Interview with the Desert Funk band, Esteban's drummer, Samuel

Check out Emmy's chat with Samuel, the drummer of the band, Esteban




Emmy: How did the name Esteban come about?

Samuel: 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.


Emmy: How would you describe your genre to someone who isn't familiar with your music?

Samuel: As a band we have never tried to fit into a particular genre, Esteban are the first Desert Funk band in the world and because of that, we exist out on our own in some crazy party happening along some ancient road someplace. If you want to come along for the ride then, that’s cool with us. 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.


Emmy: How did the band form?

Samuel: 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 in 2004. 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.


Emmy: What are some of the artists that influence you?

Samuel: This changes every week for me, I tend to binge on artists whilst writing new material. This week it’s Leon Bridges. I keep coming back to soul, I love to hear what artists of today have to say and how they say it. 50's and 60’s America must have been so intense considering the Civil Rights Movements during that time… somehow, we are still facing the same issues today so it’s hard to ignore. It’s perhaps crass to say allsoul artists have a story worth listening to but the reality is… it’s the same story told over and over - one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - the Fruits of the Spirit.


Emmy: If you could tour with any artist or band (still active or not) who would it be?

Samuel: Let’s go with The Beatles, imagine 1964 ‘Beatlemania’ in the U.S. It must have been such a gobsmacking experience to see raw euphoria like that. The equipment levels were so basic on stage as were most stage tech. It must have felt so crazy!




Emmy: What's your favourite show you've played?

Samuel: In 2009 we played Beach Break Live in Kent alongside Dizzee Rascal, The Zutons, Mystery Jets and many others. I can just about remember parking the van up, and before the key was out the ignition, the party was ON! We played our set and they asked us to play again the next day too. It was a great year for us on the road - so much fun.


Emmy: What's the future hold for the band?

Samuel: Apart from the latest 16 track desert funk odyssey Jackpot Motel, we’re releasing remixes of a track called Black Flower from the album. We’re really excited because you’ll hear a side to Esteban that hasn’t been heard before. Be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest noise.


We’re a live band, and although we create a lot remotely away from each other, we just cannot pull all the elements together until all four of us are in the room. It’s the same for all ‘bands’ I suppose, it’s an outward experience so we await the time when its safe to get together.


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