We had the good fortune of connecting with Benjamin Lechuga and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Benjamin, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is everything in progressive music. I’m lucky enough to be part of a musical movement that appreciates risks and new sounds. Progressive rock is all about that. I’ve learnt the hard way, that the more lost I feel when writing and the more I experiment with new ideas, the better the results are. In life it has been the same. Taking risks have ALWAYS ended up in a positive change. I remember back in 2015, before moving to Los Angeles, when I was still living in Chile, I decided to travel to Europe with my guitar on my back and visit the music festivals I liked the most, to show my work. I ended up meeting amazing people that appreciated my music, and I was booked in Europe for the next 3 years in a row. It would have never happened without that first risk. I started realizing that if you believe in what you do and you trust your gut, risk are always worth taking.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Many people know me as a guitarist, but I identify as a composer better. I love writing music, regardless of the style. I’ve written music for many different projects from Pop to Metal, hip-hop and orchestral, but I’m specially proud about my latest work as a solo artist. We just released the single and video Lechuga – Spiral Clock under IGED Records, distributed by Warner Music. It’s the most sincere form of music I can express and I’m so proud of it. It’s available on all streaming platforms and YouTube. But it was not easy getting where I am today. Being good at your craft and having a unique voice is not enough, it’s just the starting point. I think the key for independent musicians now a days is being self-sufficient. Your online presence is so important right now, (specially after COVID) and if you don’t know how to record yourself, shoot videos, create content and identifying where your audience is and how to reach it, it’s almost impossible to break through the information overload era we are living in. During my career I’ve seen a lot if changes in the music industry. Our first album with Delta was released on 2003. Before Youtube and way before the Spotify era and the important thing is to understand that changes will happen regardless and the ones that adapt have a better chance of surviving. COVID was another big change and we’re still learning how to deal with that. I would love for everyone to know how much hard work there is behind every work I (and many other artists) release, It takes them less than 5 minutes to see or listen to the final product, but there are so many hours, even years, of work behind that, and I think if people understood that better, there would be no internet trolling, hahaha. I see myself as a musician that feels free to express himself without any fears of being judged and that’s the message I want to share. Be yourself, enjoy what you do and be proud of yourself. If you believe in yourself, someone else will.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big geek for music and food! So every time a friend visits me in Los Angeles, I take them to Amoeba Music in Hollywood before dinner! There’s always so much fun stuff to look at. I’m a CD collector myself. After that, Korean BBQ in Korea Town is a must. I love steak, and much better if it’s all you can eat! I also love spending a day at the beach. Manhattan beach has become one of my favorites. It’s nice and calm and of course, every time I go there, I get a burger at Uncle Bill’s Pancacke House. Unbelievably good. If you are a fool for cars and movies, the Petersen Automotive Museum is so cool. You can then walk to Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and 3rd and get a pastrami sandwich at Phil’s Deli and Grill and of course after that a glazed donut at Bob’s Coffee $ Doughnuts. Of course I miss the live shows before COVID. Sunset Blvd was always the place to go for some drinks and live music. The Whiskey a Go Go, the Viper Room and The Rainbow are always good options, but the Comedy Store is a very cool alternative if you like stand up comedy. (who doesn’t?) This are just a few places, and there are so many more I don’t even know! It’s impossible to get bored in LA. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I will never have enough words to describe what my mentors have meant to me. I grew up with many amazing examples in my family, friends and colleagues, but there’s a special place for my music teachers. I want to mention someone in particular who deserves credit and recognition in my story. Alejandro Silva is a very well known guitarist in Chile, and he was my guitar teacher when I was 13-16 years old. He taught me (maybe without even noticing) that if you blend passion and hard work, there’s no unreachable objective. As far and difficult as your goal may seem, there’s always a way to break it into smaller, and more reachable short term goals that will help you find the way towards your big plan. It’s all about knowing what you want and going one step at a time.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2SDcND6iKTDeQtHYV7OmoB?si=d3Nn84G1QImmXzKk6iHWNg My New single “Spiral Clock” Across different streaming services: wmgchile.lnk.to/SpiralClockLechugaPR
Photos by Felix Martin, Claudio Poblete, Rodrigo Cartagena, Sebastián Dominguez