Meet John Luzzi and Don Miggs, co-authors of ‘Dads Know Best’
John Luzzi and Don Miggs are seasoned musicians, regularly performing to packed audiences as half of Californian pop-rock outfit MIGGS. They’ve appeared on TV, one even has a live radio slot – so they’re often in spaces that many people might find uncomfortable.
But it wasn’t until they became dads – Don is a father to two young boys, Milo and Jasper; and John, one boy, Cruz – that they truly discovered what “performing on the big stage” really meant.
A few years of parenting later and the duo has turned their many learnings into a new book, Dads Know Best. Self-touted as “a real-talk book about parenting”, it’s packed with honest, warts-and-all advice from two dads who “did everything wrong but ended up getting it right”.
The Dad Website caught up with Don and John ahead of the book’s February 12 release.
TDW: Give us some background to Dads Know Best; the why and how?
John: Two years ago, I was about to have my first child, and I quickly realised that every book I read had the same stock answers and advice. I wanted the good, the bad, and the ugly of it the honest truth – no matter how terrifying it was! So I asked Don, who already had two kids, for his take.
Don: I saw the terror in his eyes, felt the fear in his voice, and when he asked me for advice, I shot off a 32-page response. His other friends sent more advice (mine was obviously the best) and we decided other dads needed to hear the truth about what was really coming.
What’s the most difficult part of being a modern parent?
D: Information. There’s so much our kids are exposed to – good and bad. You’re not just fighting against TV, now the video games and social media are so amazing you can’t stop. They’re inundated with life, and our challenge is to help them find balance. Good fucking luck!
J: Balance is absolutely key. When you become a parent, it’s not for a few hours a day. Add in a career, being a husband, housework, and a couple of hours of sleep every once in a while, and you realise there are literally not enough hours in the day. But you need to take time to decompress, because if you don’t, it’s easy to burn out, and that’s not good for anyone.
As musicians, how do you balance fatherhood and life on the road?
J: Facetime! We’re lucky enough to live in a day where technology is king, and being on the road is one of the times you’re actually thankful for how connected we are even when we’re miles apart. Now, I’m sure I’ll change my mind about that when Cruz becomes a teenager, but for now, it helps.
D: It’s exactly that: a balancing act. Life is a series of compromises, right? If you’re doing it right, they don’t feel like someone is forcing your hand. You make the right choices to raise a family, be present, and also focus some attention on what’s important to you.
What do you hate that your parents were right about?
J: Wait – my parents were right about something?
D: How quickly the time goes. You only get a moment for each phase, so enjoy them all. Wish nothing away, even the terrible twos – the terrorist threes are right behind them, and all of the sudden they’re teenagers.
What was your “Holy shit, I’m a dad now!” moment?
D: I have one of these every. Single. Day.
J: He’s not kidding – I stare down at that adorable little hurricane’s face and think, “This is the best thing ever!” Because it is, even when it isn’t.
What was it like co-writing this book with your bandmate?
J: Don and I have been working in music together for years. We have different views, tastes, and outlooks – most people would think that wouldn’t work, but our perspectives came together to create a great, well-rounded outlook on things. And he tells some stories about his kids that you just can’t make up.
D: John is positive and always up for anything – he would come up with some crazy scenario and I would be forced to articulate it.
You’re planning a ‘Know Best’ series – what’s next?
J: “Musicians Know Best”? “Chefs Know Best”? “Single Friends Know Best”?
D: You tell us! We’re knee-deep in a few ideas: “Siblings Know Best”, “Teachers Know Best”, “Dogs Know Best”, “Who Knows Best”? The possibilities are endless and we’re excited to get cracking on the next book.