NOT LONG AFTER WINNING RENO’S
BATTLE OF THE BANDS, RENO BASED ROCK POWERHOUSE
SPLIT PERSONA BLEW AWAY THE LEGENDARY
WHISKY-A-GO-GO AND RELEASED THEIR
EXPLOSIVE SELF-TITLED DEBUT EP
Led by the vision and intensely ambitious spirit of multi-talented front man, guitarist and songwriter Zander Hoschak, Reno based hard rockers Split Persona got off to such a blazing start in 2019 and early 2020 that literally only a pandemic had the power to halt their momentum. After officially playing together for only three weeks, they won the Spanish Springs High School Battle of the Bands and started recording their explosive but super melodic self-titled debut EP, which included Billy Idol & Black Sunshine’s drummer Matt “Toast” Young on two tracks. Zander reached out to the legendary Whisky a Go Go club on L.A.’s Sunset Strip in October - and at the end of January, they blew the doors off the club opening for Kingdom Come. A few weeks after their big EP release party at The Holland Project (Reno’s most prominent cultural and arts center), COVID happened.
With the EP newly released on the streaming services, Split Persona – whose current lineup includes Zander, Darren Menning (bass, backing vocals), Brogan Kelley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Mike Patterson (drums) – is raring to tackle whatever 2021 may bring. For a group that Zander says literally formed by accident, they bring a ton of edgy, eclectic sonic energies to the indie rock world – balancing explosive, hard hitting guitar stabs and propulsive drum parts with memorable melodies, catchy hooks and the singer’s emotionally compelling but often coolly abstract lyrics.
Everything began when Zander moved to Reno from the small town of Truckee, CA and, through a mutual musician friend met Darren and Mike, who at the time were committed to their ska/punk/reggae band Sell The Sun. Zander offered to do photography for the band and they all started hanging out. Darren and Mike soon offered Zander a spot in Sell The Sun. Zander was the band’s lead guitarist for several months, but something was clearly missing - and Zander kept pushing hard to put his archived hard rock songs to use and form a new group. Impressed with Zander’s multitude of talents, Darren suggested the two form Split Persona out of the ashes of Sell the Sun. The new ensemble quickly evolved from there until the current lineup took shape.
Split Persona was kickstarted by – and the Split Persona EP is loaded with - the group’s hard-edged interpretations of songs Zander began demo’ing when he was only 13 and throughout high school. A perfect showcase for his powerful, soaring vocals, the infectious, high octane focal track “Keep It” was inspired by the anger the singer felt for the toxic social environment of the private school he previously attended. “Melted Clocks” is a slow burning mid-tempo track using compelling metaphors to relate the heartbreak a female friend of his was experiencing. Perhaps the trippiest, most offbeat tune is the mood swinging “Strawberries,” which invites us into Zander’s first and only experience with acid.
“We developed our vibe from different influences such as Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Van Halen and many others,” Zander says. “Darren and I went into the recording process of the EP with the songs I had already written to get a start on the band. Since its release, though, the band has spent more time writing together and developing the sound and overall vibe that is Split Persona today. I think the EP marked a new beginning to a band full of new soundscapes and personalities both musically and professionally. We push each other to be better and work harder, which opens new venues for creativity. We don’t fit in a specific genre, which we like. Keep developing and keep them guessing.”
Find out more about Split Persona and listen to their music on your favorite online streaming platform.
Split Persona is:
Zander Hoschak - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
Darren Menning - Bass, Backup Vocals
Brogan Kelley - Rhythm Guitar, Backup Vocals
Mike Patterson - Drums