My obsession with Illinois-based DeMont guitars began late last year when I reviewed their Goldfinch electric guitar. This custom-designed and USA-built six string was small and light, but packed a monstrous punch. Now, Nate DeMont, the man behind DeMont guitars is planning even bigger things for DeMont’s line of offerings, as well as a few familiar brands some of you may have heard of…
Fortunately for us, Nate sat down to answer a few questions about what we can all expect to see coming DeMont headquarters in the coming months and year!
Matt: What inspired you to start building your own guitars? What was the first guitar you ever assembled or built and did it come out great on the first try?
When I was 14 I walked into Rick Cremer’s “Cremer Guitar Werks” in Aurora, IL, which has since moved locations. He had a small little shop that was fantastic, and did repair and custom work. I love it!The first guitar I build was a strat style multi-piece solid OAK body that I got as scraps from our wood-shop program in Highschool. I was a senior at Oswego, OHS, in Illinois with the best wood-working program at the time. I had been building a lot of furniture, but wanted to try a guitar. The neck I did not build, but took from an old washburn lyon, and reshaped and painted it. I didn’t know a thing about wiring so I hired Cremer to wire it. I really didn’t know about building guitars, but it actually worked pretty well and I used it on several recordings in college!
Matt: With any of your current or future guitar models, what is one distinct goal you hope to accomplish? Are you trying to leave a specific impact on the guitar?
We are now making both Guyatone and DeMont brand guitars. Likewise, we hope to re-introduce Kent model guitars. Guyatone instruments will be based off of vintage designs, but new models. Currently we are working on the S7, E5, and G3. The G3 will be the most innovative and highest end, and we have come up with new construction to make a semi-hollow electric guitar. We are in the processes of milling some of our own hardware for these instruments as well. The goal is to be as unique as possible, while still paying respect to the vintage models. The DeMont brand guitars will focus more on the unique and interesting cuts of wood we get locally. Most all our lumber is milled and dried by ourselves here outside of Chicago. Each DeMont Guitars, even though it may be the same model, is made as it’s own instrument out of different combinations of materials to compliment and highlight the best aspects. These are more of a ‘player’ that follows in the foot-steps of old USA brands like Harmony, Kay, Valco, etc…
We are working on one new DeMont model electric guitar and continue to produce DeMont Goldfinch models as well.
Matt: What is your favorite thing about the amazing DeMont Goldfinch model that I was lucky enough to review last year?
That we were able to make it! It is our first production-model guitar. Before this, all were one-offs, or custom shop. It’s a steep learning curve to produce the same style instrument, but each one seems to get better and give us new ideas. I especially like choosing the neck wood, since I feel that relevant properties often get overlooked on many mass-produced instruments. Since we mill our own lumber, we are able to use the exact cuts we want.
Matt: If any famous musician could walk into your shop, purchase one of your guitars and tour the world with it, who would you want it to be?
Sufjan Stevens – I love his music, and he seems like a great guy. I don’t mind so much how famous someone is as much as I like how nice and friendly they are….although fame does help promote our instruments! Ted Nugent just showed up on a livestream sitting next to a DeMont Goldfinch which was pretty awesome.