An interview with freak-folk cats Espers for the Viceland.com Blog.
Does being lumped in with the whole free folk thing stick in your craw?
The greater interest in the ‘folk’ stuff of recent years allowed for exposure, sharing and travel for a good number of artists, so that is a good thing. A lot of us have been afforded great opportunities and friendships that continue to grow and morph and expand. It feels like the beginning. This isn't temporary, flash-in-the-pan music to any of us. There is no real emotional connection to it though, no opposition or partisanship.
No kinship with the beardy brothers musically then. In that case how would you describe the Espers sound?
Our music is a sherpa to guide all through the foothills of paranoia. It is a good, honest companion and friend.
You have worked with Vashti Bunyan. How do you feel about supposed hippies licensing properties to adverts? Where is the spirit of Woodstock man?
Nothing wrong with getting paid, you know what I mean? You gotta work to get paid and that paycheck feels good. We've done a lot of questionable deeds for the cash.
Any you’d care to mention?
Spoilsports. One good thing about the movement was the way it dug up a load of amazing old relics that people had forgotten about. How was it working with all the people that started what you are finishing?
The friendships we have made with heroes of ours are unreal, maybe the
most rewarding thing that has arrived out of all of this. Michael Hurley, Clive Palmer, Bridget St. John, Bert Jansch, Vashti, Gary Higgins, Mike Heron - they are all now close friends as well as mentors and it is just awesome.
Why do an EP of just covers?
We dig doing covers and traditional standards and stuff. We do them live, so it just seemed natural to record it all for a release.
Folk generally has an image of kind of being a bit boring. How boring are Espers on a scale of 1 to 10?
Boring? I don't think there's a boring image at all. Danny Thompson was a legendary badass. Fahey. Doc Snock rambled forever, still does. Are we boring? Considering that we are a commune that practices free love and shared vice, I don't know - that's up to you to apply standards to and decide. We had a party in Toulouse that was pretty something. Hello, Marie!
If you could only have one track to listen to forever and ever what would it be?
That's a tough one, but I'll bite. Uhhh..."Hold Me Back" by Patto.