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Singled Out: The Split Seconds' Everybody's Wrong

07-12-2018
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The Split Seconds

Drew Champion of the D.C. punk band The Split Seconds tells us about the song "Everybody's Wrong" from their sophomore album "Counterfeit Reality". Here is the story:

I began writing Everybody's Wrong a long time before The Split Seconds formed. Originally the song was called, "The Signal Is The Noise" and was about how the benefits of technological progress are outweighed by its costs. At that point both the lyrics and the music were unfocused and I didn't know where to go with the song.

Our drummer Sean listened to a demo and developed a vision for where to take it. After trimming down the song to its strongest elements, we were left with a simple 4-chord vamp that doubled as verse chords, and a section that seemed too complex to be a chorus. While jamming on the verse chords we came up with a distinctive "whoa-chorus" that we liked and decided on an unusual modified rondo form in which the choruses come before the verses. The instrumental middle section started out as a tremolo-picked black metal riff for another project. I moved it up a few octaves, added the high open E pedal tone, and played it on my twangy Split Seconds rig. It took on an eerie psychobilly sound that harkened back to The Dead Kennedy's "Holiday in Cambodia."

I had been in the DC punk scene for years and always felt a bit out of place. I the scene around me feels-centric, ideologically homogeneous, safe-space culture but didn't think too much about it. I was able to play music to kids in sweaty basements and that was enough for me. Getting on social media pulled the curtain back on the philosophical underpinnings of the scene and showed me the stark contrast between my understanding of punk rock and that of my peers.

I had always understood punk to be a reaction against hippie . he music and the scene for people who were too realistic, angry, and individualistic to think that coming together, holding hands, and playing songs about love with 20 minute jam sessions was going to do anything to make the world a better place. 70's punks pushed back by returning to the basics. Artists like The Ramones created a form of fundamentalist rock and roll by supercharging 50's and early 60's rock and pop. You can hear in that 70's punk the desperate attempt to get back to something real, raw, and grounded.

In contrast to this early punk spirit the DC PC Punks were pouring out of the area's private universities intent on making the world a better place by enforcing delusion. The core premise of the liberal project, to treat people according to the content of their character rather than their identity group, completely gone. In its place a vitriolic brand of bigoted, totalitarian, thought policing. hey found justification in the imagined sins of their targets and rationaliz that their subjective feelings supreme to any objective reality.

This was during the 2016 election. Lies, fantasies, and twisted truths poured from every television, radio, and smartphone. This was particularly acute in the Nation's Capitol. At the same time my mother came down with a severe psychiatric condition and she too was carried away by delusions. Some of the verse lines were written in the hospital waiting room as she received emergency shock therapy. Everywhere I turned, people were divorced from reality. Everybody was wrong.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!


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Singled Out: The Split Seconds' Everybody's Wrong

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