Described as ‘troubled two piece noise makers moaning about growing up,’ Splurge are a punk rock duo made up of Rob and Joe. The band recently released new single Lunatic, a heavy messy burst of hectic madness. The guitar is really heavy, drawing in alternative rock, post punk, and classic rock sounds. Joe’s vocals remind me a lot of IDLES or The Clash, with a very classic punk accented vocal. The line ‘I’m a lunatic’ is shouted throughout, with Rob’s heavy rolling drums adding to the thrashing aggression of the track. It’s a proper punk rock head banger, with really fantastically raw DIY punk elements to it. It’s blunt and abrasive, with the intensity of Joe’s guitar building up the power and forceful nature the track possesses. What I like about Lunatic is the attitude behind it- it’s a very open and blunt track, with a load of confidence and attitude behind the heaviness of the guitar and drums which crash in sync with each other. The band remind me a lot of those rough DIY punk bands such as Mummy or Pizzatramp, with a blunt punk rock sound. Recently I caught up with vocalist and guitarist Joe to chat about the new single, as well as the fluoride in our taps, worshipping shape shifting lizards, and the continuous inflation of freddo bars.
Tell me a bit about the band; how did you form and who’s in it?
Rob plays the drums and does the ‘ohhhs’ and I (Joe) play guitar and do the ‘ahhhs.’ We formed from a very drunken evening after being best mates since 2003 when I moved next door to him. We switched up instruments as I’m usually a drummer and Rob used to play bass so we thought we’d challenge ourselves. It’s punk though right?
Why did you want to be in a band?
We both played in the first ever band we were in. We were called ‘Last Minute Love,’ and back then we were the epitome of middle class punk rock. We thought we’d do SPLURGE because there ain’t no feelin’ like being on stage and playing to 10 people all with their arms crossed who are having full blown conversations in-between songs; I like to ruin their evening
Where are you from and what’s the local music scene like?
We’re originally from a small town in Hertfordshire called Berkhamsted. The scene used to be amazing. Ska punk was massive when we grew up so we used to go to local shows every month. We used to play a few of them as well. Rob moved to Brighton to continue his career in the circular meat foundation industry- he one day hopes to open his own place called ‘Bobs Burgers.’ I currently still live in Berkhamsted and work as a high end estate agent in Soho. Quite the contrast
You mention stress and mental health issues being detailed in single Lunatic. Can you elaborate on the meaning behind the track and the process of writing it?
I dreamt the melody. Woke up and played it and there was all these banger alerts going off in my head, I thought it would be the song of the year. The chorus goes “I’m a lunatic/ I’m alright” which I originally begged Rob to do in his best Axl Rose impression. Then we played it live a bit and I made up lyrics on the spot for ages because I couldn’t think of a good story and then just thought about what I hate- social situations where you’re out of your head. All the lyrics are conversations I would be having in my brain in these situations. We stopped doing all that silly shit ages ago. Glugs over drugs, keep off the grass kids. But seriously, that stuff is proper bad for you
What else influences your lyrics?
Work related issues, ex lovers, fascists, mostly I just scream about consistent inflation of freddo bars. I did actually write a post punk song about mars bar once but Rob told me it was stupid
Given the current political climate we’re in, would that be something you’d ever consider writing about/ embodying in your lyrics?
Listen, there’s fluoride in our tap water. We’ve all been brainwashed into this current state of affairs. Turn off your TV, get down a museum and learn what happened before all this bollocks. Earth is a repeating cycle. 2000 BC, the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, we worship shape shifting lizards. We’re all gonna die so just do what you fuckin want
Which musicians have influenced you growing up, and are there any key musicians who influence your music?
From a writing side, SPLURGE is influenced by grunge, punk and hardcore. Bands we would call influences are Ceremony, Melvins, Misfits, Nirvana, The Clash, Ramones and so on. From a lyrical side I love hip hop, so a lot of our verses won’t have rhyming couplets like traditional punk, I like to write verses where every line rhymes with the one before- like rappers. I also like for verses to have the exact same amount of syllables in every line when I can do it.
For example we have song called Bullfight;
It’s going in my brain”
What’s your earliest memory of music?
My mum used to play me a lot of hip hop and 60s mod as a kid. But my earliest memory of music is probably singing Hark The Herald Angel Sing in assembly in school
What’s the best gig you’ve been to?
Just before Rob moved to Brighton we were going to attend a Nirvana tribute band who have an Elvis impersonator as their front man- called Elvana. I bought the tickets, we booked it off work. That same night I contacted Elvana and asked them if they wanted a support band and the rest is history. That was the best gig I’ve ever played and been to
Who are your favourite new upcoming bands?
PINTS, Drawstring, Middle Distance, Mummy, Revenue, Who Cares?, WACO, Brunch, Consuumer, Cruelty, Chain Of Flowers- rock and roll
Tell me about SPLURGE’s upcoming plans in terms of gigging and recording
We’re releasing our new EP Mood Swings through Honeypot Records on 21st April. We want to do loads of tours and make another records. Come say hello at a show, we’re really friendly to people who say they like us