Hi-Fives with Ben Hinz of Dwarfcraft Devices & Devi Ever Fx

This weeks subject of our Hi-Fives interview series is the man known as Aen, aka Ben Hinz of Dwarfcraft Devices and Devi Ever FX. 


Top 5 things about running your own company

  1. Not having to attend meetings - ever.
  2. Taking our dogs to work with us. If you ever get a dog hair in your pedal box, its probably because we were snuggling a mutt on the couch.
  3. Being able to tell people no instead of bending over for every request.
  4. Listening to loud music first thing in the morning, rather than sitting in silence at a desk in a sea of desks.
  5. The constant worry and stress and pressure is a major part of it, though not my favorite part, obviously.


Top 5 things that confuse people about Dwarfcraft & Devi Ever FX

  1. Devi Ever the person isn't at part of Devi Ever FX anymore. Lots of people already know that, but we find ourselves explaining it a few times a week.
  2. We are in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which is not a suburb of anything and it is not a big place. That means that we probably can’t help you set up a great big show for your band. But if you’ve toured between Minneapolis and Chicago, you’ve probably driven through!
  3. It isn’t just me (Aen) running things. If you email us, you will get a response from Louise. Emily probably built your new pedal. If you send in a repair in the last year, Kyle probably fixed it. Tom has helped me design a ton of new stuff in the last year. I couldn’t do this without the other people around me.
  4. There is no battery option and that is on purpose. You’ll have to grab one of the many (fairly inexpensive) power supplies available now.
  5. It's supposed to makes that noise, I promise. Don’t email me saying The Great Destroyer is too crazy. If it is called The Great Destroyer, you should heed that warning.  


Top 5 non guitar users of Dwarfcraft pedals

  1. Paul Birken (The Tone Wrecker)
  2. Brian Cook (Russian Circles)
  3. Kid Koala (solo, Deltron 3030)
  4. Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta, Pedals and Effects)
  5. Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails) 


Top 5 things people don’t know about your company

This is a tough question. We have been around for a while, so most of the important information on our company is out there in some form or another, but I’ll give it a go.

  1. We have 50% female staff and ownership and almost always have.
  2. All our designs are reverse engineered from tablets left behind by alien visitors.
  3. We have a stereo in the main building room and we all have one permanent veto - Emily’s is Beyonce, Louise’s is Metallica, mine is Tears for Fears. We all agree on no banjos or ukuleles ever no matter what, so no one has to waste a veto on that crap.
  4. We hate all IPA beers. They taste like soap and perfume. It is pretty much the only beer that isn’t allowed in the fridge.
  5. I’m never high in my demo videos, I swear. That is just how my brain works sober.


Top 5 truckstop purchases

  1. Monster Energy Drinks
  2. Novelty license plate magnets
  3. Beef Jerky
  4. iPhone cables, because mine always get lost or broken on a road trip
  5. The worst music ever collected onto two compact discs (specifics are dependent on the geographic location of the truck stop).


Top 5 places/things to do and claim as “work”

  1. The best part of this job is going to see live music and calling it work.
  2. Buying new instruments and gear is a pretty big perk. I try to test our prototypes with amazing new gear because that is how I play music in real life. We also have the added bonus of trading with other builders, so that’s pretty cool.
  3. I have been known to spend some time promoting a local show during business hours.
  4. We take all of our employees out for a birthday lunch, which usually includes a bunch of beer and good food. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
  5. One time, we accidentally bought half of Deltron 3030 dinner and drinks. As far as our bookkeeper is concerned, it was a work expense.


Top 5 riffs for testing pedals

  1. Dopesmoker by Sleep
  2. No Quarter - Led Zeppelin
  3. Set The Controls for the Heart Of The Sun - Pink Floyd
  4. Ghost Bike - The Ronald Raygun
  5. West - The Ronald Raygun


Top 5 reasons to call in sick

We only call it a sick day if we're actually sick! But really, we take a day off when we need one and expect our builders to do the same. Sometimes you just need a day to go on an adventure. So, the top 5 reasons to take a day off:

  1. Live music! Sometimes a show is a few hours away and sometimes it is a 6 hour drive. Totally worth a half day.
  2. I love to take Fridays off and take the family to our cabin in northern Wisconsin.
  3. Life is too short to work on your birthday.
  4. My wife takes days during the summer off to garden.
  5. I will always bail on work if old friends come into town.


Top 5 albums we should know (but probably don’t)

  1. Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis
  2. Jon Mueller - Death Blues
  3. Northless - Clandestine Abuse
  4. Latin Playboys
  5. Tera Melos - X’d Out


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