The Spliffs is an indie band that travels across the genres of rock, pop and ska. The teens formed eight months ago during their junior year of high school. The foursome includes vocalist and guitarist Taylor Barnes, lead guitarist Tyler Page, bassist Auston R., and Jackson Short on drums and vocals.
The Morgan Hill natives are currently working on releasing an album, and have an upcoming show on Feb. 24 at Nickel City in San Jose, and another lined up at Shoreline Amphitheater in the near future. Patch had a chance to chat with The Spliffs and learn about their music. Check out what they had to say, below.
Gilroy Patch: How would you describe your style of music. Is there a dominant theme?
The Spliffs: We generally don’t aim to fit a specific genre, but we play what sounds good to us and what we enjoy. Taylor writes the music, while Jackson adds a touch of magic behind the skins. Tyler adds a sense of blues and raw sound with his guitar leads, while Auston incorporates a large amount of funky and walking bass lines. Some of our major influences include The Strokes, The Beach Boys and Electric Light Orchestra.
Taylor Barnes: I don’t really write lyrics with a purpose, or do anything with a purpose for that matter. I tend to change up the lyrics on the spot.
Patch: You said that you formed a band before The Spliffs called The Originals. Why did you form a new one?
The Spliffs: Well, we were formally in The Originals, but then we discovered that there was another band also called The Originals. So we changed the name to The New Originals, but then they changed their name, so we changed our name to The Original Originals. And the rest is history…
Patch: I heard that you guys are working on completing an album, but are still working on the name. Can you tell me about it?
Jackson Short: The album goes to 11 songs. We think it’s unique because 11 is one more than 10, and most just go up to 10. We plan to have it on iTunes by mid-March.
Patch: So, you’re called The Spliffs. Is that name descriptive of one of your favorite pastimes?
The Spliffs: No comment. But yes.
Patch: So it looks like you’re unsigned. Do you hope to change that with a certain record label?
Barnes: We would be absolutely stoked to be represented by any record label, but we don’t have any preferences. Just whoever can truly appreciate our music.
Patch: Have you played at before?
Barns: Yes, we've played there twice already, but we're most excited for Battle of the Bands because it brings a completely different atmosphere to the table.
Tyler Page: This is our first time playing in as a band, but we have played in other rounds with our side projects in the past.
Patch: Is your goal to win it, or are you happy to just be competing?
Barns: Honestly, we would be honored to win, but we are happy to even be playing a show, especially on a week night.
Patch: Do you guys have a strategy for success? And what do you hope to bring to Battle of the Bands this year?
The Spliffs: We do a jump, group high-five, put our pants back on, and kick some ass. We hope to bring a funky, fresh sound that will obliterate every one's mind to a pulp. We try to focus on the present, and keep our zen. We just want to show up with an eager smile, ready to support every band there
Patch: What do you hope the audience will take away from your music?
The Spliffs: We hope that they will be inspired to take our music and spread it around so everyone can enjoy it, and so we can become more well known in the Bay Area.
Patch: If you win, what will you do with the winnings? You get $500 cash and recording time. How valuable is that for your band?
Jackson: That is extremely valuable to us because the money will go toward a possible summer tour and the recording time will go toward our next album.
Patch: Do you have a message for your fans?
The Spliffs: Keep it classy.