Outsider Interview: The Split Seconds

Interview by Kristina Sarhadi

For DC darlings The Split Seconds, it’s been a pretty big year. Since releasing their debut full-length, Center of Attention, in March, the pop-punk foursome have already earned slots at some of the biggest and best festivals going—see: SXSW, The Fest, Anti-Social Campout—and have been grinding out new music videos and building an eager fan base ever since. Drew Champion, Stephen Parsons, Sean Peterson and Alex Massi, waste no time in showing off their musicianship on Center of Attention. From start to finish it’s a fresh blend of raw 70’s punk and melodic 60’s rock riffs, sharp with attitude and intellect and refreshingly listenable. If the first half of 2017 is any indication, they’ll soon be bringing crowds to your hometown punk clubs, dive bars and St. Patrick’s Day parties.

What sets you apart from other bands in the music scene right now, or from older bands with a similar sound? Drew: I don’t think we have much in common with most of the newer bands.  The dominant trend in punk rock nowadays seems to be about self-pity and autotune.  We definitely feel much more of a link to the older punk ethos of brash individualism and rawness.  Compared to those older bands we probably focus more on being good musicians and songwriters.  

Do you have day jobs? Yeah we’re all working stiffs.  Drew and Alex are engineers, Stephen and Sean work for DC area music retailers.  Getting out on the road just takes a lot of planning ahead.  It’s great to be able to to get away from everything and go to new places and play rock and roll.  

You’re playing your dream lineup in your favorite city. Who’s there and where are you? Also, what’s for dinner? We’d love to hop on one of those early 100 Club gigs in London with The Clash, The Damned, The Jam, The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, etc.  Just gob and meth for dinner.  

What’s the lamest gig you ever played?  Our first show was a St. Patrick’s day gig at a nearly-empty Hawaiian-themed bar.  Scattered applause and tiki torches.  It was pretty damn lame.  

Fast forward—you’re now officially part of the Altercation Records family. How did that happen and what’s it been like so far?  We played on the DC date of Upstart Fest and got to talking with Travis from Altercation.  He said we reminded him of The Jam, and he was glad to see that there were still bands keeping that classic punk rock tradition alive.  They’ve released our full length, gotten us festival dates, and given us good guidance. Altercation has been great! 

What would you say is the most exciting thing about the current music scene? What’s the tough part? The most exciting thing is how you can reach fans all over the world really easily.  The tough part is that there’s so much music coming out that it’s easy to get buried beneath everything else. 

Which of your band friends should we look out for? American Television is a kickass DC punk band.  Staunton is another really damn good DC band that sounds like Oasis meets The Black Keys.  More AM than FM is a great all-female power trio.  

What can we look forward to next year and what are some of your long-term goals for The Split Seconds? We’ll be doing more touring and putting out another full length with Altercation.  Long term we just want to keep on pushing and putting out music we’re proud of and playing fun shows.

Do you have any advice for kids just starting out as a band and looking for positive direction? Surround yourself with good people.  A band is only as good as its members so put in the effort to find great band mates.

Anything else you’d like us to know?  We’ve been working hard on a great new batch of tunes.  Keep an eye out for a new full-length release in June 2018!