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Interview: Split Persona
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up around a musical environment thanks to my parents introducing me to all the legends like Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and many more. My parents, not being musicians themselves, subconsciously made me into one just by helping me discover all of this music, inspiring me to pick up guitar about 6 years ago today. If I hadn’t gone into music I probably would have found myself at a tech school learning to code for video game companies such as Valve, Ubisoft, or Bethesda.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I can find inspiration and peace in gardening. I grew some herbs over the summer to make my own essential oils and it was quite a zen experience. When I’m not playing it, I love just listening to my inspirations like Dave Grohl, Jimmy Page, and Eddie Van Halen and admiring the compositions they’ve written.
How long has your band been around?
My band “Split Persona” is going to be 3 years old this year! Although I’d been writing music for this band long before we all formed, we were one of the only bands in Reno, NV to stay strong during the pandemic by writing and growing our online fanbase.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best show we’ve ever played so far was at the Holland Project on February 15th 2020. It was our EP release show, and we packed the place. We threw a lot of local bands on the bill that we were once inspired by and friends with, so the whole thing felt like a huge party! Our worst show however, was only due to the disorganization. It was at Boca Lake in Truckee, CA on 4th of July 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although people came to see us and we had a good time, some time for preparation before the show was the only downside. I left my guitar at home and had to use Brogans, our PA wasn’t nearly loud enough, so none of us could hear our voices, and to put the cherry on top my girlfriend at the time’s car ended up “safely” in a ditch on our way out of the lake. Fun times :)
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
My favorite venue we’ve played at has to be Holland. We’re always treated extremely well there and they always welcome new and local music. I do argue without them, I would have never met the right people to form this band. Some places I wish we could play include the Roxy and the Forum in Los Angeles, Wembley Arena, and the now-extinct CBGB’s.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Absolutely Foo Fighters. Although in this scenario, we’d open because I personally would never be “okay” with the Foo Fighters opening up for us. Those guys are legends, and it would be legendary to open for them! Some other bands would be Beartooth, The Rolling Stones, Sammy Hagar, Godsmack, or even MGK with his new music!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
My advice to anyone trying to start a band is to master your craft and be open to change and discovery. If you’re a guitar player, master it. If guitar bores you, pick up a new instrument. And WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! No matter how much you personally think it’s bad, doesn’t mean it won’t kick ass at a local show.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The advice I would give to myself if I could go back would be to judge my music and the music I make with my band less. If I could have just appreciated that I wrote a full song alone, I feel like I would have been more confident in the EP. It took a while for me to get that confidence, but it was only because I felt like it wasn’t good enough. But it’s not about production, money, or studio wizardry… because it’s about the song. If the song is good, it doesn’t matter how it’s heard, people will like it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
There’s a couple songs on the new LP coming out later this year that mean the utmost world to me. Every song I write means something to me, but there's a couple in particular I wrote at such dark moments in my life, that playing them and hearing them only makes me relive those moments. Like a curse more than a blessing. But in my mind, I know that there are others out there just like me with those issues, and I hope that those songs will speak to them in some kind of way to let them know they aren’t alone and that mistakes are what make us all. Human.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite one to play off the EP is “Keep It”. I mean I wrote it when I was 14 as a sort of FU to my school. Playing that song live feels super powerful and like I finally did stick it to those teachers that belittled me. We also extend this song to improvise some really exciting jam sessions live, making each one of our live performances unique. The one we’ve gotten requested to play the most is “Strawberries” which most consider to be our first “hit” and “Melted Clocks” one of the first songs I actually ever wrote and our least favorite to play due to its repetition but we live for the fans of our music and will absolutely include it into our set if requested.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process in the band can go one of two ways. I find inspiration and write/demo a song intended to be played with Split Persona, and I let the band add and change anything using my demo/song/lyrics as a baseline for a new track. The other half of the time, someone will play something in rehearsal that gets the rest of our brain’s working. After the spark has been created, we all write our parts separately, and eventually put the puzzle together!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I can portray a number of different messages through the lyrics and the composition of Split Persona. Every song is different however, they’re all kind of like my children. Each one has a different message or meaning, and it’s up to the listener to decide what the songs mean to them.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have minor inconveniences just like every other band. Bickering here and there, and debating over who should play a solo. We usually work out our issues the same day, but if they are prolonged we usually have a “band intervention” style meeting to hash and talk everything out. :)
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Well, our new album is getting mixed and mastered currently so that’s pretty exciting! We’re aiming for a fall release so stay tuned for any announcements or news. :)