Split Seconds vocalist Sean Pollard reflects on his band’s decision to pack up their lives, leaving their hometown of Perth and settling into their new life in inner city Melbourne. “We wanted to make it easier to tour, we wanted to make it easier to for our band but I think a lot of the reasons behind the move was just to push ourselves a little bit, try something a bit different, try something a bit new,” he says. The move was certainly not one that was born out of any negative feelings toward their hometown but simply, as is the case with many bands from the West, a chance to take the next step in the band’s evolution.
“Perth is fantastic. It’s always going to be our home but it was just time to get out of our comfort zone,” admits Pollard. “It’s really this big warm place Perth; it’s this big warm place that you can get stuck in. You can hang out there forever and have a great time and have a great life, but we just wanted to get out there and make it a bit harder for ourselves I think.”
For many bands around the country that call smaller cities home, Melbourne’s diverse, vibrant, and ever-growing music scene is always seen as an enticing prospect. More people means more venues and more bands, which offers musicians from cities such as Perth a lot more opportunity. And, hopefully, a lot more exposure. “We were kind of talking about it for a pretty long time,” admits Pollard. “It was never a snap decision, you know like at band practice, ‘Pack up because we’re going to Melbourne!’ It was definitely something that we all talked about for a very long time.”
Having already played down south on a number of previous visits, it seems that adjusting to Melbourne’s music scene has come a little easier than adjusting to its winter climate. “The house that we moved into has got a pool; we’re in Fitzroy North but it’s got a pool,” says Pollard. “So we’ve been spending all of winter maintaining this stupid pool so that we can enjoy it in summer. I haven’t been in there yet obviously because it’s freezing.”
While Spilt Seconds slowly adjust to their new home and surroundings, they’ve also been rather busy with the recent release of their debut record You’ll Turn Into Me. Already having made some impact on the airwaves, the record sees Split Seconds honing their jangly indie pop and in the process creating a concept album of sorts, with Pollard managing to weave a number of stories and characters throughout the songs. “When I looked back at everything when we had finished recording and we were about to mix I was trying to think of a title for [the album], and I realised a lot of the songs are just generally about the idea of expectation, what’s expected of young adults in this day and age.”
The songwriter’s approach to the lyrical content on the album was one that Pollard thought about a great deal, eventually deciding to turn each song into a short story in order to create a continuous narrative. “It’s something I’ve been toying with for a little while, I guess as long as I’ve been writing songs. I like the idea of a song being a short story or at least being a document of an event and it’s always kind of bugged me, you know, there’s a lot of ‘hes’ and ‘shes’ and ‘Is’ and ‘yous’ in songs,” he muses. “I think sometimes it’s more interesting if you spice it up and put a character in there. Your character can go on a bit of a journey and it makes a lot more sense, at least to the listener, at least to the narrative of the song.”
With the theme of expectation running throughout You’ll Turn Into Me, there’s a sense that Split Seconds have created an album in its truest sense – a collection of songs that flow seamlessly together as opposed to simply releasing a bunch of songs. Pollard’s approach to song writing also serves as a way for the listener to identify with the characters and stories he’s created, yet at the same time distancing himself from its narrative. “It’s a good way to draw the listener in I hope. It’s also probably a pretty good way of me avoiding looking like I’m writing about myself,” he reflects. “I think it makes it easier for me. It makes it easier to disconnect a little bit from the song, at least at the time that you’re writing the lyrics, so you’re not sitting there crying into your cup of tea, banging on about your ex-girlfriend. You’re more removing yourself, writing a story and kind of writing, almost, fiction.”
BY JAMES NICOLI
Split Seconds launch their debut record You’ll Turn into Me on Saturday September 8 at Ding Dong.