Spotlight: Lachlan Simpson of Dear Seattle

Dear Seattle
(Image credit: Maclay Heriot)

LACHLAN SIMPSON

HAILS FROM: Warrang/Sydney, NSW
PLAYS IN: Dear Seattle
SOUNDS LIKE: Sun-kissed indie for road-trip playlists
LATEST DROP: Someday (LP out now via Domestic La La)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My current go-to guitar is my Hagstrom Viking semi-hollow. I alternate between that, my Fender HSS Stratocaster and my Squier J Mascis signature Jazzmaster for our live shows. I came across the Hagstrom by chance at the Swop Shop in Melbourne, and it caught my eye instantly. It’s a cool gold color and it plays smooth as butter. 

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
I think my love of guitar came from early exposure to punk music, which almost exclusively came from the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks. From there I would obsessively search online for new bands to jump onto, and I just never stopped. My mum bought me my first guitar from a local music shop. It was one of those beginner kits that comes with a cheap Strat rip-off and a tiny practice amp, but it was perfect. Unfortunately for everyone within earshot, I had also bought a Boss Metal Zone pedal.

What inspires you as a player?
J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. is a massive influence on my style and what I try to bring to Dear Seattle. The way he blends fuzz with cranked Marshalls is awesome. Also the guitar work from the band Title Fight is a huge inspiration for me. The way they implement hammer-ons and interesting chords in lieu of powerchords definitely shows up in my playing.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
I have always tried to keep my rig pretty simple in terms of gear. Until very recently I was running my guitar into a Lehle ABY Switcher, which ran into a Marshall JCM800 and a Fender Twin Reverb. In terms of pedals I was running an Ibanez TS9 tube screamer, a TC Hall Of Fame reverb and a Boss DD-7 delay. 

This was all working great, but due to the unreliability and cost of some hire amps, we’ve recently moved to the Line 6 Helix. That allows us and our sound guy to really dial in tones, and gives us freedom to explore sounds without the need to buy pedals. Ultimately I’d love to find the perfect amp to tour with, but for now the Helix Floor is working great.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
I would love to get my hands on a ‘70s Hiwatt Custom 100, and I would love to have a vintage Les Paul… I might need to win the Lotto to fund this dream.

What would your signature model look like?
I love unusual offset shapes in guitars. I would have to go for a Gibson Firebird-style body with a Fender Starcaster-style neck. I would go with a P-90 in the bridge, a single coil in the middle, and a Tele-style pickup in the neck. 

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
I would love to teach Jimi Hendrix how to play ‘Party In The USA’ by Miley Cyrus.

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Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…