Simon Lunche is 16 years old, from Berkeley, California. He plays the guitar and writes music. Here’s a little about his process.
How did you get started with making music?
I started playing guitar when I was 5 years old, after hearing Eric Clapton’s “The Cream of Clapton”. I heard that in the car on the way back from the Tuesday Farmer’s Market, and it made me want to play guitar. I started with classical guitar, and, you know, that was cool, that was where I got my base, but I wanted to ROCK! I was born to ROCK! I got another teacher and had that teacher for a bit, and then I met a man named Chris Solberg, and he became my teacher. He taught my band The Blondies almost everything we know. We recorded out first album produced by him, now we’re producing our own stuff, we’ve got a new album coming out in about 2 months.
What is it that you do in The Blondies? I’m definitely a leader, I write music, and I bring bits of tunes to the band. Sometimes I’ll only have a vocal or guitar part, and we’ll work it out together.
Why do you do what you do?
Quite honestly I don’t know what I’d really do without it. I continue to write songs, and I continue to play the guitar to evoke feelings, not only in others, but in myself. I feel like that’s the goal, not just with music, but almost all art, it’s about the feeling. I’m trying to take something real, out of myself, and put it into a song, put it into a musical instrument, and then play it for other people so they can hear that feeling. That’s why I do it.
How do you do what you do?
When you write music, a variety of things can happen. You can hear something in your head, and you can try and make it work on a instrument, that’s one way. You can sit down with an instrument, and you can try to come up with a chord progression.
I’ve been really thinking.. When I have a chord progression I like, there’s gotta be somewhere, buried in the chord progression, there’s gotta be a vocal melody, that fits perfectly with it. And so I’ll go through a bunch of different vocal melodies, and I’ll come up with one and record it on my voice memos on my phone, and then I’ll try and forget what it was I recorded, so I can just start completely blank again, and come up with another vocal melody, and eventually through combining.. Sometimes it just happens, and I’ll get the right one, but usually not. But through combining and trying, and trying, and trying, and continuing to clear my slate, I’ll finally come up with a vocal melody that I’m happy with. After I find it, I bring it to everyone else, and it goes from there.
How much do you write by yourself and how much is The Blondies?
It’s a group effort. I can make music by myself, anyone can music by themselves, but it’s not gonna sound the same. You might have a whole song but then someone might add ONE other chord that’s a little bit different, that makes the song 10 times better.
What influences your lyrics?
Ah Shit! Depends man. It’s not one specific thing influences every song. You want it to feel like something, so I try and put experiences into rhythmic patterns that work. That’s also a struggle. Sometimes you’re trying to take a whole big long experience that you had, and put it into one verse, or put it into one song, and you’ve only got so many lines. You’re trying to condense it down, so you have to purify it and pick… OR find a way to say the most important parts, and the most powerful, in a short space. If you say too much it’s not gonna be as powerful, and when you say too little no one is going to understand.
What artists influence your music?
OHH. Oh The Beatles! The Beatles are so wet. So wet, hella genius. They’re so genius. The Beatles, John Lennon, *I’m saying the Beatles..*
But John Lennon.
The Strokes. The Kooks. The Kinks. Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Black Keys. The Cure. Bob Dylan. Simon & Garfunkel. I mess with Dizzy Balloon hella hard, and Local Hero, and they’re both from here, and they didn’t really make it really far, but they’re hella wet, and they made some real cool shit. The Beach Boys, Nickel Creek, Broken Bells. So many people.
Where do you see your music in the next 5 years?
I see more people hearing it. That’s the goal. Make people feel something from your music. More shows being played, songs getting more popular. Because that’s Where We’re Goin, you know, and it’s all Colors, it’s a Beautiful Life that we live in, there’s all these White Girls all around us, and man, sometimes I see that Rusty sunshine, and that Green Light, and I’m just like, man. You better Stop, Stop, man….