“It’s lazy journalism to call us a punk band,” says Estrons singer Tali Källström, long before NME has got its slack arse in gear to call them anything at all. “I’d call us a heavy pop band.” If you’ve heard their empowering songs of sexual dominance and male ego deflation, seen their breast-feeding artwork or caught a shoe in the face at one of their gigs (rubs arm bruise), you’ll know that ‘heavy pop’ band Estrons thrive on confrontation, on hacking away at the cultural guy ropes, upending stereotypes and finding wonder in life’s clashes.
Their bio reads like a rock agitator’s handbook. Welsh-Canadian Källström met guitarist Rhodri Daniel on an Aberystwyth beach in 2013, and together they conceived Estrons (Welsh for ‘misfit’) as a revolving collective of oddball strangers representing the multi-language West Wales melting pot. Daniel came up with their garage-pop 2015 breakout song ‘Make A Man’ while standing between two sound-clashing rooms in a Berlin nightclub; Källström wrote the lusty lyrics as an attempt to bring the forthright sexuality of female rappers like Missy Elliott into the rock sphere. Last summer’s single ‘Drop’ was conceived in a police cell and, having gone through a break-up the afternoon before their first gig outside of Cardiff, Källström had a minor shoe-based meltdown onstage. “I drank five shots of tequila one after another and cried onstage,” she admits. “I took off my shoes and threw them into the crowd. My fiery personality when things go wrong – you can hear a lot of that in Estrons’ music.”
With Källström’s impetuosity and sprawling love of every genre from rap to opera clashing with Daniel’s “militant, logical and scientific” approach, causing heated but constructive arguments, it took several years, relentless touring (including a stint with Slaves) and about
12 fleeting members for Estrons to find a fixed line-up and a definitive sound. “I didn’t want to be another rock band that looked and sounded like something else that had existed before,” Källström insists. “These bands must be lying when they say, ‘We all just met and it was all fine and we liked the same music and now we write this.’” Estrons, then: where misfits finally click.
Hair Styled By VO5
Make-up: Johanna Dalemo using Mac cosmetics
Photos by Zoe McConnell
Styled by Kylie Griffiths
(L-R) Steff, Rhodri, Toby, Tali
Steff wears: T-shirt, Topman, £16, Jeans, Topman, £30, Boots, Dr Martens, £120 VO5 Dry Texturising Spray, £4.39
Rhodri wears: Jacket, Topman, £35 T-shirt, Topman, £16 Jeans, Topman, £30 VO5 Matt Clay, £4.39
Toby: Top, Topman, £15, Jeans, Topman, £30, Boots, Dr Martens, £115, VO5 ReWork Putty, £4.39
Tali wears: Top, Urban Oufitters, £39 Jeans, Topman, £40 Shoes, Topshop, £72 VO5 Miracle Illuminator, £4.39
Tali wears: Jacket, AllSaints, £575 T-shirt, Obey, £30 VO5 Ultimate Hold Hairspray, £3.62