He be jammin’
PV senior creates original music in his free time and at his internship
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The humming of the strings echoed throughout the gym. The movement of his fingers were lightning.
Jaclyn Spellman’s voice rang throughout the gym as the music escaped from Jeremy Gunther’s guitar.
Gunther is a senior at Pascack Valley and his life revolves around rock music. He has played guitar nearly his whole life and performed at various school and community functions. Gunther also made a few appearances at the Mexicali Live in Teaneck and dreams about having a musical career in his future.
One of his performances at PV was the aforementioned Valley Cup duet with Jaclyn Spellman. The two joined forces on the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” on March 24 of last year.
“(Spellman is) wonderful,” Gunther said. “I really respect her. Jaclyn has a great and powerful voice.”
PV placed Gunther in an internship this year at Universal Music Studios in Hackensack. He spends his afternoon there learning more about the production side of music and has the opportunity to write music as well.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven pic.twitter.com/i6hwaQYmx7
— Gunther’s Jams (@gunthers_jams) November 6, 2015
Gunther created the Twitter handle Gunther’s Jams in September of 2015 to showcase his talents by sharing video clips of himself playing songs that others might not be familiar with, but he has since migrated to other online platforms.
“I chose a few deep tracks that nobody knows, like Van Halen’s ‘Light Up the Sky‘. That was one of the cool things about (Gunther’s Jam’s) to me,” he said. “I got to almost expose great, less-popular songs to people. I don’t really keep up with it anymore, my main thing is Soundcloud now.”
Gunther recently came out with a new single called “I Can Be Your Man.” The inspiration behind this song is his internship. The song features Gunther, R&B singer Eric Lee, and rap beat creator Ryan White. Their mentor is an accomplished sound engineer and producer named Andre Betts.
“Dre always lets us work on music together because it lets us learn more about different music styles and the songwriting process in general,” Gunther said. “Between the three of us, it was a mixture of styles with no rules for what belongs in the music. We tried to do a song that sounds like R. Kelly featuring Eddie Van Halen, and I think the result was great.”
There was some trial and error in recording the song. One of the struggles was trying to work the guitar parts smoothly into the vibe of the song. Gunther is used to playing hard rock which is played with energy and flash, but for the song, he had to play slowly, soulfully, and melodically.
“I compare some of the leads (on “I Can Be Your Man”) to something you would hear on an 80s power ballad, like ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn‘ (by Poison),” Gunther said. “We also had to get the right sound for the guitar. I had nice distortion, and reverb to make the guitar sound distant, almost lonely.
“I’m proud of that guitar work. The lyrics came almost naturally, because Eric is great at writing love songs. Very nice voice, too. After a few days, it just worked. There are more songs coming from Eric and I later on this year for sure.”
“It’s my life,” he said. “It’s the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Down by the River- Original jam that i wrote pic.twitter.com/A6t4hKZuEN
— Gunther’s Jams (@gunthers_jams) October 12, 2015
Gunther cites artists such as Van Halen, Vito Bratta, and Bon Jovi as his greater influences. Gunther’s father is also a main inspiration for his music and points to a pivotal concert his father took him to when he was in seventh grade as a turning point for him.
“My dad was really the one who got me into rock and roll music,” Gunther said. “When I was younger, he took me to my first real concert which was Judas Priest. That really inspired me into playing guitar, and we still go to shows to this day. He was vital to my musical influence.”
Gunther has been playing guitar since the fifth grade and took lessons for two years. After a couple of years, he lost interest and stopped but started back up again in eighth grade, teaching himself rather than taking lessons.