out last show when I was 38 weeks — 8 and a half months.
TTM: Good for you! Did anyone advise you against drumming while pregnant?
PG: I wasn’t sure about it for a while but did the old Google search and came up with a mixed response. Some people said that it can affect the baby’s hearing and others said that it was fine — the sounds are all muffled in the belly because of all the fluid, so it takes the high-pitchedness out of the sound. I saw one comment from a girl who said she played up until 8 months and her baby was fine and now plays drums like her… Even at 3 months old I can already tell the music had an effect on Roland, if he is unsettled we just put some loud music on and he goes straight to sleep… couldn’t ask for much more, really! T Rex is his favourite.
TTM: Is your husband musical too? Sounds like mum and baby definitely are…
PG: Yes, dad (Jadon) is also in Tokyo Spares, and Aunty Sez (my sister in law) is our singer. We are a family affair. We all grew up with musical parents and my dad still plays gigs.
TTM: So what is your musical background and drumming background – how long have you been playing, how did you learn, any previous bands before TS?
PG: Well, I’ve been playing drums for about 10 years on and off. I swapped my first car for my first drum kit when I was 19. I have played in 4 bands, all with Sez as we were best friends before we became related, and then Jadon joined in when we got together. I played keyboards in the first two bands then bass guitar. Jadon and Sez are also drummers, so when we discovered that Sez had to get off the drums and upfront on the mic there was no choice but for me to jump on the drums… I can tell you that you learn to play mighty fast when in a band with two other drummers.
TTM: Have things changed at all since you had Roland, in terms of drumming and the band? What does Roland do while you’re having band practice?
PG: No not really. We took a 2 month break after he was born and just started playing again this year. Literally, our first gig was on the 1st of January. Jadon and I live on a property so our jam room is at our doorstep and mum and dad are next door, so they look after Roland while we practice. I have a great family who are happy to look after him when we go and play gigs. Perfect set-up, really. If anything has changed it is my arm strength from holding a baby all the time… He is such a good kid. He makes it easy for us to play. Dad brings him out to the jam room and they sit outside listening while we practice. He loves it.
TTM: Do you have any major drumming influences?
PG: My two major influences would be Meg White, and Dale Crover from the Melvins. Their albums were always playing in the car and I used to play drums on the steering wheel when driving to and from work. Yes, I am one of those people that you always see making a fool of themselves in the car.