The Process of Simon Lunche



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….



As a photographer, do I experience the moment?



A friend of mine asked me the other day what goes through my head when I take a photo. Am I experiencing the moment, or am I caught up in thoughts about how to take a photo?

It’s a very good question, and I’m sure every person who takes photos has a different opinion.

I believe it largely depends on the skill of the photographer, and how in tune to his or her environment they are while photographing.


Lets’s say a beginner/intermediate photographer is shooting photos of his friend’s band. He’s not that good yet, and he’s not that fluid with his camera. BUT since he is still new to taking photos, he is in flow, experiencing the moment. Because he is enthusiastic about learning, and is pushing his knowledge of his camera.

A more advanced/ professional photographer shoots photos of his friend’s band. His keen intuition of the performance, and his fluid and complete knowledge of his camera, allows him to be completely present and experience the moment with the camera as just a frame he experiences it through.

On the contrary, if the professional decides to take a better or more complicated photo, and goes through a whole range of compositional tools in his head in order to do so, he may get too caught up and forget the moment. If the beginner gets too distracted by a too complicated camera, he too will lose the moment.

It goes without saying that the best art would come from individuals engaged in flow aka “Optimal Experience”. The question is whether or not individuals should sacrifice the present experiencing of the moment for a possibly better image.


Which leads to the idea of being a conduit.

Chaz Bundwick of Toro y Moi finishes two songs off his new album.

Chaz Bundwick of Toro y Moi finishes two songs off his new album.