God City Instruments (GCI) was founded in the summer of 2011 by Converge guitarist and God City Recording Studio owner, Kurt Ballou. It was a slow summer at the studio so he decided to fill the time by building guitars and snare drums for himself and his friends. There was some effort put into making GCI a commercial venture at that time, but a busy studio schedule got in the way. In 2016, the Brutalist Jr. DIY PCB distortion pedal was released. Initially intended to be a business card for the studio, Brutalist Jr. unexpectedly went viral, selling thousands within the first year. Now bit by the DIY bug, Kurt, with the guidance of friends like Nick Williams of Dunwich Amps, Scot DeBockler of S&K Pedals, and John Snyder of Electronic Audio Experiments, set off designing his own pedals, first the SBD Fuzz, followed shortly by the Medicine Boost and the Riffchild. Small runs of pedals were build in the basement of the studio and sold through the God City Instruments Reverb shop. Sometimes pedals were even build on Converge tours and sold that night at the merch table. In 2019 God City Instruments was formally launched as a commercial venture.