Nick Diener has seen the music business from extra sides than most.
First, he was the vocalist and guitarist for The Swellers, the Warped Tour-friendly punk/emo band he and his brother led by way of the 2000s and early 2010s. Then, Diener moved away from performing to open Oneder Studios, the place he would work as a producer and engineer for the subsequent era of punk/emo acts all through the later 2010s. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and abruptly in-person producing appeared like a dangerous and failing enterprise enterprise for the Michigan-based dad.
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When the world shut down, Diener turned to a different aspect of the business that he at all times loved — guitars and guitar results. Utilizing his Oneder branding and a few concepts that had been kicking round in his head for some time, the veteran songwriter launched a pedal line known as Oneder Results. Inside months, he’d developed each a web based following and a roster of distinctive pedals — from the straightforward Oneder Increase to a singular spin on a RAT-like distortion known as Crimson Ryder and his now-signature “emo sound” pedal, the Outdated Blue Overdrive.
However Diener didn’t cease there. Late final 12 months, he launched the Oneder Guitar Firm, giving folks the prospect to purchase the signature guitar he was by no means well-known sufficient to get from an outdoor model.
SPIN spoke with the musical entrepreneur about his transition from rocker to builder and every little thing he has deliberate going ahead.
SPIN: How did you determine you wished to start out your individual pedal firm?
Nick Diener: I got here from a household the place DIY wasn’t actually in our vocabulary, so I used to be by no means actually helpful rising up. After which I had my band, however I spotted that we have been by no means going to be sufficiently big for me to get a signature guitar mannequin or signature guitar pedal made for me. So then, I used to be like “You understand what? Perhaps I’ll simply get one thing designed for me that I can promote below my Oneder model…” However a few good mates of mine satisfied me that I may construct the pedals myself, so I discovered the right way to solder and realized that constructing a easy circuit board was not as troublesome as I’d made it out to be in my thoughts. That second not solely gave start to me beginning a pedal firm, but in addition made me understand that I can tackle a number of different issues I’d been afraid to strive myself.
At what level did you understand that Oneder Results might be your full-time job?
Properly, again once I was exiting the band and the touring world, I used to be getting actually into health. I used to be like “You understand what? Screw it. I’m feeling good. I’m gonna go to professional wrestling college. I’m gonna be a professional wrestler.” I went to professional wrestling college, and I spotted a few months later that that was not the appropriate transfer. I don’t remorse it. I’m glad I gave it a strive. However I knew I needed to be a bit of bit extra reserved and real looking. So the pedal firm began as a enjoyable interest, after which a few mates wished them, and that turned to 10 folks on Instagram wanting pedals, and that became me making a separate Instagram for my pedal firm. A month later, the pandemic began, so my studio and manufacturing shut down. On the finish of 2020, my spouse — who’s an accountant — is doing my taxes, and he or she stated “Hey, it appears like being a pedal builder is your most important job now.”
How did your time in The Swellers and as a producer lead you into proudly owning Oneder Results and now Oneder Guitar Firm?
I spotted that once I was in a band, one among my very favourite issues was the gear. I didn’t understand that on the time, however I used to be at all times excited to take a look at pedals, guitars and amps and determine my rig. If I talked to any individual after the present, I used to be probably the most excited after they requested a few guitar that I used to be enjoying or how I received my tone. Trying again on it, I didn’t actually like the sensation of being in a band. I didn’t like who I used to be in that band. I wasn’t in a position to actually be current. I used to be at all times simply attempting to determine why our band wasn’t greater. We have been touring 9-10 months out of the 12 months, so after we stopped touring, I received to be dwelling and dwell a standard life. I may lastly unpack my suitcase and depart it unpacked. When that occurred, I spotted that I actually loved being concerned with music, however not essentially being on a stage and in a highlight. However being a document producer and engineer, I cherished serving to different artists sculpt their sound and hone their songwriting craft. However now that I’ve two children, I’ve a really small window of uninterrupted time to work day-after-day. so I’ve to decide on properly and work by myself schedule. That turned the studio right into a family and friends solely factor, and 2023 goes to be much more of me actually specializing in Oneder Results and Oneder Guitars.
Talking of Oneder Results, it looks like everybody has a unique favourite pedal out of your lineup. How did you select which fashions would make the reduce?
I at all times cherished my style in guitar tone, as bizarre as that sounds. Once I was in a position to get a fantastic guitar tone within the studio or on a stage, it was so satisfying. So the purpose was to make these little bins that do various things that may’ve crammed all of my wants. Once I began the corporate, I instructed myself I wouldn’t get into the loopy technical facets of the circuits. However then I spotted I may rent somebody for all of that stuff, after which another person to do the enclosures, and I fell proper into this good place the place I received to be the inventive power behind the pedals and tinkering with stuff. My purpose once I began was to hit the bottom working, and I received a lot nice recommendation and discovered a lot from folks within the business that I used to be in a position to have a small line of pedals out my first 12 months. I began with the grime part, which is what I’d need on the underside row of my pedalboard within the studio or dwell. There’s a extremely distinctive, bizarre drive known as the Oneder Drive — which is a kind of issues the place it’s both your favourite pedal ever otherwise you don’t know what to do with it — then there’s the Oneder Increase, the Outdated Blue and the Crimson Ryder. And now we’ve received the brand new man, which is the Heckboy.
What impressed you to launch the Oneder Guitar Firm?
It was that very same delusion of grandeur that made me suppose I might be a professional wrestler simply because I lifted some weights. I used to be like “I may construct a pedal, I may begin a guitar firm.” Matt Tunney is my good good friend, and he’s a luthier and guitar restore man. I introduced him a few of my guitars at some point, and we began speaking. I stated “I received this guitar that I designed and spec’d out. It’s a singular design to me, and I actually find it irresistible.” I’d been pondering perhaps I may get them made abroad, however he was like “How about I construct these guitars for you?” Inside a few weeks, we determined to enter enterprise collectively. We’ve got three or 4 prototype guitars within the works proper now, and we only recently moved right into a a lot bigger room to get this all carried out. We’ve got a couple of extra little issues to get out of the way in which to complete up the final couple of guitars, after which we’re going to start out taking orders. It’ll be a home made, semi-custom store type of deal. It’s actually a dream come true. I at all times wished my very own signature mannequin guitar, however you gotta draw a crowd for that to occur. My band was by no means sufficiently big to get these sorts of accolades, so I’m going to construct my very own signature guitar with out calling it my signature guitar.
Outdoors of the pedals and guitars, do you have got another huge plans for 2023?
I’ve discovered to simply anticipate the surprising. I’d like to develop into a spot the place I can do extra enjoyable stuff, as a result of for the primary time in my life, I’m actually working my arms to the bone. There’s blood, sweat, tears and a few main chiropractic work wanted. I’d like to take a step again and concentrate on the event of different merchandise and advertising. I like making demo movies and issues like that. The inventive aspect of issues has at all times been probably the most enjoyable for me. I’m actually taking it daily at this level, as a result of it’s so unpredictable. Being your individual boss is actually gratifying, however it’s additionally tremendous scary. You’re not assured subsequent month in your line of labor, and we’ve undoubtedly had a few gradual months the place I’m like “Oh boy, perhaps that is it.” However I discovered that so long as I’m having enjoyable and fulfilling my must be inventive, it’s protecting me completely happy as an individual. Plainly different folks take discover and luxuriate in what I take pleasure in, in order that’s actually the one factor I can rely on at this level.
So that you’re saying we received’t see a Swellers reunion?
I’d say “By no means say by no means,” however it appears yearly that we get additional away from it. We stopped touring in 2015, and we’re all getting busier and busier. I feel persons are virtually anticipating us to get again collectively sooner or later, however yearly, there are extra children and extra companies. My brother works for a advertising company, excursions the world with a number of bands and has a espresso enterprise — so he and I each moved on to promoting issues in small packages and arising with enjoyable methods to market them. I haven’t made music of my very own in over half a decade, which is definitely actually scaring me. That was my life, however I’ve been so busy engaged on different stuff that I haven’t had the drive to create till very, very not too long ago. I feel we’ll see some music from me in 2023, however I don’t know if that’s going to be low-tuned sludge pop or banjo and acoustic guitar. However, actually, the Swellers reunion I need to see could be simply hanging out with the blokes and assembly their children. I’ve solely seen the opposite band members three or 4 instances since we broke up, which sort of breaks my coronary heart. We dwell in numerous components of the nation, however perhaps we’ll reunite for a yard barbecue with no music concerned.
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