Kieran Downes


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Founder, Luthier
Company Name
Downes Guitars

Kieran Downes played piano as a child, but switched to bass in high school to play in a friend's band, and later discover his true musical passion when he picked up his brother’s guitar. While experimenting with building his own instruments at night, Kieran had an impressive educational journey that included MIT and Evergreen College as well as a gig at an advertising company for four years. These experiences may have played a role in his bold approach to designing guitars. Kieran opened his own shop in 2014 and spent a great deal of time designing the body shape, picking the woods and embracing the advantages of a headless guitar. Kieran has also designed a modular pickguard system (MPS) that allows the player to easily switch the electronics of the instrument, without the need for soldering or set-up work.