The Blondies are five teenage boys from Berkeley and Oakland, ages 14 to 17. They are the youngest band to be named Gibson artists and recognized by BAM magazine for their incredible performance energy and original songs. Their harmonies and instrumental prowess are way beyond their years. The band consists of Simon Lunche (lead vocals and guitar), Frank Klopotowski (bass and vocals), Zak Meghrouni-Brown (lead guitar and vocals), Paul Davis (drums and vocals), and Jerry Feist (keyboards and vocals). They attend Berkeley High, Oakland Tech, and Head Royce.
They did a recent Q&A for Berkeleyside:
How did you meet and start your band?
We met through Bandworks, a band camp in Oakland, about six years ago. At that time we had a different bassist. After playing together for about six months, we took a short break and when we got back together our bassist decided not to continue. That’s when we brought Frank in, who Simon also knew from Bandworks. Some of us were already taking guitar lessons from Chris Solberg, formerly of Santana, so we decided to have Chris coach us.
How did you come up with your band name, The Blondies?
When we first started, several of us bleached our hair, so we called ourselves The Artificial Blondies. As we got older, we stopped bleaching and considered other names, but everyone knew us as The Blondies, so we just dropped the Artificial.
How often do you practice together?
Generally we rehearse as a band once a week. Some of us get together more often to rehearse our specific parts or work out a new song. If we have a show or recording session coming up we’ll get together about five times a week.
Do you find it difficult balancing music with your schoolwork?
No, we all have lots of other interests and really enjoy our music. Generally it all gets done. When we have finals we skip a practice session.
How would you describe your music?
Progressive post alternative retro rock core. It’s darn tootin’ good! Our music has been described by BAM Magazine as being a mixture of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Black Keys. It’s more of a classic rock style. If you have heard and like our EP but hope for a bit more sophistication, our LP will blow your mind!
What venues have you played?
We have played The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, The Kensington Pub, The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, the Stand Down at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, several benefit concerts, and street fairs (Solano Stroll, Temescal Fair, Chocolate and Chalk Festival, Rockridge Out and About). We really enjoy The Freight & Salvage because the acoustics are amazing.
What are your aspirations for the future?
Our first priority is to raise the money to finish our LP. It has all of our new material on it. We have a Kickstarter campaign right now to help finish our recording. We’re giving several prizes, like free downloads of our new LP, concert tickets, and private concerts for various levels of donations. We have reached 57% of our goal, but need to get to the required 100% by April 4 in order to be funded. We’re also excited about booking our summer tour, starting in San Diego and working our way up the coast of California. Other than that, Frank wants to buy a house in Tuscany, Paul wants to be the first white male president, and Zak wants to live in a self-built cabin in the woods in the company of wolves.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
We’re motivated, devoted to our music, and we want to share it. Our dream is to play live and make people feel good.