Four years since the release of their last album, Shortstraw bring fans one last hurrah in the form of a brand-new album, entitled Fine thanks, and you?, which was released last week.
Image supplied: Shortstraw have released what seems like their last album
The band wanted to give back to their fans in the form of a brand-new collection of songs, because although this might be their last album for the foreseeable future, the songs will live forever.
When Covid and life made it difficult to get together to write a new album, Shortstraw took a look at their vault of old ideas and voice notes from jams through the ages and picked and chose from there. A couple of them stemmed from little ditties frontman Alastair had doodled on his acoustic guitar, which was then fleshed out either in the practice room or finished in the studio.
The result: An eclectic mix of songs that don't really have an overarching theme, but happy songs made especially for the fans and band members themselves.
As usual, Shortstraw teamed up with producer Jacques du Plessis at High Seas Studios in Parkwood, Johannesburg. Jacques is very much the 6th member of the band in that he's played a part in recording and producing every album of the band apart from the first one.
“We just wanted to put out all the songs we were sitting on. Since the hiatus in 2018, we've been struggling to get back into the swing of things because we all have our own businesses that we love doing and it’s hard to juggle it all. This is potentially a last hurrah for us, but the show is not over because we are proud to give fans a new album,” says Alastair & Russell.
“All the lyrics I write are either about my wife, my dog, or being a miser. Or sometimes it's just a story I made up. There's a song about living in Joburg called Sucker for Punishment. So, it's all over the place. But we love it all.” says Alastair.
I caught up with Alastair last week…
What is your job description?
Sleeper inner and free drink drinker.
What does music mean to you?
A loud ringing in your ears.
My music is about…
What is your motto?
Don't be an idiot.
Fame is about…
Trying not to behave like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Retirement will happen when…
The ringing starts to fade away.
I don't do…
I would love to co-write with…
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
Dagga and whiskey.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
The free drinks.
The song you must do during every show?
Keanu Reeves, begrudgingly.
Any funny moments on stage?
Tom once weed in his pants. Actually, it happened more than once. Pretty much whenever Tom wees in his pants.
My heroes are…
My style icon is…
Probably not very iconic. Have you seen how we dress?
Which living person do you admire most and why?
Pete Davidson. Because, how?
What is your most treasured possession?
A photo of my first two dogs.
It's your round; what are you drinking?
Dream gig to do?
One last jol at the Bohemian.
What makes you stand out?
"This band sounds a lot like Desmond & the Tutus"
If you were not a musician, what would you do?
Pick five words to describe yourself?
Very, very good looking. Modest.
What are you streaming?
Trash reality shows.
Greatest movie ever made?
Dude, Where's My Car?
What book are you reading?
Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman
What song changed your life?
El Scorcho by Weezer.
Who do you love?
My wife. My dogs. My family. My friends.
What is your favourite word?
Top of your bucket list?
A putt-putt tour of America.
Your greatest achievement?
Making it through 2021.
What do you complain about most often?
What is your biggest fear?
That a snake will pop its head out the toilet while I'm having a poo.
Beer in a plastic cup.
On stage, I tend to…
Avoid eye contact.
The best life lesson you have learned?
Treat others the way you want to be treated. I.e., Don't be a douche bag.
What has been your favourite journey so far?
Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?
We have a charity called the Bowsie Foundation where all proceeds go to various dog shelters.
Wishes and dreams?
World peace. Better posture. That dogs lived longer.