Oct 22, 2013 4:14PM

Interview & Tour Diary: Splashh

By Zara Mirkin.

I remember the first time I met Sasha like it was yesterday. I can't say that about many people. He worked in a punk menswear boutique down the road from me. I guess bands like The Strokes and Libertines were real big at the time, and he totally gave off that vibe. Sasha become my sidekick pretty fast, we were inseparable - Russian and Hungarian gypsies that loved to get into trouble. Jake was my friend's teenage sweetheart; he had left NZ to move to London straight out of school with his band, The Checks. The Checks were that band that every song brings you back to some incredible awkward teenage moment of growing up. Like the first time you smoked pot, your first kiss, and your first heart break. We grew up together and I've watched them struggle musically, drift in and out of bands, flats and odd jobs – I've even seen Sasha get every single one of his past bands tattooed on him.  

 
Last year they started something fresh - a band called Splashh, made up of Kiwi’s Sasha Frantz and Jake Moore, Aussie Toto Vivian and Pom - Tom Beal. They came together by chance and now they are killing it. I think what first draws people to Splashh is their dreamy summer-like pop songs. I jumped onto the Californian leg of Splashh's USA tour; we took a bunch of photos, ate at a lot of diners, made mix tapes, thrifted and swam at beautiful beaches. Between playing pool and drinking whiskey we also had a chat.
 
Zara Mirkin: Why the name Splashh?
Toto: Splash was a favourite water park of ours growing up, plus it has a nice ring to it. The extra 'H' was to avoid a lawsuit.
 
Toto & Sasha – You guys were the two founding members of Splashh, how did it come about?
Toto: There was never a set strategy on starting Splashh, it almost just pieced itself together. I remember catching up with Sasha over New Years in 2011 when he came up to my parent's house in Byron Bay. I had a little studio setup and we started jamming some ideas for fun. Low and behold a couple of weeks later he was knocking on my door in London seeing if I was up for laying down some ideas he had. Within two weeks we had four recorded songs, came up with the band name and threw it all online! Shortly after we were offered our first show at the Garage in Islington and recruited the rest of the band - Beal & Jake, the most solid rhythm section around. When we first sat down and recorded the first batch of songs we would have never thought it would come this far. 
 
Jake – You were playing in The Checks before Splashh, How’d you end up in Splashh?
Jake: I'd been playing with The Checks for almost 10 years and things were winding up. The guys were studying and I had a job building film sets. Sasha and I had geeked out on music together for years so we chatted on Skype about his new project Splashh. We joked about how fun it would be if I moved over and joined the band so I was shocked when he said they would borrow the money to fly me over. I kinda sat on the couch with an "Am I gonna do this?" feeling. 
 
 
Jake – Growing up you guys had a real epic practice room for the Checks. Everyone would come hang there. Do you guys have something similar to that in London where you practice?
Jake: When we were 17 some local businessman gave us an abandoned warehouse/clubhouse. We painted all over the walls and decorated the place with whatever we had. Pretty loose to give kids free reign like that, but we weren't complaining. I wish we had somewhere like that in London!
 
What's the most important thing in life to you; anything you live by?
Beal: My health - my body is my temple.
Jake: Hang on to the relationships that matter! It's hard to make new old mates. That, and "Do what you do will."
 
If you could open up for any band or musician (dead or alive) who would it be?
Beal: Led Zep.
 
Biggest influences music wise?
Beal: There are quite a few, I would say bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC were bands I first got into, but then Joy Division was a big influence as well. 
Jake: My parents were born in '65, so when I was young it was early 90's stuff like The Posies, Ween, REM etc. My dad was in the Flying Nun band Goblin Mix around this time too, so there would always be musicians or instruments around the house. 
 
 
How would you describe Splashh's music and aesthetic?
Sasha: It's hard to describe. If we like it then I guess we feel others will like it.
 
Your based in London, do you have quite a big following there now?
Sasha: I guess so, I mean each time we play in London the shows get bigger and bigger. People say London audiences are boring but they seem to jump around for us.
 
Highlights so far being in Splashh?
Jake: Our first headline tour of the UK and playing with Primal Scream and The Stones.
 
What does the future hold for Splashh?
Beal: A lot more tomfoolery I reckon. We like to have as much fun as possible with whatever we are doing, what's the point otherwise? Other bands take themselves far too seriously and you never know what’s gonna happen, so you may as well enjoy yourself before it ends.
Jake: Writing more songs. Hopefully people will like it and we'll keep touring.
 
 
Photos/Words: Zara Mirkin