Photograph by Mila King
In the entire student body of Berkeley High School (BHS), there are hundreds of musical artists. They range from people who mix their own beats, to others who play the cello and trombone. Within those musical artists, there are those that have chosen to create music together. One of these bands is SAME, a band of four juniors: Bodhi Lucero on bass, Georgia Manue on guitar and vocals, Ikaika Gunderson also on guitar and vocals, and Dash Gospose on drums. Their manager is Ligaya Chinn.
SAME gets its name from the band’s self proclaimed “edgy phase” in middle school, where they first decided the band would be called “S.A.M.E” which stood for “something and maybe everything,” but over time the name has become simply “SAME.” The band has been together since middle school, and is the last surviving band of several that all started at the same time at Willard Middle School. “We wanted to do something real,” said Lucero, talking about the death of other middle school bands.
Every member of the band has been playing instruments in some way or another for nearly a decade; they say it was only natural that the band came together so perfectly. SAME isn’t the only musical outlet for each musician, some play in the orchestra, jazz band, or their local church.
Recently the band had a rise in popularity. On Halloween, they played their first gig in the backyard of one of their houses. It was a mishmash of all different kinds of BHS; skaters, jazz members, theater kids, dancers, seniors, and anyone else who wanted to have some fun in costumes on a Wednesday night.
The concert was a collaborative show between SAME and Desmond “Lil Shlurp Shlurp” O’Shea, a BHS rapper. The concert was “the first [show] where the music was the focus,” as Lucero said, since the band had previously played at Parent Teacher Association meetings and farmer’s markets. However, shows like this are “mostly about making money,” according to Chinalo.
Every member agreed the Halloween concert was a complete success. At the Halloween show, the backyard was packed with teenagers, all dancing so hard they looked like they were standing in a huge cloud of smoke, but was actually a dust cloud forming from the ground where they jumped.
To organize events like this, the band needs to have a clear head on its shoulders, which is where Chinalo comes in. Chinalo makes sure the band can all come to the bi-weekly practices, that everyone is on top of their work, and that they are doing their part for the band.
It isn’t too hard to make sure that everyone is able to meet for practice since the band hangs out with each other every day of the week, they are each other’s closest friends. When everyone got jobs, they all knew to make sure their schedules allowed for their rehearsals, and Lucero said that when they even go two days without seeing each other it “feels weird.”
SAME isn’t content with their current place in life. They want to do bigger and better things together past high school. When asked if music is what they want to do with their lives, there was a resounding “yes” heard around the table.
What started off as middle school fun is now their futures, and they are incredibly excited for that. They are all aware that college is in the future for all of them, “we are obligated to go to college,” per the insistence of their parents, but the band has begun to look at cities like Los Angeles and Portland as places to go to school, and places to jumpstart their professional career as a band. When Gunderson expressed her worries about somewhere cold like Portland, she was told to “wear a sweater.”
SAME is an excellent band, with no single genre attached to it. Their sound is an amalgamation of pop, indie, and rock, but they are still developing their craft. “Stay on the lookout,” said drummer Gospose.