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Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock




"Escobar - Empire Music Hall 21.02.14"

"..with an intro that warned of what actions to take during a nuclear emergency, it was known that this was going to be much more than a simple music set. With their unique electro-alternative style they unleashed a relentless, screaming frenzy. After some minor technical difficulties, they returned to give a non-stop, stellar performance that was applauded by the growing crowd that was pulled to the front of the stage. Promising to leave nothing but mayhem in their wake, Escobar are another band that will never disappoint or cease to amaze.." - Gigging NI

"Escobar RISE/FALL EP launch"

"Following on from the release of their excellent video for ‘Sirens‘ the guys from Escobar have now released their EP Rise//Fall with a gig at Stiff Kitten on Friday 23rd of May.

It was a great way to begin the bank holiday weekend with a full line-up including Midnight Transmission kicking things off followed by Aquatramp and Loris before the main event. Loris has an interesting and unique sound and were a great contrast musically to Escobar but not in a way where they sat uncomfortably side by side.

For those who’ve never seen them, Escobar describe themselves as a ‘Sonic rock quartet’, I see them as falling somewhere between the cracks of Screamo and (Alt) rock with influences of Biffy Clyro and Muse, they also bring back memories of a band called Brand New who are worth checking out. To compare them to any other band is just to give you a platform to delve into the world of Escobar who stand alone with a somewhat original sound in their own right.

As a live band they’re a pretty tight unit both forthright and confident but still somehow restrained, very impressive for a band who’ve been together for just over a year. I always find the sound in stiff kitten to be good and Escobar took full advantage driving home their aggressive in your face rock stylings, well woven with nicely balanced melodies.

They romped and stomped their way through their full 8 tune set finishing with the title track from their EP Rise//Fall and in the end it felt like a satisfying and enjoyable journey. If their EP is half as good as their live sound it should be well worth a listen." - Pastiebap

"Escobar - Featurette"

Tell us about your stage name?

We felt we needed an immediate, almost grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-shake-you name to coincide with the vibe we were organically creating as a unit. Naturally, we did what 99% of bands starting out do and took to wikipedia and hit ‘random’ for about 15 minutes until we found just one word that commanded a sense of immediacy, urgency; Escobar. Up until that time we were toying with villains from pseudo-popular culture, so Escobar seemed appropriate in the realm of the aforementioned search!

When did you start playing music and how would you describe your sound?

We formed in January 2013, just 4 guys in a garage, and practised for months honing a set. We set out originally just to make a din, just blow off steam when we clocked off our respective day jobs. It got to a point where we thought, ‘Yeah, people might dig this! Let’s take it outside these four walls’. We aim for the cinematic, the dramatic, the big. Watching tonnes of Sergio Leone westerns and B-zombie flicks in an energy-saving-lit living room definitely helped. Have you ever seen The Raid? Watch The Raid.

What music have you put out so far?

We recorded two tracks in early 2013; ‘Cuts & Bruises’ and Pariah Dollarhyde, both testaments to film villains and real-life dastardly deeds. After a few months these fell by the wayside in the set as more grandiose songs began to form with each practice; guitars were replaced by soundscapes, shouting by polyphonic vocals and so on. This is definitely reflected on our latest EP, recorded by the visionaries at Millbank Studios and fulltime Mojo Fury musos which we release this month in Belfast’s Stiff Kitten. The video has already garnered a lot of press for ‘Sirens’ one of the upcoming tracks. Most certainly implementing all the tenets above (dirty church organ, why not?!) and then some, check it out!

Is there a particular live show which stands out amongst all the rest?

We’re actually just back from the illustrious Vantastival Festival in Co. Louth. We played an absolute stomper of a set on the Vanhalla Stage on Sunday night. It was awesome! It was affirming playing to literally none of our usual cohorts and the response was unprecedented. We had people going daft in a forest, chanting ‘one more tune!’ to the sound of feedback and oscillating kaoss pads; up there with the best, certainly with the LaFaro show for Arthur’s Day or Bonnevilles live album recording in Limelight last year.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?

I’d say becoming a unit, a tight-ship and best of friends. It’s all about the promo, and it’s a lot easier to get the word out when you have four mates pulling in the same direction. That’s the best part, knowing that when our respective phone’s buzz in the pocket it’s always news about the fruit of an individual’s labour. Oh, and creating music for US. Certainly.

You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘super group’ – who is in it and what do they do?

Tricky! I’m writing this as Hardwell is blasting in the background in my day job, so my brain is mush. Freddy Mercury as frontman, there’s none better. Let’s put Simon Neil on guitar with Chris Wolstenholme on Bass. Do we need drums? How about Hardwell on beats and bleeps, he gets some bad press.

If you were to go on a world tour and you could pick any 3 acts come along, who would they be?

Aquatramp and Loris – these guys are actually playing at our RISE//FALL ep launch; the nicest of guys and hardest-working bands we’ve met yet, check them out! Finally, let’s get the Ulster Orchestra to mellow the crowd as a warm-up before the face-melting onslaught.

What would be the 3 strangest things on your rider if you were able to make any demand?

Butterkeks biscuits, Germanic elbow-ham and San Pellegrino left to flatten for a solid hour.

Who has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?

We’re local through and through. Obviously we’ve been listening to what comes out of the radio since we were nippers and no doubt many made us pick up our respective instruments and roles, but genuinely what made us take our act from garage band to the live circuit was Mojo Fury. Seeing the guys continually tear shit up and rock out so passionately to their own tunes was like, ‘Whoa, let’s attempt to forge a career out of this, these guys play some twisted oddities and definitely have fun!’. Getting to record with the guys was awesome, the ideas they put in 100% helped in shaping the current sound, and when it comes to putting out record number 2 it’ll be the Millbank Massif we return to. All Hail The Pig.

Is there a particular aim or goal which you hope to achieve through music?

Stay mates, have fun and know that even if someone somewhere is listening to a dodgy .wav or live recording years down the line in a log cabin and having some sort of affinity with what we’ve got to say, we’ve done ourselves proud. - Chordblossom

"Escobar support The Bonnevilles"

"..Starting off the excitement for the evening with a lot of heavy rock and very bleached hair. Their sound was reminiscent of early ‘My Chemical Romance’, and the band brought a lot of energy to the stage. They were a rambunctious lot and the audience reacted to their vigour.." - Chordblossom

"SIRENS review"

"..The new video for ‘Sirens’ is an explosive effort capturing the dynamism of their live performances. The four piece’s video features a host of masked dancers, atmospheric smoke and a few fireworks for the outro. The video was produced by the excellent Dog Kennel Productions, who you may recognise as one of our Kickstart 2014 sponsors. The track itself is a mix of moving verses, Muse-esque riffs and a big chorus. We should probably give that organ in the bridge a shout-out of its own too. We’re already looking forward to hearing more. And with a debut EP on its way in the coming months hopefully we won’t be waiting long.." - Chordblossom


1. It's In Our Blood (To Avenge)
2. Sirens
3. Veto Amiens



ESCOBAR are Adam Kerr (Guitar), Colm Meir (Drums and Programming), James Smyth (Vocals, Guitar and Keys) and Piaras Nolan (Bass and Vocals).
Having formed in 2013, ESCOBAR have released their debut EP 'RISE//FALL' to critical acclaim and subsequent video for their single 'SIRENS'. 
Touring extensively to promote the aforementioned and having become known for their ferocious and theatrical live shows, ESCOBAR go from strength to strength on the merit of their anthemic alt rock stylings.

"The new video for 'Sirens' is an explosive effort capturing the dynamism of their live performances"

"One of the most impressive new NI bands to have emerged ..alt-rock mayhem"
Sounds of NI

"Promising to leave nothing but mayhem in their wake.. never disappoint or cease to amaze" GiggingNI

"Both forthright and confident but still somehow restrained, very impressive.."

"A monster!"
Dan Hegarty, RTE The Alternative

Band Members