Lead by Tyler Broderick, Diners is a pop rock band from Pheonix, Arizona. Coming fresh off of a west coast tour promoting their latest record “Always Room”, we had the chance to speak with Tyler about talk shows, diners, recording albums, and the first guitar riff he ever learned. Also a selection of a few of Tyler’s favorite tracks can be heard on our Soundcloud.
Now that the tour is over, what are you doing right now? I heard that you were recording with another band.
Yep! That’s right. Tristan, the drummer of Diners, has a band called Dogbreth. We play in each other’s band. That band is working on new album too. The last Dogbreth album came out on Plan-it-X Records. It’s more of a punk thing.
So you play guitar for Dogbreth? Does Tristan write most of the songs or how does the songwriting work when playing with your friend’s band?
Yeah, Tristan and the bass player Erin, kind of write all the songs. Sometimes I’ll give my two-cents, but they kind of know what they want by the time it gets to me.
Do you have any memorable moments from the Diners tour that just happened?
Yeah. In Seattle, we did a really great show. I felt so glad to be a part of it. Three of my favorite bands played; iji, Your Heart Breaks, and another band called Craig Salt Peters. We all played in a basement venue called “The Future” in Seattle and it was a very dreamy show. It was like, oh man, I’m living my dreams!
Speaking of Seattle or Washington in general, I read in an interview that you really like K Records. Which K Records bands you’re really fond of?
I think it would be a tie between solo performer Karl Blau and the band, Lake. Those are probably my two favorite K Records bands. It would definitely be a tie. However, one time in Arizona, I saw Lake and Karl Blau play the same show. They were on tour together and Lake backed up Karl Blau. I think that was favorite band, that version at least.
I was watching your music video for “Wide Range” and was wondering how that all came together. It reminded me of the Eric Andre show. I don’t know if you watch that. It’s sort of like a talk show.
Yeah. I’ve seen that show. Talk shows are just so funny to me. They’re just a very bizarre format. I always thought it would be really funny if there was a music video of a band that was on a talk show. My friend Ben Kitnick who helped write and direct the video wanted to do more with that idea and have some more acting in it. Just working on it, one day and one idea at a time, it became what it is now. I understand why it’d be reminiscent of Eric Andre because they’re both television talk shows. It’s probably the same kind of humor too. That could have been a subconscious influence but I don’t have television so I don’t really have access to that show.
I was listening to the last track off your album Always Room, “Overcasters”. It would start out kind of mellow then the riff would come in and it would drive and then the sax would come in and then it would go back to being nice and mellow like strumming a few chords. I was just curious about the writing of that song, how it came about. I really like transitions and the kind of ride that it takes you on.
Oh, cool, thanks. A lot of that song was written all in the first sitting. I knew wanted the song to have three separate parts, but I wanted to find ways of bridging them together in the studio. I wanted to be a little bit daring and make it somewhat challenging on myself. I wanted to find an interesting way to piece the three parts together in the studio. The transition came together in the mixing of that song.
When I saw Diners play, the band would do this thing where people would think the song was over, but you’d all would play the three chords at the end of a song, like a traditional rock band and go crazy. Where did that come from?
Haha, that came from trying to be funny at our band practices. We found it works really well when you’re trying to get the audience’s attention. Doing dorky things like that show a sense of humor. It helps in bridging the audience-to-band interaction, I think. It just started out as a joke and now we do it a lot. I think we did it a lot at the Davis show, if I remember right.
Yeah, it happened a lot. It was nice. I enjoyed it.
That’s good. That’s great. We were probably going overboard with it at that point. But that’s the thing about going on tour, doing something like that. You can play around with that kinda stuff.
So I read that Bragg’s Factory Diner is your favorite diner. Is that still true?
It’s still true, I ate there today.
What’s your favorite go-to diner food?
Well, Bragg’s is kind of a unique diner. It’s a vegan and vegetarian diner. They have this amazing avocado sandwich. It’s got avocado-a whole avocado, chopped up, tomatoes, swiss, and house-made pesto. And it’s just beautiful. It’s a beautiful sandwich.
You’re making me pretty hungry right now for a sandwich.
If you ever come to Phoenix you have to try it. They have all kinds of cool stuff. They have a waffle that is made with coconut and curry, super good.
Cool. I read this interview a while back about picking the title for your album “Always Room.” I was just wondering if you could give us the back story about what the title means.
The title for “Always Room” is a sorta personal. I started working on an album with my old band. We recorded an album and called it “There’s Always Room.” I wrote most of the music, and worked really hard on it but the band wasn’t really working out. And I felt like that album kind of haunted me because we recorded it but didn’t finish it. I always thought about that album and when I recorded this one I wanted to call back to that. It’s an entirely different album, but I think the phrase “always room” is a positive one. There’s “always room” for improvement. There’s “always room” for more. I look at it as a very positive thing, a positive phrase.
Do you have any instruments that you have some special attachment to or that have some special meaning for you?
Yeah! I have two guitars that I really love and I think are really special. One of them is my Fender Stratocaster. It belonged to my cousin; I bought it from him. My cousin is the reason why I started playing guitar. He played guitar and I thought he was so cool so I had to start playing guitar. I love that guitar a lot and that’s the one I played on tour. And then I have another guitar, which is a Harmony. This happened to be my dad’s old guitar. My dad never even played guitar, but he had it, and one day I was kind of snooping around and found it in his closet and just became really infatuated with it. I just thought it was so cool. It’s like a ‘70s Japanese Harmony guitar. Really, really amazing. It has these golden foil pickups. Very nice sounding and very beautiful.
When you first started playing guitar was there a riff that you really wanted to learn how to play?
I first started playing guitar while “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes was still on the radio. So that was the first riff I learned.
I think that was a lot of peoples first, honestly.
I think so too. It’s a super easy riff to play and I think it sounds nice, super easy for a beginner to play it. It’s probably up there with “Smoke on the Water,” “Iron Man,” and “Enter Sandman”, haha.
The classics. Those are the song I started playing in elementary school.
Well, thank you very much for your time! I really appreciate it.