Live music is alive and well in Pretoria ♥ Thanks to Park Acoustics and all the fans! Park Acoustics back on the 27th of August with Shortstraw, Crimson House, Native Young, We Are Charlie, The Ceramics and Missu. The line up for Sunday is insane! 11:00 The Ceramics 12:10 We Are Charlie 13:20 Native Young 14:30 Crimson House 15:45 Shortstraw 17:00 Missu With all of that said, I had a chat with Alastair Thomas from Shortstraw: Hi, Al! What made you decide to start the “Those Meddling Kids” project and to release each song separately with its own music video? We just felt we had to do something different this time around, and we wanted to challenge ourselves. We felt that we wanted to find a way to give each song its own time to shine, and before we knew it, we’d reached this concept. You describe the past year while working on “Those Meddling Kids” as busy and intense, yet the most rewarding year throughout your careers. What was the most significant thing that has happened this past year? The fact that we managed to also start a foundation for animal charities in amongst all the chaos is pretty swell. That’s something that can hopefully live on beyond it all. Did your fans react the way you imagined they would when you announced that you were going to release the album in this unique way? To be honest, we didn’t get a lot of feedback from fans per se, but a bunch of our peers in the industry have made a point of telling us how much they appreciate the concept. That kind of feedback is kinda the reason we wanted to do it. With the whole album being released and the project done, which song did you enjoy working on the most? We each have our favourites, and each song has a place in our hearts in some way or another. We tossed a lot of songs out along the way, so we’re only left with (what we hope are) strong songs. ‘Eventually’ was one of the highlights, cos we got to play around with strings and other production bits and bobs and then obviously got to work with Laudo, who we’ve been massive fans of for ages. Why the name “Those Meddling Kids”, is it a Scooby-Doo reference? It was inspired by Scooby-Doo. I believe it was a name Al came up with for a band ages ago. During Youthless we toyed with the idea of releasing a bunch of songs under that name as a kind of pseudonym/side project. When the next album came along, and we were talking about a collective of creative individuals being the people who are making it all happen, we came back to the name as it worked in that all these collaborators can be the meddling kids so to speak. You have played a lot of gigs with various bands, including the likes of PHFat and Al Bairre. Which local band is your favourite to play a gig with? We’re lucky that all our compatriots are just the nicest people, so we love them all. We always enjoy sharing the bill with Grassy Spark. They’re just the best dudes, playing the most fun music really bloody well. In one of your previous interviews, you stated that Pretoria and Grahamstown’s crowds stand out for you guys because they are always down for a party. Are you guys as excited as your fans to be heading back to Pretoria? P-Town is certainly one of the best places to play for us. Arcade Empire and Park Acoustics are important pillars in our scene, they keep that appetite for live music alive. There have been rumours going around, especially with the release of your final track “Eventually” with the lyrics “You know it’s only a matter of time/ eventually we’ll all die,” and then you posting “Goodbyes are sad sometimes” a few weeks ago on Facebook. What does the future of Shortstraw look like? Is Shortstraw dying? Haha! What a sleuth. So come December, Shortstraw will be 10 years old. I think a lot of people don’t realise how long we’ve been at it for. So we’re tired, man. We’ve all got day jobs that are getting more intense the older we get and the stress is just getting a bit much for some of us to deal with. So we aren’t dying, we’re just going to take a break. We don’t know how long the break will last, to be honest, but we’ll be back… eventually. Catch Shortstraw this Sunday at Park Acoustics, get your tickets right here.