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Why ESQ’s Larry Sager Stopped Answering His Phone “At Night”

From Detroit, Michigan, singer-songwriter and rock band ESQ dive into a hilariously conceptual yet thrilling rock experience with their latest single, "At Night,"

ESQ is led by frontman and founder Larry Sager, who's already released a ton of successful projects under ESQ, like the single and music video for "Keep Tryin'," which amassed over 3.8 million plays on YouTube. This time around, Sager explains what inspired ESQ's new tune, "At Night," and why he stopped answering the door and phone once the sun has set.

After moving to San Francisco, Sager spent a couple of years letting friends and family crash at his small apartment. It wasn't until one friend and an acquaintance showed up, one being completely inebriated. Instead of hitting the bathroom, one friend decided to relieve himself butt naked outside, prompting him to plummet down to the cement patio. Neighbors were mad, and Sager knew it was the last time he answered his phone "At Night."

Featuring the radiant vocal stylings of Shalee, the new single, "At Night," rips open with heavy electric guitar riffs and groovy bass licks that deliver this hefty soulful rhythm & blues listening experience. As Larry Sager's smooth and melodic vocals grace our speakers, he and the rest of ESQ jump into the riveting hook with conceptual lyrics and kickass instrumentals.

Knowing the story behind this song makes the listening experience all the more thrilling, especially as Sager's performance is met with the equally engaging and stimulating vocal stylings of Shalee, who floods the track with infectious and exhilarating energy. The entire track is a treat for the ears, and perhaps it will be your wake-up call to stop being so damn generous when people come looking for a place to crash.

Do yourself a favor and experience the groove, soul, rhythm, and blues from ESQ's conceptual and hearty new single, "At Night," now available on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, ESQ. We love the concept behind your witty and exciting new single, "At Night." Could you describe the moment you realized you needed to create a song about letting people crash at your base?

At Night is an autobiographical piece written while I was renting an apartment in San Francisco, wanting to be an ambassador of Goodwill and show people the beauty of the city and the surroundings. Calling on the phone and randomly appearing at my door were friends of friends and friends of acquaintances of acquaintances wanting to crash at my place. Really the last straw was when two friends of an acquaintance of an acquaintance was staying over. They went out drinking all night and came back around 3am.

The one guy climbed into bed which was actually the outside railing of my porch which led to the downstairs neighbor’s garden apartment one floor below. He landed butt first in my downstairs’ neighbor’s yard onto the cement with a loud THUD !! It was miraculous he wasn’t injured. The woman living downstairs came out and saw this naked guy laying on the patio. She screamed; and then started vomiting. The raucous awoke me - I went outside peered over the balcony railing to see this guy looking up naked as a jay bird – “I fell over the balcony,” he says. I first met this guy 12 hours ago! After that I started not answering the door or my phone.

What was it like working alongside vocalist Shalee when recording "At Night"? Why did you feel the song needed a powerful and attention-commanding female vocalist?

Working with Shalee has been fabulous and helped me to achieve my “vision” of hard rock music combined with old-fashioned Motown R&B, so to speak. My concept for At Night was a call-and-response kind of thing. We first had a couple of vocalists do tracks and the song wasn't going where I wanted it to go; actually sounded a bit like a country song, not that there's anything wrong with that, but that was not my aim. I contacted Shalee; she put down some tracks and it was the perfect fit. We remixed the background vocals and highlighted her tracks. Going forward from there, she’s been on all the background vocals, adding her own personal touch and creativity, adding a great additional musical dimension. You will be hearing her a lot.

What was your band's creative process like when creating "At Night"? What did that process look like in the studio?

At Night is a reconstituted punk rock tune, slowed down dramatically and again, adding the traditional R&B flavor. When recording, I usually add tracks piecemeal in the studio and then take the rough mix home and work on planning additional overdubs by improvising and recording on top of what was previously done in the studio. I imitated a slide guitar (because to use a slide, I couldn’t switch back to a regular guitar sound for the next part of the intro lick); found a cool intro outro lick, and created the bass line, which is in a drop D tuning giving it a deep boom.

If listeners could take anything away from your conceptual lyrical content in "At Night," what would you want that to be?

The underlying theme of the song has to do with having difficulties sleeping – which, frankly – I’ve had trouble with since I was a kid. A couple of solutions over the years – NOT having to do with extracurricular substances, have been successful. Sleep is a challenge. Hopefully folks find the lyrics here entertaining and maybe even notice my Jimi Hendrix reference and relate in their own personal ways interpreting a meaning and relating to the music. I try to be a little open-ended, vague or have double or triple meanings - to leave room for one’s own interpretations to take hold.

What's next for you?

What's next for us is the release of three songs along with music videos currently in production and finishing up. Our song "Off My Rocker" will be released in the next couple of weeks. It's a great interesting ground-breaking song in its own right with a great-looking video. In November we are releasing a song called "Can't Be Satisfied" which features Sylvia Massy on background vocals. She has been doing the final mixing of our releases and this is an added bonus for our fans. She sounds fabulous on the tune. We have another song called "Everybody's Got Something" with a January 2023 release date. There is some advance publicity already being done for that in England. Folks in that part of the world - they will get a sneak peek of the song. Meanwhile, we are planning some live performances in the SF Bay Area and preparing to do some rock festivals in 2023 as well. We have a large and growing fan base in South America and we are looking at that "venue"! It's an exciting upcoming year for the band and the music.

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