Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with the self-styled ‘desert funk’ band, Esteban.
1. How did you get started as a band?
We’ve been knocking around since 2004, but you can trace our lineage back to 1995 in various formations through school and college days, conquering our local scenes.
We got to work early on in 2004, writing our first songs together and self-producing our debut ‘Still in Time’ under the name Onion. Something was ignited back then, which ever since, has driven us to continue creating new music.
2. How would you describe your sound?
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.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, John Martyn, Queen, The Beatles, Al Green, Michael Jackson, Simon and Garfunkel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruno Mars, Pixies, Tom Petty, Pierre Bensusan, Chronixx, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sam Cooke, The Stranglers, James Brown, Beck, Gil Scott-Heron, Genesis, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Vulfpeck, Yawning Man, Snarky Puppy, Marvin Gaye… the list is endless!
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
Sure, it’s helped us to no end. We love the fact that everything is available at the push of a button and that we can now see our music being listened to all over the world. However, as musician’s it is clear that with so little money at the grass roots of the music industry, it’s hard for upcoming artists to make the leap to making a career out of being in a band. Giving music away for free is great for the consumer, but upcoming artists need to make a living – there has always been a need for 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… A win-win for everyone.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
We learn, we travel and live the human experience. This is an essential part of our writing process; we translate our experiences into our music. We hit it hard in the studio and on stage, but we understand more than ever now the need to step away in order to see the bigger picture and not to burn out.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
We have just released our second album Jackpot Motel, a 16-track desert funk odyssey and we’re chomping at the bit to take this new record live! However, like everyone we’ve put the live shows on the back burner for now. COVID has though for us, been a really productive period; we’ve doubled down on writing new material so, we’re heading back into the studio this year to record. Our label The Animal Farm are supporting us on this journey once again. There seems to be no end to their passion for what we do, it’s so unbelievably important to know that your label is on your side as a business, as a family and as friends. We’re in an awesome position and we are very, very grateful.