Nov 26, 2012 12:04PM

Interview: ESG

"We want to excite you and make you dance."
ESG's self-titled album artwork, 1999

ESG (standing for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) are coming to Australia for the first time ever for the 2013 Sugar Mountain Festival. They've undergone many a transformation since their birth as a Bronx sister act in the 80s. Keeping it in the family throughout their various incarnations, ESG have retained an underground mystique while gaining influence in the industry, having supported The Clash and given samples to Wu-Tang. The Australian tour comes just before the recording of a final ESG album, Closure, which will include contributions from everyone who has been involved with the band. We caught up with founder Renee Scroggins in the lead-up to their festival dates.

Melissa Kenny: So this will be your first time on Australian shores...
Renee Scroggins: Yes, we have never played in Australia. We are very excited about coming!

There have been some lineup changes over the years and a few hiatuses. Can you tell us a bit about where the band stands now?
Well, the lineup changes were necessary and we were never really on hiatus because we were performing, recording or writing for other artists. As for where we stand now, this is our final tour but we are recording another album.

So here and now in 2012, what are three adjectives that sum up ESG? 
Lively, happy, spunky.

Can you pretty please give us a brief explanation of what to expect at your Sugar Mountain Festival set?
We will be playing the classics as well as many new tunes but we want to excite you and make you dance!

You're definitely the longest standing band on the bill, with a lot of really new acts alongside you. Are there any acts you're particularly excited to see?
Well, I would like a chance to try and see all of the acts performing if I can. It is exciting to view something new and original.

You're also playing at Oxford Art Factory which is great and means Melbourne aren't the only ones who get a piece of the action. What are you expecting from Australian audiences?
Since we have never performed there before it will be a chance to win over new fans. I know we have many fans in Australia because they have written to me over the years. I am sure the audience will enjoy themselves and have a good time and dance!

ESG Tour Dates:
Thursday 17 January  — The Hifi Bar, Melbourne
Friday 18 January — Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday 19 January — Sugar Mountain Festival, Melbourne
Sunday 20 January — The Bakery, Perth

Introduction: Lucy Jones
Interview: Melissa Kenny

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