Warped Reality: Interview with The Split Seconds frontman Drew Champion

Split Seconds

The Split Seconds are a Washington D.C. based punk rock quartet. A newer band with a throwback sound, they’re releasing their sophomore album Counterfeit Reality on June 8 via Altercation Records and are preparing for a run with Vans Warped Tour in July.

The band debuted in 2017 with their first full length album, Center of Attention. Lead singer and songwriter Drew Champion describes their debut as a “solo effort” in comparison to Counterfeit Reality.

“This record is a much more collaborative effort between me and the other members of the band,” Champion said. “There’s more of a three-dimensional thing going on when you have more people contributing – there’s a magic that hap pens.”

Champion still does all the songwriting, except now he bounces ideas with bandmates Stephen Parsons, Alex Massi and Sean Peterson, who he met shortly before finishing Center of Attention. Champion explained that their contributions helped push Counterfeit Reality to a “new level.”

“Music is the most important thing to me … I intend to keep playing until I die.”

Outside of The Split Seconds, Champion is an engineer. Massi works in computer science and Parsons does coding. Peterson plays with a cover band called the Jump Offs when he’s not playing with The Split Seconds.

Scheduling time off of work to tour is just one of the many challenges that the band faces. Every process of being in the band is tough, from making the time to tour to writing good songs to getting three days off in a row to play Warped Tour, but Champion says it doesn’t matter.

“For no particularly good reason, [music] is the most important thing to me,” Champion said. “I keep coming back to it and I intend to keep playing until I die.”

What isn’t a challenge is creating original music that all members resonate with. Other bands on Warped Tour might say that they’re inspired by pop punk staples like All Time Low, Mayday Parade and more. Champion explains that – while that music is fine – The Split Second’s inspiration comes from elsewhere.

“Blink-182, New Found Glory – that’s just never the kind of band I wanted to be in,” Champion said.

Instead, The Split Seconds draw inspiration from ‘70s punk bands like The Clash, Zombies, The Kinks and The Everly Brothers. Listening to Counterfeit Reality is like listening to an old Ramones record. The stripped down, bold punk rock sound really shines through and makes The Split Seconds stand out in the current punk rock scene.

“There’s a place for it and it doesn’t matter if it’s 1978 or 2018”

No other band in the scene today sounds like The Split Seconds. Their originality makes them stand out, but it can also be a challenge for a newer band trying to gain a fanbase or airtime. This doesn’t faze Champion though.

“If we weren’t going to be successful playing what we wanted to play, that’s cool with me,” Champion said. “We never set out to be a financially or whatever successful band. We just wanted to play music.”

However, The Split Seconds have gained a spot on Warped Tour, just one of many signs that say The Split Seconds have something special.

Champion wouldn’t have ever guessed that the band would be signed to a record or play Warped Tour – when you ask him, he explains that attaining these things was never his goal. But Champion has always believed there was a place for The Split Seconds, partly because of their classic punk influences.

“The reason ‘70s punk stuff took off in the first place and the reason it’s still relevant is it’s in this timeless place,” Champion said. “There’s a place for it and it doesn’t matter if it’s 1978 or 2018.”

The no bullshit aspect of ‘70s punk rock was another thing that appealed to Champion. It’s something he applies to the band’s work ethic as well.

While The Split Seconds do have that sense that they really have something special and have the achievements to backup that claim, Champion insists that it’s all about keeping your head down, doing your work and taking it one possibility at a time.

“There’s a lot of people with brilliant ideas, fresh takes and interesting perspectives,” Champion said. “But it’s those other things – responding to emails on time and all the boring crap that you have to do that gets in the way.

“But if you do that and surround yourself with good people, that’s what matters.”

You can catch The Split Seconds on the Vans Warped Tour dates below and listen to their new album, Counterfeit Reality on June 8 via Altercation Records.

The Split Seconds Vans Warped Tour Dates
7/18 – Cleveland OH, Blossom Music Center
7/19 – Cincinnati OH, Riverbend Music Center
7/20 – Detroit MI, Meadowbrook Ampitheatre

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