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Interview: Blue Broderick
A Conversation About The Excellent New Diners Album
Ever wonder what a more rocking Diners album might sound like? Well, Domino is out tomorrow and it’s amazing.
With this latest release, Blue Broderick—the creative force behind Diners—builds on the more lo-fi approach of earlier albums to deliver a collection of heartfelt, high-energy guitar pop tunes that draws on a variety of influences.
“My baseline inspiration for Diners is always Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Dear Nora. But this time around I was much more focused on The Nerves, Tony Molina, Apples In Stereo, Fountains of Wayne, Chris Weisman, and The dB’s,” Broderick said.
Produced by Portland-based singer/songwriter Mo Troper and mixed by punk/metal master Jack Shirley, this 10-song collection bounces from the upbeat ‘60s pop of the title track to the summery vibes of “The Power” and “Someday I’ll Go Surfing.”
Album opener “Working On My Dreams” perfectly sets the stage for the impressive album that follows, while the more wistful “Wisdom” closes the collection out on a contemplative note. All together, Diners has released one of the best guitar pop albums of the summer, one that should end up on a lot of year end “best of” lists.
I caught up with Broderick by email as she prepares for a record release show in Los Angeles on Aug. 18th, and a U.S. tour with Chris Fallen starting in September.
Blue Broderick Interview
Congrats on the fantastic new album. Domino feels like a big departure from your previous, more lo-fi releases. How did your approach change this time around?
Blue Broderick: Thank you so much! My approach was a bit different on this record. I decided to work with a producer, which I hadn’t ever done before. It was a nice excuse to work with my friend Mo Troper on a record and I thought the process of writing songs with Mo in mind was so helpful.
Do you think that moving to Los Angeles had anything to do with the more rock direction on Domino?
Blue Broderick: Maybe! If anything, where I was living before in Oakland had more to do with wanting to play louder music.
I've been on a summery guitar pop kick recently and your latest single, "Someday I'll Go Surfing," is right in that wheelhouse. Can you tell us a little about how that song came together?
Blue Broderick: Totally. At the time I wrote that song, I was listening to a lot of Little Wings and was going through a breakup. So originally, the song was much slower and much more soft. When it came time to record the song, we tried it slow, but it just wasn’t working out. Mo’s responsible for speeding up the song and turning it more upbeat.
Another favorite is album opener "Working On My Dreams," which perfectly sets the stage for the feel of the new collection. Did you always envision that one as a driving rock song?
Blue Broderick: Ya know, I recently found the voice memo for that song that I recorded the instant I had the idea for “Working” and was surprised to hear how mellow it sounded. I think it was much more dopey and groovy sounding, but at some point I wanted to turn it into an AC/DC song. I don’t think it sounds like AC/DC though.
Sonically, "Working On My Dreams" is a solid combination with "Domino." I really love the guitar playing on that track. Who are some of your guitar heroes?
Blue Broderick: Thanks! Brenden Ramirez from the band Bory did the guitar leads on that song! They did such a great job with it.
Wow, I haven’t thought about this question in a long time. I grew up on Guitar World magazine and was completely obsessed with the kinda usual classic rock guitar guys, but nowadays I think about George Harrison, Alex Chilton, Jerry Garcia, Chris Weisman, and also my friends Tom Filardo, Harmony Reynolds, and Brenden Ramirez.
Domino's producer, Mo Troper, described this album as "the angriest Diners record but also the sweetest Diners record." Is that accurate?
Blue Broderick: I wonder what Mo means exactly about it being the angriest album. But I also kinda get it. Domino has the most angst of any Diners album. But on the other hand there are very sweet songs like “Your Eyes Look Like Christmas.” The range of emotion feels very genuine to me in a way I’ve not been able to do before.
The album closes with the wistful track, "Wisdom," featuring the repeated refrain "I wonder when I'm gonna get it right?" Did you get it right with Domino?
Blue Broderick: I think so! Recording the album was the most fun I’ve had making music in years. That’s as good as it gets.
You're hitting the road this fall, including a run of dates with Chris Farren. What can fans expect from the shows on this tour?
Blue Broderick: Oh gosh. The shows with Chris are going to be a blast. I’m so excited. I love Chris Farren. People can expect a fresh Diners full band lineup and to hear a lot of songs from “Domino.” We’ll still be playing some older songs, but we’re very jazzed on the new material so that’s what we’re leaning into.
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Remember The Lightning—A Guitar Pop Journal
A new semi-annual music journal featuring some of today's best music writers on modern guitar pop, and talented modern artists on the music/genres that inspire them.
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