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Jared Dines

We welcome YouTuber, shredder, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Jared Dines to the podcast. Through his intermingling of musical proficiency and comical skits, Jared has amassed millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views. In this episode we discuss social media as an outlet for musicians, the viral video experience, internet trash talkers, a day in the life of Jared Dines, Shred Wars, guitar practice, influences, new projects, finding fulfillment, and more.

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Transcript

Evan Ball:
Hello, and welcome to Ernie Ball's Striking a Chord Podcast. I'm Evan Ball. On today's episode, we have the one and only, Jared Dines. Today, we welcome to YouTuber, shredder, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, renaissance man, Jared Dines to the podcast. If you have never checked out Jared's videos, you need to. Shred Wars, 18 string guitars, all kinds of clever and creative music related video content there. In this episode, we touch on many things such as YouTube and other social media as an outlet for musicians, the viral video experience, internet trash talkers, a typical day in the life of Jared Dines, what his guitar practice looks like, his favorite videos he's done, his favorite guitarists, his signature guitar, new projects, and finding fulfillment. Ladies and gentlemen, Jared Dines. Jared Dines, welcome to the podcast.

Jared Dines:
What's up?

Evan Ball:
Hey, glad to have you here.

Jared Dines:
Glad to be here, man. This is going to be fun.

Evan Ball:
Yes. So, let's start here. You've had a career path in music that might not be familiar to some older folks. If you were to explain what you do to a middle aged soccer dad kind of like me, how would you do it?

Jared Dines:
That's a great question because I actually don't know, if I'm being completely honest. It depends on what I'm doing and who I'm talking to. If I am trying to rent a house, then I'll say something like musician, or maybe a content creator, because it sounds a little bit better than YouTuber. Obviously saying YouTuber is much more easy for people to understand in today's day. As far as what I view myself as, just a musician. I mean, YouTube is the platform that I started on to kind of gather the audience that I have, but I post on Facebook, I post on Instagram. You know what I mean? I do a lot of different stuff. I write songs, I have merch, all this kind of thing. And so, it's really just all encompassed in me being the musician, and whatever I can host my music and whoever wants to listen, I'll just put it up wherever.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Maybe you could explain the different platforms as they relate to you putting out content and maybe your career at large, because I imagine they've sort of evolved through your career.

Jared Dines:
YouTube, when I first started, it was never anything that I thought was going to, this is going to be my career. You know what I mean? I never thought that. It was always just, I like guitar and music, I like doing skits. I grew up with a little Sony camcorder, my parents bought me a little cheap camcorder. So me and my brother would actually make a lot of skits growing up. And then I discovered music and my love for guitar. So it just made sense that they kind of combined. But I digress.

Jared Dines:
So YouTube, when I first started, it was just kind of for fun. And then it kind of started getting traction, which was very new to me, and I didn't know how to handle it. So I just started posting whatever came to my mind. I have been doing music now for probably almost 20 years and I've been in my local scene in bands, recording bands. I had a recording studio back when I was growing up, I did that for seven or eight years. So I had a lot of back catalog to pull from as far as stereotypes go, kind of making fun of things lightheartedly, of course, and half the things that I say are things that I've done and things that I've said and mistakes that I've made personally, and I just put them into skits, and relatable ways to other people.

Jared Dines:
And back then when I started on YouTube, it was just the only place that really made sense to post videos. You started having your content creators, people were having actual channels. You were gaining followings and stuff like that. So like yeah, let's try the YouTube thing. And I was just bored one day and I did a little video, and it took off, and it's been great. But back then, there was no real DMCA takedowns which would be, if you use any copyrighted music. Nowadays, those record labels are coming for YouTubers and Twitch streamers who are using, say, if you play Smoke on the Water in the background of your video, they're going to either remove your video or they're going to take your video's money.

Evan Ball:
So even if you're not playing the actual sound recording, you're just playing the riff to Smoke on the Water, whatever, they will actually be able to grab that too?

Jared Dines:
There was a video I did, it was called if guitars could talk. And in one of the videos or in one of the clips in that video, there's a guitar sitting on a couch and there's a little superimposed photoshopped mouth on the guitar, and it's my mouth and it's speaking as the guitar, it's silly video. And I literally just go dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun. That's all I did. And then it just quit cut it to something else because it was just, that was the joke was Smoke on the Water. They removed that video because I mouthed dun, dun, dun, for like four seconds. They're ruthless. They don't care.

Evan Ball:
Do you think the algorithm was able to sniff that out? I wouldn't think so. That's probably a human being that flagged it.

Jared Dines:
That's a human being. So what happened in 2018, I woke up one day to probably 50 or 60 of my videos being taken down. And then over the course of the next three to four weeks, back in 2018, probably up to 100 were removed, whereas these videos were live for two to four years. And now suddenly, in one day, there's 100 removed. That's a person for sure. That's a label I think that was like, hey, go check out this YouTube stuff, someone over at Warner Brothers, go look at this, see what we snag here. I get it. It's for sure to protect the copyrighted music that the record labels own. But there used to be a fair use type of deal, and I feel like that's just completely gone out of the window. I feel like it used to be something where you could do either 15 seconds or eight seconds of a clip of original recorded copyrighted art, audio, and that would be fine. Now it's I can't even mouth it. You know what I mean?

Evan Ball:
Yeah. This might be a little a little tacky of me to bring this up, but I actually had a viral YouTube video.

Jared Dines:
Oh, nice.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Have you ever seen the golden retriever that can't catch food, it's in slow motion?

Jared Dines:
Oh, I have. That was you? That's so funny. When did you film that?

Evan Ball:
That was probably six years ago, six or seven years ago.

Jared Dines:
Oh, that's so funny.

Evan Ball:
So yeah, I had a little season of fun with that. They flew me out to Good Morning America, did a bunch of shows.

Jared Dines:
Really? Oh, man, I never knew that. That's hilarious.

Evan Ball:
So Fritz Dog is the name of the channel, but it's pretty much dormant now. But yeah, I did notice some of the videos, it'll just have like, I usually did my own music for it, but some of them would just, I'd just get a copyright claim on it and they just grabbed the monetization, which isn't much for most of them.

Jared Dines:
Right. It's like, I'm making pennies here, man, you got to take that too. I'm kind of in a way promoting these old 30, 40 year old songs, the Leonard Skinner, whatever. Don't you dare do that. We'll take every cent you ... But again, I get it, it's to protect the music. I understand where they're coming from. But it has changed things for sure.

Evan Ball:
So is YouTube still the bread and butter though?

Jared Dines:
YouTube is the biggest bread and butter, yes. I have started doing some smaller things like Twitch, which is just fun. I kind of just go there and hang out with 50 to 100 people any given day. I don't really promote it. I just kind of go low key, might play some games or play guitar. I like to do a lot of improv live guitar. Talk about the new signature. A lot of people have questions, and so, I like to actually connect with my audience and talk to them. I can't do it as often as I would like to every day, but I try to at least three to four days a week, get on there for a couple hours and do that, which is fun. They'll give you 10 bucks here and there so that's something. And then the music on iTunes and Spotify, etc, would be another source of income as well.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. All right. Back to the sort of soccer dad thing, I'm going to sound a little disconnected here. When I first came across the world you inhabit online, I was actually really confused because it was like amazing guitar playing, but it was funny too. I know you don't get this good at something casually, like it's just a funny thing. So I'm curious, how do you see humor intersecting with serious guitar playing?

Jared Dines:
Well, first, thank you. I really appreciate that. For me, it just made sense because with my growing up, I watched a lot of classic comedies, Abbott and Costello or Jerry Lewis, sorry, not the musician, the comedian. So that has always been something that just kind of developed in my content. I think there's a relatability to it that hasn't really been, I think a lot of guitar has been very cool. Look at me, I'm tough, I'm the best, I'm manly, and fuck yeah. But I think there's a side of it that people can relate to a lot of silly things that maybe someone might whisper to their friend at a local show, like, oh, did you see this, isn't that kind if funny? And I just took all those little things and blew it up. It was just like, we're all thinking the same thing. It's okay to say it, it's okay to admit that you can be a bearded manly metal head and like cats. That's fine.

Jared Dines:
And of course, there's pushback, there's people who are your very staunch, elitist, metal heads. I have the most respect for them as well, and they don't appreciate what I do, and that's fine. What I do is not meant for everybody, but there is an audience for it. I love my fans who support me for what I do.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Let me give a little context to how I sort of see the landscape of music. I grew up in the middle of Ernie Ball, so being very aware of the virtuoso guys and the shred and all that. But really, my formative years were like 90s where the guitar solo just went away. So I was aware of that stuff, but then it was just, it totally changed. I played in punk bands, and the technical part really didn't matter at all. It just was irrelevant. And so for me, it felt sort of like this lost art. You look at ancient Greece or the Roman Empire, and they had these amazing sculptures, high proficiency. And the Middle Ages hit and they're drawing stick figures again.

Evan Ball:
As far as the technical playing, though, it's kind of a renaissance. I was disconnected. I kind of moved away from the company for a little bit, I had kids, I was doing other things. So I was a little late to the scene. But I remember opening up the YouTube and just seeing you and other people in there and seeing, coming across Jason Richardson and like, oh, my God, I didn't know this happened again. So I don't know if you see a disconnect or like a rebirth or if you had always been tuned into more technical playing.

Jared Dines:
I think it has a lot to show for the fact that there were a lot of musicians who, and there are, there's just so many musicians who are so talented but they don't have quite the connection to get their music out there. And then suddenly, EZdrummer came out. Then suddenly YouTube came out, then suddenly TikTok came out. And every kid with a laptop in his bedroom can now record a song, bass, guitar drums, and just post it, and be like, this is me. You know what I mean?

Jared Dines:
So I feel like the people who really stood out, the Jason Richardson, now I'm seeing a lot more there's, there's one in particular I really like, Ichika Nito, I believe Japanese player. I'm sorry if I get that wrong, but outstanding. And Instagram is huge for guitarists now. I'm discovering so many new guitar players from Instagram. And it's just so easy to take your phone, which is now a recording device that's actually not bad. Most phones have, if you have an iPhone, it's 4k, you can make some pretty good looking stuff, and then just post it to anybody in the world who wants to give them time.

Jared Dines:
So I think there is a rebirth of virtuoso guitar because of that, whereas mainstream labels, the 90s and the early 2000s, was more new metal and hits, the huge choruses and the beats and stuff like that. Whereas the 80s was very much the shred and the virtuoso. I'm kind of a mixture of both because I was born, I was born in 89, so I lived through the 90s and 2000s growing up. I listened to bands from Lincoln Park and POD to Norma Jean and As I Lay Dying. And then my dad would show me Van Halen and Boston and Russian Journey and Foreigner. So I had this mix of all this music, and it just inspired me to create through YouTube and just through whatever I can, wherever I can post it. I'm doing music, working on an album with Howard Jones, working on a solo album.

Jared Dines:
It's interesting to see with the boom of technology, and now with the shutdown of touring and live performance, real world musicians, as I like to call them, "real world musicians," the Triviums and the ones that are out there touring and stuff are coming over to Twitch and to YouTube and hitting up people like myself and other people who are prominent in this industry, and we're collabing. I did a collab with Danny Worsnop, Asking Alexandria, that was recent, just because he, it's like, What do I do? I can't tour I can't do anything else. So I guess I'll just go where people will watch me. Twitch is huge for that, YouTube is huge for that.

Jared Dines:
Matt from Trivium has a Twitch channel, huge, probably one of the biggest musicians on Twitch. And his band will do, in this room, they'll have these live concerts, where it's Trivium in a room with good sound, fully mixed, blended well, everything. It's fully state of the art HD. And they'll play performances to 20,000 people on Twitch. And if you think about the amount of people that would be in real life, that is huge. That is a huge arena. You're still getting that kind of satisfaction and fulfillment of performing and doing what you love to an audience, because that's what we are, we're musicians. We're here to play music for people.

Evan Ball:
It is fascinating seeing the innovations that come out of this, because definitely musicians got hit so hard on this. And then were you uploading regularly or did you have one video that that took off instantly? Was that your first video or were you already posting?

Jared Dines:
I had a few videos on YouTube, a few vocal covers, a few series idea. One called Underground Music Monday, where I would showcase local underground bands with my friend. Nothing big, nothing that got over 100 to 200 views. And then in 2014, I made a video called 10 Styles of Metal. And it was literally just me being bored in my house, nobody was home. And I was just thinking, well, what do I do? Let's just make a funny skit and see what happens.

Jared Dines:
So, put out that video, and it got a little traction, it had a couple 1000 hits. For me, I was like, holy crap, that's insane. Then after a few weeks, it had like 10 or 15,000 views, and I was like, holy crap, that is a lot of views for me. And then one day I remember waking up, I looked at my phone, and I had a text from Ryan Bruce. And he said, welcome to the internet. And I had no idea what he meant. But when I exited that message and looked at my phone, my apps were all 99 plus or 20 plus whatever they say. And so, I was like, okay, what happened? So I go on Facebook, and I mean, Metal Sucks, Metal Injection, Lambgoat, Guitar World, Ultimate, every web page site shared that video at the same time. I don't know if it was the same dude. Thank you, whoever you are, whatever guy works for all these companies and shared that, thank you. But that just blew up. It just went nuts.

Jared Dines:
And then I was having, it was bizarre how, it took me an hour to film that video. It sounds like garbage to me. The mix is bad, the video footage looks bad, it's all green and looks weird. But there were like local news articles coming out. And it got like two million, three million, four, five million. And then people from Slipknot were sharing it, Bumblefoot from Guns N' Roses shared it. All these people were sharing it. And I'm just sitting here freaking out thinking what is happening? Why do you guys like this video? And then I thought, well, I have about 10 years of other types of videos I can do. So, let's see if you guys like these ones. I will say, I am very happy to announce that that is not my biggest video to this day. So I actually have two hits.

Evan Ball:
That's awesome.

Jared Dines:
Because that one was my biggest hit until last year. And then I had video called Every Guitar Store Guitarist that I filmed up here at the guitar store, that finally passed it. And I was like yes, I'm no longer a one hit wonder.

Evan Ball:
That's awesome. Everything you described, not to make this about me, but a total parallel with my silly dog video. All of a sudden, my inbox just starts filling up, and it's like Huffington Post and CNN.

Jared Dines:
It makes no sense.

Evan Ball:
Somehow it sort of like leapfrogs out of the friend circle and finds the right person and all these people sharing, it's insane.

Jared Dines:
It's so interesting to me because when it's you and you know it and you see it and you make it, you know every little detail. Nothing's new and exciting really because you're doing it. But then you release it and everyone who's like, well, we've never seen this or we've never seen a take like this before. That video I remember watching is fucking hilarious. But to you it's probably like, well, I do that all the little time.

Evan Ball:
Totally. And if you're the kind of person I know you are that just naturally create stuff and puts it out. So I've have done so many things that no one really cared about. It's hard to predict what's going to catch fire.

Jared Dines:
It's really, really hard to predict, in fact, because even now, I'll be thinking, what video do I do now that I kind of know what I'm doing. And I'll put stuff out that I'm really excited about and it flops. Stuff that I have all these years of experience in seeing all the videos that worked all the ones that didn't, and I still think, this one will work and I'm really proud of this. And I put it out and no one cares. And then there'll be like another one that I'm just, oh, this one's going to be kind of a crappy post, whatever, little filler post, and it will just blow up.

Jared Dines:
I actually legitimately had that happen so many times. I remember going into my studio to record a video, a drum video, and I had spent a week writing this song on drums because I wanted to do this really cool drum video. And so, I hired a camera guy, got all these fancy lights, went in for this drum video, did it. And then on the way out, literally, we're done, we're tearing down, I just said, hey, just put the camera there real quick, and let me just have five or 10 minutes to do a few little funny things. And he was like, okay, sure.

Jared Dines:
So then, that five minutes of me doing funny stuff ended up being Drummers on Drugs, which took off to be like six to eight million view video. And the video that I spent a week writing this really intense drum part, probably like 50,000 views, which is still 50,000 views, hell yeah. But when you have a million subs or something, it's like, yeah, what? You know what I mean? Sometimes you just don't know.

Evan Ball:
It's hard to find that recipe. I guess if we knew the recipe, we'd do it all the time.

Jared Dines:
I think that's the recipe. I think what it is is that it's just whatever flows. I've been watching a lot of Van Halen stuff lately, rest in peace, Eddie, and everything of his passing. And I've been watching a lot of their interviews where they talk about how their first record or their second record was, oh, yeah, that was done in a week, or these songs were written and done in 10 minutes. Eruption, there was only one take ever recorded of Eruption, at least as far as the people at Warner record studio know. It was just like, that was it, you know what I mean? I think that's there's something to that, when you have magic that's just natural.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, sometimes when I'm writing a song, it's like, this is too hard, it shouldn't be this hard. And I'm not saying that as a rule of thumb all the time. But if it flows out easily, then there's maybe something to it.

Jared Dines:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
But then sometimes you get over the hump and-

Jared Dines:
When it comes easy, it can be received easy. I don't know, maybe. One day I'll figure it out. I hope.

Evan Ball:
Hey, who was your first shred war against?

Jared Dines:
Wow, that's a deep cut. You threw me for a loop there. That was back in 2015. That was Pete Cottrell. That was Pete Cottrell actually. And what was funny was we didn't call it Shred Wars. I think I called it Who Shreds. I think the title has changed. I think if you type in Shred Wars Pete Cottrell, it will say shred wars Pete Cottrell. But if you click the video and watch it the first 10 seconds, there's a title and it says Who Shreds, and it's this whole thing. But then as it evolved, I changed it to Shred Wars. Yeah, that's funny. I needed a second think about that one. I wasn't sure.

Evan Ball:
So within the Shred Wars series, do you have a favorite, say of your performance, and then maybe one of your favorite guest performances?

Jared Dines:
Okay. I just recently posted this one, but I've kind of went back and watched a few, I would say, the one I did with [Sophie Berl 00:24:40], I really enjoyed the performance that I did. And the one I did with Jason Richardson, I felt like was a turning point for me because I spent so much time on that one to try and come up with the most ridiculous shred because it's Jason Richardson. You know what I mean? So I think I kind of evolved a little bit after that one. And then as far as another person's performance, oh man, they're so good. I really enjoyed the one that I did was Stevie T, specifically because it took so long to do it. I was messaging him for probably close to two years, trying to get him to do Shred Wars with me, and it just wouldn't happen. And then finally, finally, in I think 2017, we finally did it. And it's the biggest one, I think, I'm pretty sure it's my biggest Shred Wars to date. But that one was really fun.

Jared Dines:
I really liked the live one with Herman, because I think that showed a different side to Shred Wars with the live aspect. I think a lot of people could really relate to just if you were to walk across somebody on a sidewalk and they were shredding, it's that kind of vibe. You know what I mean? Not so much production and editing. And I think there's an element there that is really cool that the other Shred Wars don't have. But there's so many. I mean, Angel Vivaldi. The one with Michael Angelo Batio we just did.

Evan Ball:
That's awesome.

Jared Dines:
He pulled out his, you know, oh my god, they're so fun.

Evan Ball:
Why did that one not line up with Stevie T for so long?

Jared Dines:
I'm not entirely sure. It was kind of we were both busy and he was doing his own thing. It could be something to do, because we didn't really start talking too much until a little after that, maybe a year after that or so. He might have been leery, maybe he didn't know who really I was or, I don't know. I've actually never asked him, that'd be a good question for him.

Evan Ball:
And maybe this is common knowledge, I don't know the backstory. Were you guys sort of doing things in parallel, similar things, or at least overlapping things, and then you finally connected?

Jared Dines:
We were doing similar content, but he wasn't posting as much back then. I was posting pretty much every other day, and he would post maybe once every month, every couple months. And then it wasn't until more recently that he started doing it full time. So back then, not so much. It wasn't until probably 2018 where we kind of started collabing, doing similar videos. I made a little roast track on him. He made a little diss track on me. We did DJENT 2019, which was my 18 string guitar versus his 20 string guitars. He's a great dude. Love me some Steve.

Evan Ball:
Do you make all the backing tracks for the shred wars?

Jared Dines:
Yeah, I think there's one or two that I have not because I was on tour, but yes.

Evan Ball:
That sounds like quite a task in itself. I don't know if you recycle them, I'm always tuned into the leaves.

Jared Dines:
It's so fun. I love it. I've maybe recycled a couple. I would either use a Shred Wars riff for a song or pull a riff from a song and change it a little bit, and then just kind of throw it in there. I only do that though if I'm really stressed or rushed for time, and I need to get something out to the artists that they can perform to and get it back to me. I'd be like, okay, what's a quick riff I could throw together and change and kind of manipulate. So you don't even really notice a similar riff, I'll change the drums so it's totally different. But I actually love doing that. That par of me, the songwriting, the riff writing, I love that. It's very much like putting together a puzzle for me. I'm not good at puzzles but I'm kind of decent at songs and learning as I go.

Evan Ball:
Do you have various invites out at any given time for shredders?

Jared Dines:
I have a few. I've definitely talked to a few people outside of my league, I'll say. And some that actually have responded and said they would be down just they don't have the time or for a future time or whatever. I've asked John 5, I've asked John Petrucci, a lot of Johns, John Mayer. John 5, I've talked to him a few times, we're cool. He's aware of me. And Petrucci as well, I met him finally, thanks to you guys actually, finally met Petrucci. That would be a really cool one-

Evan Ball:
What about a Paul Gilbert?

Jared Dines:
The thing is that I don't have access to these people really. So it's more so of getting in contact, if I were to reach out and he said, well, I can't do it till next year. Cool, let's do it next year. That's fine. But I just don't really, one, I don't want to come across like that guy. And two, I just don't have the ...

Evan Ball:
Cold call on these guys, yeah.

Jared Dines:
And DM'ing on Instagram is all well and good, but come on. How many people are really checking their DMS on Instagram?

Evan Ball:
Maybe NAM 2022 hit up some people.

Jared Dines:
I'm so bummed about that, man. That's unfortunate. But probably a lot of stress off of you guys not having to worry about that right now considering all that I'm sure you're going.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Bittersweet, bittersweet.

Jared Dines:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
We kind of talked about the technical stuff. That takes a long time, right? Just keeping up your chops, getting this proficient on guitar. You also have to be brainstorming I would think, editing. Just so many things, so many aspects to your job that take up a lot of time. So I'm wondering how you break up your day and fit it all in. Could you run us through a typical day in the life of Jared Dines?

Jared Dines:
Well, I like to sleep as much as possible, first and foremost. But no, this year has been the hardest for me because I actually am doing it all myself because of quarantine and lockdown and everything. I would usually have a camera person to help me and all this stuff. But a typical day would be, if I'm going to be doing a video, I would wake up, do my normal routine, and then script a video or have one scripted from the previous day, film it and then edit it, and then re-edit it until it's perfect.

Evan Ball:
It's all you, you're doing all that stuff.

Jared Dines:
That's all me, that's all me. That right there is at least probably four to six hours I would say. And then post it or schedule it out. And then from there, it's okay, what's next, what do I have in my list of ideas? Okay, find one, boom, script it, then get it ready for the next day or whatever. And then depending on what I want to do, should I go live on Twitch and play guitar? I'll have my manager hit me up, hey, you got this stuff, you got to do this, you got to do that, you got to do this. Okay. And then I'll have emails to get to and stuff to plan and like I said earlier, I'm working on the album with Howard Jones.

Evan Ball:
You talking about Howard Jones from the 80s?

Jared Dines:
From Killswitch Engage. Howard Jones. Sorry.

Evan Ball:
That would have been a much different record.

Jared Dines:
No, no, no. Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones.

Evan Ball:
There's the soccer dad comment right there.

Jared Dines:
Yeah, yeah. You're good. So we're planning all that stuff. So just a lot of real music. I'll sit down and write maybe for a couple hours. It's just really, at that point, what comes to me in the day. Does somebody message me and say, hey, let's do something, like on Twitter or something. And that could spark creativity or that could spark or collab, and I'll be ready for that. So I kind of, to an extent, I like to keep myself open to where it's like, okay, on Monday, I'm going to allow, or I'm going to do four or six hours of this, but then I'm going to just kind of do whatever, and see what happens, and just kind of vibe or chill, and then post on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and keep up with all the social medias and stuff like that.

Jared Dines:
I actually just recently hired a Facebook guy to help me with my Facebook page because I had hired a different Facebook company apparently to help me promote that so I don't have to worry about it. But I wasn't super happy with how they were doing it. So I hired someone else. So I have someone taking care of my Facebook page now, my actual public page. I have a personal one that I run, but other than that public Facebook page, I do everything else. The filming, the lighting, the audio, the recording, the mixing. It's fucking tedious, excuse my French.

Evan Ball:
You don't set aside time just for brainstorming. Those ideas are just going to float into your brain whenever it happens?

Jared Dines:
Sometimes I do, but usually, I'll just be kind of doing whatever, and then I'll see something and I'll think, you know, that'd be really funny if that was in a video. There it is.

Evan Ball:
How about actually playing your guitar? Do you set aside time to practice?

Jared Dines:
Yeah. I try to as often as I can. Usually practice for me looks like me playing over backing tracks to improv. I like to try and keep up with that just because I've always enjoyed the live performance aspect to musicianship and I want to try and keep that toned as much as possible. So, I'll pull blues, dirty rock and A minor, and then I'll pull up ripping, heavy metal and C sharp minor or whatever it will be, and I'll have to mentally, okay, switch key, switch vibe.

Evan Ball:
That's great. So you're you're pushing the improv?

Jared Dines:
Yeah, I really am. It's been fun too for me, because when I do it on Twitch, there's moments that happen. I might improv for to hours. Most of it might be decent, but there might be a 30 second section here or a two minute section here that was really cool. And then I'll take that, clip it out, maybe post it on Instagram, maybe actually write something around it. So, improving live is really nice because I can capture everything I do and not have to think about, oh, I need to make sure I'm playing the right notes. It's like, well, I mean, yes, but you play what you want because you're improving, right? So you can kind of do both, best of both worlds, you can record and improv.

Evan Ball:
Let's back up. When did you start playing guitar?

Jared Dines:
I started when I was 13. I actually wanted a drum set first, but what had happened was my grandfather passed away, and because of his life insurance money, my grandmother gave me and my brother each a few $100 for Christmas. And so, I was looking for drum sets but finding a drum set for $300 isn't really feasible. But I could find a guitar. So, I found a guitar and started playing it. When you start playing as a kid, I might have dived into it for a couple years, put it down for a couple years, get frustrated, then pick it back up. Off and on like that for probably, until I was about 16 or 17. And then I really started taking it seriously.

Jared Dines:
My dad actually told me if I could learn the live performance of Big Love by Fleetwood Mac, that he would buy me my first real guitar. My first guitar was the Squier starter strap with the five watt amp and, the thing everyone gets. But my first real guitar, which I still have, by the way, Ibanez SZ520. I still have it. So I took like two months and I learned the song. It's all classical finger-picking kind of stuff, that I just never did, so it took me forever. But I finally learned it, I played it for my dad. He said, okay, we'll get you first real guitar. So I went to Ted Brown music store, and then got the guitar. And then I was just hooked because I had an actual guitar that felt nice. It wasn't fighting me to play it. Action wasn't bad. So I was actually enjoying it, it felt nice, like, oh, this is smooth, this feels like how I kind of want to feel. And then it was just, I wanted to learn every song that I fell in love with.

Evan Ball:
And are you mostly in a metal growing up?

Jared Dines:
It was a lot of different stuff growing up, actually. I didn't get into metal until I was probably around 14. Before that was a lot of classic rock. My dad had a lot of old vinyls. He had an old Cutlass that he put a huge stereo system in, he'd blast AC/DC and Boston, one of those type of dudes. So we would listen to classic rock mostly growing up.

Evan Ball:
Do your parents play?

Jared Dines:
My dad plays piano and I think he played a little bit of trumpet. But that's it. They just really enjoy it. I still have actually ticket stubs, Van Halen ticket stubs from the early 80s that my mom and my dad went and saw them. And Journeys ticket stubs and all this shit. And I'm like, okay. They're definitely into it even though they don't play. So they were very supportive and they kind of introduced me to music. And then the metal came more so from my friends and myself discovering it and kind of branching out.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That's probably where your soloing and shredding came from, the metal influence? Or was it more of like an 80s harkening back to an earlier age?

Jared Dines:
Yeah. I think the shredding was for sure the Van, because Van Halen is like, that was it. When I saw footage of them playing and heard Eruption, I just wanted to be that, you know what I mean, as a kid. I just wanted to be a rock star. I learned as many Van Halen songs as I possibly could, and as many solos and stuff. And so, the soloing is very much more of an 80s shred just kind of balls to the wall kind of thing. And then the rhythm and the riffs is much more the metal side of me.

Jared Dines:
You can hear that a lot in my band, Daddy Rock. It's modern. It's still rock and roll, because there's no screaming, it's all singing. But the riffs are definitely modern and heavy, but the solos are definitely 80s in the shreds. So you can kind of hear my influence because that's the first project I've ever done where it's solely me writing the music.

Evan Ball:
Do you have any strange fan interactions that come to mind?

Jared Dines:
Oh, yeah. There was this one time, I was at Warped Tour, and there was this guy who would just kind of sort of be about 10 feet away from me at all times. And I would notice, I'd walk to this stage, the monster stage, watching the band, and 15 minutes into set I look over and there he was. Oh, interesting. Okay, whatever. I'd walk to the Van's Warped Tour stage and staying there for 15, 20 minutes. Oh, he's here again. Oh, okay. And so, this happened the entire day until the very end.

Jared Dines:
And as I'm leaving this venue with my friends and their band and everything, he literally comes up and gets in my way and stops me physically with drumsticks in his hand, and just says, "Sign these." And he's like shaking. I'm not making fun of him because I get it. I'd probably would do the same if I was talking to someone I look up to. It freaked me out so bad, because he just was so aggressive, and I had been kind of leery about him for the last couple hours because he was just lingering everywhere I was. And then for him to just aggressively approach me and be like, sign this. I was like, oh my God. That scared me.

Evan Ball:
It's kind of cute for lack of a better word. He was so nervous. That was his entire Warped Tour, was like, I got to do this, I got to do this, and then he made a stand.

Jared Dines:
I feel bad. It's so weird because to me, I'm just a guy. You know what I mean? That's the truth. That's all I am. I'm totally okay with people politely approaching me and just saying, hey, love your stuff or can I get a picture or can you sign this, whatever, that's totally fine. I've definitely at shows had things happen where I'll be behind the venue on my phone or next to the tour van on my phone talking to somebody, and someone will just come up and put their arm around me and take a picture and walk away, or someone will come up and interrupt me as I'm talking on the phone and just be like, yo, I need to talk to you, man, just two minutes, I swear, I'm sorry, and it's like, dude, come on, man. And then they'll go out and call me an asshole. Those are interesting experiences for sure, but they're usually really nice. I would say 99.9% of the fan interactions are always really well.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Do you have a worst comment that you found online? Or maybe we shouldn't give that person any oxygen.

Jared Dines:
I mean, they're all the same, to be honest. It's all just, you're not funny, you suck. It's just whatever. It's gotten to a point where you see the same thing over and over and over again, where I just now say, hey, you know what, that's fine, just try to be original. Can you come up with something that I've never heard before? I will pay you if you can tell me something I haven't been called yet. It is what it is. And a lot of times that too is light hearted, and a lot of times when I do respond to people, and I just say hey man, sorry you don't like it, better luck next time. They'll be like, either one, oh, dude, I'm a huge fan. I didn't know you were going to respond or even see this. That's crazy. Or two, I guess I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, the humanity comes through in the end.

Jared Dines:
Exactly. It finally does. They were having a bad day and they're going, this guy is not funny or whatever, and fuck this guy. And once they're, oh, he's an actual person.

Evan Ball:
It just comes with the territory. I got shit for putting out dog videos. Did it affect you when you first were public?

Jared Dines:
Yeah, for sure because I wasn't used to it. Your friends will just be like, yeah, it's great. So for me, it was very much odd to just have people I had no idea who they were just coming at me with these, what bothers me the most is people who will write a paragraph basically saying, oh, well, he was spoiled his whole life, his parents gave him everything, and then when he grew up ... And it's like, how do you know any of this? And first of all, you're wrong about all of it. So, that bothers me and that makes me feel like I should correct it every now and then. And I used to, I don't anymore just because reading those comments puts me in a bad mental place, and I don't like going there. And so, I just don't read them anymore at all.

Jared Dines:
But if they're just a comment that says you suck, then it's like, all right, dude, Okay, whatever. But there's so few and far between. There's probably one negative comment every 300 positive comments. And it's just going to be that when you're on the internet.

Evan Ball:
Of course. I would think a lot of people watch your videos and think, this guy has the best job in the world. What would you say is the hardest part of your job?

Jared Dines:
Self-motivation and self-inspiring, self-inspiration, yeah, I would say that for sure. That's especially hard this year because there's nothing happening that's really inspiring me other than negative things. For me, when I think of inspiring, I think of hanging out with my friends, having fun adventures, good memories, going to live shows, performing live shows, going to crazy places, and having people over and filming skits. And I can't really do that. So, I don't know, it's been rough in this past year for sure dealing with ...

Evan Ball:
Staying inspired.

Jared Dines:
Yeah. Especially. It's like, if you're not living, there's nothing that you're seeing to inspire you. Once I've done something, I will post a video, I will spend all the time on a video and I'll post it, and I will never watch it again. I'll never go back to it once. Or I'll do a song and I'll post it and I'll never listen to it again. Just because once it's done, it's time to move on and do something new. And it's like, the shred collab videos that I have done every year for the past five years, people keep asking me, do another big shred club this year. And it's like, I don't think so man because everyone else is now, and I've kind of been doing it for a while, and I think it's time to do something else.

Jared Dines:
And if you don't have a fresh pool of inspiration but you're at that point of needing to do something else, it can be very difficult, because I'm finding myself a little bit thinking what do I do. Because I know what I want to do. I want to write songs, I want to film skits, I want to hang out my friends, I want to have a good time and share that with the world, make people laugh, and leave music behind when I pass. That's what I want. But it's just been rough lately so I'm just kind of like trying to be okay with just existing and just kind of letting life happen for a bit, without going insane, because I'm not doing anything. And then I am doing things, but to me, they're things that don't really have any meaning. They're just so superficial. YouTube videos that are, look at these 30 ugly head stocks. That's fun. That's entertainment. But that's not what I want to do. I'm not interested in that.

Evan Ball:
But at them same time, I was going to say, I could see it feeling like that but it's also pretty clever because how many times have we just noticed an ugly headstock. Do a video on it. It's actually good content.

Jared Dines:
I appreciate you. But you know what I mean? Things that have more meaning I guess. I found after doing it for six years, and doing music for close to 20, I've found that I want something with a little bit more meaning behind it. And maybe this stems a little bit from the passing of Eddie. He was my number one idol, I actually looked like him. I had hair like him, everything when I was a kid. And obviously, this is years ago, and I grew out of it. But that made me really think, in my life and in my existence, what has stood out as the happiest and the most exciting I have ever felt. And that is literally when I discovered Van Halen and knew I wanted to be a guitarist, and I wanted to play in front of people, and I wanted to write songs and I wanted to do music, and have fun.

Jared Dines:
And when I think about that, in the world and the news and it's COVID this and 300,000 deaths that, and we're on fire, and this worlds burning, and we're all going to die, it's just like, okay, maybe we should do something that's putting positivity out into the world and something that's helping kind of inspire others and focus on things that are giving them that feeling I got back when I was a kid.

Jared Dines:
So, when you don't have a fresh pool of inspiration, it's kind of hard because I feel like sometimes there is somebody inside of me screaming as loud as they can, and they can't get out.

Evan Ball:
To let that person out, do you think that's more writing your own songs with a band or yourself? That would satisfy that most?

Jared Dines:
I think so. I think that's kind of where I'm at. I want to write songs. And I am. We're halfway through it. We're doing an album with Howard, I got a solo album coming out, all this stuff. And I hope that it's received well, because I am putting everything that I can into it, you know what I mean. And I just wanted to do well because it's almost at a point where, well, if this doesn't do well, what's next? We'll see how that goes.

Evan Ball:
That's great. Any dates that you can put out for releases or is it a little fuzzy still?

Jared Dines:
It's still a little fuzzy. We don't quite know. There's a lot of label work around happening. So we're still kind of doing that. But I can say we have about six songs finished or damn near finished, and we're hoping for at least 10. And a release may be a song by the end of the year, a song or two, and hopefully the record by next year.

Evan Ball:
Cool. And sorry, it it a band name or is it under your personal name?

Jared Dines:
We haven't really come up with a full name yet. It's just me and Howard. I just sit in my room and write songs, and then I send them to him, and he records his vocals, sends them back. And we just kind of go back and forth like that. And then actually, December 1st through the fifth, I'll be in LA at a studio finalizing a lot of these songs. So, that will be kind of a big wrap up for at least the initial six, and hopefully a few of the other ones. So, stay tuned for that.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, looking forward to it.

Jared Dines:
There's a lot of people and articles saying it's going to sound like old Killswitch, which I think is going to just be natural because it's Howard and he is that singer. But I think there's a twist that they're not going to expect.

Evan Ball:
Nice.

Jared Dines:
It's got some cool sounds in there.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Awesome, okay.

Jared Dines:
And that is probably the last time that I felt the most fulfilled was when he flew up here and we started in-person tracking, and we tracked for a week. When I came home from that, I felt like I came home from the best summer camp ever, and I just wanted to go back.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's awesome. Wait, where are you?

Jared Dines:
I'm in Washington. Pacific Northwest. So, it's not exactly bright and sunny as it is.

Evan Ball:
All right, why don't we do a top five favorite guitar players. Do you have such a list?

Jared Dines:
I can come up with one. Yeah, for sure. Number one, Eddie Van Halen, of course. He started it for me as I'm sure millions of others. John Petrucci, love John Petrucci, great player, Dream Theater. I remember watching Dream Theater DVDs with my parents back when I was 15, 16 years old at the house and just in awe of what I was watching. Actually, one of my friends, I'm going to give a couple friends shout outs here because I legitimately think they're amazing players. Tim Henson, insane. Olivia, so good. Angel Vivaldi, love Angel Vivaldi, he's a fantastic player. I'm a huge Guthrie Govan fan. I think his knowledge, his phrasing just blows my mind, it just blows my mind. There's so many, there's so many. [inaudible 00:53:43] Zakk Wylde. A lot of the classic shredders for sure. They just hold that special place in my heart.

Jared Dines:
As far as new and modern sounds with the guitar, I would say Tim Henson, Angel Vivaldi, Ichika Nito. Yeah, there's a few, there's a good list.

Evan Ball:
That's great. Have you done a Shred War with Tim Henson?

Jared Dines:
I have not. Actually, he was supposed to be on, I've done a shred collab with him and he was supposed to be on DJENT 2020. But he had to fly out to track more Polyphia. So he was unable to make that. But we have not actually done a Shred Wars.

Evan Ball:
I did see him on the collab, that's right.

Jared Dines:
Yeah, he's sick. It's very fresh. It's a different approach, which I really enjoy.

Evan Ball:
It is impressive how unique their voice is, it's so identifiable, which is hard to do.

Jared Dines:
It's even more impressive at the fact that they don't sing.

Evan Ball:
Exactly.

Jared Dines:
They're an instrumental group, they don't even have a voice. Their styles are just so refined to themselves.

Evan Ball:
It's easy for an instrumental act to drift towards sounding like a backing track. It's nothing like that, so props to them. For sure.

Jared Dines:
Very energetic and exciting. Oh, Tosin Abasi. I have to say Tosin. His whole technique, his new thump technique, he's coming out like, it's so cool to see how innovative people are getting with the guitar. And it may not be as extreme as the first guitar with distortion or the first Floyd Rose. But it's still really cool to see the evolution of styles I guess, the finger-picking meeting the slap bass meeting the shred, meeting the blues and the classical and the fusing it. I love that kind of stuff. I think fusion is a huge future for music. I think that's what it is.

Jared Dines:
I mean, we've been seeing it, Post Malone, Ozzy Osborne. I saw a picture of Tim actually with MGK. He's a pop rap guy. It's just kind of like a thing where I feel like, what was The one, Fever 333, rock band with Poppy I think. Doja Cat, she just did that one really popular TikTok song, but they did a metal version of it. And there was drama where she took or the band took Pliny's song, and essentially kind of reworked it for that live performance. But it's this intermingling of metal and pop and fusion, and it's really cool to see. I feel like in the next five or 10 years, metal is going to be very mainstream I think. 100%

Evan Ball:
Do you have a top five favorite videos you've made?

Jared Dines:
I'm sure I do. Let's see. I really like, I got to say, 10 styles of metal just because it was the first video, so I kind of have to, got to know where my roots are, give a little shout out there. So I like that one. That was fun. The metal screaming doesn't take talent video, I really enjoyed that, where I walk around publicly before the COVID thing happened and ask people to give me their best metal screen. And to see who can do it and who can't, that one I really enjoyed. I really liked DJENT 2018, that's when I actually got the 18 string and wrote my first song that I wrote on the 18 string was that video, which was ridiculously hard to do, by the way. But once it was done and out, I was really proud of it. Things Guitar Store Employees Say, for sure. I believe that was about four years ago, that one came out. But that was one of my first skit videos, and it was the first video I filmed in a guitar store.

Jared Dines:
The biggest shred collabs are always so much fun. I love collabs. I get inspired by other musicians. And when they send me a drum track or a vocal track or a guitar track, that's really sick, I'm just like, oh, you bastard, that's so good. But it actually doesn't inspire me.

Evan Ball:
All right, let's end on maybe touching on being an Ernie Ball artist. So how did this come about?

Jared Dines:
This has been quite a few years. You guys sent me my first Majesty back in 2016 I think. And it was very handshake deal, and we just kind of, I promoted, and then you guys were like, oh, you need strings or something. And then I believe through Fluff, I got in contact with Tim and then got endorsement for strings. So, that's how that started, which from then we began to discuss potential signature guitars.

Evan Ball:
Hey, had you played a Majesty before?

Jared Dines:
I hadn't ever. Yeah, that was my first time. The video is still up. It's an unboxing video I found when I got it. It's still there and never played one before that. But that was actually the guitar that I used for the Stevie T Shred Wars because I got it the day before. I had to record that. And that was two years in the making, so it was perfect timing. Still my biggest Shred Wars to use that Ernie Ball Majesty. [inaudible 00:59:24]. It's been a great ride. Like I said, I came down, I wan to say a couple of years ago now to meet with Sterling and the rest of the family and go through the factory, set up the prototype.

Jared Dines:
And Sterling was like, "All right, we're going to send you home with a guitar. What do you want?" I was just like, "Okay, well, I like those colors," because there was a red Stingray, and it had silver hardware. So I was like, "Well, that red one's cool, but I like gold hardware." He said, "Okay we'll get you switched out with gold hardware." I was like, okay. "I really like that Cutlass neck though. It's nice." He's like, "We'll put the fucking Cutlass neck on there then." He calls people to come and do it. So then they set it up for me and I sat there and I played for him for a little bit. He's like, "What do you think? He's good." "Oh, cool. All right, see you later." And so then, I took it home. He kind of Frankensteined a little guitar for me there, which was pretty similar, but also quite different than the final signature that we came up with.

Evan Ball:
I dig the gold hardware too.

Jared Dines:
Oh, I love it so much. It's perfect. I play it all the time on Stream, and people always come through and just have all nice things to say about it. I think it's great.

Evan Ball:
Well, this has been great. Jared Dines, thanks for being on the podcast.

Jared Dines:
Thank you so much for having me.

Evan Ball:
Thanks for tuning in to Ernie Ball's Striking a Chord Podcast. Make sure you're following Jared Dines on social media. He's always putting out new content, and you want to stay updated on album releases, etc. If you'd like to give us a kind review on your podcast app, that would be fantastic. If you'd like to contact us, please email strikingachord@ernieball.com.

Evan Ball:
For the record, you are our most professional guest so far with your audio.

Jared Dines:
Well, thank you. I try.