Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with the very talented Blue Broderick (Diners). I've personally been a Diners fan for years, so it was a huge honor to be able to talk to Blue. We touch on their newest music, how to support your favorite touring bands, and their opinion on Young Sheldon. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming album "Four Wheels and The Truth" out this June!
1. What have you been listening to lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to Supertramp, Stereolab, Logan Hone’s “Feel Good Instrumental Music”, and the 2 Zora tracks that just came out.
2. What is something that you’re currently looking forward to?
Finishing the movie, “Ambulance”, I’m about halfway through and it’s thrilling.
3. Opinion on Young Sheldon?
Can’t say I really understand “Young Sheldon”, but I know someone who loves it and I love that for my friend.
4. They should do a Frasier prequel called Young Frasier. Not really a question, I guess.
“Cheers” could maybe be considered a Younger Frasier.
5. Did you know that the Young Sheldon theme song is by Steve from Blue’s Clues?? I just found that out.
Good for Steve! I wonder if David Fridmann engineered the track.
6. Which album or artist first made you fall in love with music?
The first album I connected with was “Hello Nasty” by Beastie Boys when I was about five years old. I was also pretty fascinated by Backstreet Boys.
7. Do you consider Waffle House a diner?
I do consider Waffle House a diner.
8. Have you ever seen a ghost, or had any type of paranormal experience?
I have had a ghost encounter, but I’m sure we’re always in the presence of ghosts that choose not to make themselves known.
9. First concert you ever attended?
Around age nine I went to see my cousin’s pop punk or emo band Treehouse Cadillacs play at an ice cream shop. I could be wrong, but I think the singer of Gatecreeper was in that band.
10. Any local bands or artists that you think we should check out?
Fuss is pretty great! They released my favorite album of 2022. There’s also a wild band from Oakland called Gumby’s Junk that I really am so into right now.
Isaac Gutierrez for Born Loser Mag: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I’ve been a fan for a while, so this is a huge honor. How have you been lately?
Blue Broderick of Diners: Wow! Thank you, that means a lot! I’ve been a bit up and down lately, but I can definitely say that I’m at a better place in life than I’ve ever been before!
I read in a previous interview that your mom went to a psychic when you were a baby, and they told her that you should be involved in music?? What was your first introduction to playing music/songwriting?
Yeah, that’s true. Our family channeler, Patty, told my mom that music would be very important to me. Neither of my parents are musicians, but my mom is a pretty musical person. I think I was 10 years old when I got into rock music and around that time I discovered that my dad had an electric guitar stowed away in his closet. He didn’t really want me to play it for whatever reason, so I waited for him to go out of town so I could play it. Eventually, I snuck it out and started learning how to play. I learned how to play “Iron Man” and maybe a couple chords which surprised him, so he let me keep it! Pretty sure I started writing my first song on it within the first few days.
What did you listen to growing up?
In junior high, I was so fascinated by anything remotely rock and roll. The movie “School of Rock” had just come out and I just loved all rock music. Especially Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. My cousin Christian played in a really cool band called Woolgathering and they were kind of my introduction to the local diy music scene and to indie rock in general. By the time I was a sophomore in high school, my iPod nano was filled up with small local bands I’d found on myspace.
You released your first Diners album, “Throw Me a Ten” back in 2012! It’s crazy to think that was 10 years ago. Looking back, what do you think has helped you grow them most as an artist/musician over the years?
I’m sure there are very real things I’ve learned throughout the journey, but I think time has helped me grow the most. I learn and relearn lessons constantly with lots of stumbling along the way. Sometimes the lessons have to do with writing music and other times the lessons are about my approach to creating. I get stressed out easily by the hustle and bustle of the music world and have to work on keeping myself balanced. When the expectations are low and I feel a genuine curiosity about music, that’s when I have the most fun writing.
What do you think has contributed to Diners’ longevity?
Logistically, being a mostly solo performer is the biggest factor. With the types of shows I play, it’s much more sustainable to tour alone than it is to tour with a group. But it’s a big trade off being solo though! I love touring and feeling locked in with a band. Playing with other musicians keeps me sharp and is so emotionally rewarding!!
Actually, the first song of yours I ever listened to was “Simple Words” off of “Throw Me a Ten”! Can you give us some background on that song?
Aw, cool! “Simple Words” is just a little love song. I wrote it for my partner, Birdie, at the time, who was also playing in the band. The lyrics and the chords all came together within a half hour, it’s one of those songs that write themselves. Although, the first version of it was a lot more upbeat and cheesy. Thankfully, our bass player, Kyle, had told me that it needed some work and it became the version you hear on the record!
You recently released a single called “Don’t Wanna Be Bad” off of your upcoming album “Four Wheels and the Truth.” Can you talk to us a bit about the single?
“Don’t Wanna Be Bad” is a pretty standard, sensitive pop rock song. I had the chorus saved in my back pocket for a few years, but thought that it would maybe be taken as too silly or something. One day, I showed the idea to my partner and they liked it so I added some verses! Sometimes we’ll think a song is half-baked or throwaway until someone from the outside hears it and changes our point of view. Anyways, the lyrics were easy to write because I wrote from my own perspective, just about ways I thought I could be a better person, friend, and partner. I love the feel of the band and I love Mike Huguenor’s guitar solo on it.
The album drops next month! How are you feeling? Are you nervous, excited??
Yeah! It’s gonna be out so soon! I feel a lot of different ways about it. Excited and anxious, as always. All I can hope for is that it brings people joy! But beyond people finally hearing the music, I always look at releasing an album as the beginning of a new chapter and I’m really ready for a new chapter.
What were the inspirations behind the album, and what was the writing/recording process like?
I wanted to make a simple rock record and we did! It sounds like a Diners version of a rock record though. Nothing heavy, but it’s got a lot of guitars. There’s more of a live band feel than the last record. The arrangements are pretty straightforward, but it still sounds playful to me, which is always what I’m after. Most of it was recorded with a group of friends at Mike Park’s studio in San Jose, District Recording. And then I took it to Arizona to get mixed by my good friend Jalipaz at Audioconfusion. I also did a bunch of recording in my bedroom for it as well. Came together in a couple short bursts in the spring and summer. Shout out to Carl Saff for mastering it too.
What are you most proud of on this album? And is there anything that you learned through the process of making it?
Hmmmm, as much as I want to say the lyrics, I think I’m the most proud of the bass. It's a little bit high in the mix, I think it’s nice and was the most fun part of recording for me! On this record, I learned that I love to record fast and that I enjoy having time restrictions. I like the idea of finishing a record in a week-long cluster vs. having a recording session here and there over the course of a couple months. For now, I’d rather record and release more songs as fast as I can, than spend more time working on getting one song to sound absolutely perfect. It’s never perfect in the end anyways.
Is there a song that you’re most excited for everyone to hear?
The titular song “Four Wheels and the Truth” is maybe my favorite song I’ve ever written. I don’t know if everyone will dig it, but it’s a song I feel I can hang my hat on. “Half Glass” too.
Something that stands out to me about your music is how well your music is able to convey a feeling through both your lyrics and melodies. What would you say is the most important thing to you when it comes to making a song?
Thank you so much! I try hard to make sure I’m going to feel comfortable performing a song a million times over and over again. I spend a lot of time making sure the lyrics and melodies feel smooth and easy. I pay a lot of attention to how I feel when I’m trying out ideas. Anytime I perform a new song, my body will tell me if a part works or not. Like, if a melody has too many notes, if a chord isn’t right, if a word has too many syllables, if a lyric is too cheesy, etc. I just have to make sure I’m going to feel comfortable performing it in front of anyone, however long down the line.
Can we expect a tour anytime soon?
Yes! Except, I don’t know when exactly. Summertime, hopefully! Life keeps happening and I keep having to push my schedule back. Also, I’ve never booked a tour without Facebook Messenger and I book everything myself. We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!
What’s the craziest onstage moment you’ve had throughout all of your years of touring?
Gosh, things are pretty predictable during a Diners set, which sounds so boring! I don’t know if this counts because I wasn’t on tour, but one time there was a giant monsoon storm passing through Phoenix called a “haboob” and it caused the power to go out during our set. People ended up using their phone flashlights to light the room and we finished the rest of the set acoustic.
I’ve been asking this alot lately, but what are some ways that we as listeners can support you and other touring bands?
Buying merch and attending shows is always best for an artist. But the easiest thing you can do is to interact with an artist's online stuff. It’s SO annoying that everything depends on algorithms, but until that changes, if an artist is promoting their work, engage with the ‘tent! Give it a like, comment, or share. Save it and follow it on your streaming platforms too, I guess. I don’t know how it all works, but the more traction a post gets, the more the algorithm wants to promote it. That’s the cheapest and easiest thing anyone can do.What a time to be alive. But really, support small local venues and bands however you can. Those smaller acts and spaces need it the most.
Is there anything that you want our readers to know?
I want your readers to know that they are very special and wonderful for reading this far into the interview and that I have some new music that I think is really good!
To wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
Have you seen the movie “Ambulance”?
No, but I've heard the camera work is crazy! I'll have to check it out soon.