"We're just going to wake up on 1st January 2017 and see what happens," smiles Tali Källström. Estrons could have easily laid out plans for the new year, after all, they've been offered tours, and there's more than a hint of buzz around the band, but they've turned them all down. "We're not planning anything; we want to make sure the right thing happens."
You might raise an eyebrow and look at the band’s grand plan, or lack thereof, with a tilted head but the band has experience in the right thing. Their 2016 has been a lesson in just letting things happen. This time last year the band, “couldn’t have predicted SXSW would happen, we couldn’t have predicted Slaves would have walked past our set at Latitude and taken us out on their Back In The Van tour, we couldn’t have even predicted Latitude would happen." Writing ‘I'm Not Your Girl' was unpredictable, as was the creation of ‘Drop’. "It's just us wanting to make sure the right moment comes at the right time. It's all very up in the air, but we don't have a secret master plan. That’s what keeps it exciting.”
Kickstarted by the release of ‘Make A Man’, the past twelve months have been non-stop “but in a good way,” for Estrons. They’ve had to make a lot of big decisions, “We’re pleased we didn’t do anything silly or drastic.” They've learnt a lot, they've toured a lot, and they've reached a lot. "The reaction to that song was a whirlwind of industry and hype. We just tried to stay grounded, so we didn't get pulled up in all of it. We wanted to build a proper fanbase and do it the proper way. I was surprised in the beginning, and now I'm trying to do everything the right way. ‘People like our music. This is good, this is positive, let's move forward'."
There have been moments of doubt, back to back tours with Slaves and their own run saw the band pushed to their limits, but the amazing moments always outweigh the struggle. “Your job can’t be amazing all the time,” reasons Tali.
"There are loads of negative moments for bands when you start out; we were playing to three people who were all our mates. It's crazy to think of where we're at now. It's easy to forget where you started because once you've got a taste for it, you want to keep working your way up."
"You can see it slowly happening over time," she continues. "We've still got a long way to go; we're never under any false pretences of ‘we're here now.' We're never too big for our boots. We're still a young band, and we're still working our way around the circuit."
Despite being shiny and new, there’s a history to Estrons. "We've evolved a lot into what we are. We started out playing very different music, and I don't know how this happened. One day I was messing around, and I wasn't trying anymore, I stopped trying to write songs and just started being myself. With ‘Make A Man’ it was me being myself and joking around. The lyrics started off as a bit of a joke, and that transpired to mean a lot more. I wasn't trying to force myself into being any particular type of person or performer, and it just happened.” Playing in countless bands, Tali finally reached the point where she stopped caring about putting up walls and being something she wasn’t. “It was that moment where I stopped caring where thing started to happen for us.”
Cementing that journey with the release of their ‘She’s Here Now’ EP, the second half of a sentence that their now hidden ‘Whoever She Was’ EP started, Estrons used those three tracks to talk about “the musical and personal journey we’ve been on, as corny as that sounds.”
Talking about real experiences: “There’s a lot of frustration going on, on that EP,” starts Tali before adding, “in a nice way, I hope. I hope people don’t take it as some crazy political movement because it isn’t. It is a compilation of sarcastic tones and complaints.” From the perspective bending ‘Make A Man’ to ‘Belfast’, which sees Tali talk about breastfeeding, it would be easy to paint Estrons as a radical band, all politics and revolution but in reality, they just sing stories about their lives. They just come out. It just happens. "We never sit down as a band and talk about song concepts. We tried, but the problem is, we’re all very different people. I’m in a band with three guys and we’ve all got very different outlooks, even though there’s common ground. We're not jerks or anything, but it does seem like it's hard to explain a female perspective to a bunch of guys. It’s not even with female issues, despite songs like ‘I’m Not Your Girl’ and ‘Make A Man' - it’s not some feminist movement, it’s a song about fancying people. I try and involve people as much as possible." Despite not always getting it straight away, what unites the band is "we all share that common frustration with what’s going on in society. That’s the common ground.”
It’s a shared interest that’s seen people take to Estrons. “There are some amazing bands at the moment, Savages and Slaves, and even though we’re not quite punk, it’s that fierceness and that honesty that I like to think is appealing to people.” ‘Make a Man’ is delivered with a tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and “a lot of other bands seem a bit more serious or a harder to decipher. The different is that, with Estrons, it’s honest, raw and in your face. I can imagine that’s captivating. It’s just really nice when people come up and seem to have been touched in some way by our music. Even though it’s not meant to be this ridiculous emotional roller coaster, it kinda is. I don't take myself very seriously on stage, and I never want to, but I think people can tell how honest and open I’m being, Sometimes I have to stop myself from saying too much. Sometimes on stage, I'll accidentally cry a bit. These are genuine experiences I've had, and I just want people, male, female, transgender or whatever to connect to that. I want people to feel like it’s real. When you see us live, it becomes apparent that we’re not this raging political band. It's a very personal band. Obviously, in songs like ‘Belfast' I'm talking about political issues, but you can tell it’s me speaking from my perspective.”
Estrons may not be out to inspire a revolution, but talking about real life means equality, and the lack of it, is going to come up. “We like to believe we’re so past it and so in the 21st century now but if you look at what's going on around you, recent elections and recent decisions in politics globally, it makes you realise we're not there yet. There are so many social standards people are expected to abide by. Who knows, I think it’s still really important to be yourself and make a point about what it is that you believe in or who you are and what personal choices you make, that’s what ‘Drop’ is about. No matter how messed up you are as a human being; it's about making sure you don't let anyone make you think you should be this meditating Buddhist if that's not what you are. If it is, fine. If it isn’t, don’t change. If you’re some drunken mess right now and that’s all you can be, then be that. It’s important to stand up for who you are even if, in society’s eyes, that person isn’t seen as great or achieving much.”
Give all this a try
'Crushing' is a masterclass in storytelling.
It's the latest taster to arrive from the band's forthcoming full-length 'Ulfilas’ Alphabet'.
Catfish and the Bottlemen, Years & Years, The Wombats, The Amazons, Sigrid, Sam Fender, Sundara Karma and loads more are also set to appear.
There's also Indoor Pets, Stella Donnelly, Self Esteem, The 1975 and more.
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