Eskobar

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Eskobar
Origin Åkersberga, Sweden
Genres Indie, alternative, rock
Years active 1995–present
Labels V2, Gibulchi
Members Daniel Bellqvist
Frederik Zäll
Robert Birming

Eskobar is the name of a Swedish indie/pop band that was founded in 1996 some 30 kilometres north of Stockholm, in the small town of Åkersberga. The band features Daniel Bellqvist as its lead singer, Frederik Zäll on guitars, and Robert Birming on drums.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Eskobar has its roots in the early 1990s when Daniel Bellqvist left his band to join Frederik Zäll’s band called FOF (an acronym for "Fish Or Fantasy?") in 1994. The two musicians had previously met in their high school band class. In their incarnation as FOF, Daniel played bass while Frederik played guitar, and since Grunge was the popular musical style of the time, the band settled on this genre as their signature style. During this time the band also changed its name to Cripplefish.

In less than a year, Cripplefish's sound began to evolve from Grunge into Pop, prompting the lead singer, Staffan Atling, to leave the band. This shift in genre style led to a significant reformulation of the band. Cripplefish was renamed, this time taking the name The Bugs, but without a lead singer, Daniel was forced to pick up the slack on vocals while playing bass. Another reshuffling of the band's lineup brought in Robert Birming as drummer and Jojjo, the band’s only female member, was brought on as The Bugs' acoustic guitarist and backup vocalist.

By 1996, the newly revised 4-piece band had continued to make inroads with their upbeat pop style, but another shakeup was looming on the horizon. As they booked their first Stockholm gig, Jojjo decided to leave The Bugs, citing the stresses associated with daily rehearsals as her main motivation for leaving the band. The three remaining band members decided to stay on and continue making music, however, and used Jojjo’s departure and their ever-evolving style to change the band’s name yet again. The Bugs' shift from mainstream pop to Brit-Pop came about as they changed their name to Browneyed Susan.

Getting signed[edit]

After a year floundering with Swedish record label MNW, the band recorded a three track demo in 1998 that was shuffled from EMI to Sony Publishing, where Sony eventually agreed to finance a ten song demo. This critical demo ultimately became a watershed moment for the band: one of the ten songs, "Tumbling Down", had a sound that set it apart from the other nine. Instead of being of a derived style like all of the band's previous songs, for the first time in Eskobar's history, this song demonstrated the band was capable of originality. The other nine songs were discarded, and a newer more free-flowing set of songs was recorded. This demo saw the band signed with V2 Music where they took the name Small Change.

Under its new label, the band saw a lot of exposure playing as the opening act for well known Swedish bands such as The Wannadies. Eventually, though, the band's popularity grew to a point where they were in the prime position to release their own albums. The only problem was that the band didn't have a concrete name. It was one thing to shuffle through names when the band was unsigned, but things had changed and Eskobar now needed to be conscious of the fact that many of the names they were coming up with were already taken. After a lot of thought, the band became frustrated and nearly gave up. The name problem was later solved when a friend of the band met an American manager and asked for help. He suggesting the name "Escobar", and the band liked the sound of it, so they approved of the name acquisition with one slight change: The 'c' was swapped out of the name for a 'k' to make it the band's own.

Fame[edit]

"Someone New", a duet with Heather Nova released in 2002, was an international hit and has since taken on a life of its own. Although both artists are still primarily known in Europe, the popularity of "Someone New" saw Eskobar and Heather Nova's fan base reach America through MTV.

Melodifestivalen 2008[edit]

On January 15 it was announced that Eskobar will be one of the participants in Melodifestivalen 2008, the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. They were among the last artists - the "wildcards" - to be confirmed and competed in the third heat in Linköping on February 23. The title of the song is "Hallelujah New World". Eskobar did not manage to qualify for the Melodifestivalen final, placing last in their heat and becoming the first wild card entry not to qualify at least for the second chance round.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 'Til We're Dead (2000)
  • There's Only Now (2001)
  • A Thousand Last Chances (2004)
  • Eskobar (2006)
  • Death in Athens (2008)

Singles[edit]

  • Promo Single (7" Vinyl) (1999)
  • On A Train (1999)
  • On A Train (7" Vinyl) (2000)
  • Good Day For Dying (2000)
  • Tumbling Down (2000)
  • Counterfeit EP (2000)
  • Tumbling Down (Dead Mono Version) (2001)
  • Into Space (2001)
  • Tell Me I'm Wrong (2001)
  • Someone New (2002)
  • On The Ground (2002)
  • Move On" (2002)
  • Love Strikes" (2003)
  • Singles Collection Volume One (Box) (2003)
  • Singles Collection Volume Two (Box) (2003)
  • Love Strikes (2003)
  • Love Strikes (3" CD) (2003)
  • Bring The Action (2004)
  • You Got Me (2004)
  • Even If You Know Me (2005)
  • Persona Gone Missing (2006)
  • Devil Keeps Me Moving (2006)
  • Whatever This Town (2006)
  • As the world turns" (2008)
  • Halleluja New World" (2008)

External links[edit]