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The Big Splash

Big Splash.PeppersThe Big Splash 2014 Grand Final happens this Saturday, August 9, at The Bakery with Dream Rimmy, Hideous Sun Demon, Pat Chow and Kitchen People, plus MC Magnus and after-party guests, Old Blood. BOB GORDON taught the bands to play (dress-ups). Last year the X-Press front cover for The Big Splash competition saw members of Scalphunter, These Winter Nights, The Dianas and Apache take a mid-winter dip in the diving pool at Beatty Park Leisure Centre.

It was cold and cruel, but we were recreating Nirvana’s Nevermind cover after all.
This year, we removed all risk of influenza and had our finalists get their Beatles on for a Sunday morning photo shoot, coming together as Sgt Pepper’s Lovely Big Splash Band. Why? Because Big Splash and The Beatles, okay?

Ali Flintoff (Dream Rimmy), Vin Buchanan-Simpson (Hideous Sun Demon), Jake Suriano (Kitchen People) and Ben Protasiewicz (Pat Chow) are ‘John’, ‘Ringo’, ‘Paul’ and ‘George’, respectively. The other folks in there are a mash-up of icons and faves from Perth and elsewhere.

The Grand Final at The Bakery this Saturday will see these four bands play for the chance to win the first place prize of $10,000 cash; second place receives $2,000 worth of audio recording, video production, photo shoot and private function (hold private gig up to 70 guests) courtesy of Yo Yo Studios; third place gets $1,000 worth of goods thanks to Kosmic Sound. There’s also the Enchantment Award, chosen from all 32 bands that made it to the heats, the winner of which will perform at The Beaufort Street Festival, courtesy of Jump Climb.

Given the quality of the heats and semi-finals, the Grand Final should be a real treat for Perth music lovers. Tickets are $20 available from nowbaking.com.au or at the door from 8pm.

 

HIDEOUS SUN DEMON 

Vin Buchanan-Simpson, vocals/guitar

How would you describe your Big Splash experience to this point?

I’ve had a fun time. Getting to the finals is kind of surreal, really did not expect it and we’re all pretty humbled. Magnus is an amazing MC and a real nice guy. Also Maria is easily the best host I’ve ever met. Generally everyone’s been pretty supportive of each other which is nice.

Competitions can sometimes bring out nasty things in people, but with this one everyone I’ve met has been real cool. Andrew and Maria obviously put a lot of effort into every aspect of this whole thing.

Have you discovered any bands that you particularly like?

I hadn’t seen Old Blood live until last week at the semi and they were unreal. Tony can work a crowd so well. The whole band’s presence and playing ability is formidable, those boys are gonna do some good things. Junkadelic were an experience as well. I dig the whole swamp jazz thing. Big Energy. Girl Heroin – who I believe might have changed their name recently – were also very cool. Go team.

Did you enjoy being a Sgt Pepper’s-era Beatle for the photo shoot?

I have to admit I’ve never actually listened to the Sgt. Pepper album. I’ll probably cop a lot of flak for that. I don’t think the frontman of Kitchen People has either, to be honest. But we had a good time. I was dressed as Ringo and he was always the lady-killer so I did feel pretty sexy and tough. Bob did a good job on the hats, that’s for sure. And Maria’s apartment is such a nice place to visit.

How have others described your music? How do you describe it?

I know people have compared us to the Dead Kennedy’s a lot, which is kind of odd because I’ve never really listened to much of them. I think I see where they’re coming from, though. There is a pretty punky energy throughout our music. Everyone in the band has pretty varied tastes, Jake and I have always been post punk fans which is where I think our sound came from, but Andy brought a real heavy edge to it, and Blake brings a groovy element as well. A lot of our songwriting so far has evolved from jams as opposed to one member bringing a whole song, which means all our influences get to come through a bit more. But there’s definitely a collective appreciation of garage and post-punk and kraut and all that good stuff.

If your band wins the $10,000 prize what will you do with it?

We’re ready to master our LP, Sweat, which we’ve been working on for a while now. So if we were to win the big main prize, we’d be able to finance the mastering, CD and vinyl printing, shipping, promoting, all that shit. From there we could either tour or put it towards another recording, or both. 10k is a lot of gravy.

 

KITCHEN PEOPLE

Jake Suriano, vocals/guitar

How would you describe your Big Splash experience to this point? 

Very interesting. I guess I have low band esteem so I was fairly opposed to being entered, but was ousted out on this one. Mainly because we didn’t practice regularly and had played less than 10 shows, I didn’t think we where ready. Somehow we have made it to the final and every time we’ve made it through we’ve all been pretty shocked. Especially considering how talented a lot of the players have been in the comp. It’s been a pleasant surprise and has definitely kicked us more into gear, as well as changing my view of the band as ‘just a side project’. Getting to watch Magnus entertain regularly and giving Matty Sav (Big Splash team member) a tour of our Hamilton Hill ‘mansion’ have been highlights!

Have you discovered any bands that you particularly like? 

This one’s tough as I’m mates with a few of the bands I really enjoyed playing with and watching, such as PUCK and Silver Hills. That being said, some bands I didn’t know who I’ve enjoyed in the comp are Sprawl, Old Blood and Stu Orchard.

Did you enjoy being a Sgt Pepper’s-era Beatle for the photo shoot? 

To be honest I was dreading it leading up. I already have a daggy DIY bowl cut and have never really vibed the Beatles that much. I remember buying the album from Sanity in my youth for $30 and I believe it may be one of the few albums my mother owns… a bad sign.

All that trademark negativity aside, it was actually quite fun on the day and I loosened up as the shoot went on. Despite feeling a little silly everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Props to the photographer’s attention to detail regarding imitating the body language in the original Beatles photos. I was pretty hungover but free muffins and tea hopefully made me look more alive. I was promised that post-production would fix my hair and fingers crossed I don’t look like a total gronk in the final product!

How have others described your music? How do you describe it? 

These are all things people have said: ‘started kind of shit and then picked up as it went on’, ‘songwriting as the focus. Very fun band.’ ‘Even though they weren’t the best players’, ‘singer was singing in what appeared to be his own accent,’ ‘hi-tempo skuzzy-&-dangerous 60’s-garage cake’.

Musically, I like to think we are influenced by ‘60s garage and ‘70s punk. We have all been playing together for quite some years so we have good chemistry. The songs are hopefully strong enough to pull through despite an often sloppy delivery. Tom is an ‘all killer, no filler’ human drum machine. Vin channels ghosts of WAAPA long past to shred bass and disturbingly thrust/crab walk around stage. I try to write pop songs but can’t really sing, mainly strum chords and occasionally bust out dinky improv freakout solos.

If your band wins the $10,000 prize what will you do with it? 

This is another toughie, as we really enjoy DIY recording at home. However, we still haven’t put out any physical releases and are putting the touches on a recently recorded EP. We would prefer to put out releases on vinyl, which can be expensive so it would go a long way. We have a lot of material so I’d love to get a prolific work ethic and pump it out. If any money was left over I guess some Melbourne shows wouldn’t be out of the question?

 

DREAM RIMMY 

Ali Flintoff, vocals/guitar

How would you describe your Big Splash experience to this point?

My Big Splash experience has been mostly just full of surprise seeing as though I didn’t think we’d even get through the first heat let alone get through to the grand final! It’s been real fun and I’ve met some awesome people. Seeing old mate Magnus every week is probably the best part. Sushi at Maria Florides’ place comes a close second.

Have you discovered any bands that you particularly like?

The only band that I haven’t seen before that I really liked was World-A-Fuzzy. They were in our heat at The Bird and they were so energetic and had such a killer sound. Besides that I’ve always loved Silver Hills, PUCK, Kitchen People and hot girls, Hideous Sun Demon.

Did you enjoy being a Sgt Pepper’s-era Beatle for the photo shoot?

Despite most of us being up on around one-or-two-minutes of sleep it was actually quite fun. The best part was seeing punk boys Vin, Jake and Ben dressed up in pretty, bright and shiny colours. They didn’t want to take their costumes off and they tried to leave with them because they felt so beautiful. It was really awkward. Maria had to wrestle them until they gave up their outfits. Broken dreams all round. Maria wins again.

How have others described your music? How do you describe it?

People always tell me what bands we remind them of and it’s really cool ‘cause I’ve discovered so many bands just from people telling me what bands we sound like. We got described as psyche-gaze which I think is a pretty good representation of the music. But all we want to be is the Backstreet Boys but no one understands. Dream Rimmy’s Back Alright! 

If your band wins the $10,000 prize what will you do with it?

We will finish off mixing and mastering our EP, Pacific Rim. Get it printed, then probably save the rest for touring in the future, I guess. We haven’t really spoken about it in depth because we didn’t think we’d come this far so I just presume this is what we would do. We’d probably also buy lots of puff vests for George and some burritos for Vin.

 

PAT CHOW 

Ben Protasiewicz, vocals/guitar

How would you describe your Big Splash experience to this point?

It’s been weird and cool. You get nervous playing to other bands’ fans who’ve come to see their favourite band win. It’s cool to play to all these new people who may not have come see us otherwise

Have you discovered any bands that you particularly like?

Ice Age Sugar were really good at the heat at Mojos, they had some well written pop songs and a good drummer. I hadn’t seen Hideous Sun Demon before the semi, just heard recordings and their live show is awesome.

Did you enjoy being a Sgt Pepper’s-era Beatle for the photo shoot?

Yeah, I got to be George! Vince looked hell cute in the pink jacket. The matching red sunnies to my jacket were sick. I wish I could have kept them!

How have others described your music? How do you describe it?

People compare us to all kinds of bands from the ‘90s. We do take influence from a lot of bands from that era. I usually just say we play alternative rock.

If your band wins the $10,000 prize what will you do with it?

We’d put the 10k into touring and promoting this album we’re doing. It’d be sick.