Nine Votes Short Occupies October

After a summer in hibernation and offstage struggles, local punk band Nine Votes Short, fronted by Hudson Valley student Jon Delong, is back on the Albany scene.

The band recently played at the Hudson River Coffeehouse on Sep. 27 and on Oct. 1 at the Fuze Box. Nine Votes Short’s lineup continues on Oct. 20 at the Low Beat and on Oct. 28 at Pauly’s Hotel.

Nine Votes Short have released over 45 songs in their four-year duration. Before the event, Delong said that the band is inclined to perform several new songs but mostly old songs such as “Conformity Freak”, “I F*cking Hate Ska”, and “I Know.” The band supplied their own speakers and microphones for the event on Saturday night.

According to Delong, set lists are not arranged prior to performing. He said that he meets with fellow band-members Dalton Lyons, Kevin Wiegand and Mike Lanni hours before a concert at the closest residence to drink, skateboard and compose music.

Delong rarely uses vocals during practice session due to what he describes over the course of four years as, “raising hell on my voicebox.”

The Delmar-based punk rock band was formed in 2010 by Delong, Lyons, Wiegand and Mike Lanni. “We all come from white, middle class families and live in the suburbs and that’s where all of our early stuff comes from,” Delong said on Nine Votes Short’s founding. “That’s where punk is born, kids,” he said.

Delong said that the band’s early work focused around “typical girl problems, being bored, or smoking too much.” Their early releases were greatly influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Flatliners, and Blink 182. Delong laughed, “If you haven’t listened to Blink 182, you can’t be in the band.”

Wiegand, Hudson Valley alumnus and bass guitarist for Nine Votes Short recently overcame a bout of meningitis. Wiegand recently returned to practicing with the band and managing promotions.

The frontman found the neighborhood surrounding Quail Street in Eastern Pine Hills, notoriously known as the “student ghetto,” the ideal location to kick off their concert schedule.

“College kids who are looking for a party hear the loud music and just gather,” Delong said.

Distraught over the closing of Jaywalks Coffeehouse in Scotia, where Nine Votes Short has played at regularly, Delong stressed the importance of free live music venues in the Capital Region, “I like free shows because I have a lot of younger fans and friends that want to come out and not everybody thinks to bring their ID’s,” he said.

“Playing in a place where you can just walk in and don’t have to pay for anything and just enjoy what’s going on is what makes the [Hudson River Coffee House] special,” praised the lead vocalist about the Sep. 27 show.

“You could probably get away with having a drink or nine,” joked Delong about local bars in the Albany live music scene.

Nine Vote Short’s biggest venues according to Delong have been opening for Morning Glory at Upstate Concert Hall, performing at the Chance in Poughkeepsie, and the Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia, where he claims to have “never been treated better.”

Not only did he think that local venues were inhospitable, Delong cited the unproductivity of many local bands as being a motivator to “not be one of those bands.”

He excluded Restless Streets in his list of the area’s unproductive bands, saying that, “[Restless Streets] are just a powerhouse live.”

While the band is not touring the Albany music scene, their priorities revolve around education and putting food on the table. “School is killing us all. We jam with different musicians when we can and write separately but the world really pulls at you,” said Delong, “School is hard and we all have jobs at different times of the day.”

When asked about the band’s future, Delong said, “It feels like we’re rushing. I wish I could stop and press pause. and have seven or eight more shows like the coffeehouse show.”

He concluded that being busy and isolated has advanced his creative process in songwriting. “Lately everything I’ve written has been introverted, so a lot of the stuff I’m working with is really deep because I’m not being touched by anyone else,” he said.

Said Delong, “The exciting thing about shows is that it breaks up my mundane, 35 hours of work, all the homework and this one little bit where I force myself to be social and fluid and say ‘hi’ to everyone.”


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