Hailing from Long Beach, these CA scene veterans have been getting plenty of attention for their fresh take on the classic Socal-HB sound. With a new album, 'Truth Denied' out on the legendary TKO Records; Gravy caught up with the Short ones...
Interview By Conan Troutman
Gravy: Introduce yourselves.
Jeremy: Hi, I’m Jeremy and I do vocals; Andy: I play guitar; Ron: I’m Ron - I play the bass; Nick: Nick Manning – I play drums
Gravy: 46 Short - a description of your setlist?
Nick: Song titles on on a piece of paper….
Andy: Our set goes song to song, with just a couple quick breaks for tuning. Don't blink or you might miss it.
Ron: Rather than have people say ‘well, they were good, but they played too long". We keep it short - our goal is to go on and off stage high energy.
Jeremy: The set list pulls from all 3 records. Usually 12 – 13 songs and we start practicing it way ahead of time so we can be tight as possible and give people their monies worth on gig night.
Gravy: I understand you’re veterans of the Cali HC punk scene; what projects have you been involved in (not just bands, zines, radio etc).
Jeremy: Prior to 46 Short I had formed a band called $am’s Laff and did a split 7". Other than music, I’ve been making punk rock flyers and doing CD layouts for lots of years.
Andy: I have record store in Tustin/Santa Ana, CA. It’s been around for almost 11 years now. Ron and I have put out some records on Crawlspace and Green Flag Records. I just like music and try to support it whenever I can.
Nick: I play in a couple of different projects, I also have a small recording and merch project.
Ron: I’ve played in too many bands, most not worth mentioning. I work as a booking agent for punk and hardcore bands and have promoted shows on and off for the past 10 years. Recently I’ve been doing studio work - producing. I just finished new records by Clit 45 and another by Lower Class Brats. I hope to do more in the future. Like Andy, I love music and feel lucky to earn a living doing something good and honest.
Gravy: You describe yourselves as "Socially conscious, non-racist hardcore punk without the dogma, and "cooler than you" attitudes." Do you feel the current punk/HC has lost its way?
Jeremy: This is such a loaded question. I think it is easy for me to romanticize the "old days". Punk had so much appeal to me because it was so innocent and raw. I connected with the music and lyrics. These days it seems like there are a lot of bands seeing the scene as nothing more than a popularity contest. With factory made vinyl banners and more merchandise than a 7 Eleven. What happened to the music?
Andy: When we toured Europe it was cool how every night we’d be playing with a ska, metal, or a straight edge band. People from all different scenes and all different ages would show up at the shows. No attitudes, and the people were open minded and really fuckin’ cool. When I was a kid that’s how it was going to shows. Now it seems if you go and all the bands are similar and fashion plays a big part of who is cool and who’s not. The message has been lost in the fashion show. It’s not entirely true, there still are a lot of people out there for the music.
Ron: With any music scene fashion / style seem to rule over content. Punk rock is not exempt from that. The thing that irks me the most is how certain people and bands will proclaim ‘be yourself!". Yet behave in a manner that says ‘be like me’. Now more than ever the underground music scene is segregated be it D-beat, posi-core, hardcore, streetpunk and people only want to see the same type of bands on a show. That’s boring and (in my eyes) not very punk rock. Where is the variety?? Where is the originality? It’s a shame and it’s something that has helped keep the mental state of the punk scene on the short bus.
Nick: I am not sure if you can call what is happening in the mainstream punk.
Gravy: Your sound is quite reminiscent of early-mid 80s West Coast punk; usual influences; Black Flag, Adolescents, Circle Jerks?
Andy: That’s what I grew up on. It’s just natural, that’s the sound we end up with when we write songs. Getting compared to band like that is a huge compliment to me.
Ron: Some of my all time favorite bands. Thanks!!
Jeremy: Yes, definitely influenced by those bands. I also really got into Fugazi and a local band of years past called Garblecrat.
Nick: I guess I’ve always felt that 46 sounded like 46..
Gravy: What influences you apart from music?
Jeremy: Personal experience, art and movies are the 3 big factors. I’m a big fan of the current underground art scene ala Juxtapoz magazine and documentary movies. Recent favorites have been "Dark Days", "Born into Brothels", and "City of God".
Nick: I think everything I have ever come across has influenced me one way or another. Life feeds everything and we pull from that if we like it or not.
Ron: Just about anything... books, film, art. Seeing the way this counties government slowly takes away everyone’s ability to make personal choices. That’s probably been the biggest influence on our lyrics… anger. We try pretty hard not to be preachy and obvious and stick with topics that directly touch our lives.
Gravy: What makes 'punk' punk; is it possible to define it?
Ron: That’s like asking ‘what is the blues?". Everyone has thier own definition. For me punk is more than music, it’s more about what you are NOT then what you ARE. I do my best to exist and try not to participate in the destruction/exploitation of our planet as much as I can. Like that Flux record "Strive to Survive causing least suffering possible"
Jeremy: Punk is your high school chemistry teacher that doesn’t give a fuck about the rules or bureaucracy and does everything in their power to make you learn…the unsung heroes. Some of the punkest people I know haven’t heard a single note of the music.
Andy: I don’t think you can define that. It means something different to everyone.
Gravy: Is it still relevant today; now it’s such a consumer commodity rather than a challenge to the status quo?
Jeremy: For the most part it is a commodity. Unfortunately I think the action sports industry had a big hand in that. Punk has always been influential in skateboarding, surfing, etc. When those sports recently "blew up" with the X Games, etc. punk became part of the marketing package for this genre. There is still underground music out there and people that care about making a difference. It is more challenging to get new fans of the music to see that.
Ron: As soon as The Damned released the "New Rose" 7" punk rock became a commodity. The same rule applies when a painter puts his work up for sale in a gallery. But it’s true value can be seen in its content and ability to inspire. (For me) punk rock still has value and merit as long as it inspires in someway. Be it a kid picks up a guitar, or does something that contributes to making this shitty world a better place. So yeah, punk can still be a threat.. it’s all what an individual chooses to get out of it.
Andy: As soon as I start defining what’s punk or not, I start contradicting what punk is to me. Who am I to say?
Nick: Where I grew up, punk was a label put on those who were drunks, bullies and fuck ups. The music was an accessory to that…
Gravy: Lets talk about your new album 'Truth Denied'; its on TKO records right?
Jeremy: Yes. I’m really happy with it.
Ron: I think it’s not only the best record we’ve done, but also the most focused. The songs really go together well. It’s a real kick in the gonads. If a person likes it, that’s appreciated. If not, that’s OK as it wasn’t done for mass acceptance. I think one of the differences with us is we don’t make music so we can ‘sell units’ or to be popular. 46 Short exists cause we love playing punk rock. we are not looking for approval. This is our outlet so if people don’t ‘get it’ that’s OK with us.
Gravy: What does the title mean to you?
Jeremy: "Truth Denied" is this mental state where you can’t really see beyond a fog of depression. It is a lyric that comes out of the song "CANCER" on the new CD. It is about a friend of mine who succumbed to this dark, distortion of reality and took his own life. It also applies in a broader sense to other songs on the record that kind of deal more with the reality of where our nation is and what direction it is going. More along the lines of separating fact from fiction and deciphering the media options that we are given.
Gravy: This is your 3rd full length album right?
Gravy: How did you come to release this on TKO, the others were on Go Kart records right?
Jeremy: When we finished the record we were able to personally solicit the record and TKO was interested. We are very happy to be able to work with a respected label that is still very active in supporting independent music. "Specimen" was put out by KNOW records (CD) and Caught Red-Handed (LP). "Just a Liablility" was released by GoKart Records.
Ron: I was beyond flattered that TKO was interested in putting out our record. Some of my fave records have been put out by them.
Gravy: Are there any other 46 Short releases still in print?
Jeremy: Besides the full-lengths we have four 7"s out there. None are still in print but there are copies floating around here and there. Also, the usual collection of various comps.
Gravy: . Most of your recent shows have been in CA; have your toured much outside of the state; overseas?
Jeremy: We did a full U.S. tour in 1999 and a Europe in 2000. Lots of mini-tours through Arizona and Nevada.
Gravy: Any plans to go back on the road?
Jeremy: Ron is going to get us on the road this summer. I would love to get back to Europe someday but the focus is on the U.S. for now.
Ron: We are going to tour the US June with Clit 45 and we have some other stuff planned. Most of the tours we do will be short 1 to 2 week runs. Due to all of us being self-employed we can’t be away from work too long. No paid vacations for us.. shit. Would love to go back to Europe one day..
Gravy: Props or shots?
Jeremy: Props to the music fans and stand up people out there. Thanks for 10 years of support and countless memories that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Gravy: How can people get in touch?
Jeremy: All the contact info is at 46short.com and at www.myspace.com/46short See you at the shows.
Nick: Props to YOU.
Ron: Thanks to anyone who has supported underground music in any way.. and to you for the interview!
Thanks to Jeremy, Ron, Andy and Nick for taking the time out to do this interview. Muchos Gracias.