We spent time getting to know ShortStraw. Their latest album, Youthless, debuted on #1 on the iTunes Album Chart this morning.

DYD: Heaps Keen, your latest single off your upcoming album, Youthless, is “all about refusing to grow up – staying up all night partying, while everyone around you is growing up and going to work.” What should we tell people who are trying to make us grow up?
Here is a handy list:
– “Here, drink this.”
– “Can I pay you in hugs?”
– “It’ll be fiiiiiine.”

Mom jokes always work:
People: You can’t just party every night.
You: I party every night with your mom.

People: You have to get a job.
You: Your mom gave me a job. If ya knowww what I mean….

People: Sir, you are in serious debt.
You: I put your mom in serious debt.

DYD: Youthless is an album. Why did you decide to go with an album instead of the more popular EP?
We didn’t go with either… We went with your mom. Jokes! We are more of an album kinda band. Putting a whole bunch of songs that work together creates a little journey in a way. It’s a whole package (your mom’s the whole package). But it works for us, and it might not work for other bands. We roll old school, there may or may not even be a hidden track.

DYD: What are your impressions of the South African music industry? We asked you this question a very long time ago and back then you didn’t have the most positive outlook on the industry. Has the industry become more accepting in that time or did you just get your lucky break?
ShortStraw: It’s tricky because the industry in this country is so diverse. But yes, it has been growing. People are starting to realise we have awesome talent right here, and getting stoked about what is happening here musically. With more international artists coming out it’s awesome to see SA artists on the same stage.

DYD: What kind of musical goals are you aiming for in 2015 and beyond?
Firstly, we want the album to do well then we really want to do another international tour, hopefully the States.

DYD: What is your favourite song to play live and why?
At the moment probably Mo Money. It’s a cool ender and everyone gets stoked and sings along.

DYD: Crazy fan experiences?
Gad has had a personally signed bra thrown at him. But nothing too crazy.

DYD: We’re thinking of your Australian tour in 2014. We can imagine that you have to play to a completely new audience who haven’t heard your music before. How do the international audiences respond and do you have to perform differently there?
We were lucky enough to be opening for the Jungle Giants so we did fairly well to playing rad shows. It was quite a strange experience, but also lots of fun. There were a couple crowds that really got into it, and then there were times when we were playing our hearts out to a fairly non-responsive audience. Like going home with someone when you’ve just met them, neither of you know what to except.

DYD: On that note, you’ve been all over the place in South Africa. What has been your favourite performance to date and why?
ShortStraw: Flip. You guys and the hard questions. It’s tricky because we’ve had some awesome shows. 2014’s Oppikoppi has to be up there, as well as Rocking the Daisies. Just flippen awesome.

DYD: What hair conditioner does Tom use?
Unicorn urine. Smells great.

Photo by Hanro Havenga

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