Dads Rock: An Interview with Matt Eidson
In honor of Tulsa Music Month in July, I will start a series of dads in the music business and ask them about their achievements and challenges as they raise a family. The first in the series is with Matt Eidson. He is Owner of The MusicLynx, which is a local musician booking agency. He has also been DJ’ing for 30 years.
Lynn Hernandez: First, tell about you and your family.
Matt Eidson: My wife, Lisa, and I have been together about 7 ½ years. She has four kids aged 30, 23, 21 and 15. I have four kids aged 30, 26, 23 and 17. We have 3 grandkids on her side that all live in Minnesota, and we have 6 grandkids on my side that all live in Arizona. Here’s a breakdown:
- Amanda (30) married to a physical therapist. They live in New Ulm, MN with one girl and two boys.
- Vikki (30) married to a computer engineer. They live in Coolidge, AZ with five girls and one boy.
- Hope (26) is a Physician’s Assistant and married to an engineer. They live in Queens, NY.
- Jennifer (23) works at Taco Bell and lives with her boyfriend in Owasso.
- Caleb (23) is training to be a pilot and lives in Broken Arrow.
- Devyn (21) works at Nothing Bundt Cakes and lives in Broken Arrow.
- Cooper (17) will be a senior at Owasso HS, works at Los Cabos Owasso, and races karts at JRP Speedway.
- Wyatt (15) will be a sophomore at Broken Arrow HS and is in the Broken Arrow Pride marching band. He was part of a National 3rd place band last season as a freshman.
LH: What is your history with the Tulsa Music scene?
ME: I have been a DJ for 35 years beginning in the Phoenix area in 1988 and then in the NY area from 1993-98. I moved back here in January of 1999 and continued DJ’ing part time. I started a music booking agency, The MusicLynx Network, in January of 2010. After two months, I had 25 bands and solo acts, and I quit my day job and decided to pursue it full time.
My roster is always evolving, but I currently have around 105-110 bands, acoustic acts and DJs that I book at bars, restaurants, concert venues, festivals and private parties. I book mostly the Tulsa metro area and Grand Lake, but occasionally OKC and other areas.
LH: How have you managed to pursue your musical passion while also being a dad?
ME: It actually hasn’t really conflicted much, and it was especially nice working for myself when my kids were younger because I could set my own schedule and be able to attend most of their school and church activities, as well as coaching their soccer teams for many years.
I do have some rough mornings when my son has racing on Sundays and I am DJ’ing at the lake till closing time on Saturday night, getting home at 3:30 a.m., then getting up at 6 a.m. to go pick him up in Owasso.
LH: What impact has becoming a father had on your music business?
ME: Being a father impacts every aspect of my life, as I’m sure any dad would say, as well. All of my kids have come to some DJ gigs with me. Cooper still helps me all the time, and it’s a good way for him to earn extra money. Over the years, they have been able to come with me to a lot of live music shows, too, when my bands are playing at festivals or all ages venues.
LH: How do you find the balance between your music career and spending quality time with your children?
ME: Fortunately, most of the music business happens at night and on weekends, so there’s not too much conflict. I was a single dad for almost ten years and always had my kids on Sundays and Mondays for that purpose of my business rarely getting in the way of my time with my kids.
LH: Have your children shown any interest in music, and if so, how do you nurture their interests without pushing them too hard?
ME: They all love music to some degree, and a couple of them can sing and play piano. Lisa’s son, Caleb, was also a member of the National Champion Broken Arrow Pride band when he was in high school. I believe that was 2018? He got to perform in the Rose Bowl Parade with them. None of the kids have expressed a serious interest in pursuing music as a career, though.
LH: What are some specific challenges you’ve faced as a DJ who is also a dad, and how have you overcome them?
ME: When my kids were younger and playing soccer, there were a lot of exhausting days because I coached for 25 years, and the last several years I had 2 or 3 teams per season. So, I would be DJ’ing till late on Friday night and then getting up early to go coach multiple games all Saturday that were in places like Sand Springs, Owasso, Mannford, Wagoner, Bartlesville, Collinsville, Claremore, Broken Arrow, Cleveland, Sapulpa, etc. I’d be on very little sleep and driving all over Green Country all day coaching games and then usually come right home to load up my gear and go DJ all night somewhere. Some weekends were really brutal.
LH: How do you involve your children in your musical endeavors, such as gigs, recording sessions, or songwriting?
ME: Songwriting and recording are not applicable to me, but I have worked as a stage manager for the Tulsa State Fair since 2014, and they love coming out to see me there. I was also an MC at the Axis Stage at Rocklahoma for 9 years, and Jennifer came up one year to hang with me and see some bands she liked. She got put to work as a stagehand and runner, too. I have DJ’ed at Oktoberfest for years, too, and they have all come to see me there.
LH: Can you share some heartwarming or funny anecdotes about your experiences as a DJ dad?
ME: I have no doubt that I have embarrassed my kids countless times … Lord knows I’ve tried! One particular time was when I had one of my singer friends come serenade my daughter, Hope, at her 9th birthday party. We sat her down in a chair as he performed three songs, and her face was beet red! I think she was also mortified when I DJ’ed the Sweet 16 party of one of her soccer teammates.
I remember Jennifer and Cooper both coming at different times over the years when they were young, and I showed them how to work my mixer and fade between songs. They had a blast being the DJ for a day.
LH: Do you have any advice for other musician dads who may struggle with finding a good work-life balance?
ME: My advice is simple. Family always comes first. Work hard and take care of the bills, etc., but don’t let it be so consuming that you miss your kids growing up. They are the greatest blessing that we’re given in our time here on Earth. Soak it all in and love on them every chance you get.