Dennis is the
Vernon's guitar tech I had the luck to talk with him during a date of 2004
LC tour, and I want to say that he is a really great and kind person. I
asked him for an "interview" for the site and this is the
answers he gave to some curiosities I got about his work and about life
"on the road".
-Hi D. before
to start I want to thank you, and I want to tell that your is a job that I
always liked to do, but before talk about the rest as every member of a
"great family" ...introduce yourself.
Pino, thanks for having me. What I'm able to do with the band is a
blessing; it's great fun and they're great people to run 'round the world
with! My name is Dennis Diamond Conyers, best known as just Dennis Diamond.
I've been working as Vernon's guitar tech on and off since 1984 (the
inside joke is that I've been with the band longer than anyone else except
for Vernon). I'm also a musician/composer/producer as well.
-For the ones
that does not know him , Dennis is also a musician (played also on Corey
Glover's "Hymns) have you got actual plans for your career? What
about Royal Pain ?
actually working on a solo record right now, and hope to get together with
Corey to do an acoustic duet record (early last year we did a few shows
with just him singing and me playing acoustic). I've been asked whether or
not Royal Pain would reform; if I did that, I'd like to have most, if not
all, of the original members involved. Once we had a personnel change, the
entire chemistry changed, and not for the better! So, maybe one day it can
happen; who knows? I'm more surprised that anyone outside of the eastern
part of the States knew about Royal Pain!
-You are, from
a long time, Vernon's tech, if I'm not wrong, you know (and work with) him
before "Vivid" times
and I have been friends since high school. We lost touch for a couple of
years, and then he asked me to help him with loading in gear on shows he
was doing. It just grew from there.
followed him on...
he guess he liked what I did. And, being both a friend and a fellow
guitarist, he would be open to suggestions about making himself more
comfortable sonically so he could just be concerned with playing and not
whether or not his gear was gonna blow up. It's a great relationship; I've
learned a lot from him and I think he learned a lot from me; there's no
competitive nonsense here; it's all about music!
been tech for other artists/bands ?
only done it for one other band only once; Eye & I. I've been longtime
friends with Melvin Gibbs and Gary Poulson and they had a very important
gig and needed someone who knew what they were doing, so I did it. Other
than that, I have no interest/desire to tech for anyone else; people who
me know my capabilities as an artist, so they're more interested in seeing
what I will do musically.
-I saw you
mount and dismount the stage , take out cases and racks and weights and...
life on tour: hard or funny ?
varies. For the most part it's fun; I wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't!
Sometimes it's difficult if you're not familiar with the venue or loading
into a room that has small entrances or even if you're not feeling well.
It's important to try to stay healthy on the road; you can easily find
yourself in a venue for 8-12 hours or more...
"days off" you go to visit the place where you are or stay in
the hotel to read a book ?
there is a day off and we're not travelling to the next city, I'll try to
sleep in a bit, then take a look around town; I enjoy seeing sights and
shopping for things that I'd normally not find at home. We spend lots of
time in tour buses and airplanes, so I'd do my reading there. i also have
a guitar with me, so I'd also do some practicing and work up some musical
ideas. - Happens funny things on tour or there's only work work and work ?
Lots of funny things happen on tour, but it's also a lot of work! You just
have to balance out the two.
friendship between the members of the crew (as it seems to me) or is
more a professional relationship ??
definitely a personal relationship with the members of the crew and with
the band. At times it's like there are 8 people performing; the band and
the crew. But we're all friends in our personal lives, too. We'll call
each other up occasionally just to shoot the breeze (usually after some
time has past from a longish tour; if you're around someone for a couple
of months, it's healthy to put a little distance in there).
-Vernon has an
impressive amount of things on stage, I remember first time I saw him was
during the Mistaken Identity tour and he was surrounded by 3 "fridges"
full of racks on his sides Amp behind him and pedals on the front a sort
of little house.. now he got some little less things.. from where you
start to connect all and how long does it takes ???
setup changes constantly. Most recently, the setup has been guitar into a
junction box that controls a VG-88, a GR-1, a GR-20, a GR-50 and a GI-20 (all
Roland units). They're routed to three separate outputs: the VG-88 goes
through a Line6 Filter Mod pedal, a Line6 Echo Mod pedal, a volume pedal,
then to the rack which has a Filter Pro and Echo Pro unit (Line6) and a
Lexicon JamMan, which are the only units being used in there right now. It
then goes out in stereo to two Crate BV300H heads with a Crate 4x12
cabinet each. The GR-20 goes through a Digitech Space Station delay pedal
into a 2-12 combo amp, usually a Crate. The GR-1 goes directly into a
Behringer mixer, the GR-50 goes into a TC Electronics G-Force into an EMu
Audity into a small Rolls mixer which goes into two channels of the
Behringer. The other channels of the Rolls have a Micro Nord synth and an
Evolver. The GI-20 controls two Mac laptops which have various soft synths
and sequencers in them, as well as trigger the Micro Nord and Evolver. All
of this get run through the Behringer, which is DI'd through the house. On
the average, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get it up and running.
your usual works during the show , even than change strings that seems
that V brokes continuosly :) ?
I usually only change strings after the third show. Funny enough, the only string that breaks when they do is the D (4th string), which is wound.
-Particular adjustment you do to V. guitars ??
Nothing special, really.
He'll just play it and if there's something that needs adjustment, we'll
take it from there. He's very hands on with his gear, which is good. Some
players won't even touch their instrument until they have to.
-How much is
different a pro instrument from the one that I can buy in a shop ??
it's custom made to your specifications, there's no difference at all. It
honestly all comes down to the player and thier comfort level with their
all Dennis, thanks again for your time.. want to say some "last
Thank you again, Pino. I'm honored to be asked to do this. Though I'm not "famous" (I don't know what that means,actually), I'll say this; Believe in what you do, enjoy what you do, and, most importantly, love what you do !