Interviews: Esteban

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Desert Funk band, Esteban, from the UK. Check out the interview.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

The name comes from the cult 80s series we all watched as kids; The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Esteban is the central character who stows himself away in a merchant ship headed to the new world in the 16th century. The name fit our mission of exploration and adventure, seeking new experiences and knowledge. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

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, it’s a groove that makes you move.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Three of us started many moons ago in 1995 when we were school kids in Staffordshire. We met Stephen (vocals) when Liam (guitar) was studying Music Technology at Derby University together. We quickly got to work writing our first songs together and self-producing our debut album Still in Time and its follow-up Finding Will under the name Onion. Something was ignited back then, which ever since has driven us to continue creating new music.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Steve - Foo Fighters

Liam - Simon & Garfunkel

Ricky - Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals

Sam - Pat Thomas and The Kwashibu Area Band

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Life. Being alive is great and very good for you too! Life should be a voyage of discovery filled with joy and happiness. As we get older, we realise how lucky we are to still breathe and communicate and develop ourselves.

6. Where was your last gig?

We’ve actually just reformed after a 10-year hiatus so I think it was Friday 20th August 2010 at The Ropemakers, Bridport, Dorset.

7. Where would you like to perform?

Such a big question, Benicassim in Spain is the perfect beach party Festival.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

Chronixx, Ojo de Drujo, Anderson Paak, Ozomatli, Kuenta I Tambu.

9. Whom not?

I don’t judge.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Can’t help you there, we were all born backstage! For anyone starting out, you just can’t possibly prepare for all the eventualities of broken strings of cymbal stands falling over or amps fizzling out etc… just use your ears and get in the groove, unless you are a soloist, you’re not alone. If you are a soloist and you still suffer from stage fright then stay off the booze and coffee, imagine there is nobody watching you and play your heart through your instrument or voice. Take a deep breath between songs with a sip of water. The nerves will slow down when people realise you have a talent and start clapping or talking to you in the breaks. Nobody said it was easy, so just book loads of slots, even if it is in front of your family or friends. Just don’t give up - it gets easier I promise.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Mbongwana Star have always stood out to me. A group from Kinshasa who, at their core are made up of four paraplegics who get by on homemade tricycles. They live off the rubbish dumps making all sorts of distorted musical gadgetry. It’s real urban Congolese music which will blow your mind. Then comes the soukous, a Cuban inspired genre with gloriously upbeat guitars. I don’t know how they made it work but it does and I keep returning to the album, From Kinshasa to bask in its honesty.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

I really can’t let you publish that!

13. What do you think of your fans?

Beautiful people. The best bunch of souls you can ever wish to spend the whole evening with. Really, our latest album Jackpot Motel was for them.

14. What do you think of our site?

It’s really comprehensive in terms of covering all types of genres of music although you need to add a new one now, Desert Funk.

15. Something to add?

Call someone, please pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in ages, you just might make their day.

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