In Conversation with the Split Seconds

The Split Seconds are a pop-punk band from Washington DC. Known for minimalist garage band style, they’ve taken the stage at DC9, The Treehouse Lounge, and The Wonderland Ballroom, among others venues. (You can watch the video of their song “Cutting Out” from their soon-to-be-released debut album, here.) Recently the band got together to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions, revealing an engaging sense of punk humour.

Who’s had the most influence on you musically?
When Drew was playing guitar in Boardroom Heroes he worked with producer Brian McTernan who produced Thrice, The Explosion, The Loved Ones, and a bunch of other great bands. Brian stressed doing simple things well rather than doing complex things poorly. That has had a big effect on Drew’s songwriting.

What’s the story behind the lyrics on “Cutting Out?”
Drew wrote “Cutting Out” after his previous band The Coastals broke up, and he was stuck back living with his parents, struggling to find work. The song is about taking bold steps to break out of that rut.

Where exactly did you make the video?
We made the video in about two hours in the alley and rehearsal space behind Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street in DC.

What are your rehearsals like?
Sean runs the rehearsals with an iron fist. The rest of us basically do what he says until Alex gets mad at Sean. They argue about stupid stuff for a minute while Drew and Tristan look at the ground. Then Drew tells everybody to shut up and play songs.

Has anything funny or bizarre ever happened to you while in the recording studio or on the stage?
We played a show with a sound guy who was a junkie with a fantastic yellow bandanna. Our bassist at the time got in an argument with him during sound check; he kept leaving during the set to take hits.

What’s it like to make pop-punk in a city like Washington DC? Does the city help or hinder the muse?
Drew hates DC. Traffic sucks, It’s expensive, and there are a ton of lawyers and political types who think they should tell everybody else how to live their lives. His constant frustration with the city and its lousy people are a source of great inspiration for punk rock songs.

What do you love best about the new album?
we’re really proud of the songwriting. All the tunes are well put together and there’s no self-indulgent nonsense or filler. we’re also proud that It’s very stylistically distinct from other bands in our genre.

How did you come up with your band’s name?
It reflects our stripped down, fast style.

What conditions do you require in your life in order to go on being creative?
Inspiration comes from being exposed to new perspectives. This means we need to keep putting ourselves in new situations and continue to take risks.

What do you feed your creativity? Are there any books, films, or albums that have deeply influenced you?
Drew’s favorite movie is On the Waterfront from 1954. It’s got really tight storytelling, great characters, and an unpretentious message of toughness that is very rare in modern culture.

If you had an artistic mission statement, what would it be?
Write great songs, strip them down, play them fast.

What do you think Donald Trump would have to say about your music?
He would probably suggest a complete ban on The Split Seconds until we figure out what the hell is going on.

Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.

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