Interview – Short Answers

“We spent two years of school talking about starting a band and writing music. Then we stopped being lazy and did it.” The following fill in the blanks come from an emo/pop punk band out of San Luis Obispo, CA. The duo is Sean Garnsey and Matt Rice. Short Answers formed back in 2012 and is currently signed to Hypergiant Records. They draw from a ton of contemporary artists including Basement, La Dispute, and Citizen. The duo released a full-length this past December. This Is a Perfect Place was written, recorded, and produced by Short Answers. Check out their responses and album below.

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Three words we’d use to describe us are….Organic, Reflective, Straightforward

The meaning/story behind our name Short Answers is…. describing the feeling when you meet a lot of temporary people that you end up disliking or not quite trusting, and so all of your interactions with them are very brief. And then sometimes you’re on the receiving end of that.

We met each other…. in college. We were in the same major and met over Facebook the summer before our freshman year when we saw that we were into the same music. Punk rock of any kind just isn’t the biggest thing where we went to school, so naturally, we talked about music a lot and made friends with other people who were into it, too. I also met our friends, Anthony and Trevor through the music programs there, and they’ll be joining us soon on bass and drums, respectively.

The pickiest eater is…. nobody. We eat everything.

The most OCD member is…. Matt. Definitely. Sean can never keep his room clean.

For fun we like to…. eat at Taco Bell.

We’re currently listening to….

  • Balance & Composure, Whirr, Turnover, and Tiny Moving Parts (Matt)
  • Troubled Coast, La Dispute, Transit and State Lines (Sean)

We find inspiration from….(To provide some background, This Is a Perfect Place is a catalog of our experiences as college students in a small town in California. We went to a good school and made many great friends and we have every reason to be thankful for that, but there were points along the way where we each experienced our own self-doubt, disintegrating relationships, and disillusionment. Warning: novels ahead.)

SG: Dreams. You’ll find the theme in several of the songs in our album. I made myself very busy during my time as a student, I took leadership positions in several organizations and their overlapping schedules would fill every hour of each day, week after week. I accomplished a lot for myself but I am left with deep regret for choosing achievement over developing relationships with people worth being closer to. For the last two years of school, I began experiencing life-like dreams with people that meant a lot to me but that I had stopped having any real interactions with for weeks if not years. I was losing touch with those people in the real world but they kept coming back to me night after night and it was both comforting and very upsetting to wake up from. A big letdown toward the end of my college career really revealed to me how much I had given up by making the choices I had. Reflecting on this now, I realize that I was deliberately choosing to distance myself to avoid social anxieties that I have. I’m still dealing with it, working harder to find balance in my life and to give my time to the people that deserve it.

MR: My inspiration is a bit scattered. I wrote a lot about social struggles – it was tough, coming from Oxnard, CA, which is a very diverse town, to San Luis Obispo, where the population is predominantly white, and a lot of kids just seem to have the same interests. There was a lot of falling out of temporary friendships, and on a regular basis for a while. It was hard to find my place there, and honestly, my attitude toward it was shit, so that didn’t help. I mention the weather here and there – I struggled through my first winter quarter at school, having not made too many friends yet, and I developed a pretty strong association with winter that turned into seasonal depression. I make a lot of references to drinking; whether you do or don’t, it’s a strong part of the culture of just about any college. For some time, I felt like it was a social crutch for me, so that was something that just naturally found its way into a lot of my writing. And of course, there’s general anxiety about my future. First World twenty-something problems, I guess.

One thing we want you to remember while listening to our music is…. that everyone’s experiences growing up are unique, but we just hope that people around our age can listen to our music and find something that speaks to them, that they can grab onto. Our favorite music is music that we relate to on a personal level, and it really means a lot when one of our friends or someone else listens and says something as small as, “hey, this is cool, I get this.”

This Is a Perfect Place was recorded in…. Matt’s room, mostly, and some of it in Sean’s old room. And I think Sean recorded a bit of his vocals in a small town called Laudenbach in Germany.

It [This Is a Perfect Place] is different from our previous releases because…. with each release we put out we’ve become more comfortable with our writing styles and abilities. This Is a Perfect Place differed from our previous EP Branded in that we weren’t trying as hard to make ourselves sound like what we thought people would want to hear (as cliché as that sounds). The two of us got to play around with different singing styles throughout; I feel like we were able to cover a lot of territory and still keep things cohesive.

If we play another band’s music it’s…. Tigers Jaw. That’s how we started playing music together.

Something odd we want our fans to know about us is…. we had class just about every day across from the bathroom where Weird Al recorded his first major single. I had to look it up – it was “My Bologna,” his parody of “My Sharona” by The Knack. Not like we’re huge Weird Al fans or anything, but now I’m really bummed that we never recorded anything there…

Our last meals would be….

  • German Milchreis (Sean)
  • In-N-Out Burger – a Double-Double, Animal Fries, and a Coke (Matt)

In the next six months you should expect…. something. Now that now that we’ve got a full band together, and all but one of us is out of school, we’re trying hard to play shows soon. That’s really been our main objective since we finished the album. This started as a small project that was only meant to be an outlet for us to write and record music, because there was no one else who wanted to play the same stuff. But the fact that we have so much music out now and have a bit of a following makes it feel really weird. We never felt like Short Answers was a “real” band, but I guess we’ve decided that it’s time we made it one. We’re really proud of what we’ve done so far and really satisfied with the reactions we’ve received, so I think we’d be foolish not to push it a bit further and see where it takes us.

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– Victoria

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