Interview with the Band Esteban

By Mick Michaels

The Cosmick View: Hello, and welcome to The Cosmick View/MBM Ten Pounder! Thanks for taking some time to chat with us! 

CV: Describe your definition of the band’s sound and style and how does
that definition uniquely describe the music?
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.

CV: Today, everyone talks about artist and audience connection. Is such a
level of connection actually achievable for an artist and if so, how have you made the connection to your fans?
Esteban: Connecting with fans without live shows is like a voodoo secret that few know or understand the true meaning. If a fan is someone who loves what you do regardless of how you do it then we have our core base of wonderful people whom we’ll get to see when we return to the road. Until then, social connections are all we have, especially now we are under the cosh. We keep as busy as we can creating content which our fans can engage with; videos for instance are a great way to share the experience together by asking them to become involved. 

CV: Is fan interaction an important part of the band’s inner culture?
Esteban: I believe so. But it is important to understand that when the ‘phones go quiet’, it’s not because our fans have left, it’s because there are natural peaks and troughs to what we produce. The trick is to be prepared to work when work is called for, and play when the time is right.

CV: Can a band truly interact with its fans and still maintain a level of
personal privacy without crossing the line and giving up their “personal space” in your opinion?
Esteban: Yes absolutely. Our fans are like our family anyway, between us we know all 2293 of our Facebook followers and we are proud of that. Back in the day we had 21k ‘fans’ on Myspace but only knew two or three hundred. So, they know who we are, I chat regularly from my personal account directly to fans, I think it’s nice to do so, but I simply don’t let these tools govern my life. The other boys are more private and that’s cool. 

CV: Is music, and its value, viewed differently around the world in your
opinion?  If so, what do you see as the biggest difference in such multiple views among various cultures?
Esteban: I am very lucky to have traveled far and wide in search of music and food. Culture is at the heart of music just like the chitlin circuit was a way of life for African American entertainers in the Midwest of the United States. The differences can also be topographical like Porro is local to the coastal dwellers of Columbia. The sound produced then happened quite by accident when orchestral instruments found their way into the hands of the folk scene. It’s important never to underestimate the significance of roots music. Mongolian throat singing is in the mainstream today; a lore that was once only told, is now reaching digitally beyond its borders. These examples are slices of culture, raw, ancient and popular, none of which any less important than the other. The biggest difference is what we perceive to be good music and what is culturally important music. Time affords us the answers but, in the meantime, cultures will witness pop artists and folk artists and everyone in between, what determines their view is down to an uncontrollable set of circumstances.

CV: Do you feel that a band that has an international appeal, will tend to connect more so to American audiences? Would they be more enticed or intrigued to see the band over indigenous acts because of the foreign flavor?
Esteban: I have never lived in America so I can only go on historical references which would indicate to me American audiences are in favor of any international artists who bring something new and relevant to the table. It’s all a question of taste and timing and moreover who’s backing it!

CV: Has modern-day digital technology made everyone an artist on some
level in your opinion? Have the actual lines of what really is an artist been blurred?

Esteban: As an art lover, I believe anything can be art to anyone who views it as art; the lines have always been blurred. The biggest challenge for artists has always been how to sell it.


CV: How would you describe the difference between an artist who follows
trends and one who sets them?

Esteban: We don’t regard followers as great.

CV: Has music overall been splintered into too many sub-genres in an effort
to appease fan tastes in your opinion? And has such fan appeasements, in actuality, weakened music’s impact as a whole by dividing audiences?
Esteban: Nope. Sub-genres make sense now. Perhaps before the electronic era in the 80’s there really weren't too many genres. But with 4.5 billion people on the planet, maybe that was fine. Today there is nearly 7.8 billion so I’d say naturally there is a need.

CV: What can fans expect to see coming next from you?

Esteban: We have just released our second Esteban album, “Jackpot Motel,” a 16-track desert funk odyssey and we're chomping at the bit to take it live! However, like everyone we've put the shows on the back burner for now. Oh, the art of patience! We have managed to release some remixes from the album too. 
Suburban Paradise (The Comfy House Mix) and (The Real Feel Mix) are something new for us. Mat Leppanen from our label, The Animal Farm Music, did a great job of taking Suburban Paradise to two musically different places, we are very lucky to be working with such a talent. And, with more mixes on the way, we’ll be busy having fun making videos with our fans.

CV: Thanks again for taking some time and talking. It is greatly appreciated.

Esteban: Thanks for your support.

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The Cosmick Voice
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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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