Local pro skater Donny Diederich has been a busy man since he has returned to Omaha. After opening Convicted Skateshop, Donny was nice enough to let the local punk scene use his building for punk shows in the after hours, thus creating The Hole. I caught up with Donny outside of show recently and asked if he would be nice enough to do an interview for Crucial Changes. So here it is! Enjoy!
Yo man, introduce yourself.
My name is Double D. I've been skateboarding and going to punk rock shows for 26 years. I've lived all over the US. Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, etc. I was a nomad for a good 15 years of my life. I left here when I was 14. I've come back off and on for short periods of time. This is the first time I have lived here in close to 20 years. And the idea of moving back was to help make a change, even before I moved back here. Because I know how rotten and shitty this place can be when it comes to offering anything good for our kind.
How long have you been skating?
Before I was born.
Describe a typical day-in-the-life of being a sponsored pro skater.
Wake up. Then wake up again. Get some food. Call your friends and see where the session's going to be today. Decide whether its going to be a pool, vert ramp, or street session. And then when its done, maybe have a couple brews, watch some video footage from that day, and go to sleep.
Why did you start Convicted Skate shop?
To show the local skateboarders what a real skate shop is about. And the fact that there needs to be a shop ran by somebody who actually skateboards. There's a lot of delusional people in this town. Living in a fantasy world that I feel needs to be crushed. They don't care about the average skateboarder that actually loves skateboarding for skateboarding. Because if they did, they would contribute back to skateboarding and the skateboarders who are from Omaha. Whether its somebody who owns a skateboard shop whose never skateboarded or a company who owns a chain of skateboard shops that aren't even locally owned, its a shame. And the fact that people support these places is even worse. Because the money that I make from the shop and from the Hole, I put back into it to make things better for all of us. Now if this was true of the other shops, then I would feel no need to do what I do. So, you should support what we got going because its for everyone. If you want something that we don't have, we can order it. I just decided not to carry lots of products.
What separates your skate shop from the others in town?
Because mine was started out of love and determination to change the scene in this town for the positive. And although I come off intense at times, its because I see the truth that the young kids still do not see. It sickens me to see kids come in with clothes they bought from the mall and at the same time come here and see shows. And yet, if that kind of consumerism continues then this place will cease to exist. I don't want to be just another memory. I want this place to continue for years to come so everyone can have a place to go and have a good time. And that responsibility is on every individual that comes here.
What's up with your local skate team?
There's only two people on this local skate team. Chance Arnold and Jeff Fowler. We're looking for more riders but we just want the ones who genuinely love skateboarding just for skateboarding and who will dedicate the rest of their lives to skateboarding like myself. If you can bomb 20th and Leavenworth all the way down to 13th without dragging your foot or doing a powerslide, you're on the team.
How did The Hole get started?
We started to plan the grand opening of the skateboard shop when it used to be across the street at 715 S. 16th. The grand opening was to take place in the basement of this property. Anna and I spoke of bands playing so I called Jay Bacon and when he showed up and I showed him the space, he shit his pants and totally started going off about having shows there. And that was pretty much my idea too. But he cemented the fact that it could occur and started to make phone calls to people he knew. One being Lucas from Black Heart Booking. And then just the volunteers like Janae, Earl, Aaron, Chance, Emma, etc. now its just like a dysfunctional family. And by dysfunctional, I mean just that. Yet, through all our craziness, we're still marching on through. I coined the term the Hole because someone else had come up with something else and it just didn't fit so I changed it. And of course, everyone knows about the 4ft. door that was the entry way to the basement of the previous location.
How can a local band get a show at The Hole?
They can call me at 402 590 9532. Or call the shop at 402 342 4457. Or get a hold of Janae who helps with booking for more info at 402 708 5415. She'll give you all the links.
Any local bands to be on the lookout for?
Of course, all we all know, Omaha has a mecca of underground bands at this point. On top of the head I'd say Eastern Turkish, Youth and Tear Gas, Ties, BlackHawks, Lockjaw. That's on the punkrock/hardcore side. Then you got the indie side of things. Perry H. Mathews, LadyBug, Cave Kids. Then you got hardcore/metal. Hercules, Borealis, Pontious Pilate...the list goes on and on. There's a lot of good up and coming bands. I like when there's a mix. when its not just one genre one night. Because it draws a lot of different people together on one night. And that's what this is all about.
What are your top 3 punk albums or singles all time?
J.F.A. Blatant Localism, D.R.I Dealing with it, and T.S.O.L Change Today.
Who is your 1 favorite yesteryear skater and 1 favorite current skater, and why for both?
Jeff Phillips because he's undefinable and he always took care of me before he committed suicide. I'd have to say my current favorite skaters are the Creature Team. That's because there all my brothers. We've been through the hardest of the hard times. Now they get to sit back and reap the fruits of their labors. They look out and help support Convicted Skateboard shop on a regular. Look for a demo this summer with the Creature Team.
Who is the most famous pro skater that you are/were tight friends with? Any cool/funny stories?
There's too many to name. It feels corny exploiting that edge. Plus, I've never been star struck by anyone or anything my whole life. We're all equals yet I have plenty of stories. And if you want to hear any, just pull up and ask. I'd rather tell the stories that way instead of putting anything in print.
That's it man! Thanks for the interview. Any final shout outs or rants?
Just want to thank everyone in Cordial Spew, Eastern Turkish, Ties, Blackheart Booking, and all the bands out there that keep playing and being a part of the scene for the right reasons. And all the skateboarders who dedicate their lives to skateboarding for the right reasons and who will never stop. And I also want to thank my cousin Leonard for being there for me throughout all of the ups and downs so far of the Convicted Skate shop and the Hole. And for changing his life for the better and learning to live a more positive life and having good advice for the kids. I feel that we have enough people in this town to have an all ages venue like we do. As long as people are about the right thing and support the Convicted Skate shop and the Hole. Its not asking much since the reason its there is for you.