Splashh: ‘There’s Elements Of Wishful Thinking’
One part Aussie, one part English and two parts Kiwi, Splashh were a global concern before they had even played their first gig. Now they’re riding high behind their debut LP ‘Comfort’, a carefree summer album cut in a cold London bedroom. WES HOLLAND nails down talking points with bassist Thomas Beal.
They’ve been pumped up by the British press, played some of Europe’s biggest festivals and have just been booked to support The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park. That’s a pretty good effort for a band that’s only been together a year or so. It seems life’s all beer and skittles for the four dudes in Splashh.
The story goes that the band formed in Sydney when Aussie Toto Vivian started playing with Kiwi Sasha Carlson, who had played in the rather excellent Pineapple Head. The two relocated to London where they hooked up with Brit Thomas Beal. Drummer Jacob Moore was flown in from New Zealand days before their first show, and that was that.
The first release was ‘All I Wanna Do’/‘The 15th’ an exceptionally limited run cassette on Kissability that sold out straightaway. A few high-profile festival gigs in Europe followed, along together with a pair of 7”s released on Mairead Nash’s rather trendy Luv Luv Luv Luv Luv Luv Records.
The main focus for the guys, though, has been the debut LP Comfort. It’s a good record – 10 songs, pretty much all related to summer, holidays and good times. Kind of a weird notion, really, since most of it was recorded in Vivian’s bedroom in rainy ol’ East London. Still, I had 10 minutes on the phone with Beale to try and work the band out. Here are the finer points from that conversation.
People love Splashh
“We’re just happy that people like it in general really. At the start we were incredibly excited that people were playing us on the radio, writing about us and giving us all this press.”
Splashh love Death In Vegas
“We got to work with Richard Fearless just before Christmas. He came down to a show and loved our stuff so we hooked up in the studio. We’ve got all these songs we did with him just ready to go … maybe they’ll come out one day. This record is all stuff we did in Toto’s bedroom.”
Splashh have never played Australia (until now)
“This is my first time going to Australia. I’m pretty excited. The weather … the attitudes … I’m just keen to get down there and see what the boys have been banging on about all this time.”
NME named Splashh one of the “Hottest New British Bands”
“I suppose that’s because we’re based in London. NME love to make scenes. We’re not a British band. We’re from all over the place and we take influences from everywhere.”
The only rivalry more fierce than Australia and New Zealand is Australia and England
“We’ve got dudes from all those places. We’re trying to stop all that. Hands across the ocean.”
The media have been great to Splashh
“Yeah, I suppose so. Especially when we just started out, there was loads of stuff on blogs and in magazines. All sorts really. It’s important not to get too involved with that, though. You’ve just got to get on and do what you want.”
Four dudes living in cold, rainy London writing about lemonade, beaches and vacations…
“Sasha and Toto did most of the writing, really, around the time they got back from Australia – about a year ago. I suppose there’s elements of wishful thinking in those themes.”
Covering Wire on the B-side to their debut cassette
“They are a great band and ‘The 15th’ is an incredible song. I suppose it fits our aesthetic quite well. They were a massive influence on us. Classic.”
Splashh have pretty similar tastes
“We’re all into the same sort of thing. There’s elements of British bands, American bands, New Zealand bands, old and new, in our music. It’s a pretty varied spectrum. [Moore] has introduced me to a whole lot of New Zealand bands that I never would have heard of.”
New Zealand bands
“The Clean are the best. The 3Ds … they’re pretty good.”
Introducing bandmates to English culture
“Drinking. That’s the biggest part of English culture and we’ve definitely taken that one on with full force. To be honest, there’s not a lot of English culture worth introducing anyone to really. We play Ding Dong in Melbourne then Hyde Park with The Rolling Stones. Hopefully Mick might come and have a word.”
“Don’t play the wrong thing or Sasha will kill you. Live free.”
They nicked Gaz Coombes’ guitar
“We were playing a festival and Gaz from Supergrass was on after us. He was outside doing interviews and Sasha’s guitar broke. Our manager stole his guitar from his rack. I don’t know if he knows about that. I guess he does now.”
The boys miss home
“Sasha misses his mum. Toto misses his mum’s cooking. I’m only an hour away from mine so I can go home whenever I want.”
Toto is as Aussie as they come
“His lifestyle is so … Australian! I’m not having a pop at Australians but my god he is a laidback dude. He takes it easy with his blonde curly locks. I’ll see if that’s how the rest of Australia gets on…”
Music can change the world
“Kanye can change the world. Just put a bit of Kanye West on and people would stop fighting.”