Quickly following the release of their self-titled debut EP, the Naarm/Melbourne punk band Split System have returned with the blistering "Demolition," a brutal blow and first single from their forthcoming debut LP that's aimed and ready to fire through the ever-reliable Legless Records in October. We caught up with guitarist Ryan Webb for a quick chat about the lead cut, the new album, and how the star-studded lineup of Split System came together.
Split System — comprised of vocalist Jackson Reid Briggs (Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters), guitarist Arron Mawson (Stiff Richards), guitarist Ryan Webb (Speed Week), bassist Deon Slaviero (The Black Heart Death Cult), and drummer Mitch McGregor (No Zu) — are crushing it in the Melbourne underground scene with their impressive rush of unhinged garage punk with a dash of The Celibate Rifles and early Saints. The five-piece came together in-between lockdowns in Melbourne after knowing each other through playing shows together. Even though it wasn't under the most ideal circumstances, the band had a few songs ready to go from their first jam and used the lockdown to record them remotely for their debut single and self-titled EP, both released earlier this year.
Now just four months later after the debut EP, Split System has released another pummeling taster hinting at bigger things to come with the bruising new single, "Demolition," the lead cut that dropped last week from their anticipated debut album, Vol. 1, out in October through Legless Records followed by a release through Drunken Sailor Records in early 2023. Recorded and mixed by Andrew Robinson (Wet Dream, Speed Week) at Rolling Stock Studios over a weekend and later mastered by Mikey Young (Power Supply, Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), the new track is a vigorous scorcher that's undeniably adrenaline-fueled through its old-fashioned sweat of serrated, chugging riffs and impeccably tight rhythms. To dive more into it, we had a quick chat with Webb to see how it all came together and get further details on the forthcoming debut LP.
Paperface Zine: Your guys' self-titled debut EP was already one of our favorite releases this year and now we can't wait for this full-length! Take me through the origins of the single "Demolition." How did this one come about?
Ryan Webb: "Demolition" was one of the last ones we wrote for the upcoming album. I recorded a rough demo of the guitar, and we went through it at rehearsal. Jackson took it away and worked on the lyrics. We locked down the structure in the studio, and laid it all down.
PFZ: I read in a press release that the track celebrates the feeling of being floored by a memory or person when you most need it. What inspired the songwriting for it?
RW: Jackson was working on a building next to a demolition site at the same time he and his partner were expecting a baby, so the lyrics capture that moment in time for him. Musically, It's a song of two halves. I also love a minor chord, in fact, B minor – which appears in "Demolition" – is in my top three chords.
PFZ: Since this is the lead single to your forthcoming debut LP, what have the sessions been like for it?
RW: The album is called Vol. 1. We recorded it back in March over a weekend with Andy Robinson of Wet Dreams and Speed Week fame. We burned through everything pretty quickly, and Jackson recorded the vocals in bits and pieces a few weeks later before he headed overseas. The album carries on from the 7" with a bit more polish. We spent a bit more time working on the songs this time around too.
PFZ: With the album set to be released around October, what are you most excited about for its release?
RW: We're all super excited to play some shows, as we've only played a handful so far. We're looking to launch it in Melbourne in November, and hopefully play some other parts of Australia over the summer.
PFZ: I see you're also releasing the debut album through Drunken Sailor Records in early 2023. How'd you get connected with them?
RW: Drunken Sailor are releasing the debut in the UK and Europe in early 2023. Mawson and Jackson have worked with Drunken Sailor before. It's a ripper label, they release some of the best punk music going around – shout outs to Smirk, Chain Whip and Poison Ruin.
PFZ: What has it been like working with Legless Records for this upcoming release? Like Drunken Sailor, they've really showcased some of the best of the Australian underground scene.
RW: Mawson (guitarist in Split System) actually runs Legless. He has put in a heap of hard work building it up over the last few years. He's doing God's work.
"Demolition" is out now through Legless Records.
Stream the new single below.