Rich McPherson of One Short | interview

This is the interview I did with Rich McPherson from the young Canadian band called OneShort. We've been talking about the band, their plans to the future and of course about their cooperation with Pete Lesperance. Enjoy!

One Short

So tell us more about One Short. I think many people would like to know where you came from...
One Short began in 97 in Whitby (30 minutes east of Toronto) the year we were all entering High School. It was at this point that schools in Ontario did not have extra-curricular activites such as sports, resulting in different outlets such as music were being explored. Already somewhat experienced we started practicing whenever we had the chance. We practiced and jammed in a basement for almost 2 years before we decided this was what we wanted to do, so we had to break out!

Introduce the band members to us.
We have the amazing Dan Calabrese on Drums, the sensational Steve Parker on Guitar, the superb Mike Paglia on the bass and back up vocals, and me...Rich...vocals and guitar. How does that sound? hehe

Did you release some official demo? If yes, where could we get it?
Unfortunately not. All the demos we have ever done were strictly for record companies, where we had no intentions of selling. There's one thing I hate... having to tell a fan we don't have a CD for them.

What are band's main influences and what are you listening rightnow?
Each member in the band has their own style of music they prefer. Influences range from The Beach Boys to Ozzy, it gets pretty nuts. Other influences might also include Radiohead, The Offspring, Weezer, The Used, Goo Goo Dolls, Blink 182 and Face To Face to name a few. Right now we're all listening to pretty much the same bands: Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Thrice, and The Used.

Who's the main songwriter in the band?
For the most part, each member has their hand in a new song when its being finalized. I'd say that Steve and myself primarily bring the ideas and structure of the song, including its melodies, harmonies and hooks.

How did you get involved with Pete Lesperance for the recording sessions?
To make a long story short, we met up with an A&R person, Bonnie, from Zomba Records (now defunct in Canada), and she told Pete about us, we met, and started recording. We instantly clicked.

Did he play something or he was just a producer?
Pete's not just a producer, he's part of our band. Pete helped a lot with arrangement of the songs, and overall made the songs better with his experience of being a producer and a musician. We generally suck on our instruments so we let Pete do everything. It's pretty much a Pete Lesperance solo record. Don't tell him I said this but I think he could do a little better.

Are you satisfied with the final result?
No complaints. Any final result with Pete is wicked...and we always leave the studio happy... now we just have to have record companies feeling the same way.

Are you going to be working with Pete again?
For the last year our band has been trying to distinguish a new sound, and move into something we've been working for and we've finally found that sound. As a band you can say we've grown since the last demos and its time for something new. With that said, we hope to be heading into studio with Pete more sooner than later. Its just a matter of us getting the songs ready... and that's almost complete.

You recorded a re-make of Killing Me. Have you covered something more from Harem Scarem?
Ya... "Killing Me" we did re-make the verses and bridge to give it more of a One Short edge. And yes, we'vealso covered "If You" in its entirety. I mean, we had 8 songs of our own already recorded with Pete, it wasn't gonna hurt us to lay down two Scarem tunes.

Have you heard Harem Scarem or Rubber sometimes before?
The first time I heard these dudes was through Rubber and their hit song "Sunshine". Other than that I hadn't heard anything before, aside from being familiar to the name Harem Scarem.

Are you trying to get a deal? Are you in touch with some record companies?
A record deal is our main goal. In the last two years since we've been with Pete we've worked with two Major Record Companies, only to find disappointment in the end. We clued in that we just missed the boat with these songs, and we needed something else. So...this time around things are going to be a lot different, whether some people disagree or not with the new sound, this is what we are and it has to be done. We already have the support of the fans cause they love the new shit.

When I checked the Unsigned Bands Page on I've noticed that people enjoy your music. I think it's a good sign! What do you think?
Oh definetely. Since One Short's inception, the supporters have been amazing. I mean, in High School we were 'the band' that everyone knew, and appearing on things like Jonovision (CBC), Warped Tour, major band competitions, as well as opening for bigger bands, has built us quite the fan base. With this new sound we've got everyone talking again and reaching more ears now. So its really cool. Thanks for voting!

Do you have some feedback directly from people? Tell me what they say for example after your show?
Feedback is wicked whether it be "You suck shit!" or "I love you guys!". Other than hearing the general comments of playing a good set, people like our vocals and the way they work with the music. Lately, with the new sound, we're more instense on stage now so we hear a lot of good things about that. But the best things people say, for me at least, is when they notice that we're a band that has all members attending University and College, and we're able to come out and play a show with minimal practice and still rock the stage... that's always good to hear.

How many shows do you play?
Now that we're in school we're playing like 3-4 shows a month if we're lucky. Time is a huge factor. But now that the Christmas season is right around the corner, we're trying to pack that month with shows shows shows and more shows. Our next show in Toronto is December 11th at The Kathedral.

You also have a cool website. What do you think about the internet and its effect on the music, bands and the whole showbusiness?
Thanks. The internet is one of the greatest tools for promoting a band, because it allows fans to see the band in photos, keep updated on their status, listen to sounds, talk to other fans, etc. So in that aspect its amazing. But its also negative in this obvious generation of pirating. Full albums are constantly being released on the internet by some 'stock boy' from a record company months before its supposed to hit the shelves, and that's shit.

On another note... What do you think about file sharing through P2P programs?
File sharing I don't really have a problem with. I mean, if its ALL you do, than find a new hobby. If you like the music you the album. File sharing is great for indie bands and exploring new sounds. But when you start ripping full albums and printing out the covers... and never make a trip to music store, than you need a serious education on how the music industry works. That's the problem right? Most internet sharing junkies have no idea how it all works and how the record company has to sustain itself, as well as the artist.

Tell us about your plans to the near future.
Right now, we're adding more features to our website, playing shows, writing songs, getting some good promo shots done in about two weeks, and hope to get into the studio. For now we just have to keep people talking and create a buzz.

Do you want to be a superstar? :)
I would rather be known as a good songwriter, but if I became a superstar I guess that would be OK.

Any message to Scarem's website visitors?
Thanks for accepting us. I mean we're glad to be a part of this Harem Scarem loop. It's a pretty cool scene. We hope that our music can attract listeners from all different areas. I feel our music is much different from that of Harem Scarem obviously, but we do carry some elements. But hey! Keep checking our site for updates on us, as well as your chance to hear the new songs when we get them. Thanks again Harem Scarem world!

Interview by Dan Friml
Originally posted at