By Jessica Skelton
Knocking back beers and bobbing their heads in unison to the thrashing tunes of the opening bands, the members of Splitting Seconds waited for their set to begin.
To the left of the band was a fireplace, giving the feel that the bands were performing in someone’s living room. There were probably no more than 30 people attending the show.
Splitting Seconds plays aggressive punk rock. They yell, make sharp movements, and wear all black. It is hard to say exactly what makes them different than most local Santa Cruz bands. The formula is similar, but the execution of their music and performance is unique.
"Splitting Seconds rocks," close friend of the band Matt Buchanan said. "I mean the drummer lived in my closet. They embody everything that I love about ‘punk rock’ and being a musician. They have unity and determination."
The vibe at the show was supportive and the audience was there to genuinely enjoy the music.
UCSC senior Collin Hoctor was impressed by the band’s show.
"Splitting Seconds is awesome," Hoctor said. "Seeing them on the same level as the audience gives their show a much more intimate feel that really allows you to feel connected to the band."
Splitting Seconds drummer Rob Tedrick agreed that the intimacy the band shares with the audience is a large part of their appeal.
"What I enjoy about playing dive bars and places with no stage is that you are on the floor, with the people," Tedrick said. "When you play at a place like The Catalyst you are very far away from the natural energy, which I personally thrive off of."
Lead singer Michael McGuire seemed totallly focused during the band’s set, except for occasionally knocking over the microphone stand. Splitting Seconds is made up of Liam Stary on bass and vocals, McGuire and Richrd Swan on guitar and vocals, and Tedrick on drums. The band has been together since 2002.
The band’s new album When Did Shit Get So Complicated? comes out in January. The album is being put out on Lorelei Records, a Santa Cruz based indie label that started in 2001 by Russ Rankin of Good Riddance and Joe Clements of the legendary Santa Cruz punk band Fury 66. Splitting Seconds will be label-mates with the likes of 30 Years War, Good Riddance, and Los Dryheavers.
Tedrick said that working with Rankin was initially intimidating, though the partnership developed into a "learning experience."
Splitting Seconds was lucky enough to get a spot on the West Coast leg of the Vans Warped Tour in 2006, and was signed shortly after the tour ended. The band went into pre-production with Lorelei to strengthen and tighten their songs and spent only eight days in the studio. "We got a lot of faith in the fact that he [Russ Rankin] obviously believed in our music," Tedrick said.
Splitting Seconds finished recording and mixing So Complicated a few weeks ago at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, and the band plans on backing the album with a West coast tour once the album is released. For tour dates and more information on Splitting Seconds, please visit: Splittingseconds.com or http://www.myspace.com/splittingseconds.