After falling in love with music and song all over again due to The Splatter Pattern‘s latest album “While We Were Making Plans”…we are more than thrilled to sit down and chat with the amazing musical duo…we have so much to ask about…let’s waste no time…
- So let’s start first introductions, and tell us how you managed to make music together!
Dave: Bill and I met during a 4 year stint with a KC band called Broken Arrows. It was a power pop band that also featured some Americana rock in the vein of Neil Young and others. After the band split up, we decided to keep going with the bass player John Chevalier. When the pandemic struck, we had gigs scheduled but everyone knows what happened next. John decided he wanted to leave and it was down to Bill and I to move forward with creating something different than what we had done in the past, no limitations, just a create as we went exercise.
Bill: Dave and I played in a couple of bands together before starting The Splatter Pattern, principally an Americana/Power Pop group called Broken Arrows. When Broken Arrows decided to, er, break up, Dave and I were keen to create a recording collective where we could do whatever we wanted—disregard formats, make music that interested/engaged us. Basically, I guess we wanted to be a little self-indulgent. A third member of Broken Arrows called John Chevalier was originally involved, too, but John decided to concentrate on gigging, so he dropped out. You can hear John playing the sax solo on “Siblings” and he had a hand in writing “Forward and Back”.
- I can’t wait to ask you this…what’s your creative workflow? how to reach the point of making the kind of music that you do? it’s quite magical, so how do you do it?
Bill: It all starts with Dave. He’s a great sound engineer—patient, knowledgeable and creative which allowed us to use our imagination when working up the music. I think the songwriting on “While We Were Making Plans” is pretty close to 50/50, with each of us occasionally adding a lyric or two, or maybe a bridge idea, to the other’s song. The songs themselves just sort of came out of us, at least on a basic level, and we allowed ourselves the time and space to try a lot of things. It’s a fun process!
Dave: Well, each of us basically wrote 5 of the 10 songs on the CD with some co-writing credits involved on specific parts of those songs. The creation process was a little different on each song really. Ideas for the different parts were exchanged all through the process. “Maybe some horns here” or “how about some tabla here” or “I’d like this part to grow from here thru the finale”. Because we could do it all in my studio, extensive planning wasn’t necessary, it was very organic and creative once we got thru the basic song construction.
- …speaking of the creative workflow…who plays what exactly? you’re just 2 but you sound like an army!
Dave: Bill is blessed with being talented on a number of instruments. It’s him on most of the guitars and piano, organ, bass and synths. I played the drums, most of the percussion, some guitars and synths while recording mixing and mastering the project. Bill’s vocals are featured on 6 of the songs, mine on 3.
Bill: Thank you! Dave plays all of the drum parts and the vast majority of the percussion instruments, as well as some rhythm guitar and some great synthesizer stuff. I play the majority of the guitars, bass, piano and organ, and the keyboard-based brass/strings, etc. We both sing on the tracks—Dave’s voice being the one with so much character, like that on “The Space Between the Seconds,” and mine being the higher voice. As an example, I sing “The Wheel”…and the Choir From Hell bit on “The Sink”. LOL
- …and for the lyrics, who writes it? and how do you choose your topics? especially that your music is very unique in its nature…do you write the lyrics first or the music first?
Dave: I was the primary lyricist on 5 of the songs, Bill wrote the middle piece on Giants, lyrics and music and because he sang the lead on it and The Wheel, he may have changed a phrase or two to better fit his style and thoughts on singing it. For me, the lyrics usually are a reflection of my thoughts on subjects that matter to me and I almost always write lyrics first. Songs come to me from nowhere sometimes when I am out on a hike with my dogs.
Bill: We each tended to write lyrics for our own songs but would sometimes collaborate a bit. For example, Dave wrote most of the lyrics on “Giants” and I added the lyrics on the bridge section. I don’t think I realized until about halfway through the recording sessions, that most of the lyrics I wrote for “While We Were Making Plans” related to time—its effect on our lives, its power over us, and how it can sometimes just be an illusion.
- Could you tell us and the audiences reading now, how you came about making “While We Were Making Plans”? how did this album come to the light?
Dave: It was really down to wanting to write and record music that WE liked, free of trying to fit in to the “scene”. We both have years of experience and influences including power pop, prog rock, r&b, blues, country, and a little jazz. We wanted unique riffs and rhythms and a big sound. And it just grew into something we are pretty happy with. I have recorded quite a lot over the years and didn’t want to have regrets about anything we were putting out and this album doesn’t really have a “why didn’t I play that differently moment”.
Bill: It was the result of purposefully writing and recording songs that reflected the music that meant something to us.
- We read somewhere that there should have been a 10th track in “While We Were Making Plans”, titled “Walking To The Water”…how come we couldn’t find it in the final release?
Dave: We ran into issues with it being placed on streaming services with the first service we signed up with because I had released it on my 2019 project “The Cowboy’s Buddha”. In the interest of getting things rolling it was not included in the electronic distribution. It can be heard on our website and downloaded from our BandCamp.
Bill: “Walking To The Water” is still available on the physical CD, but is not on the downloadable album. This is just down to the service we used for setting up streaming refusing to add it because Dave also included it on his solo album, “Cowboy Buddha”. I guess the glass-half-full view is that having the song on the physical CD of “While We Were Making Plans” adds some value to it. It’s a great song!
- What are your plans for the future of The Splatter Pattern? is it more live performances or more time in the studio?
Dave: Definitely would like to do more recordings, the live thing would be great if the money and venue were right. We’re not really set up to go out and gig locally, but if there were opportunities to be back on the big stages I think we could work it out.
Bill: We would like to make another album in the same spirit as “While We Were Making Plans” or maybe more than one! As far as gigging the stuff, who knows? We would have to put together a pretty sizable band in order to really play the material live, but hey, if the money is right… LOL
- Can you give us an elevator pitch on why people should experience your music?
Dave: Listen to this album. It represents more than 50 years of musical experiences and a lifelong dedication to our craft. There’s a myriad of sounds, styles and emotions included in these songs. We hope everyone can find some things in here to please their musical palate.
Bill: I can only say that Dave and I were awfully tired of formatting being so strict and prevalent in modern music that we wanted to make something that wasn’t subject to it— something we could really be proud of. If that idea resonates with your readers, and if they like all kinds of music (which they obviously do if they’re reading this!), then maybe they would enjoy giving us a listen.
- This was a very unique and mojo filled chat, we thank you guys for that…and we wish you all the best and so much more in your adventures. We’re waiting for more music! Cheers!
Bill: Thanks so much!