This Wednesday we say goodbye to Esther Stephens & The Means. We're excited to host their final gig as our monthly For What It's Worth event. The band have previously played their “fusion of soul, fun, pop, jazz and psychedelia” music alongside the likes of Team Dynamite, Homebrew, Oddisee and The Flatbush Zombies. Their presence in the NZ music scene will be missed.
We caught up with Esther days before the final gig to ask her a few questions about juggling music and acting, her highlights so far and why they have decided to call it quits.
This Wednesday is the final ever gig for Esther Stephens & The Means, how are you feeling about this?
Weird, but fine. Sad, but also like it's the right thing. It's time for all of us to put our energy into other things that may take us away from being able to make music together so closely in this particular musical incarnation, but as friends and musical peers I think we'll always collaborate in some form or another.
With changes, comes new projects and opportunities. What is next for you? Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
At present I'm shooting Westside season 3, which is great fun, and also spending some time focusing on writing music, with the primary aim of honing my skills and breaking down some of my personal insecurities around the things I write. Hopefully some of the recent fruits will come together in the form of a fresh project, but it's too early to make any announcements!
You have juggled acting and music for a while now, what advice would you give young artists/creatives that want to also pursue multiple career paths at once?
Just do it and don't listen to anyone who tells you that you have to be a specialist. There is nothing wrong with being a jack-of-as-many-damn-trades-as-you-like, in fact in my experience, the more you can do, the more you can work. People will always want to define you and box you into one thing, you don't have to play that game or explain yourself. Do whatever the fuck you want.
What has been your most memorable Esther Stephens & The Means gig to date?
Our album release tour was pretty amazing. Especially Christchurch at Dux Live. The response was incredible and the gig was a blast.
What can people expect this Wednesday night?
We're gonna play like it's the last time we're ever gonna play. Then I'm probably going to cry. Marika might cry. Abe will definitely cry. Tom will cry on the inside. Then we'll probably get drunk and all sentimental and have lots of group hugs.