The Splits are one of Finland’s most promising all-girl, no-nonsense, scuzzy garage punk bands. Until recently they were making a hell of a racket in small, sweaty venues with other punk bands, and having their friends turn up. Wonderland caught up with them in Helsinki just before they literally jumped on stage to play their first Flow Festival gig.
How was Italy? Did you get the reception you were expecting?
We didn’t have any expectations at all, but we have no idea what kind of reception we got because no one really spoke English there and we were like, “we have no idea what these people think”. Sometimes they wanted to talk to us but it was weird because there were just some words here and there. Our LP just came out a month ago so we didn’t expect that they would know us or anything. There was also more of a punk audience and much older, too, but they seemed to like us.
What’s it like being an all-girl band?
Well there’s been a female President [Tarja Halonen] and a female astronaut so playing three chords on guitar and banging some primitive drum beats shouldn’t be that strange. But usually we don’t really think about it, though we find that a lot people ask us about it. And it wasn’t supposed to be an all-girl band so it doesn’t matter. It was like four people in the same situation, you know. Kiti has this other band called First Times with guys and I don’t feel that it’s any different. I think that guys gossip more than us and that we are more spontaneous with stuff! For us it depends more on personality than on gender.
And what was that situation?
We couldn’t play anything and we wanted to learn to play something. In the beginning Kiti and Maiju were learning to play for almost a year and we didn’t have any rehearsal space or anything like that. All that we wanted was to have fun and learn to play our instruments.
Do you still think women still face an uphill battle in the music industry?
We don’t think that there is a struggle and we are not really in the music industry, we are a “do it yourself” band so it’s not so relevant for us. The media and record companies are trying to make girls be certain ways, like looking pretty or whatever, but we don’t have these problems because we don’t have a record company breathing down our necks. We prefer doing things the way that we want to.
Are there any bands around at the minute that really excite you?
We like the Finnish bands Rambling Boys and Moderni Elämä and Shannon and the Clams from the States. Hunx and His Punx are also good, we played them with they came to Finland.
What can we expect from The Splits in the future?
We are hoping to make a small tour of England with another band called The Love Triangle. Since we have had lots of gigs this summer we haven’t had that much time to practice our new songs so we hope that we will have time to do that. And some day there’s going to be another record, though it’s too early to say when.
Words: Gareth Rice
Images: Emma Suominen