Esser Interview: The Future Of Guitars, 2010 Ones-To-Watch and Coming Home

How are you feeling about the gig tonight?
Pretty good, we turned up and there’s a bit of DJ Hero, been having a go on that.

How did you do on that?
I did the tutorial and then I worked out how to play it and it’s pretty good. It’s actually better than one of my read DJ sets!

What songs did you do?
I done Cypress Hill, you can scratch and stuff and do rewinds. I love rewinds.

Are you a keen gamer?
Nah, not really but I’ve done a few gigs where they has the Guitar Hero thing set up and I’ve always had a go on them and I thought as a band we should be able to get on that and be good at it but we’re terrible!

We played a Steely Dan song, for some reason the drummer in my band found out he knew every word.

I enjoy it though, I don’t think people would ever play that over real guitar, it’s just a bit of fun. It’s not like they’re ever going to replace the real guitar.

Could do, we could redesign the guitar so it’s just buttons?
We could do and then bands would have to download songs from the internet and have them on the screen when they’re playing live.

It’s the future. What are your thoughts on your support tonight?
I’ve known Magistrates for a while, I really like their stuff and they’re from Essex too. I heard Egyptian Hip Hop a while ago and thought they were really interesting, I’m looking forward to seeing them tonight.

Is this a homecoming for you then?
A little bit, I saw some of my first gigs at the Colchester Art Centre, I saw British Sea power a long time ago here, so it’s weird to be playing here.

Give me an interesting fact about Essex.
It’s the largest county, that’s why when people go on about being from Essex it doesn’t really mean anything.

Who are your bands tips for 2010?
I think 2009 has been an interesting year for bands but I’m interested in second records in 2010, like FrYars, I’d like to see what she’ll do. Also La Roux, I’m interested in seeing what they’ll do.

Also I want to see how Egyptian Hip Hop do, especially since they’re about 12…

How’s your second album coming along?
I’m kind of gearing up towards it at the moment but I’ve mostly been working for other people and collaborating. This year is going to be more about me doing production and remixes and stuff, I’m also liking DJ-ing as well.

A lot of stuff is decided by fans tonight, explain that.
Yeah it’s been really good, I posted loads of stuff on Twitter asking people where they want the venue to be and stuff. That’s what these events is about, giving the fans their own choices.

It’s great because I remember being younger and there was no music venues near me, there was a small one but no one played there, it’s amazing that we can give people an opportunity to see live music.

Have the fans had any other input?
We had someone design a t-shirt which was really great, it was really fun. We’re giving them away tonight. Also I’m going to be throwing down the gauntlet on DJ Hero and if anyone can beat my score, which I’m sure is going to be ridiculously high, they win an Xbox. Are you going to challenge me?

Yeah. We’ll take up that challenge.* What song are you going to be doing?
Don’t know yet, probably Grandmaster Flash. Bring it on!

*We didn’t win.