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Hailing from our Nation’s capital,  THE SPLIT SECONDS have graced the stages at a multitude of the District’s well-known music venues including DC9, Tree House Lounge, and The Wonderland Ballroom, among others.  THE SPLIT SECONDS dabble in the punk rock of the 70s while also adding in some modern-day flair with undertones of 60’s pop and garage rock. 

We chatted with bassist Tristan Sahwell about the bands love for punk rock that’s not too mellow and not too aggressive, and their path to refining that sound on stage.

 Prior to forming this band, did you guys play in any other well-known bands from this area?

Drew [Champion, guitar and lead vocalist] played in THE COASTALS, who put out an album on Dischord Records, and BOARDROOM HEROES on Sinking Ship Records.

In October 2015, you guys released your debut single “Cutting Out.” Can you tell us what this song is about?

Drew wrote this song after the breakup of THE COASTALS when he was living back with his parents struggling to find work.  It’s about choosing to take bold steps to break out of a rut because risking failure is better than being stagnant.

It’s pretty easy to tell that your music is heavily influenced by punk bands of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Is that the classic pop punk you guys are bringing back to the District?

We’re big fans of 70s bands like THE BUZZCOCKS, GENERATION X, and THE CLASH. Those bands have a ton more substance and balls than the pop punk coming out these days. We also grew up on D.C. punk rock like Q AND NOT U and DAG NASTY, and we’re channeling that stuff as well.

How do you think your band blends in with the other bands in the D.C. area?

There are some really good punk bands with a bit of an old-school/garage vibe so we feel right at home in D.C.  We’re a bit more refined than the heavier bands and a bit more aggressive than the mellow acts so we’re kind of right in that sweet spot.

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Since you guys have started playing shows in the area, how have audiences responded to the simple, raw, fast-paced sound?

We’ve had a really good response.  We work hard to make sure our performances are tight, and as people start to learn the songs and understand where we’re coming from, the shows keep getting better.

Have you determined a release date yet for your debut album?

Expect it this July!

For more updates on THE SPLIT SECONDS, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Instagram and Twitter, and visit their Soundcloud page to hear more tunes.


Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe is a digital content strategist and the founder of Dominion Collective. He has a passion for all types of music but mostly enjoys pop punk, hardcore, and indie rock. He lives with his partner Alex in Richmond, and enjoys trying new foods and cocktails.