Credit: Ste Fletcher


splint have had a hectic week with the announcement they have signed to Nice Swan Records, the release of their debut single ‘Military Procedures’ and a headline gig at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. Ahead of the gig I spoke to Jake Bogacki (vocals/guitar) to learn more about how splint have got to this point, including a fascinating discussion on social media.

First of all congratulations on the debut single ‘Military Procedures‘. Where there a number of songs you could have chosen or was it obvious this would be the debut release?
We recorded this song about two years ago, before the pandemic had really hit hard. We’ve had it for ages and sat on it. We wanted to release it then but nothing wasn’t going to come of it because of the pandemic and not being able to gig. Then we had band changes and the sound has evolved. Giulia (Bonometti, vocals/bass) joined, Ellie (Rose-Elliot, drums) joined, and we got back in the studio and recorded 3 more songs that we were then really excited about recording. We basically came to the decision that if we didn’t release this song now, we never would, and we all love the song. Releasing it now is giving it its moment in the sun. Its the direction we are moving onto. Its not leaps and bounds different but it’s definitely less angular 2020 post-punk kinda thing. We’re evolving into different things now but we didn’t want to not have this single out as it’s a song that means a lot to us. We only have choice now because we’ve got options but at the time, we put all our eggs into this song, and its been about two years now thinking about it, it’s been a really long process. I was just talking to George the other day, just hearing it on Spotify or hearing people talk about it’s nice because we’ve played it to death over the last two and its nice to have fresh ears on it.

It’s a very striking track. Particularly at the start with that rapid fire opening, its a fresh and sharp sounding song which grabs the attention.
Until it was released we weren’t sure, but it has rekindled our love for it definitely. Its quite a personal song, the themes of the lyrics it was all kind of around Covid time, it was of its moment but its nice its still being understood now which is great. I’m really happy that it’s there. Without blowing our own trumpet, we’ve got a good arsenal, we’ve had a lot of time to rehearse and practise and get a few gigs, and recording as well. Its the first of a whole host of stuff we want to show people that we have been putting the time in its just that nobody knows about it until now!

So how long has splint existed in some form or another?
It’s been going since I left Working Men’s Club. I started doing some demos on my own with a mate at Islington Mills in Salford, probably around late 2019/early 2020. I had met George (Davies on guitar) previously at a Working Men’s Club gig and we got on straight away and I showed him the tunes that I was working on after leaving Working Men’s Club and he was into it. We just started playing those songs but then it very quickly morphed from these ones I was doing on my own. George is a fantastic guitar player. Those songs we don’t play anymore but it then evolved into splint very quickly. Its was only a couple of weeks before we started gigging. This has been a project for us for a long time but its only possible now with how the industry has been over the last two years with Covid.

How did you come to the attention of Nice Swan?
We played a small run of shows with the guys who we officially started splint with, Alexis and Ferg. We had a hiatus, those boys left and Ellie and Giulia joined and we played a show the English Teacher at Yes, Manchester basement and that was really when people started to pay attention. I think Alex from Nice Swan was at that show but I didn’t meet him. Then we played at The Church in Salford and he came up to us after the show and said can we get together so it was off the back of playing two shows which was great. We did have a couple of offers from people that I had worked with before and people were kind of aware of us, but he was the first to really jump out and ask. And watching what he’s been able to do with a lot of alternative bands. Not that we are in the same kind of kin as Sports Team but its been impressive to see his roster and how he’s helped a lot of bands. And English Teacher now who have pushed themselves on under a bigger light so we thought we’ve already spent all this time working behind closed doors, writing music and its nice that he’s come along with a good presence to push it forwards a little bit, rather than having to stick around even longer keeping ourselves off streaming services.

I wanted to ask you about that. It’s a sign of the times that there was some chat about this band called splint, but they’re not on social media! It generated its own interest. And I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t have any social media!
Yeah that’s what we wanted to do. We didn’t really want to do that because I think we are all a bit fed up of the social media culture within the music industry now where you can’t just be a band. I mean I get it, its a very useful tool, but there are certain levels of privacy. Bands can just be bands they don’t need to be, I don’t quite know how to word it, “people of interest”. We can be a faceless group and you can love the tunes and that’s great. But we began to realise quite quickly that starting making a bit of a name then if you asked people to keep in touch you have to just suck it up. But definitely at first it was quite fun saying “no, you’ll just have to come and see us” but then people didn’t know where to come and see us because we weren’t on social media! Definitely helps being on social media!

Technology has changed so much in the last 10 /15 years. Covid pushed a lot online. The bands could still make music with the technology but there was no touring so communication online was important. Perhaps that has increased the reliance on social media. I was at a Jack White gig who banned phones and the atmosphere was phenomenal because people were not on their mobile and not taking pictures. Everyone was focused on the gig.
I do agree in that sense. If you want to take pictures absolutely fine but it’s this lack of just wanting to stand and watch. I can’t remember the last time I stood with a phone taking pictures at a gig. To be honest it can be distracting when you’re playing too. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do it, each to their own, but when you’re playing its nice having people just paying attention to what’s going on. And for the crowd as well, when everyone else isn’t taking pictures on their phones. It does ruin the specialness of it because these events, these nights can just be their own thing and you can just be there and see it. There is this whole thing of social media culture driving this need to be present online, everything has to be documented and known. Its funny people talking about going to see The Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols but they weren’t like they were jumping around at the front with a film camera. Its funny how social media has changed even how people go to gigs. Each to their own, its not the end of the world.

There was a gig at The Trades Club, I think it was 10,000 Maniacs and there was a specific song where she said “please can you not, I don’t want any videos or photos taken“. And one person started taking a video and she stopped the song, and said “Please can you not” and started again, and I thought that was interesting.

But also there are two sides to social media. It’s a great thing that people can share videos of a smaller band and other people can think “that’s good, we’ll go and watch it”. Its a second reality. There is real life, and then there’s the one that’s videos and photos on facebook and they both have a very bizarre partnership.

Are you the main lyricist in splint?
I do write the lyrics, but the song-writing as a whole is definitely collaborative, 100%. The songs with Giulia singing its 50 / 50. Sometimes I’ll give her a few ideas and then we’ll play the full songs and she’ll takes a few words and transferred it into her own song. When I’m singing its usually just me, but in the songs which are split with Giulia its a really good partnership its nice that she can interpret a lot of things that I can’t or do vocally. The rest of the music is completely circular everyone plays their part for sure.

Does the song-writing tend to come first and the music follow?
No, its the opposite. I’ve never written a song with a melody in mind. Music has always been the first thing. Then lyrics, or poetry style writing is then transformed into the emergence of the music that already exists. I don’t think it ever comes with lyrics first. We play as a band. We’ll be playing a song for two weeks, and then I’ll go away and try and figure out some verses and lyrics.

How long has splint be together in the current format, the 5 of you?
When Ferg and Alexis left, which was all very amicable, we’re still really good friends it just wasn’t the right time. They played on the single, drums and bass and all credit to them, we obviously couldn’t have done that without them getting us through that first single phase. Then we had to have a think about what we wanted to do. I wanted to move it away from being very post-punk thing, in the sharpest of the guitars, wanted to be a bit more maybe experimental. There’s more depth with the three guitars of the songs that we enjoyed listening to and the bands that we’re influenced by. We started off with Henry (Carlyle, guitar) because The Orielles were having a break waiting for the album campaign. He just started playing with us. Giulia came and played bass and Ellie came and played drums and it just happened out of nothing. We had a couple of practises and it just worked really well. Henry played with us for a little bit and when The Orielles picked up again he had to go back to that, which was cool. But for a while it was Henry’s solo project – I was playing drums, George was playing guitar, Giulia was playing bass and Henry played the extra guitar. We were playing in each others bands for a bit and that’s how we were doing it. When The Orielles album campaign started up again, and he had to do that but we’d love him to come back from time to time. Finn is also a very talented guitarist and he used to play with Giulia when she did live shows. He brings his own thing to it, its not like he is following in Henry’s shoes. He’s a completely different style of playing so we’re totally altered by his ability. It’s nice. When someone leaves and someone else joins it almost morphs the songs differently. People don’t have to copy someone else. All very organic. It also takes the pressure off me, having Giulia and Finn there. The sound of the band has matured more than what it was 2 years ago, so definitely hats off to Finn for coming into the band.

It’s really strange talking to you, you’re referencing these things. Normally I talk to a band and I’ll know the musical history, but splint have just had one single out
That was one of the problems that we had with ‘Military Procedures‘. We really liked it but as a representation, well you’ll hear it in the next single. Its not completely different but it is a very different song and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it because ‘Military‘ gets its moment in the sun but its the early splint. The next one is the real stamp of splint, of what we are now and its really exciting. And its nice we’re got a good run of gigs now so people can come and see us. Splint has evolved in a lot of good ways.

You play The Trades Club on Saturday. With the debut single release, being signed to Nice Swan, and now on social media, can you tell me how you are feeling about the gig?
I’m dead chuffed, dead excited, its my home. There have been a lot of moments musically and generally that have been quite significant at The Trades Club and its come full circle. Pretty sure, its a week out from playing our first even gig at The Trades Club two years ago. To come back now, with The Lounge Society releasing their debut album, they’d come to all the Working Men’s Club gigs, The Short Causeway are the support, another brilliant local band. There is a lot coming out of the Calder Valley at the minute – I’m very excited, a little bit nervous obviously. We’ve been working on a headline set for quite a while and we are well rehearsed enough to play. Looking forward to seeing The Short Causewayside because I haven’t seen them for a while.

splint will be playing at the Manchester Psyche Festival on 3 September.

For more information on the band please check their facebook and instagram.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.