Splash Panel: First Edition

A splash screen primarily is a picture that appears while a preferred program is loading, or is an immediate introduction on a website.  The splash page is the premier part of the story, the preface, the introduction to what’s within.  In a comic book, a panel that is larger than all others on the page is a splash panel.  The splash panel importantly establishes characters and cast, setting and story.  It not only captures attention but can also be a climactic conclusion.  Splash Panel, the band, not only wants you to see and read, but  HEAR their stories.

The characters include Doug Richardson on guitar and vocals, Jeff Young on bass and vocals and Allan Henry on drums.  The setting is the Ohio Valley and surrounding cities.  The genre is punk.  The villain is that pesky thing known as apathy, and their super power is “huge energy and live attitude!”

Charismatic may be an understatement for this cast with musical mojo.  They play many places, trying to save the local music scene one show at a time. They will come to the rescue any way they can – full band or an acoustic set, multiple line-up or as headliners, at a bar or at a benefit, as performers or supporters, inside or outside, dark or…dark-er.  They battle the all-too familiar foes of venue availability and lack of community support, in all their shape-shifting styles.

Ex-girlfriends, “horse people,” pedophilia – these are just some concerns Splash Panel confronts.  They have a demo done and are doing their part as a band to keep local music safe and sound, and most importantly – seen and heard.  Their next shows are an acoustic set at 1056 Lounge in Wheeling, W.V.  on June 30th and Hattricks on July 14th. Come out and be part of the action!

Sara Fincham:    The band has been through a few members and a couple name changes, but it seems you have something stable now.  Let’s just get any of your commitment issues out of the way up front!  Are you a working battery now?  Splash Panel is plugged into their musical circuit?

Doug Richardson:  I’d say a working battery is a good way to put it. Working with Allan and Jeff is so easy that music just flows. The line up in the past wasn’t like that. It just seemed like the guys didn’t want to play music for a living. They just wanted to sit there and music just happened.

SF:  Tell us about doing the demo.  Do you want to shout out where you did it at, how you chose the 5 songs selected, when it will be available and where we can get it?

DR:  Oh hell yeah! Andrew D’Cagna is the man. I would suggest him to any band looking to record a demo. Going to the studio was more like going over to a friends house hanging out for a few hours and before you know it, you have this awesome demo in your hand. Right now I’m waiting to get the cover art done but we will have CD-R’s available at our shows, or if you get a hold of one of us we’ll get you a copy.

SF:   Your songs are very autobiographical – is it common knowledge to those in your life that if they do something stupid or regrettable that they’d rather keep secret that you will put their scandals into song and share it with the public?

DR:  I played “Cunt Punt” for my girlfriend at the time and she looked at me and said, “Please don’t ever write a song about me.” So I think it is becoming common knowledge. I won’t write songs about certain things though, I feel some lines shouldn’t be crossed. That being said there aren’t a lot of lines I wont cross so watch your back!

SF:    As humorous and good-natured as you are, it’s obvious you take music very seriously.  What parts about music, making music, playing music, supporting music,  are no joke to you?

DR:  In all honesty the experience is what I take serious. For me it’s about how a song makes you feel, or more importantly it’s about how we make you feel. If we play a show and the sound is bad I actually get depressed. I just want you to enjoy our company for an hour or so and want to come see us again. The greatest feeling is seeing familiar faces in the crowd who are there for our music not just because the bass player is a sexy, sexy man. Jeff, Allan, and I have sat down many times talking about how we can improve our live show. I think you all will like what we’ve come up with.

SF:  Your live shows are so fun!  You have a good rapport with each other and are so energetic and are always learning new songs for your sets.  What new additions can we look forward to, both originals and covers?

DR:  Sara, I can’t give everything away, but I am writing some new songs right now, and I hope to debut one of them June 30th at The 1056 Lounge. We have been so focused on recording that we really haven’t learned any new covers but I’m working on a couple. Just for kicks I learned how to play “Hello” and “Broken Hearted” by Karmin on my guitar. Maybe you’ll see them make their way onto one of our set lists.

SF:    So Splash Panel is more than just a name – you are going to incorporate its origin into your discs as well.  Can you give us any splash panel scoop, this time splash panel referring to the artwork that will accompany the music?

DR:  Splash Panel comes from the comic term splash page. Right now I am coming up with comic book-ish ideas for the band. One of which is writing an actual comic book. I love the fact that our options are endless, we can take Splash Panel anywhere and do what ever we want with it.

SF:   What’s in store for you guys? You have a demo done, are booking shows, any plans to shoot a video, anything else you’d like to promote?

DR:  Right now I just hope our music is heard. We are always looking for places to play, and I’d like to get a manager to help us get out there as well. Right now we have two shows coming up. June 30th we are at The 1056 Lounge with our friends Rob Kocher ( of  Sunday Morning Pint) and The Ansaris. I can’t wait for that show, even though it’s acoustic. July 14th we’ll be at Hat Tricks with the band Go Home Rocket Men, they’re actually getting ready to record a demo with Andrew, and they’re a really good punk band.

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