Photos by: Jaimie Trueblood
“Uniting over ice cream is easy. Maybe it’s a gateway to find some common ground.” –Lucky Diaz, in response to Billboard calling their song Paletero Man the “immigrant anthem for kids.”
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning brainchild of best friend and husband/wife duo Alisha Gaddis and Lucky Diaz. Made in LA, released July 21st, seamlessly blends rock and roll, indie-pop, and a splash of folkish country to create a truly unique family music experience. The Family Jam Band is set to hit Lollapalooza during their rigorous summer tour and demolish any preconceived notions of what you might have when it comes to the family music genre. Connecting music lovers of all ages, they’ve tapped into the universal language of music, bringing something special for you and your kids to immerse yourselves in and enjoy immensely.
I caught up with Lucky after a show earlier this summer, (a show that my daughter danced her little 4 year-old buns off at, by the way), and over the course of our in depth conversations about baseball during the following weeks, he introduced me to his life as a family music raconteur. Unless you’re some sort of anti-amusement fuddy duddy, Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band is surefire fun for you and yours!
I LOVE that your family is all together for the journey. What is that like, having everyone together for the ride?
Having us all together is a huge gift. My wife is my best friend so it’s a double win. We’re also able to give our girls such a special life experience. It’s certainly not for everyone though. It’s challenging getting a 17 month old baby down for naps and bed. Imagine tying to do that on a tour bus in the middle of China! All said, we are so grateful to be able to do it though.
Where are you guys now? How has the cross-country tour been going?
We’re currently in Indiana. We own a small Victorian-era house here. We’re renovating a bit. Trying anyway, it’s tough to actually do any work because we’re on the road so much! Thankfully! Also great because we have family here! We love traveling so our tour is going great! It’s wonderful to get in front of faces during the summer.
How did the two of you meet?
At The Comedy Store in Hollywood. Alisha had a set and she was awesome. I worked up the nerve to talk to her. She has a much better description of that night. The rest is history…
How did you get started making music?
It started when I was about 12. Baseball season hadn’t started and I got bored one day. My mom had bought me a guitar and it was sitting in my closet and I figured I’d give it a try. Next thing I know I wake up and I’m here. Really can’t believe all the awesomeness that’s happened since. The guitar has always been that one constant in my life. It’s like an arm or a best friend.
How long have you been making music for families to jam out to?
I started when our first daughter Ella was born. I started just making up silly songs to entertain her (and maybe me too, haha). It all happened so organically. I owe it all to her. I don’t think I would be doing this today if it wasn’t for her.
What did you listen to as a kid?
So much stuff. Although my favorites when I was young were Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beatles. I was a typical guitar-slinging wannabe. Stevie Ray Vaughn was all I listened to for 2 years straight! Obviously I was a ’90s grunge kid so Nirvana, STP, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam. Bad Religion was my wheel house then too.
These days I’m into almost anything. Lately it’s been Sinkane, Real Estate, Caloncho, Youngr and so many new things. I could go on for awhile!
First album you purchased?
(I believe it was) Cosmic Thing by The B-52’s. It clearly has influenced what I do now.
What is the best (your favorite) thing about what you do?
Make Tacos. Cooking anything really. Especially Tacos.
When you’re not in the “kid zone,” who are some of your favorite musicians?
So many!! Really too many to list. Although I’ve been loving seeing all the incredible musicians on Instagram these days. These kids are incredible. I especially love the guitar players. There’s this guy named Mason Stoops that pretty insane. Love just watching and learning.
Tell our readers about your TV show, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. How did that come to be and what do you guys like about working in that medium?
Our TV show was a concept that Alisha and I came up with. We wanted to simply have fun. She’s a tremendous actor and we wanted a visual extension of our musical work. I am a Pee Wee Herman fanatic (Who isn’t? I mean, come on. –Ed.), so I was in love with the idea. Lish Lou really is the star of the show! We’re currently filming another season!
What can families expect from your set at Lollapalooza?
Dance parties. And tacos. Wait, that’s for me. I expect Tacos. Antique Tacos to be specific. Man, those tacos and cheese curds. Time to update our hospitality rider.
What’s next for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band after Lollapalooza?
We have another 5 weeks on tour on the West Coast. We get to go back to LA for about 8 days. Then up to the Pacific Northwest. Really just supporting our new record.
You should do the same! Yes you! You reading this! The album is out now, it’s called Made in LA, and it’s fantastic. And you’re fantastic for being here. So the fantastic album can be an extension of your fantastic self! Set against a Los Angeles backdrop, it’s for all the magic-makers and dream believers instilling imagination in themselves as well as the next generation.
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band perform at Lollapalooza on the Kidzapalooza stage on Thursday, August 3rd and Friday, August 4th at 5pm both days. Bring your family. Bring the noise!