It is what it is

If the hard rock ain’t broken, Shortie’s not fixing it

Shortie unmerrily goes round on the carousel.

Shortie unmerrily goes round on the carousel.

7 p.m. Friday, May 6; with Mozart Season and Dissimilar; $5-$7; all ages. Club Retro, 6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale,

For a while, it seemed like every band that played The Boardwalk was buckling under pressure to be the next nu-metal or karate-kick sensation. Through it all, the members of Shortie (vocalist Pogus, bassist Kyle Klima, guitarists Allen Wheeler and Pag, and relative newcomer Robbie Nelson on drums) have held their ground and kept doing things their own way. Whether you’ve noticed or not, the band has grown by leaps and bounds, both musically and on the home front, since its formation in the mid-1990s. Shortie’s current live show is replete with body gyrations, vocal and physical calisthenics, and airborne musicians—proof positive that the band has fine-tuned its performance skills.

In a recent interview, Pag discussed the band’s new focus. “When we were all younger and rockin’ out, we never thought about making music a career,” he said. “But as we get older, and we have families and responsibilities, we would love to make it last as long as we can. We all feel like we have grown a lot musically. Pogus has had some changes in his life and has been writing about all these new things on the new album, Without A Promise.”

Although making the new record took more time than the band had planned for, it was well worth the wait. “The recording process for this record was a little bit different than before,” Pag explained. “We went in to record with Michael Rosen [who recorded Rancid, Tesla, A.F.I. and others], and he started producing the band. He came in and changed a lot of our parts musically and did a lot of work on lyrics and melody. We never had anyone come in and work with us on that sort of level before. It was an awesome, inspiring learning experience. However, we started running out of time while starting the vocals, so we ended up asking the label for a bit more money.”

Now, duty calls, and touring looms in the near future for the band. “The current lineup is totally tour-ready!” noted the overtly excited Pag. “We’ve been booking shows all over the West Coast, from Texas and back, preparing for [larger] tours. … The label wants us to focus on the U.S. before going to Europe to tour, but they do want us to go to Europe. Hopefully, we will go this year.”

Even with new additions to the Shortie extended family, the band members still have maintained their work ethic. “Pogus and Kyle both have a kid,” Pag said. “It has not really affected our touring schedules, and we have made it work so far. Luckily, they have really great families and friends that have helped with their situations and have really been supportive of the band. We owe all our families a lot because of all the help they have given us.” Indeed, family has kept Shortie’s ship afloat. From the folks at Sacramento’s 720 Records—the band’s management and former label—to the musicians’ fans, their children and their immediate families, Shortie has never been short (pun intended) of a support system.

Now, with a new CD on Earache Records scheduled for worldwide release on May 17, these five young men will get their chance to play their cards in the music business with a proper debut. If fans of Papa Roach or hometown heroes the Deftones don’t catch on to the immediacy of Shortie’s music, perhaps we can only attribute it to today’s short attention spans. At the very least, Shortie has stayed true to itself and its slowly diminishing genre. Let’s hope the boys get their cake and get to share it with us Sacramentans.