AN INTERVIEW WITH DINERS
The only consistent aspect of Diners is Tyler Broderick himself. Besides that everything is subject to change at any second. From the fluid group of band members to the array of record companies, nothing about Diners is set in stone except for the fact that whatever comes next Broderick will be calling the shots for. An ever evolving project, Diners can be absolutely anything, the latest being the release of a split album with Walter Etc. Broderick took a second to talk about the album Three, nostalgia, and the music scene in Phoenix.
WHAT DOES THE DEMO DIARY SAY ABOUT YOUR MUSIC AND EVOLUTION OF DINERS?
I hope it says that I’m okay with showing a vulnerable part of myself. I was in between albums and I thought it would be a fun way to highlight the ways some my songs come to life. I just think it’s cool to hear finished and unfinished versions of songs. I feel like most of my evolution comes with the studio albums rather than the demos. Demos just help guide me.
WHAT’S THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE IN PHOENIX?
Eclectic! I’m out of touch, probably. There aren’t a whole lot of DIY venues, which is a shame. House venues never stick around super long either. There are so many communities that I’m not connected to, though, it’s wild how much music is in Phoenix. The city’s politics and geography aren’t in favor of art communities, which makes music kind of hard to do there. It’s the kind of place where you have to make your own fun.
YOU’RE IN THE MIDST OF A PRETTY INTENSE TOUR. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN SO FAR? COOL EXPERIENCES?
Yep, it's a long one! I've been through most of the US by now and there's been lots of cool things. I played a show in a canyon, played a show with one of my favorite bands Dear Nora, went to Olive Garden once, and I've gone bowling a lot.
YOU PLAY WITH A LOT OF ROTATING MEMBERS. DO YOU THINK THAT’S HARDER THAN HAVING A SET BAND? WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Having fluid members in Diners allows a lot of flexibility. It means touring is easier, recording is simpler, and that I get to play music with friends! That's one of my favorite things about playing music, is getting to play my songs with so many different people in my life.
YOU’VE WORKED WITH A VARIETY OF LABELS. WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT LABELS BRING TO YOUR MUSIC? WHAT ADVANTAGES ARE THERE TO WORKING WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE?
Every label I work with has been a rad collaboration and I'm lucky so many different friends who have helped get my music out. I'm grateful for the different perspectives that each label brings to my music.
WITH ALL THOSE MOVING PARTS, WHAT ASPECT OF DINERS DO YOU KEEP CONSISTENT?
WHAT ARE THE FIRST AND LAST SONGS YOU FINISHED FOR THE ALBUM?
I don't remember what the first Three song I finished was! It might've been Plastic Cactus. The last song I finished was In The City - Of The City. There wasn't anything particularly easy or difficult about either of those tracks. I wrote Plastic Cactus when I was walking to Taco Bell in Arizona, and I named the song when I saw a plastic cactus inside the TB.
SO MANY OF YOUR SONGS BLEND POETIC ELEMENTS WITH EVERYDAY THINGS. HOW DO YOU FIND THAT BALANCE?
I just go with my gut. I try to recognize when words stay with me - sometimes lyrics come less from finding a subject to write about and more from words that evolve in your head. I don't really know how lyrics come together sometimes. It feels less like I am writing them and more like they are happening to me.
“IN MY HOMETOWN” AND “FIFTEEN ON A SKATEBOARD” ARE SO NOSTALGIC. HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE EXPERIENCES FROM YOUR PAST INTO YOUR NEWER MUSIC?
I feel a little bit embarrassed by those songs now, because nostalgia is an easy thing to write about. I didn't go into those songs with the intention of creating something nostalgic. The first words that came out of my mouth after stumbling across the chords for “In My Hometown” where "I thought about the house I lived in..." and I kind of just ran with it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LYRIC YOU WROTE FOR THREE?
“Thinking of You” might have my favorite lyrics on the album. It's kind of like a dorky song from a musical. Sometimes I’ll like some of my lyrics because of where I might’ve been when I wrote them. “Laundromat Concern” I like because it was was written partially on a walk that I took in Santa Cruz. “Hear the World” I like because I wrote it for my friend Cesar, again, kind of a dorky musical. But honestly I really don't have any favorite lyrics in particular. I look at myself as more of a musical composer than a poetic lyricist.
“YOU’VE GOT IT” GIVES SOME PRETTY SOLID ADVICE. WHAT INFLUENCED THIS SONG?
I had some friends that were going through some hard stuff. That song came together really quick, in one sitting. It's about wanting your friends to see themselves the way you see them, as so amazing, but knowing at the same time that it's important to go through hard stuff.