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The Dirty Brew of Short Eyes

Which of the Short Eyes guys admits to listening to Train? - Image by Cliff Endsley
Which of the Short Eyes guys admits to listening to Train?

"Nobody uses the word ‘grunge’ anymore, so I tell people our band plays dirt pop,” says singer/guitarist Sean Sanders, whose group Short Eyes began as a one-man band.

“I’d played with Kevin [Whan, the drummer] before, and I’d talked to him through Facebook about getting together for old time’s sake. We jammed a few times at my place, and it took off from there.”

Whan says he added the “pop” flavor to Sanders’s dirty brew. “Sean had a vision of bringing ’60s garage rock back to San Diego when he finished college at San Francisco State…with my pop and indie influences, I think Short Eyes has an old sound with a new twist.”

Singer/bassist Chris Richardson adds a ’70s-inspired ingredient to the mix. “I supply the funk and most of that jam-band groove.”

Guitarist Justin Sanders adds another spice. “I love to surf, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re a surf-rock band. At least my parts are.”

Short Eyes performs Thursday, April 26, at the Flying Elephant in Carlsbad.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?

Sean Sanders: “The second album by Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost.”

Kevin Whan: “Best Coast’s first album, Crazy for You.”

Chris Richardson: “An old classic: Sérgio Mendes, Equinox.”

Justin Sanders: “Ryan Adams, Cardinology.”

MOST EMBARRASSING SONG IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Sean: “Lou Reed, ‘Rock Minuet.’”

Kevin: “Train, ‘Save Me San Francisco.’”

Chris: “The Kinison, ‘What Are You Listening To?’”

WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE BROKE?

Sean: “Swami’s Meditation Gardens.”

Kevin: “Balboa Park.”

Chris: “Mi casa.”

Justin: “The E Street Café.”

BEST CONCERT?

Kevin: “Paul McCartney at Coachella in 2009. Truly a magical performance, with him talking about his friend John Lennon and covering songs that John sang.”

Chris: “Black Angels with Black Mountain at the Belly Up. I love them both.”

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE YOUNGER YOU?

Sean: “Limp Bizkit’s not as great as you think.”

Kevin: “Never listen to anyone in the music biz.”

Chris: “Let it come to you.”

Justin: “Don’t worry, your mustache will grow.”

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?

Sean: “Seth Green, but I honestly think I look more like Susan Sarandon.”

Kevin: “Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Sometimes Peter Brady.”

Justin: “Robert Downey Jr.”

WORST INJURY?

Kevin: “I broke my left elbow skateboarding in front of a girl I had a crush on in high school. Tried to look cool and blew it. I cried like a baby and got rushed to the ER to get pins put in my arm. Great day.”

Chris: “I had just finished a show at a house party and was feeling good when I tried doing a 360 onto an electrical box on the way to the bars afterwards and broke my ankle.”

PET PEEVE?

Kevin: “People who smile too much and don’t understand tough times for a younger lad like myself. ‘Why doesn’t he go to college?’ Or ‘Why doesn’t he work in an office?’ That’s not who I am, that’s why.”

Sean: “That I don’t live closer to Rudy’s Taco Shop.”

EVER BEEN A CRIMINAL?

Kevin: “As a high school prank, I lit fireworks off at a cheerleader slumber party. They ended up catching us in a church parking lot.”

BIGGEST REGRET?

Kevin: “Not making moves on the hot girls when I was younger.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

Chris: “I saw Stevie Wonder at NAMM 2011. There was a crowd of people following him. He had headphones on and somebody leading him around. I don’t know how to describe it other than breathtaking.”

FAVORITE MOVIE BASED ON A BOOK?

Sean: “Lolita. The Stanley Kubrick version.”

Kevin: “Holes. Great read!”

Chris: “Stand by Me is a classic.”

Justin: “True Grit is a great book and a great movie.” ■

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Which of the Short Eyes guys admits to listening to Train? - Image by Cliff Endsley
Which of the Short Eyes guys admits to listening to Train?

"Nobody uses the word ‘grunge’ anymore, so I tell people our band plays dirt pop,” says singer/guitarist Sean Sanders, whose group Short Eyes began as a one-man band.

“I’d played with Kevin [Whan, the drummer] before, and I’d talked to him through Facebook about getting together for old time’s sake. We jammed a few times at my place, and it took off from there.”

Whan says he added the “pop” flavor to Sanders’s dirty brew. “Sean had a vision of bringing ’60s garage rock back to San Diego when he finished college at San Francisco State…with my pop and indie influences, I think Short Eyes has an old sound with a new twist.”

Singer/bassist Chris Richardson adds a ’70s-inspired ingredient to the mix. “I supply the funk and most of that jam-band groove.”

Guitarist Justin Sanders adds another spice. “I love to surf, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re a surf-rock band. At least my parts are.”

Short Eyes performs Thursday, April 26, at the Flying Elephant in Carlsbad.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?

Sean Sanders: “The second album by Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost.”

Kevin Whan: “Best Coast’s first album, Crazy for You.”

Chris Richardson: “An old classic: Sérgio Mendes, Equinox.”

Justin Sanders: “Ryan Adams, Cardinology.”

MOST EMBARRASSING SONG IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Sean: “Lou Reed, ‘Rock Minuet.’”

Kevin: “Train, ‘Save Me San Francisco.’”

Chris: “The Kinison, ‘What Are You Listening To?’”

WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE BROKE?

Sean: “Swami’s Meditation Gardens.”

Kevin: “Balboa Park.”

Chris: “Mi casa.”

Justin: “The E Street Café.”

BEST CONCERT?

Kevin: “Paul McCartney at Coachella in 2009. Truly a magical performance, with him talking about his friend John Lennon and covering songs that John sang.”

Chris: “Black Angels with Black Mountain at the Belly Up. I love them both.”

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE YOUNGER YOU?

Sean: “Limp Bizkit’s not as great as you think.”

Kevin: “Never listen to anyone in the music biz.”

Chris: “Let it come to you.”

Justin: “Don’t worry, your mustache will grow.”

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?

Sean: “Seth Green, but I honestly think I look more like Susan Sarandon.”

Kevin: “Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Sometimes Peter Brady.”

Justin: “Robert Downey Jr.”

WORST INJURY?

Kevin: “I broke my left elbow skateboarding in front of a girl I had a crush on in high school. Tried to look cool and blew it. I cried like a baby and got rushed to the ER to get pins put in my arm. Great day.”

Chris: “I had just finished a show at a house party and was feeling good when I tried doing a 360 onto an electrical box on the way to the bars afterwards and broke my ankle.”

PET PEEVE?

Kevin: “People who smile too much and don’t understand tough times for a younger lad like myself. ‘Why doesn’t he go to college?’ Or ‘Why doesn’t he work in an office?’ That’s not who I am, that’s why.”

Sean: “That I don’t live closer to Rudy’s Taco Shop.”

EVER BEEN A CRIMINAL?

Kevin: “As a high school prank, I lit fireworks off at a cheerleader slumber party. They ended up catching us in a church parking lot.”

BIGGEST REGRET?

Kevin: “Not making moves on the hot girls when I was younger.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

Chris: “I saw Stevie Wonder at NAMM 2011. There was a crowd of people following him. He had headphones on and somebody leading him around. I don’t know how to describe it other than breathtaking.”

FAVORITE MOVIE BASED ON A BOOK?

Sean: “Lolita. The Stanley Kubrick version.”

Kevin: “Holes. Great read!”

Chris: “Stand by Me is a classic.”

Justin: “True Grit is a great book and a great movie.” ■

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Outtakes: SOMETHING YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF? Sean: “Cigarettes.” Kevin: “Condoms.” Chris: “A five dollar bill.” Justin: “Top Ramen.”

WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Kevin: “Travel the world by music, and take care of the people I love.” Chris: “I want to go skydiving.”

ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS? Sean: “Spiders.” Kevin: “Forgetting who matters.” Chris: “Heights.” Justin: “Satan.”

EVER BEEN A CRIME VICTIM? Chris: “It was the last day of 7th grade, I was living in Canada, and my buddy invited some friends over to play video games and drink Coke. An 8th grader somehow heard about this party and threatened us to get an invite. He had my friend on the ground, I told him to leave him alone, and he tore me to pieces.”

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? Sean: “Only when I look into your eyes.” Kevin: “If you watch me drum, you’ll see it.” Chris: “Indeed, but sometimes it can be deceptive.” Justin: “No.”

WHERE DO YOU TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS? Sean: “Sea World.” Kevin: “The O.B. Noodle House.” Chris: “Nico’s Taco Shop.” Justin: “The beach.”

SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU? Sean: “My motto is skate or die.” Kevin: “I’m super OCD with getting places on time.” Chris: “I’m not eligible to vote.” Justin: “I’ve never been to Alaska.”

April 25, 2012

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