INDIE BAND SPOTLIGHT - SPLITSENSE
by Mark E. Waterbury
BAND NAME: SPLITSENSE - Jason Masurka, Vocalist
MUSICAL GENRE: Modern metal/hard rock
BIRTHPLACE: Manhattan, NY
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Queens, NY
YEARS IN MUSIC BUSINESS: 9 years
NUMBER OF CDS SOLD: 800
FAN BASE: 250 on mailing list, primarily in NYC area
WEB SITE: http://www.splitsense.com
MM: How did Splitsense get started?
JM: I was in a band with Alex and Pat, and we were doing more of a grunge thing. As we progressed, we always had our own sound, but it was a little lighter and little more like regular rock then. I think by the time we got around to recording the first CD as Splitsense, we had gotten a bit darker. Our second album really says who we are. It’s more aggressive, more upbeat, and more meaningful to us. Lyrically, it shines more personally with us.
MM: You also had taken a four year break from working with Alex and Pat before getting back together and forming Splitsense. Was there something that really made you want to get back together and work with them again?
JM: I always knew that we would get back together. There was this vibe with us that made us realize we were going to get back together and create great rock music that no one else had done before. So we did get back together, brought in Bryan as our second guitarist, and started doing it. During the time off, I learned more about production and engineering and I built my own studio. When we all got back together, one thing that is apparent is we are a collaborative force. We work together as a unit, as four guys who are songwriters to the core. We are really artistic and creative, and come up with our own sound that is a collaboration of all of our own influences.
MM: Do you all personally get along as well?
JM: Yes, it is amazing. We do get along and respect each other’s opinions, and we try to always do what is best for the group and what is best for the song. That is how it has always worked and will continue to work.
MM: After you recorded your first CD, what did you do to market it and to let people know that you were out there?
JM: We did have some people that we had kept in touch with who were fans of our previous bands that we got a hold of and let know about the new music. These were the people who always saw how serious and passionate we are about the music, and they are still with us to this day. They help us bringing new faces out to every show we play.
MM: Do you think that is of primary importance, keeping that grassroots connection with your fans?
JM: You definitely have to keep those loyal fans because they are the ones who started you. I think that loyalty reflects on the people who they bring in or who hear about us by word of mouth. That way you get other fans who see what the original fans have seen all along, and they become loyal as well.
MM: Being in New York, you have a ton of venues and all the labels there, but also a ton of bands trying to get in them. What do you have to do to get an edge in that market?
JM: I still think you have to stick to the grass roots. Getting out there and putting up flyers, getting a street team together that hands out flyers for your shows. Having a mailing list and updating it is important. Especially in New York, people have to hear you or they are not going to go to a show unless they know what you are all about. Getting out there and handing out promo that has a disc with maybe a couple songs on it, that really works. It helps build your following. With us we think our sound is unique, but no matter what your music sounds like you still need to get it to people.
MM: When you went into the studio to do “Purify”, did you consciously want to do something a bit different with that recording than you did with the first one?
JM: I think it was more of a natural progression, because ("Purify") IS the Splitsense sound. We felt like we toured off our first record and new songs were a must, as any band should feel. We are never going to stop writing, it will always be a progression. With us though, we don’t sit there and say we are going to come up with this, that, and that. We just let it happen, and whatever comes out of it we’ll work with.
MM: A lot of bands hammer out an album in a couple weeks, but it took you guys several months to do this one.
JM: Yes, and I think it shows in the recording. A lot of patience and a lot of time went into it. We are proud of the sound quality and production on it, and are extremely proud that we produced it and engineered it ourselves. We are a full throttle force of music and we can come up with anything we want and push it as we want to. We were doing everything that a label would do with it in the studio, and we took more time because we wanted to do it right.
MM: What are you looking at doing to promote “Purify” that is different from your first CD?
JM: We are going to tour much more extensively than we did after the first CD. We have some shows in Massachusetts including Locobazooka, where we will be in the bill with Alice In Chains. We work with a PR company and are just going to push things out a bit further in all directions.
MM: What is the feedback that your fans give you, what they like the most about the music?
JM: They like the intensity, the realness, the authenticity of it. That we haven’t given up, we won’t give up, and we are relentless. They know that when they come to a show they are going to have a great time with a really professional band. A full-fledged show with a light show and a great sound because we have our own sound guy who comes to all our shows. Our live show is something that we take pride in and people respect us for doing it. We have always had that passion and show it in our stage show. The music, lights and atmosphere all goes together in a synergistic matter to become Splitsense.
MM: How does your songwriting process go?
JM: Our lyrics usually come from different avenues, including life experiences. We get a lyric idea from someone, and everyone will sit down and talk about it, and come up with the best delivery for it and the best way to express every word and feeling. A lot of our best lyrics and as a result our best songs come from life experience and how we feel about them.
MM: How do you define success, what do you think it will take to get there, and do you feel Splitsense has what it takes to get there?
JM: Success is really how each person measures it. We have discussed that many times as a group, how successful do we want to be? I think that all of us think that we can be the top band in the world at one point, We understand that with hard work, dedication and commitment, this will happen. We are not going to give up until we achieve a worldwide following and make an impact on the music industry globally. We are going to do everything that it takes to do that. It is just the beginning, and we are going to get out there, try our hardest and play our hardest. We do have a plan and a focus, and we do know we have to take proper steps and prioritize what we need to put most of our energy behind. Touring is where most of our energy is right now because we want to expose ourselves more. Then you get people who get to know you and love you and want to start doing things for you. The more people who believe in you, that sparks more opportunities.