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Stroking Pussies

by Mahala High Five Brigade / 09.08.2013

Gateway Drugs is a Cape Town based synth-pop duo that have been making tunes since 2010. Both part of bands in the Surfing Loser Space Cult collective (Beach Party, The Dollfins, Young Gallaxies), Gateway Drugs started off as a bit of a side project. This Friday night they are gracing the stage of the Puma Social Club in Braamfontein, and we caught up with them about what the crowd can expect, if they can fight with knives and spending the weekends stroking pussies.

MAHALA: Who are Gateway Drugs?

GATEWAY DRUGS: Andrew Esterhuizen and David Thorpe. Andy produces deluxe synthpop creations and Dave sings like a teenage girl on them.

Why the name Gateway Drugs?

We though it was a cool name. We had planned on calling it Shark Vomit or Swim Shorts or something along those lines but decided against it.

Do you use drugs to aid your creative process?

Nope, apart from coffee and extremely occasional joint we are usually pretty level-headed when making music. We are both useless on actual drugs and tend to mostly lose our grip on reality and freak the fuck out. It would be hard to use Ableton while discovering that Satan is real, the whole world has turned sideways, and various colours you didnt know existed are coming out of your best friend’s eyes.

What drug is the side effects of your music most like?

Hmm… Codeine?

Gateway Drugs is a side project right? What do you spend most of your time doing?

We don’t consider ourselves a side-project really. We spend pretty equal amounts of time on each band depending on what we are feeling the most at the time.

What catalysed its creation?

A love of synthesizer music from the past and a bunch of other bands around the world that are revisiting and re-inventing this music. We had the desire to be part of that.

Where do you get your inspiration? Who’s your biggest influence?

All the Italians Do It Better stuff, most of the DFA stuff, Human League, The Smiths, Sally Shapiro, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, The Cure, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, random Italo-Disco hits from the early 80s, David Bowie, The Drums, The Cars… Lots more.

What CD do you have playing in your car today?

After Dark 2


Why the 1980s sound? How old were you both in the 80s?

We just really, really like the sounds that were being made in that era. Dave was born on the last day of the 80s so he was 1 day. Andrew was a foetus.

What is the best gig you’ve ever done?

The Yoh! Birthday party was pretty great. Popping bottles, crowd surfing, throwing audience members off stage. It was fun.

Have you ever crowd surfed?

Dave: Yes, it’s my absolute favorite thing to do. Probably the main reason I’m doing music.

Do you have any groupies?

All of our groupies are our friends so they aren’t really groupies. And we are their groupies.


Do you have any ethical rules about how you interact with your fans?

Yes, we are never assholes to anyone who supports what we do.

David, why do you sing like a little girl?

I can sing like a man too! I promise!

Do you know how to knife fight?

Yeah, we’ll cut you if it comes to that.


What do you like doing on the weekends?

Finding random cats in the neighbourhood and giving them strokes. Neither of us are mature enough to get our own pets yet.

Are you guys surfers or climbers or shoppers or chillers?

Chillers for sure. Movies in bed. Can’t beat that shit.

What can the crowd at the Puma Social Club expect from you this Friday?

They can expect to have the greatest time of their entire lives!!! Yesss!! Or we bring out the knives.

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