Emerging Artists #10 – Esben and The Witch

September 20, 2010 by  

Ever since we clapped our eyes on Esben and The Witch at the ICA last year, we’ve been anticipating great things from the Brighton trio and their début EP ‘Marching Song’ does not disappoint. Recently snapped up by Matador, 2011 looks set to be a big year for the band with the release of their duebt full length already scheduled in. Before then, we’ve managed to bend their ears for our Emerging Artists section…

Standard first question, how did you all get together, where you all from and why did you decide to make music together?

We all live in Brighton. Daniel and Thomas met a few years ago and spent their time writing and working on some old material of Daniel’s. Rachel was enlisted soon after and slowly vocals were incorporated into those early, skeletal songs.

How long did it take you to decide on your sound/direction, and what was behind the decision?

There was no decision made about the sound or our direction. The three of us have differing styles and approaches musically and our sound is the natural result of the three combining and working together.

What equipment are you using for recording, and is there any particular reason behind the choice?

We record, primarily, in Daniel’s bedroom. The freedom afforded by this approach is something we all greatly appreciate. We have also started to use a studio for certain elements such as vocals and percussion as it was becoming difficult to achieve the results we wanted by recording at Daniel’s house.

Where your first show and what was was it like?

Our first show was at the Freebutt in Brighton, a marvellous place by all accounts. Tragically it was recently forced to close due to sound restrictions imposed upon it. We, like many others in Brighton, hope that it may be able to start putting shows on again in future somehow.

What’s the most high profile show you’ve done and what was that like?

It would be difficult to say what the most high profile show was. Playing at Latitude was interesting and to an extent nerve wracking because we played in the middle of the day. It’s safe to say that whilst enjoyable the atmosphere we attempt to create is more suited to venues and the darkness associated with them.

How do you get around when you’re touring?

We travel in a van most of the time now. Daniels pedalboard has become too expansive for us to consider other methods.

What bands/artists are you into at the moment new or old?

We are all enjoying Factory Floor, Warpaint and Forest Swords at the moment, to name a few.

What was the first record you bought?

There is some to confusion about this. Neighbourhood by Space possibly.

If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?

We aren’t sure that it’s really our place to talk about but we’d like to see all bands being given time and space to develop at their own pace.

What can people expect when they come to your live shows?

The aim with the live shows is to create an intense and immersive experience. We try and achieve this through performing visceral interpretations of the songs whilst attempting to enhance these with the use of lighting, the lack of it and decoration.

If you could get one band to reform who would it be?

Difficult. Whilst he may not necessarily wish for them to reform Daniel would certainly appreciate a chance to go and see The Smiths.

Final question, what’s coming up next for the band?

We are setting off on a tour across the U.S. in the next few days which we are most excited about. Apart from that we will continue writing, recording and honing the live show.

Esben and The Witch @ Myspace


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