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Interview With The Esoteric

This is an e- mail interview with The Esoteric's frontman Steve Cruz.

Gothique: The band features members of hardcore pioneers Coalesce and also Today Is The Day. How did you guys start playing together?

Steve: Cory, Eric, and Anthony (all the string players) have been playing as The Esoteric since high school, even through Coalesce and Reggie, The Esoteric were always together. While Marshal and I were in high school we were playing in a band as well. Marshal joined Today Is The Day and I moved to Lawrence and after stalking the "Eso" for a few years joined them. Marshal came to visit and he was into what we were doing, so after our previous drummer quit, Marshal joined and now here we are.

Gothique: You have a new record deal with Prosthetic. How do you like them compared to the labels you’ve worked with in the past?

Steve: Prosthetic is a great label and the dudes that run it and work for it are pretty likable all in all. I can't really compare it with labels we have worked with in the past cause the recording we put out in the past were self financed for the most part.

Gothique: You just released "With The Sureness Of Sleepwalking". How do you feel about your new material?

Steve: We are very proud of what we have created "With the Sureness of Sleepwalking". We learned a lot recording it and the songs are a good challenge and a blast to play live.

Gothique: You also shot a video for the single "Ram- faced Boy". Who did you work with?

Steve: The video was directed by Matt Bass for Factory Features. This guy is awesome and was very much into the song. He did a great job with symbolizing the lyrics and creating a very complimentary vision.

Gothique: Over the years you have embarked on several self- financed tours. Very few bands would do that. What kind of motivation drives you- is it your devotion to the music and performing or is this an expression of hard work and desire to promote your stuff?

Steve: We all love to create and express ourselves, and that is what we are devoted too. Self-financed tours and recording is the way to go. No one will ever care or help your band if you don't do it first, and if your not doing it for yourself it's obvious and makes for lame, contrived music.

Gothique: Recently there were news that you lost your equipment, merchandise and cash in a house fire. How did you manage to recover from this mishap and still proceed with the tour plans?

Steve: Two weeks after the fire we left for tour, and have been out ever since. This is because the compassion of people in our city of Lawrence, Kansas as well as the compassion of people within the hardcore and metal communities around the world. Combine that kind of support with our own motivation to do what we do and that is how we recovered. We have this band, our new album, and people out there to perform for. We literally have nothing else, and that's OK.

Gothique: How do you feel about the hardcore scene in general nowadays?

Steve: My feeling towards the scene change all the time. Much of the time it seems very fickle, trendy, and not hardcore at all. Many of the bands are doing the same type of four on the floor generic mosh parts with finger pointing lyrics or there doing some of that and mixing it with At the Gates riffs and whining about lost love in that "I'm a 14 year old girl and I relate with that" kind of way. And why not, there are many kids that buy into that or that's all they know. But on the other hand we'll run into kids that are genuinely passionate about music and life in general. They are opened minded and are into new ideas and want to hear something fresh. They also know who influenced who and respect the history of how certain bands and ideas came to be. I think there is a great lack of respect and history in the scene these days, many kids think Coalesce is a clothing line like Diesel or something, it's sad but there is still hope.

Gothique: If you had to name the bands that have influenced you the most, which would they be?

Steve: Well for me personally I've always screamed and wrote lyrics but I'm more inspired by bands like Coil, Depeche Mode, and Killing Joke. Or artist like John Coltrane or Mike Patton. Everyone in our band is weird like that and listen to a wide variety of music. But as a band i would say bands like Faith No More, Pantera, Coalesce, Bloodlet, Failure, Shiner, Season to Risk, and Refused would be major influences.

Gothique: What does your tour itinerary look like for this summer?

Steve: Currently we are on tour with The Secret Lives of the Freemasons, Lovehatehero, and Still Life Projector. This tour goes through most of May and then June through July we are part of the "Dirty Black Summer Tour" with Himsa, Scars of Tomorrow and the Agony Scene. We also will be doing some Warp tour dates in August, so it looks like a summer of rawk to me.

Gothique: Any last words to our readers?

Steve: Thanks to everyone for everything we will see ya soon!

Gothique: Thank you for your time.

Steve: Thanks for doing this interview we appreciate it.

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