Split Decision rocks without hesitation

By Christine Blom
May 4, 2006

Jerry Zurek

People are standing outside, dying to get in. The line is half-way around the block. They anxiously wait as they get closer and closer to the door. With their $5 bill and ID in hand, there is nothing college kids love more than drink specials on the weekend.

Correction: there is nothing college kids love more than drink specials and live music; it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is.

Brownies 23 East on Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore, Pa. is home to many college coeds from Wednesday until Saturday. With numerous specials and great local cover bands playing every night, people head to Brownies in herds.

Split Decision is the most popular band that plays at Brownies.

After getting together in 1998, Walt, Ray, Doug and Christian took the Tri-state area by storm. They were later joined in 2005 by keyboard player and back-up vocalist Mike, the fifth and final band member.

Split Decision plays over 250 shows a year and they play all over; from Massachusetts to Virginia.

“We play four nights a week during the year and five nights between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” Ray, the lead guitarist, said.

“After Labor Day, we take a 10-day vacation then regroup and get back to work,” Doug, the drummer, added.

In 2002, they signed an endorsement with Bud Light. A year later, the guys were chosen first out of thousands of bands nation-wide to be endorsed by Budweiser True Music. There were only 100 bands chosen out of the entire country. Split Decision considers this to be a huge honor.

2003 was a booming year for Split. They started breaking attendance records at all the local night clubs they were playing. They also put out their first CD, Lost and their singles could be heard all over radio waves, especially on the station formally known as Y-100.

All of the band members have been playing music since they were very young, Christian however just began singing when he was 20 years old in his first band, Throttle.

In 2004, Split Decision was nominated and won four awards at the Philly Music Awards. They won Best Bass Player (Walt), Best Guitarist (Ray), Best Lead Vocals (Christian) and Best Cover Band.

After Mike joined in 2005, the band began production on their second original album.

Split Decision has a very strict routine. No matter what venue they are playing, the guys get there an hour before show time to set up and do a sound check. After the sound check, they retreat to a quiet location to gather their thoughts, run through what songs they will be playing and in what order.

“We try to change our sets up every so often so that we aren’t always playing the same songs,” Christian said.

When asked what their favorite song to play during a show was, Christian responded immediately by saying “Well, it depends. What is your favorite song?”

“No, but seriously, our favorite song to play is the next one,” Christian said. “As long as we still get to keep playing and make sure that people are having a good time, that’s what matters.”

In a standard Split Decision show, like the ones at Brownies, the line up will consist of songs by Bon Jovi, All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, Sublime and Oasis. They try to play as many requests as possible that come through their e-mail request box along with playing music that inspires them.

“I grew up listening to lots of different stuff: the Beatles, the Stones, Billy Joel, U2, Van Halen, Zeppelin, etc.” Ray said.

“We just try to play stuff that is fun and will keep the crowd hyped,” Doug said.

Apparently even “Piano Man” can get the crowd all riled up when you’re at a Split Decision show.

“The craziest show we ever had was when we played at University of Scranton and people just started moshing to Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man,'” Doug said.

Split Decision isn’t considered just to be an incredible performing group, but they are considered to be heart throbs as well. They have had their fair share of stalkers and crazy fans since the group has become popular.

“This one chick wouldn’t get off the hood of my car,” Doug said. “I was like ‘If you don’t get off I’m just gonna drive away.’ And she kept yelling ‘Well then, you’re just going to have to run me over because I’m not going anywhere. That had to have been the craziest thing I had ever experienced.”

Split Decision is thrilled to announce that their new CD, still untitled will be released sometime towards the end of May. It is their second original record. It will be available online and at all their shows.

“Who knows what we’ll call it,” Mike said. “Maybe we’ll be like Prince and just pick some random symbol.”

“We might just call it ‘Split Decision Greatest Hits, Volume 6’ so that people start looking for volumes one through five,” Doug said jokingly.

Since the band has already been together for so long, they hope to keep living their dream and doing what they are doing.

“Not to sound like too much of a clich

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Christine Blom

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