ESSi | The Family Interviews

Photo by Christoph Carr

Photo by Christoph Carr

Meet ESSi

The Brooklyn duo ESSi is an experimental and disorientating experience. Comprised of Jessica Ackerly and Rick Daniel, the project takes an elevated and unconventional approach to noise rock — I bet you didn’t even think that was possible! 

Their wild compositions yield some even stranger noises, and they deliver it with unrelenting vivacity. Their latest release Vital Creatures, is a barrage of flashing and crashing and twitching and smashing and fleeting and fuzz, and holy moly does it make me a bit dizzy.

Below we pick the duo’s respective brains about dinosaurs, slushie cocktails as a sound, and their fan-turned-friend encounters. 


Video Games: A Mad-Lib by ESSi

I love to PLAY video games. I can play them day with PRINCE! My mom and BASKETBALL are not too happy with me HOLDING so much time in front of the CAR. Although Dad believes that these RED games help children develop hand-EAR coordination and improve their FANS, he also seems to think they have OBNOXIOUS side effects on one's EYES. Both of my KEYS think this is due to a BRIGHT use of violence in the majority of the PEDALS. Finally, we all arrived at a SLOPPY compromise: After dinner I can play 10 hours of video games, provided I help clear out the CAT and wash it’s BUILDINGS.


Would You Rather…

What is your favorite dinosaur? Why is it your favorite? 

Albertosaurus, because Jessica is from Alberta


Some Questions with ESSi

Who are your favorite bands active in NYC right now?

Upper Wilds, Dead Tenants, Parlor Walls, A Deer A Horse, Gold Dime. 

Where is somewhere you have always wanted to record?

Studio Windows

Has a song ever made you angry? Do you know why it made you mad?

Barbie Girl by Aqua because of the obnoxious auto-tune. 


Android or I-phone?


What is your go-to Karaoke song?

Barbie Girl by Aqua


If your sound was a drink what would go into it?

One of those crazy cocktails slushes that are multicolored and layered. The ones you see on vacay at resorts.


How did you get in touch with Britt Ciampa to create the music video for your song "Fly By"?

He was a drummer friend of Jessica’s who’s day job is editing special effects for shows.

What is the best encounter you have ever had with a fan?

All of our fans have become our friends, and so therefore every fan encounter had become the best encounter


If you could make one thing you own glow in the dark what would it be? Why?

Our pedalboards because it’s always too dark to see the buttons at gigs

How do you approach noise and distortion? Where does it fit in with the message you try to convey?

We highlight and contrast our basic rigs of drums and guitar. We use it as an initial feeling and anchor to express the emotions that are built upon it rather than having a bones structured songs that we lay sounds on top. The noise and distortion is used from the very beginning to express emotions and color.

Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.

Come to our Alphaville on October 5 with Upper Wilds, Russian Baths and Wsabi Fox. Sorry, gotta plug :) 

Sean Maldjian