Ahead of the release of their second LP Waiting a Lifetime and headline show at Patterns, I caught up with Splashh frontman Sasha. After several years of touring, a brief relocation to New York and a stint of self-imposed exile to get the album written, the band recorded it at the Rare Book Room Studio in Brooklyn, working with producer Nicolas Vernhes. It sees the four-piece reach into occasionally more raucous musical territory than their slacker-rock debut, tempered by Vernhes’ dreamy production.
Can you give us a brief history of the band and how it was formed?
Toto and I met through mutual friends of ours from Australia when I took a trip to London in 2010, it wasn’t until I moved over at the start of 2012 that the band actually formed. We spent the summer in Byron Bay just before I moved over writing songs so once were together again we started to record it all at Toto’s house in London.
How would you describe your music?
I guess ambient kind of garage rock with notes of punk and lots of melody?
The new album sounds brilliant, how old are the songs and what was the recording process?
Thank you. Some of the songs or ideas for the songs can date back to just after we finished touring the first album when I went to New York and some were written just before we went into the studio to record the upcoming LP. They have seen quite a lot of changes before we got the final product on the album, we had an idea of what we wanted the songs to come out like but when we went into the studio that kind of went out the window and we started fresh on each of the tracks. We would sit down with our producer Nicholas Verhnes (Deerhunter, The War On Drugs, Animal Collective) and just listen to a track or a part of what we really vibed on and tried to achieve that same feeling with the songs.
Are you conscious of how the tracks will sound live when you’re in the studio?
Yeah of course, for us it has to be a balance, like can you chill out to this record or party to this record? I think you can do both.
The album seems to have a whole spectrum of un-relatable influences running through it, which come together brilliantly. Can you pinpoint specific ones?
Thing is, we were willing to experiment but not go too far out of what is us. Lots of different influences from Cocteau Twins, The Gun Club, The Beach Boys, Air, the list goes on. For me ‘Look Down To Turn Away’ is a particular favourite, it has this kinda ambient start and holds the tension for ages then hits this kinda Sucide / Depeche Mode outro, then we have this track that has a 'Wild Horses’ vibe (laughs).
Is there a particular process that your songwriting goes through when crafting the tracks?
Usually I will come up with some chords and a melody and we will work on it, layering it etc. Lyrics most likely will come after. It’s about getting the melody and parts in place.
What does the next 12-18 months have in store for the band?
Our new record is out on April 14th so that’s approaching at an alarming rate. We are just excited to get new music out there in the world and touring for the next few years seems like the main goal with releases of new stuff. Keeping busy.
If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to?Splashh??
Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys. He’s just a genius and I find his music so moving and pretty. Think he would be able to teach us a thing or two with crafting a song.
What music are you listening to at the moment? Are there any bands on your label that we should listen out for?
Wire, Neil Young and ‘Surf’s Up’ by The Beach Boys. Our friends from Sydney are both doing cool stuff. Au.Ra and Green Buzzard.
Is there a particular ethos that drives you as a band?
I think staying true to yourself, keeping it real and standing up for what you believe in with anything is really important.
What is your relationship with the city of Brighton?
We always have a great time in Brighton, every show we play there always seems memorable. I guess being by the ocean is always a special thing for us as it makes us feel at home. We can’t wait to get back. It’s the first date on our upcoming tour. Hopefully some faces come out to see us!