drummer Lester EstelleAs a young lad growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, Lester Estelle knew that divine intervention would dictate his calling. “I started playing drums when I was three,” he says. “By the time I was six, I was up in the front of my dad’s church playing in the band.” Jump twenty years later to today, with Estelle sharing the stage with the likes of Korn, Sevendust, Mudvayne, and Evanescence, and you get a sense of a destiny that’s been fulfilled.

Estelle is a member of the hardcore band Pillar. Their first opus, Fireproof, sold 275,000 units. Their second studio release, Where Do We Go From Here, has just been released. “Even though we play heavy music,” Estelle says, “I’m able to be more musical with the band. When you come from playing in black churches, there’s always a lot of instruments and a choir. Typically, there’s not as much room to play. With Pillar, it’s just guitar, bass, and vocals, so I’m able to lay it down and fill the gaps.”

One point does beg the question: How does a drummer with a gospel background end up in a hardcore band? “Well, it’s actually pretty crazy,” Estelle admits. “Each of us in the band has a very diverse musical background. I’m coming at it from a gospel and jazz perspective, for instance. It’s pretty wild how it all fits together.”