• Voices In My Head

Interview with Esteban

#RoguePR #VIMH #JackpotHotel

RPR (VIMH): Hi guys, congrats on your new album.

Esteban: Thanks very much.

RPR (VIMH): What is the significance of naming an album Jackpot Hotel?

Esteban: Jackpot Motel was a last-minute decision. Liam (guitars) took this cool photo the day after his Vegas wedding, he was at the famous Neon Junkyard Museum which was crammed with interesting vintage signs and took a shot of this old motel sign. Jackpot Motel fitted the feeling; of the journey we had been on, and what we had achieved by recording something special.

RPR (VIMH): What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences?

Esteban: The album tells a story of the last 10 years hiatus. It’s been a battle for some and amazing for others, the lyrics in the album reflect that. There is birth, there is folklore, there is hardship, there is loss. A lot can happen when 4 people live separate lives after being so close living in a tour van for 3 years. Personally, the style comes from Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers. I was enchanted by the frankness of his writing; he opened my ears to writers who wanted to say something personal about the world they lived in, what they saw.

RPR (VIMH): Which are those elements that separate your new album from your previous albums?

Esteban: Well it was quite stark actually. Our first Esteban album, Dirty Wrecked, was the culmination of an excited young four-piece band who’d just achieved a lifelong goal in signing to a London indie label. The Animal Farm recorded that album in between a monstrous 3-year tour of the UK. The album was basically a ‘hot’ album, one that was laid down literally after the gigs in the small hours. Jackpot Motel was recorded really by surprise in the respect that the songs just came flooding out after a jam in 2018. We’d not all met up together for a jam for 8 years after the last gig in 2010! JM felt like unfinished business and it didn't take long to bring everything together, even our designer Craig Marston was back on board - a full house!

RPR (VIMH): How would you characterize Jackpot Motel and what are your expectations from the new album?

Esteban: JM is what happens if you get a second chance. It’s rare and emotional, powerful and delicate. We always wrote with movement, about journeys and adventures so if the album is listened to around the world then we’d be very happy with that. We didn’t record it with any expectation, we were simply enjoying being together again. It’s really for the fans, the label and our friends and family. That said, as ever, we didn’t hold back in the presentation of the songs, so you never know what might happen.

RPR (VIMH): How did the cooperation with The Animal Farm Records occur? How’s working with them and how much has it helped you on the whole?

Esteban: We were totally blown away to be honest. Mat and Ville have always been wonderful to work with on all levels so it was almost unbelievable to be back in the studio with them after so long out of the game. After all, when the touring stopped, everything stopped. So, to have a 16-track album after basically a year; is like a gift from above. To know there is no pressure is one of the greatest tricks of the mind, the pressure came from us as individuals; as people who are aiming for a common goal - to record great songs - that’s all it ever was and nothing has changed. And if we have fun doing it then that’s just swell.

RPR (VIMH): How’s the fans’ reactions been to the new songs on your live shows so far?

Esteban: We’ve had such lovely comments on the socials, lots of smiles and people well-wishing, saying how they always believed we’d come back to make another album. As we can’t go live just now, we’ll have to tell you about the show when they happen.

RPR (VIMH): Do you prefer to be on the road or on the studio writing and recording?

Esteban: Can’t split that one. They go hand in hand.

RPR (VIMH): How did you come up with the name Esteban initially?

Esteban: 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.

RPR (VIMH): How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?

Esteban: 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.

RPR (VIMH): Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in metal history?

Ronnie James Dio & Skin

RPR (VIMH): Which is the record you wish you had written and why?

My Girl because of its beautiful simplicity.

RPR (VIMH): Were you obliged to give just one album to extra-terrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?

Esteban: In the Court of the Crimson King, King Crimson.

RPR (VIMH): If you had the chance to travel in time... where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?

Esteban: The past, to Detroit, to Berry Gordy’s office when they were polling the next hit, just to see which one’s they thought would and wouldn’t make platinum certification!

"Continuing their odyssey into what they call desert funk, Esteban are one of the most exciting emerging bands in the UK at the minute” - Line Of Best Fit

When Esteban released their debut EP on 1st September 2008, Tom Robinson at BBC 6 Music claimed "There's no-one like them out there”. Their world music infused rock and socially aware lyrics won them a legion of early supporters. The band gave permission to Fairtrade Foundation to use their track 'Say It Loud' in various Fairtrade campaigns. They teamed up with Plan UK to sponsor a child and his community in La Paz, Honduras. Carjack Streets, the iPhone game, featured the band's music and Total Guitar Magazine wrote about their "finger-style funk" as a "world explosion”. Single 'She's Just A Girl' was used in a global campaign by Esteban's favored NGO Plan UK highlighting the issues faced by girls in the world's poorest countries because of their lack of access to education and legal rights.

The next two years were spent in a whirlwind in and out of the recording studio between tours, interviews and festivals. The popular Beach Break Live saw Esteban share the stage with Dizzee Rascal and The Zutons.

By summer of 2010, 'The Dirty Wrecked Tour', named after their yet-to-be-released debut album, had taken Esteban to over 315 appearances throughout the UK. The band, drained and unable to carry on, had to concede that the party had taken its toll.

The album 'Dirty Wrecked' was officially released on 3rd January 2011 and the band never returned to the stage.

"I have never ever seen a gig poster with so many dates on".

- Dean Jackson BBC On The Beat

Nearly a decade later, the four musicians began to truly appreciate the spiritual founding moment of the band in the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombings, when, as young men who had narrowly avoided death, they decided that life was too short to spend on anything but music.

In November 2019, Esteban recorded a new album Jackpot Motel. Cut entirely live with no click tracks, it’s a joyful blast of life-affirming funk that borrows from world music, Latin rhythms and rock, is made for dancing, cares about the environment and sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a trip across the deserts of your mind.













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