Short Fictions Is Emo For Pittsburgh (But They're Much More Than That)


Pittsburgh band Short Fictions' latest album deals with a lot of Pittsburgh-centric issues.

“I’m not mad at Pittsburgh,” said Sam Treber, the band’s vocalist and guitarist. “I love Pittsburgh. I’m just disappointed in the powers that be, I guess. Pittsburgh, I love it. I’m never leaving.”

The band’s latest album is called “Fates Worse Than Death.”

“It’s mostly about climate change and also a lot about gentrification in Pittsburgh and then there’s just some lighthearted songs,” Treber said.

He’s been making music since he was a kid, but really found his calling in his teenage years.

“Probably age 14, 15 is when I started going to DIY shows and that really changed the course for the better,” he said. “And then I started playing shows because I realized I could, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

The DIY scene allowed Treber to take chances with his music, blending elements of all the music he loves.

“People say emo, but I think that’s kind of limiting,” Treber said. “There is some emo in there, but there’s a lot of pop. There’s some screamo. There’s some math to an extent. Half the time when we play a show and our trombonist takes out his trombone, someone will whisper, ‘Ska.’”

“You gotta just blend them all together,” he added. “To quote Miley Cyrus, ‘Best of both worlds.’”

Short Fictions recently got some national press from the taste-making publication Pitchfork and Treber relishes the opportunity to be inspiring.

“I used to read Pitchfork a lot,” he said. “Back in the day, you know, some albums that were really monumental for me as a young person, I found on Pitchfork. It’s cool to think that I could be on the other end of the equation for somebody. That’s really cool.”

“Fates Worse Than Death” is full of sharp observations, at times challenging yet inventive instrumentation, as well as a heartfelt pining for a bright Pittsburgh future. “Really Like You,” though, is a pop masterpiece on a more personal level.

“Well, they say that Pittsburgh is the biggest small town and ‘Really Like You’ is kind of that feeling of when you see someone on the street and maybe you had a crush on them, maybe you still do, and suddenly they’re in your thoughts, they’re in your dreams, and you didn’t even really ask for that,” Treber said. “And now you’re burdened by this. Not really. It’s kind of just a silly, goofy little romance song. It’s fun. I’m not upset.”


Pittsburgh Artist of the Week