Washington DC’s The Split Seconds front man Drew Champion tells us how he got into punk and how it has influenced his life.
I’ve been listening to punk rock my whole life. My Dad was into The Ramones and a lot of alternative rock. I remember hearing Sheena is a Punk rocker in the car when I was a little kid and having it stuck in my head for days. Later on I got into Green Day and Nirvana because all of my friends older siblings were into that stuff. I had no idea they were singing about doing meth and heroin and stuff, I just thought it sounded cool. After I heard Blink 182’s Dammit I started playing guitar. That catchy riff and the chunky palm mutes just hooked me. I got bored of listening to the super radio-friendly pop punk after a few months and started digging down below the mainstream of punk rock. I wasn’t really into the whiny screamo stuff coming out at that time so I ended up getting into DC Dischord bands like Minor Threat and U and not U, and 70’s bands like The Dead Boys and The Buzzcocks.
Punk rock has been really important in shaping my life. The individualism in punk rock taught me to think critically and to distrust groups of people under the influence of bad ideas. The irony is that it’s often the punks whose group think I find myself rejecting. The DIY ethos of punk rock taught me self reliance. I know that nobody is going to just hand something to me and I need to make things happen myself. That’s the Ian MacKaye influence. The democratic streak in punk rock taught me to treat people without regard to race, sex, sexuality, etc. That’s pretty basic but some people seem to have a hard time with that. Finally the minimalism of punk rock taught me to reject fancy and complicated solutions when something simple and solid will get the job done. The way that Johnny Ramone approached guitar is a good way to approach life I think. Just keep it simple and go for it.
The Split Seconds’ upcoming album Center Of Attention, is set to be released on March 10th via Altercation Records.