1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The SPLIT SQUAD to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? What are your various individual backgrounds? How did you manage to gather this "super-group" of musicians?
The Split Squad is composed of myself, Michael Giblin, (bass, vocals, guitar, keys), guitarist Eddie Munoz (The Plimsouls), guitarist/vocalist Keith Streng (The Fleshtones), drummer Clem Burke (Blondie), and keyboardist Josh Kantor (The Baseball Project). We all knew each other, through various musical projects, and decided to make a record together in 2013. We had so much fun, we turned ourselves into a real band, and have been playing together a few times a year, ever since.
2) About the new full length record "Another Cinderella", can you explain the choice of this title in regard of the cover artwork?
In American sports, the term "Cinderella" is used to describe a person or team that is succeeding where they aren't expected to. In boxing, it's referred to as someone who is holding his own against a much stronger opponent. Given the current fractured state of the music business, we thought it was a good metaphor for releasing an album independently these days.
3) What can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?
Our process is that generally myself, Clem, and at least one of our guitarists will record the basic rhythm track, and then the rest will overdub their parts and vocals. We like to record like a "real" rock band as much as we possibly can. We did the first album that way, essentially completing it all in about 3 sessions. The new album, however, was a bit different, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, and the fact that no one could travel for almost an entire year.
4) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?
All of the actual recordings are digital, but, depending on where we are working, there will be a number of analog components involved, with regard to preamps, signal processors, eq's, etc. I have my own studio (Red Chuck), where most of the new album was done, but we have also done a lot of tracking and mixing at a wonderful old school studio near Boston called Woolly Mammoth Sound.5) Are you the main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another? I
mean do you arrive at the rehearsal with a full demoed song where the other guys play what you tell them to play or do you only give the global direction and everybody plays what he wants?
Keith and I write the majority of the songs, but everyone is most definitely involved when it comes to arrangements and such. I like to demo my songs (because with my studio, I CAN), but Keith will generally just have an idea and show it to us to learn. I'm not fussy about my demos. If the band comes up with something different (and usually better!) it's always a good thing.
6) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write the lyrics to a new song?
When I write for The Split Squad, I try to keep the subject matter "not too serious". In fact, I often refer to our sound as "Big Dumb Rock". But there are a handful of our songs that have deeper, more personal meanings, such as I Can't Remember, which was inspired after the death of my wife.
7) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers and does it still influence your today work? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.
I was a teenager in the late 1970's and early 1980's, and the music that inspired me the most was all of the great cutting edge New Wave and Punk music of the time. The three bands that continue to influence me, are also the bands that were my favorites at the time: The Who, The Clash, and Elvis Costello. They have always stuck with me.
8) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the latest full length?
Yes, we do! For our first single, "Hey DJ"
9) What can concert goers expect at a gig of The SPLIT SQUAD? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the gig?
As a live band, we are very high energy and kinetic. We take that from The Fleshtones, as Keith is a non-stop, perpetual motion machine. Our set consists of an equal sampling from both our albums, as well as some fun covers from The Heartbreakers, The Small Faces, AC/DC, and a few surprises!
10) Are there any bands in the USA today that you consider yourself close to musically speaking?
We take a little bit from a lot of different styles and genres, so it's tough to say we are close to any ONE band, but we are never very far away from The Fleshtones and The Plimsouls.
11) How would You describe the music you're playing? Is this POWERPOP, is it Garage rock or do you consider there is way more than that?
As I said before, we call it "Big Dumb Rock"! Musically, it's some 60's-inspired Mod rock, some Power Pop, some Garage, some Soul, etc. Everyone in the band is so musically adept, that we feel confident trying just about anything, and making it sound like us. There's even an unreleased instrumental track from the album, where Keith said "let's play it like The Meters!", so that's what we did!
12) What are the plans for 2022 as far as The SPLIT SQUAD is concerned?
Now that "Another Cinderella" is out in the EU (on FOLC Records), we have plans to play over there a few times this year. We will be in France in June, The UK in July, and then Spain in the fall.
13) Anything you wanna add?
It's been a rough couple of years for musicians, so we are excited to get back out in front of some people with our rock and roll circus!