1- Where did you grow up? I grew up in Anniston, Alabama, the proud birthplace of Michael Biehn. At one time, it was home to a U.S. Army fort, but after the government shut it down in the early ’90s, a lot of the businesses started closing, and it never really recovered. Most people who drive through it tend to label it as depressing or scary, but I really love that place. It’s got a raw, unpretentious grit about it. 2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid? “Don’t Turn Around” by Ace of Base was a turning point for me. The intro was so unusual and moody. Ace of Base always had fascinating synth patches and production ideas. Their first album ignited my love for synths. I didn’t even know what a synth was! I just thought the sounds were a cool alternative to guitars, which I was more familiar with due to growing up in the South and having a guitar-obsessed father. 3- What influenced you to get into music? I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween when I was 11 and decided that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I had never realized that movies are made by somebody. I just kind of accepted them as things that exist. Seeing John Carpenter’s name on the credits over and over and over again, I realized, “Hmmm, this Carpenter guy actually made this thing.” I really loved his music in that film, so I had Mom take me to CD City to order the soundtrack. This was pre-Internet, so you had to drive to a store, and they had to open up a gigantic catalog and call the distribution company. It was a different time. So I kinda had the idea that I would make my own movies and score them myself. I won some awards with experimental short films in college, which led me to believe that I was a genius filmmaker with a very bright future. Then I tried making narrative feature-length films, and realized that I was a talentless hack. I was pretty despondent over the prospect of not being a filmmaker. Then I saw this incredible documentary called Life According to Sam. It’s about a young man with a rare genetic disorder. There’s so much he wants to do that he’s physically incapable of doing, so he focuses all of his attention on what he can do and learns to love life in the process. So I realized that I could make music in my basement with no money, no film festival acceptances, and no distribution deals. I could just have fun and self-distribute. Life is much better now. Thanks, Sam! 4- At what age did you start playing/singing? Good question. How technical do we want to get here? I’ve had an instrument in front of me since I was probably a few days old. I loved my mom’s Omnichord. She recently gave me one. It’s fantastic! I learned some basic guitar in high school. Very basic. Our neighbors suffered through many Nirvana covers. In college, I played every instrument I could get my hands on. And by “play,” I mean I would usually just bang ’em with a piece of pipe or eating utensil. You know, “sonic landscapes”...uhh...trust me...it was “art”….yeah…. I finally got around to learning what note any given key on a keyboard is when I was 30. 5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school? Back off the caffeine. It’s terrible for your skin and makes you anxious. 6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment? Spice Girls just released a demo from 1996 that they had buried in their vault. It’s called “Feed Your Love,” and I adore it. I’ve also developed an obsession with “Opus No. 1” by Tim Carleton, which everyone knows, even if they don’t know they know it. Look it up! It’s got an early ’90s Korg sound. I’m convinced it’s a Wavestation (a Wavestation emulating a CMI Fairlight, at that), and that’s probably my favorite synth. Lastly, I’ve been going through the archives of our local newspaper, The Anniston Star. They would periodically publish the Billboard charts, and that’s been a good way to discover some chart-toppers from the ’90s that were forgotten over time. That led me to “Should Have Been You” by Michael Cooper and “Don’t Want to Fall in Love” by Jane Child. Those are some great songs! 7- Do you listen to your own music? Far more than I should, but I’d rather be honest than modest. I guess it’s like cooking—nothing wrong with enjoying your own meals, right? 8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next? I have no idea how artists collaborate with one another. Music is far too personal to me. I am hoping that artificial voice technology continues to improve. There are some promising products out there right now, but they’re still a bit too rough around the edges. In the next ten years, I’d love to have my own virtual girl band. Splash Girls? 9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career? Being featured when Pop Art Ave launched was a big honor. 10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music? It’s important to have fun, but you’ll have more fun if you study a bit of music theory. Reading Tonal Harmony and watching YouTube lectures on music theory can lead to some pretty severe migraines, but your music sessions will be much more productive and satisfying if you have some best practices in your back pocket.
Splash '96 came out with his album, "Summers In Anniston," in May 2021. There are many chill vibes to be heard on this album. Check out the Splash '96 profile page below.