Splashdown

Splashdown: The FAQ

(Here is the New FAQ)

1. What happened to the band?
2. What are the members up to now?
3. Where can I get their album?

1. What happened to the band?
After Java/Capitol, the record company Splashdown was signed with (see the old FAQ below) "shelved" their album, Blueshift, they released an EP, Redshift. After limited touring, the record company either refused or failed to provide support and promotion for the band, and Blueshift was never released. Apparently, though details are sketchy, this was too much to handle and the band decided to call it quits, or go on an "indefinite hiatus" because their creative energies were sapped by the struggles with the recording company. Eventually, they let their fans know in an open letter that Splashdown was pretty much done.

2. What are the members up to now?
Melissa just finished her solo album Mercury recently, and it is available for sale. Her website is at http://www.universalhallpass.com. It does have a couple completed songs for download that she has done since, including "Misdirected," "Dragonfly," and a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" but done in a funky Middle Eastern style for some independant film. In that time, she has also worked on the Soundtrack for the film Red Planet, doing some real nice chanting vocals for a track on there called "Dante's Eternal Flame." Melissa's Voice can also be heard in the two music-remix games for the Playstation 2 "Amplitude" and "Frequency." The latter has the song "Shades of Blue" which is more techno-beat funky, where she hums etc to be remixed.

Adam, the guitarist, moved on to the band Sparkola for awhile (sparkola.net) and is now working on an album with another vocalist. It is said he is also working on a compilation (that may or may not tbe the same project) that will include a few collaborations with Melissa, and perhaps a completed studio version of Splashdown's last made unrecorded song, titled Nomadic. www.adambuhler.com is his site.

Kasson has gone on under various pseudonyms to work on creating some beats for the above mentioned PS2 games, then set to work on the Symbion Project, where he has mixed some original work and done remixes of some old Splashdown songs as well (www.symbionproject.com). He also joined up with the synthpop band "Freezepop" for awhile. I don't know if he's still with them. As far as working with other band members, he remixed one of Melissa's new songs, Dragonfly, which is also available on her website for download.

3. Where can I get their album(s)?
You can't really go out and buy them anymore. But keep an eye out on E-bay for old copies of their albums. Also, the band expressly gave permission to download their songs and encouraged it when they broke up (since the album wasn't going to be released anyways). So feel free to go on Kazaa or wherever to look for Splashdown music. It's legal. Also, because of this, various sites crop up now and again that make the whole album available for download. One such website is Here. The whole Blueshift album is available there. Other songs you'll have to search for. You can't buy Blueshift, because it was never released. But CDs for Stars and Garters, Halfworld, and Redshift may be floating around used outlets.

Splashdown: Old-FAQ

(This is the FAQ preserved from the old official website posted March 2000 - Now including how the band was signed to Java/Capitol..)

1. Who is in the group?
2. Where is Splashdown from?
3. Who writes the music?
4. Who plays what instrument?
5. If there's only 3 members, then who are those other people on stage?
6. How and when did the group form?
7. What is Castle von Buhler?
8. What is Open Belly Rescue Feature?
9. How did the band get signed to Java/Capitol?

1. Who is in the group?
In alphabetical order, Splashdown is: Adam Buhler, Kasson Crooker, and Melissa Kaplan.

2. Where is Splashdown from?
Boston.

3. Who writes the music?
The songwriting in Splashdown is a fully collaborative effort, with musical arrangements split evenly among the three members. Melissa Kaplan pens the lyrics, with occasional minor assistance from her bandmates.

4. Who plays what instrument?
On all Splashdown recordings (unless noted otherwise in liner notes), bass and guitar parts are handled by Adam, Melissa performs all vocals, and Kasson rocks the beats, synthesizers, and other keyboards. Melissa plays acoustic piano on certain songs (such as "Over The Wall", "So Ha", and "Dig").

5. If there's only 3 members, then who are those other people on stage?
In order to recreate the multi-layered Splashdown sound on stage, the live line-up includes additional musicians selected by the three members. As of the writing of this FAQ, there are two such "hired hands": Trevor Shand (a Canadian guitarist who trades guitar and bass duties with Adam during the shows), and Jason Sakos (a drummer from Boston).

6. How and when did the group form?
The three members of Splashdown were assembled by the artist Cynthia von Buhler in 1996. She arranged introductions between her husband Adam (a guitarist with whom she co-owned the independent label Castle von Buhler Records), a keyboardist she had met on a train named Kasson Crooker, and singer Melissa Kaplan (who had been a back-up vocalist in Cynthia's performance-art group Women of Sodom). The trio immediately began writing music ("Deserter" was the first song they wrote together), and soon appeared on the Boston music scene with a 7-inch record ("Pandora/Deserter") at the end of 1996.

7. What is Castle von Buhler?
Castle von Buhler was the Boston-based indie label that initially signed Splashdown and put out their first releases. Also known as CvB Records, the company was co-owned by Cynthia von Buhler, Splashdown member Adam Buhler, and designer Clifford Stoltze.

8. What is Open Belly Rescue Feature?
Splashdown's publishing company was called Open Belly Rescue Feature (a reference to a scene from the film "The Empire Strikes Back"). Splashdown's publishing rights were shared between OBRF and Warner-Chappell Music.

9. How did the band get signed to Java/Capitol?
Splashdown's first full-length cd, "Stars and Garters", was recorded in 1996 at a small studio named Sonics in Charlestown Massachusetts. The band members squeezed writing and recording sessions into whatever free space was available during their full-time day careers. (for more detail in this area, check out the Bios section)
The album was warmly received by critics, especially CMJ, where it received three separate positive reviews. With the CMJ exposure and a handful of live performances (supporting acts like the Crystal Method and Bran Van 3000), the band's reputation began to grow.
The next release was the jazzy track "50%" on CvB's "Nigh" compilation.
In early 1998, while recording the tracks that would later become the "Halfworld" EP, the band was approached by Capitol Records A&R staffers Loren Israel and Craig Aaronson, who had read a review of "Stars & Garters". After hearing the album, the pair flew to Boston to watch the band perform. A demo deal with Capitol soon followed. The band flew to LA for a week to record three songs in producer Glen Ballard's Java Studio, with engineer Bryan Carrigan behind the mixing board. The results were strong, and Glen immediately offered the band a full contract with his new label, Java Records. The band then returned to Boston for the release of the "Halfworld" EP, and prepared for the transition to their new label home.

[Webmaster's Note: Apparently that didn't work out so well.]

Updated: March 23, 2000