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The lead singer of Split, Jacob Dickey, performs with the band at The Union.

"Split” turns up the volume in Athens

Music is one of the few things that can bring people together. Across the world, music can be found everywhere. Performing in front of an audience is a form of community building unlike any other, bringing people of all backgrounds together for a common shared interest.

Student-run bands are found throughout Athens, from the stage of The Union to house shows and pop-up gigs. Punk, rap, rock and metal are just some of the many genres found at these frequent concerts.

The student band Split recognizes and embraces this idea of community building through live music.

Bassist Ella Franks, a sophomore studying visual communications, saw a shift in fan engagement during their second show at The Union.

"The first show, obviously, no one was singing along because they didn't know the setlist," she said. "The second show, when I looked out and everyone was singing along, I was like, 'Holy s***.' That was my moment of, 'OK, I'm doing this as long as I can.'"

Fans have grown more engaged and lively with every passing show, including crowd surfing, moshing and chanting the band's name.

"When you look at the crowd, and you see everyone, it just fills you with so much joy and happiness," said drummer Calvin Whipple, a fifth-year studying aviation. "These people are making our days every time we get to play."

Even with only having played four shows, including one house show, the five-piece performs with great confidence. Part of that confidence comes from a mentality of just having fun while performing. Guitarist Harrison Smith, a senior studying nursing, feels that just being there will boost the crowd's energy and enthusiasm, in turn, boosting that of the band.

"I always think, 'everybody is there to see you,'" he said. "So, they're not disappointed that you're there."

Even though Split does not currently have music on streaming platforms, fans already know and love their original songs.

"Especially with originals, when I look out and I see someone in the crowd singing along to an original that we wrote," said singer Jacob Dickey, a senior studying media arts production. "I'm like, 'Holy crap, we're a real band.'"

Despite being new to the Athens music scene, the band has plans to release music on streaming platforms soon.

"We're trying to record stuff soon," said Franks. We've been asked to record our cover 'Freaking Out,' so maybe that will happen, but we also have 'Dumb Dumb' and 'Sick of You.' We have some other things in the works, but not quite finished yet."

The members of Split draw their musical inspiration from many different sources, and it shows in their setlists. From "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash to "Stacy's Mom’" by Fountains of Wayne, the band taps into their influences to give fans of all music types something to enjoy.

"Through growing up … my music taste has changed a ton," said guitarist Ethan Shatz, a senior studying media arts production. "The last couple of years, I kind of got a lot more into rock, especially indie rock music."

Rock is the main inspiration for the band, however, it is not the only genre that the band pulls from.

"I listened to the radio every so often," said Dickey. "Shawn Mendes was my idol. I was like, 'Hey, I want to be a pop star singer.' I would say my genre at heart is probably pop music, but it's changing."

Like most musicians, pre-show nerves are something all the members of Split deal with, but they have ways of fighting them.

"Just taking a deep breath and then remembering, 'Who cares? It's music,'" said Shatz.

The band is still new to the local music atmosphere. Nevertheless, they appreciate all the love and support from fans they have garnered so far.

"We just love playing and we love being together and we're thankful that everyone just keeps coming out," said Whipple.

Split has a show upcoming on Oct. 27 at The Union. The band can be found on Instagram at


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