Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to bands that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with Esteban.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:
ESTEBAN: We are Esteban. We play Desert Funk music.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
ESTEBAN: David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, and Queen, let’s just go with these for now otherwise the list will be endless. Bowie was a pioneer of music and fashion, his biggest influence on us was that he always did his own thing, consistently performing at the top, whilst keeping his personal affairs out of the limelight and pushing the boundaries all the way to the very end. Stevie signed to Motown’s Tamla label aged 11 and hit the top aged 13! We were young to the stage too and for any aspiring artist, this is an inspirational beginning but, to go on to produce some of the world’s most important electronic, boogie jazz-funk and to be still performing is utterly jaw dropping – a living legend. Queen came along and re-wrote the rule books during the late 70’s and early 80’s. A band that didn’t really fit a genre exactly, but knew precisely how to use their individual talents to spur each other on to write perfect stadium anthems time and time again.
METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
ESTEBAN: We have just released our second Esteban album Jackpot Motel, a 16-track desert funk odyssey. Our fans have been genuinely thrilled to get their hands on the album. They’ve waited very patiently so, when it was announced that it was happening, our Facebook was alive with genuine love and support, we are truly grateful for their response. We have the best fans; we wanted to make this record for them as much as for our record label and ourselves. I think because we kept these simple goals in mind, we managed to produce a very special and intimate album, we weren’t distracted by outside pressure’s so to speak, it is a record to cherish for these reasons.
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 it 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.
Jackpot Motel is the rebirth of an unstoppable journey. Back in 2010, we were one of the busiest emerging bands in the country and in the midst of a monstrous nationwide tour. We could easily regard this period as the pinnacle of the Esteban odyssey; however, it was also what ultimately caused our demise. Long hours on the road, sleepless nights in vans and caravans and too many after parties to count inevitably took its toll on even the strongest of childhood bonds. The party stopped, and we called time-out.
But, like a gift from the heavens, an opportunity arose that none of us could have predicted. We met up in 2018 with our label The Animal Farm, England had just beaten Sweden in the World Cup and, on the banks of the River Thames, it was decided – Esteban’s reunion was confirmed.
What began as a jam, quickly formed the bedrock of a brand new and exciting second album. In spite of the years of separation, we were all amazed at how quickly muscle memory kicked in. The recording was agreed and over 8 winter days, a 16-track album was laid down with every ounce of determination that we all had clearly stored up for a long time.
We are a decade on now, and whether you know Esteban’s story or not, anyone listening to the Jackpot Motel will be taken on the same voyage the four of us have been on during this decade hiatus. For anyone who missed the party back then, our Dirty Wrecked album is there as proof!
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
ESTEBAN: We love the live thing, it’s our bread and butter and we lived for it back along sometimes playing 5 or 6 gigs a week, year after year totaling 315 gigs to date. We start the party hard, we take it to them, and we end on a high and sometimes playing for over 2 hours. It’s a cliché to say that the best shows we ever played were sharing the stage with the likes of Dizzy Rascal, the Zutons and Gomez when actually some of the best shows were intimate, when you can literally feel the heat from the crowd, they’re that close.
METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?
ESTEBAN: That’s a great question. I think the recordings will become such a wonderful experience that we’ll be in a very different frame of mind after 5 years. By that I mean almost by default, if you record often, you learn very quickly how to extract the best from each situation. We’ve always strived to create great songs, obviously, but with us it’s not about trying to write the best love song on Earth. There are situations going on in every person’s life that, if written about in the right way, will amaze even the most adventurous listener. To have 4 or 5 new albums is a very healthy but not unreasonable target.
We’ve also just picked up some great new equipment and kit ready for the live shows. This will allow us to have intimate relationships with the new gear, growing with it and working out the parameters and nuances built into the technology or carved into the wood by the hands of master craftsmen. We’ll be crafting our live show over the next year whilst the world hopefully settles into its new shoes so, stay tuned to our socials for some warm-up gig dates! Truthfully, we’re all geared towards the big tour, picking up where we left off. The big stage’s are awesome, we’ve been very lucky but we’re not resting on our laurels – we’ve got a great future ahead and if you want to be part of it too, welcome to the odyssey.