Esteban – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you ?
E: As a band we have never tried to fit in to a particular genre, we coined the term ‘Desert Funk’ to describe our sound and its stuck, it’s the sound that we have always made when the four of us get into a room funky bass and drums, four part harmonies with a bit of Latin guitar thrown in.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself ?
E: We started many moons ago when we were schoolkids, a friend of ours got speaking to someone at party who was on the lookout for a support act for his bands gig. He talked a good one and secured the gig but there was actually no band yet, so he set about creating one. Everyone for miles said they wanted to be in the band (to be) but typically when it came time to practice in my bedroom (Ricky, bass), only Liam (guitar) and Sam (drums) turned up.
We did our first gig about a month later and quickly became a hit on our local scene, supporting the visiting touring bands and basically being the school party band. Fast forward 10 years and we met Stephen (our vocalist) when Liam was studying at Derby Uni.
The following years were spent regaining the local scene and recording two self-produced albums which subsequently attracted the attention of The Animal Farm. We signed our first deal and spent the following years touring relentlessly releasing singles and our debut album.
The pressures of the road however unfortunately took their toll and we decided on a break, that ended up being almost a decade long. All grown up and still close we realised that life wasn’t the same without music. So after a jam for fun we got back in touch with the Animal Farm and that leap led to the recording of Jackpot Motel.
PD: Who are your musical and non musical influences ?
E: Musically our influences are very much a melting pot, All of us bringing something different to the table. When we first jammed as kids we wanted to recreate Hendrix, Bowie and all the greats. As we got older and developed, we kind of always picked up music from where we had travelled and where our minds took us. South America has always been a big thing for us and I think it shows in the music. As individuals we listen to music as diverse as Chronixx and Vulpeck to Desert rock and Mark Ronson. On a personal note you cant beat the Philly neo sound and Rare groove records of the 70s & 80’s. Non musical influences, much to Liam’s annoyance as a Man Utd fan I would have to say Pep Guadiola. Having spent a lot of time in Catalyna and learning about his strong politics and his philosophical approach I admire his passion and think a of lot his sporting psychology can be transferred to music….. It also helps he manages my team Man City J
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
E: When we started out it was always our dream to play on festival stages and to play music full time…. Over the years we managed to tick a lot of our dreams off and as part of our Dirty Wrecked tour managed to fit in 316 dates in around 18 months so we were living and breathing music daily. We also wanted to have a London record label who believed in us. To be honest that’s the reason we are here today with an album to promote. Our Label never lost faith in us and after almost a decade managed to pin us down with this proposal ‘if your up for it, we are’. From this point we just want to push ourselves as much as possible to see where the music takes us Saying that a couple of big festival appearances and a tour abroad would certainly tick a few things off our bucket list
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
E: We write as a collective all of us coming with different ideas. Steve and Sam may come with a poem or a lyrical idea which Liam and myself will Jam along too and the song will develop from there. Lockdown has changed everything so at the moment we currently write and communicate through Whatsapp & Garageband
PD: How do you promote your band and shows ?
E: We have always believed in taking the music to the people. When we play in a new town we will always try and get the local radio stations and papers onboard, and then try and flyer to people before the show to try and drum up as much support as possible. Once at one of our shows then word of mouth has always worked. You but on a good show you get repeat offenders. We also push our music through our social media accounts which can all be found from our website www.weareesteban.com. We regularly post new videos and content so all new Este Fans are always welcome
PD: What do you think about downloading music online ?
E: As a music lover, I do like the fact that everything is available at the push of a button. As a musician however I think that with so little money at the grass roots of the music industry that its hard for upcoming artist to make the leap to make a career out of music. Giving music away for free is great for the consumer, but upcoming artists need to make a living so I think there need to be a better balance. Rather than making huge corporations bigger, more money should go back to the artists who will in turn be able to invest more in their music, thus creating better art…. Win win for everyone
PD: What song do you wish you had written and why?
E: What’s going on Marvin Gaye…. I was watching a Motown documentary and it played the track from the with just the lead vocals then Marvins’ backing vocals then James Jamerson’s usual funky but perfect bassline and so on through to the strings…. In itself a masterpiece. But then when you factor in Motowns history of great polished pop at the time along with the well documented civil rights issues which are still there today ,you realise the true genius of the song and the album of the same name. One I would recommend everyone listens to from start to finish at least once in their lives.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves
E: Long soundchecks, playing bass with a plectrum and slowed down whispery, acoustic cover versions of classic tracks.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
E: Personally, it was my 3 year old daughter picking up her little toy guitar to play along with me practicing my bass. Other than that it was playing a festival in front of around 10 thousand people all singing along to our track Santiago louder than the PA…. it was one of those moments you just take in and grin at each other and live in the moment. Never gets old when you hear your track on the radio or in a club
PD: So what are you working on at the moment ?
E: Lockdown has put a stop to the live thing for the time being so we will be eager and ready to hit the road when all this comes to an end. To stem the frustration we have been busy reflecting and writing and have the next batch of songs written so watch this space… we have almost 10 years of life experiences to write about.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from ?
E: We have our new album available on Spotify as well as all other usual outlets Apple play Deezer etc. On spotify however you can listen to our debut album Dirty Wrecked and our single releases so far…. so if you Enjoy Jackpot Motel and want to dig deeper there’s plenty of Desert Funk to be listened to. For those of you of the retro persuasion we also sell CD’s of our entire back catalogue at www.wearesteban.com