Short Fictions Share a List of Their Favorite Pittsburgh-Based Musicians

From Code Orange to Mac Miller, vocalist Sam Treber names 10 fellow Steel City acts that inspire the band ahead of their new album Every Moment of Every Day.

Short Fictions Share a List of Their Favorite Pittsburgh-Based Musicians

From Code Orange to Mac Miller, vocalist Sam Treber names 10 fellow Steel City acts that inspire the band ahead of their new album Every Moment of Every Day.

Words: Mike LeSuer

June 23, 2022

Even living in a city like Chicago, it’s hard to watch the bands you love glow up to the point where they emigrate to LA or New York. Sure, you want them to succeed, and success doesn’t necessarily mean a stripping of the DIY ethos and community-mindedness they displayed when you saw them play in the basement of a condemned property, but there does seem to be some correlation between that sort of displacement and the shedding of a sound that can clearly be identified by the setting it was created within, even if you can’t quite explain why.

The flipside to that sadness is watching some of the greatest artists you’ve ever heard fizzle out before they even toured outside your city, incidentally creating a legend that sometimes can’t quite even translate to their recorded music. Instead you can only hope for a group like Short Fictions to come along and absorb that influence into their own distinct songwriting framework, churning out tracks equally inspired by anthemic emo, frantic screamo, and electronic-drumbeat-driven pop as heard on their latest release, Every Moment of Every Day.

With their new record proving a much smoother roller-coaster ride than Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit, the band’s Sam Treber took the time to take us through some of Pittsburgh’s most inspiring musical acts, past and present, from local legends to cult-figure exports. Pre-order their new album before it drops tomorrow via Lauren Records here, and read on for Treber’s words.

Code Orange 

This one almost goes without saying, to the point where I was hesitant to even include them. But honestly, Code Orange truly is the model for any independent Pittsburgh band. Obviously they’re pretty famous now, but they still have a lot of DIY ethos in what they do (fun fact: they have a unit in the same practice facility as us). Plus, they haven’t relocated out of Pittsburgh, and still have a lot of pride for our city, which I think is awesome.  


It’s kind of insane to me that any side project (Adventures shares three members with Code Orange) could be this good. Supersonic Home is maybe the best indie album of the last 10 years. I need this band to reunite ASAP.  

Skull Kid

Skull Kid was the emo band at a time when Pittsburgh was basically the emo capital of the world. They have a song called “Space Jam II” that, if you went to shows between 2012 and 2016, you know all the words to. We looked up to them a lot in the early days of Short Fictions. Their guitarist Chloe plays in our band now. I’m still starstruck.   


An incredible band I don’t think ever officially broke up, but hasn’t played in a long time. Recommended listening: It Could Be You EP (2016).


This band dropped a 14-song shoegaze masterpiece called Through Time and Space I Will (Have No) (Hold Your) Place in 2016 and then fell apart shortly thereafter. One of those bands where everything they ever did was great and probably could have been huge with the right management, but instead remains locally legendary. I will never not shoot for this band. Their main contributor has a new band called Tyler Heaven that I also highly recommend.

Shin Guard

This band started playing shows in, like, 2017 and were immediately loved in Pittsburgh, and very quickly became a cult band all over the world basically. Some of the most talent per capita of any band I’ve ever known. They still play as Hazing Over with almost all the same members, but it’s more on the hardcore side whereas Shin Guard was more eclectic. Me and their front person Owen lived together for a while as well, and watching them come into their own musically was one of the most magical eras of my life.  

Feeble Little Horse

This is a new Pittsburgh band! They’re quickly blowing up and it’s sick to see. Their music is super catchy; they have a contemporary indie-rock feel but the riffs go incredibly hard too. Keep an eye on these guys.


Super catchy indie stuff like you might hear at, like, an Urban Outfitters—but I mean that in a good way. At their peak they were touring with TTNG, but I would classify them as a band who could have been huge if they were able to tour more. Not a bad song in their whole discography. If you came up on Pittsburgh DIY anytime between 2010 and 2020 this band is everything to you.


This band features a few members of Edhochuli, another legendary Pittsburgh band, but I kinda prefer Calyx. Basically, picture, like, the most powerful metal/post-hardcore band you’ve ever seen but with really hooky songwriting.  

Mac Miller

I wanted to include some legacy artists on this list as well. I considered Wiz Khalifa, George Benson, Black Moth Super Rainbow, or Art Blakey, but I think Mac best epitomizes the Pittsburgh dream. Also a lot of the big artists turned their backs on Pittsburgh after gaining success, but I feel like Mac always stayed down to earth. I mean, up until his death it wasn’t uncommon for him to just show up at college parties. I think it gave us all the hope to believe that any cornball from the city could be successful with some luck and a good work ethic. Rest in peace, king.