Interview with Zander Hoschak (Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar) of Split Persona and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Zander: I would consider the band as of now a rising independent hard rock band.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Zander: I was born in Tampa, Florida but I currently reside in Reno, NV with my bandmates Darren Menning, Brogan Kelley, and Mike Jo Patterson. I started playing music in 2014 when my dad and I watched the movie “Whiplash” featuring one of the best movie drum solos in history. Anyway, he goes “You think that drum solo was good?” to 11 year old me, to which he pulled up YouTube and said “See what you think of Alex Van Halen’s”. To that, I was blown away. I was always raised on AC/DC, Social Distortion, Pearl Jam, and everything even including Van Halen themselves thanks to BOTH my parents, but something was different about this solo today. It was incredible. My dad followed that video up with Eddie Van Halen’s 13 minute Eruption solo from Van Halen’s “Live Without a Net”, and this one changed my life. I felt inspired but at the same time intrigued how he got those sounds out of his guitar. I wanted to do it myself. I picked up guitar almost the next day, and years would pass as I would discover new and old bands expanding my playing ability whilst my imaginary record collection. Then Dave Grohl stuck his foot into the door of my life when I actually learned “Everlong” to impress a girl at school. I actually ended up impressing myself, but I don’t think it was until I heard “All My Life” to know I was hooked on this new sound and personality. I now wanted to sing, and write my own songs. So I started writing my own songs, and when I moved to Reno, NV I met a bass player Darren Menning and introduced him to my music. I ended up joining a band with him which lasted a few months, and then he suggested we finally start a band using my music. I was all for it and now I’m here today!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Zander: My musical influences are mainly Dave Grohl for my songwriting and my singing and Eddie Van Halen for my theory and musical experimentation. But I’m always finding new musical influences the more I discover and meet artists, currently I’m blasting Beartooth’s new singles on my way to work. My non-musical influences have to include my mom, for never letting me forget to be myself and the friends I’ve made so far through my music career for never leaving my side and trusting my crazy ideas.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Zander: My goal is to one day with my music bring live music and rock bands back into the mainstream spotlight. With Split Persona being involved in or leading that movement. My dream is to have the world listen to my music, and hear it for what it is. When I write lyrics and music, I don’t always put a lot of thought into it instead, letting the music and the lyrics melt onto the paper straight from my emotions and my head. It all conveys an emotion or a message, and I want that to resonate with as many people as possible.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Zander: I am the primary songwriter in the band. Darren wrote the basslines and co-produced with Tom Gordon for the first EP, but the lyrics and the compositions of the songs were written before I even met Darren. The new album however, there were some songs I wrote alone, and some we’re all different contributions from everyone. Like Brogan wrote a really groovy riff for a song, and Darren improved a few lyrics on another, and Mike came up with an awesome double bass pattern. Basically all of us write in bits and pieces. The songs themselves are about whatever you feel like the song is about. If it’s really that obvious, I’m sure you can figure it out. If it’s not, then see how the song speaks to you personally.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Zander: We’ve used a couple PR managers in the past to get our stuff out there, but before the pandemic hit and we even knew about any of that, we did it the old fashion way. We posted stuff EVERYWHERE, put posters on every street lamp and played and made friends as much as we could. The old fashion way has proved to work, which is why we try to do both while still keeping the inspiration to write and make good music for the people we’re sharing it with.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Zander: Downloading music online is inevitable. If people want your music bad enough without paying for it, they’ll download an mp3 online. In this day and age however, we have streaming services to make it easier and cheaper to listen to music online while still crediting the artist. So to me it’s way more difficult to download an mp3 of “Shout at the Devil” by Motley Crue than to pull it up on YouTube for free. I think we’re past the age of needing to download music to listen to it online.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Zander: I wish I had written Muse’s “Plug In Baby”. The melody riff is so F**kin catchy man. It’s an ear worm for sure. Royal Blood’s “Out of the Black” would be up there with it. It’s such a kickass groove with one of the best breakdowns I’ve ever heard in music. It was so new for me when I first heard it, and when I found out it wasn’t even a guitar rather a bass? I thought anything was possible. I wish I wrote it just so I could play that song live. I saw them personally play it live at Janis Landing in St. Petersberg, Florida, and people go crazy when they hear that song.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Zander: Stabbing the tip of my fingers on the edge of my guitar strings. It creates these little finger pricks that just catch you by surprise, and they bleed. Music gear being expensive is another one. I wish we could afford road cases so our cargo wouldn’t break on the road once we tour, but it’s like $10,000 just for flight cases! Like dude, either break your stuff, or go broke.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Zander: I think my proudest moment was selling out a show at the Holland Project last February at Split Persona’s EP release show. I got to crowd surf for the first time in my life which was just such an experience. Seeing that many people (being 100-200) that just came to see us was just such a good feeling.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Zander: We’re working on our next album which will be announced soon! So make sure to give us a follow so you know when it’s out 🙂
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Zander: You can stream it on any of the streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Tidal, and if you want a physical copy of the EP that is currently out you can get it on our website at SplitPersona.com
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