Sexy Ester: “We call it Garage Pop”
By Teri Barr
Read a review of the new Sexy ester CD here.
A Sexy Ester show is one for the senses, and though front-woman Lyndsay Evans claims some stage fright at the start, you’d never know it watching this well-put-together band perform now. Evans is a power, and is looking forward to sharing the Madison-based group’s brand new, and very personal, labor of love. Their CD release show is Saturday, April 18, at The Frequency in Madison; but before it we talked about the effort behind the music, the many awards this act has already accumulated, and where the road may take Sexy Ester next; because if you really listen to the music, you’ll see a great future clearly lies ahead of them.
Teri: Did you always dream of a “Sexy Ester?” How did you get started in music?
Lyndsay: My musical background was really through high school musicals and choir. I took piano lessons for a couple of years, but my passion has always been singing and musical theater. Adam (Eder) was in a band when we started dating, and we wrote some songs together. We’d been writing songs for 10-years before a friend got us to go out and start playing at open mics around Madison. I had terrible stage fright when we first started playing those open mics! Liquid courage got me through those 100 or so performances, but now I love every part of being on stage performing. I can’t imagine my life without it.
Teri: You– Lyndsay– had stage fright?! How did you actually get a group together to make this happen?
Lyndsay: We’re a big family! Adam, is now my husband and plays guitar. My brother Roscoe Evans plays keys, and Adam’s high school friend, Brad Schubert, plays bass. Paul Kennedy joined us 4 years ago when our first drummer, who’s Adam’s cousin Dusty Hay, left the band. So, we’ve been a band for 6 years now. It’s crazy to think that it’s been that long. I do love these guys. They are like my brothers. (Well, except for Adam of course!)
Teri: How do you describe the sound of Sexy Ester?
Lyndsay: If someone asks who we sound like, I always say Blondie. We’re a little bit punk, rock, and pop with synthesizers and female vocals. I probably sound more like Pat Benatar than Debbie Harry, but the musical styling is definitely more Blondie. We’re even calling the new album style Garage Pop.
Teri: A little sneak-peek for us before the album is released! So, do you think your style of music works here, and how did you all end up in Madison?
Lyndsay: My brother Roscoe and I are from Gratiot, Wisconsin. It’s a town of about 250 people, and an hour south west of Madison. Adam and Brad are from Warren, Illinois, which is 7 miles south of Gratiot near Galena, Illinois, and Paul is from Rockford. I love everything about Madison except the winter! I am not a cold-weather person and every January I beg the band to move somewhere warmer. But seriously, I love the liberal bubble that is Madison. We also have a great indie music and arts scene here. I would love to see the city build up its indie music scene even more, but the bands here definitely support and build each other up, which is amazing. I don’t know if every city has that kind of camaraderie. I also love the venues that support local, indie music here, and the local music fans that come out– are amazing!
Teri: I know you all have other obligations, like jobs and families; many area bands do. But how do you dedicate the time needed for a band– and to make yours a good band?
Lyndsay: We do all have day jobs, and Paul is also in school. I’m not sure how he fits it all in but I’m pretty sure the band is his favorite “job” of the three!? We all write music for the band. Someone will either come to rehearsal with a riff or we will jam something new out while at rehearsal. The five of us mesh really well personally and creatively.
It’s actually pretty awesome. I also handle most of the business side of the band, like booking, PR and other administrative tasks like updating the calendar. It can be a lot of work at times, but I might also be a bit of a control freak so I’m not sure if I could let someone else do it if they offered? So, I am not complaining, and I think it probably makes it easier to have everything in one place, right? Adam handles the accounting-side of things, and that is something I am happy to hand off.
Teri: You gave a little peek into the new album earlier. Are you excited about releasing it?
Lyndsay: I cannot wait for everyone to hear the new album! We left our label, and we’re releasing this album on our own for the first time. It’s been a real learning process, but it;s been good for us as a band to take our musical career into our own hands, and really see how this business works. We used a Kickstarter campaign to fund this album, too. I can’t put into words the feeling you get when people want to help you succeed. It’s made the entire experience of making this album so much more rewarding!
This album is grittier than the rest. It still sounds like Sexy Ester but with a little more, well, grit (LOL)!
We used local shops for this album as well: recording at Clutch Sound, mastering at Megatone Studios, Pictures by Sweeney Photography, Graphic Design by Kyle and Heidi Michel, the CD, vinyl and posters by Sooper Dooper, stickers were printed at Lakeside Printing Co-Op, and of course our CD release show will be Saturday night at The Frequency.
Teri: One local band supporting that many local businesses? Pretty cool accomplishment! What other things about Sexy Ester make you proud?
Lyndsay: Two years ago we were chosen by the city to represent Madison in BandSwap out in Colorado. Last month, Spokes Buzz, who runs BandSwap, then chose us to come play their party at SXSW in Austin, Texas! Now that’s a great bonding trip for the band, and a fantastic networking trip, too. We can’t wait to go back next year!
And I think as of the 2014 Madison Area Music Association Awards, Sexy Ester’s won 18 as a band! We won “Artist of the Year” two years ago, and then got to play the WAMI’s (the state-wide version of the awards) which was a really cool experience. Doors have opened up for us in Milwaukee, including playing at Summerfest, because of that show. Last year, I won the WAMI for “Female Vocalist of the Year” which I still can’t believe! It’s truly amazing how one thing can lead to another, and to another. Hopefully the ball just keeps rolling for us!
Teri: You sound very happy with what you and Sexy Ester’s been able to accomplish?
Lyndsay: I am happy. I couldn’t have imagined six years ago we would have awards and the experiences we’ve had as a band. And I’ve met so many amazing people that I would never have met if it weren’t for Sexy Ester. It’s also pretty cool to be walking down the street and have people shout out, “Hey Sexy Ester!” I definately didn’t imagine that six years ago!
Teri: Can we look ahead? What’s next for Sexy Ester?
Lyndsay: Just to keep making great music, and playing great shows. It’s my passion. It’s what I love. If other people love it too, and if we make money doing it– that’s an awesome bonus! We would also like to travel more as a band, and start working toward some major festivals like Pitchfork.
Find more on Sexy Ester at www.SexyEster.com
The Band is also on facebook and twitter.
New CD Release Show: Saturday, April 18, 2015 at The Frequency, 10pm
Sexy Ester will celebrate the release of the band’s self titled album, with friends in Something To Do, and Damsel Trash, along with a Pin-Ups and Greasers themed Party!!!
Sponsored by Max Ink Radio and Rokker Vodka! Hosted by Jimmy K of Max Ink Radio with special guest La Bomba Waters of Les Cougars!
In honor of our first single, “Pin-Up” we will be having a Pin-Ups and Greasers costume contest! Best Pin-up and Greaser will take home a sweet Sexy Ester prize pack!!
AND all Pin-Ups and Greasers will have a chance to appear in our new lyric video for “Pin-Up” by Sweeney Photography!!!
$7 21+, $10 18-20