15 things we squeezed out of Shortstraw

2015-01-09 12:14

Cape Town – This week was the official launch of the brand new Shortstraw album, Youthless. The album which debuted at number 1 on the Itunes Album Chart, is the third album by this indie-pop band.

Channel24 caught up with the band and asked them some questions about their everyday life, plans for 2015 and of course their new album.

1) As kids growing up would you have ever imagined being where you are today?

Look, we always hoped we'd get to where we are now, but we never expected it. It's a super humbling place to be and we're lank grateful.

2) What’s the most vivid memory from your childhood that stands out even today?

When I (Al) was about 6 I started a band called Missile in Your Eye with two friends from pre-primary school. None of us could play instruments and we never even really practiced, but we tried to put a show together in a park. I drew one poster and put it up on the busiest street in PE. Nobody came obviously. In fact I don't even think the other two members came. We had a song that went "Your breath smells like a turkey". We were lank out there.

3) Can you imagine doing anything else for a living?

We all have day jobs! In an ideal world, this would be our primary source of income, but at this point in time it just isn't feasible.

4) You’ve played numerous gigs. Name the top 2 that stand out and why?

Our first show on the Tuss Tour in Sydney was unbelievable. We played to 1000 people at the Metro Theatre and the crowd was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, which came as a huge surprise to us, considering no one there had ever heard of us.

And our set at Oppikoppi 2014 was off the chain. We had an amazing crowd who sang just about every word back to us. It was the first time a crowd sang the bridge of Couch Potato back to us and it gave us all chills!

5) With whom would you like to collaborate with?

HHP would be rad.

6) Do you ever get nervous before going on stage?

Oh yeah. We always have a few beers before a show to calm the nerves!

7) Do you have any rituals you do before going on stage?

We all do our warm ups before we go on, but nothing special.

(Hanro Havenga)

8) You guys travel a lot. What’s the one thing you always have with you?

We film most of our tours and make little mini documentary type things, so it'd probably be a camera. I mean, the obvious ones like toothbrush and cellphone charger are given, right?!

9) What do you guys do when you’re not performing on stage?

We watch a lot of TV!

10) Do you ever Google yourself to see what is written about you?

Not really. Okay I just did it. It's not very exciting.

11) What does a typical day in the life of Shortstraw look like?

On tour, we will wake up probably quite early. Then we'll faff for a good hour and a half while everyone showers and crap. Then we'll head out on the road and stop for some brekkie. Ideally at a Maxi's because Maxi's is always better than you expect it to be. Then we'll drive for a while and everyone will nap in the car. Then we'll get to a venue, load in all the gear and do a sound check.

Then we'll go to our accommodation and anyone who didn't shower that morning will have a shower. We may nap. Then we'll head to the venue and have some beers and watch the other bands on the bill. Then we'll play our show and proceed to probably drink too much. Then we'll go back to the accommodation and sleep. It's not that exciting when it's put like that. Lemme change it quick: WE DO A BUNCH OF DRUGS AND MURDER PROSTITUTES AND THEN DO OTHER EXCITING STUFF! Not really.

12) Why should people get the new album?

It's got a mix of different sounds on it, so there should be something there for everyone. We put a lot of time and effort into it and we're super proud of it, so hopefully everyone else will like it too.

13) Give us some inside scoop on the new album and the behind the scenes process.

We did a bunch of pre-production on this album. We went into studio with a bunch of ideas and live recorded them all. We then took home those recording and dissected them until we were happy. We then went back into studio to re-record the songs until they were in their final stages. We then used these recordings as the base of the tracking process, where we fleshed everything out and tweaked all the various parts. We started out with 19 or 20 songs, then whittled them down to the 15 that are on the album. We then sent the final tracks to New York to be mastered by Emily Lazar, who's worked with loads of artists, including Foo Fighters and Vampire Weekend. All in all we were in studio for about 2 months.

14) What’s your favourite thing about the new album?

The fact that there are a bunch of different sounds on it. There's the indie pop stuff that people will be expecting, then there's some rock n' roll, some ballads, some acoustic stuff and some other stuff that's hard to explain. It's a mixed bag of everything, yet it all ties together under the Youthless theme.

15) What plans do you guys have for 2015?

We're gonna be touring the album in SA from mid Jan til mid Feb, then we're gonna do our best to tour internationally as best as we can afford. Hopefully we'll be at all the festivals again this year, but if not, we'll make sure we get some shows in around the country too. Some music videos will come out throughout the year too. I dunno, what else is there? Oh yes, we want to record a live DVD of our Joburg launch, which we're combining with tour footage over the last year and a bit. That's quite a daunting process, but should hopefully turn out well!  

Read more on:    shortstraw  |  local music  |  celebrities  |  music

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