diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like



Drawing by Chris Mack

As you might have read earlier, I first met Chris when ESKA were supporting Urusei Yatsura on tour last year. We had the pleasure of observing ESKA’s soundcheck whilst waiting for U.Y. to stop playing computer games and come and be interviewed. I’d come across ESKA’s ‘III Spike’ 7″ once but it was during one of our Super-economy drives when £2.50 really is too much to spend on a record, especially when you can’t remember what it sounded like, just that you liked it. So, by the time I could afford it, obviously it was sold out.

But ESKA were pretty fab live, even though I hardly knew any of their songs. They’ve been compared to Pavement and Sonic Youth which isn’t entirely unfair but, like Urusei, they’re no mere copyist band. I spotted Chris by the merchandise stall after their set and, in my slightly drunken state (lack of food – blame U.Y.!), I was convinced to go over and have a word with him. So poor Chris was basically accosted by an over-enthusiastic fanzine writer who garbled lots of nonsense and then demanded a postal interview. Luckily, Chris didn’t seem to mind too much and agreed. So, here are some exciting facts about the band we’re all calling ‘ESKA’.

  • ESKA are top chums with Urusei Yatsura. ESKA’s first single was released on their modern independent label and Chris even refused to name his favourite member.
  • In U.Y’s ‘Siamese’, Fergus sings, “never stop, we’re all in ESKA”. This is a LIE! Only Chris (18, guitars and singing), Colin (19, guitars and singing too), Kenny (19, bass), Willy (30ish,drums) and Dave (ESKA’s pet plant) are actually ‘in’ ESKA. But never mind eh?
  • Stuart from Mogwai used to be ‘in ESKA’ too but he left to form, er…Mogwai. This has left ESKA in the unenviable position of playing support slots to their ex-drummer’s band.
  • ESKA started life as a Pavement covers band – understandable really. “I think we’ve steered away from Pavement now though”, says Chris. I presume he means musically as I bumped into Chris at the Pavement gig at Glasgow art school. He did a very good impression of not looking horrified to see me, which was kind.
  • They’d like to pretend that ESKA stands for Esoteric Secret Knowledge Association, but obviously it doesn’t.
  • A computer once told Chris to consider a career as a conservationist, timber technologist or hairdresser. A computer once told me to be a hairdresser too, not to mention a diver or an abattoir worker (cheers!).
  • Chris once had a terrapin called Theodore.
  • ESKA have a remarkable array of superpowers. “I have an ability to communicate with most Big Cats”, boasts Chris. “I also have control over the weather and the tides and the growth of the desert. Kenny told me that he flew as a child and I believe he still can. I don’t know about the other two in the band, but I would assume that they both have powers that defy the usual boundaries”. Well, I’m impressed.
  • ESKA almost played a gig at a fish farm in Oban once. “We didn’t have time”, apologises Chris.
  • Chris seems to be obsessed with Lions. In a list of hates he wrote, “Anything which seems to suggest that Lions are not the most important living beings in this world”.
  • Chris can draw! He also has fantastic handwriting.

“All the ‘profits’ we make from our music are put towards the giant castle we’re building in space”, Chris tells me. “This is so that we’ll all have somewhere to live when the asteroid hits earth”. So it’s in everyone’s interest that you love ESKA and buy all their records.


Drawings by Chris Mack

ESKA website