Focus: Ihrsan | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
The name is Lee and currently live near Darlington although born near Rotherham and grew up first in York, then Newcastle and Bridlington. My partner is TD (also in the band) and we hoped to get married this year but alas circumstances didn’t permit.

What is it you do?
I play guitar in the rock band Ihrsan (pronounced “ersan”) and tend to write most of the songs but Andy (bass) and TD (singer) also contribute several. I am also in the acoustic band Pom Poms of Doom.

How long have you been doing it?
Ihrsan has been around for about two and a half years and pre-covid we were making inroads into the music scene with increasing gigs and lots of label interest. I have been in bands since my late teens; the biggest was probably either Dark Room from York (we often pretended to be dutch – cos we were young and daft – calling ourselves Dar Kroom) or Leeds band Gigantic Vegetables.

What inspires you?
On a musical front? genuinely anything and everything; I think everything is a possibility for a song. I think one of my better inspirations led to the lyrics in Wait For Better Days. It’s about how families must feel waiting for their loved ones to come back from wars and conflicts etc We did try and talk with the British Military about doing a video but they weren’t keen however we’re talking with the US Marines about such a possibility which hopefully will come off. I guess being British we would’ve preferred to work with our own armed forces but you go with the cards you are dealt.

On a more general level I think amazing people inspire me. Those people who quietly do acts of kindness and seek no thanks nor reward and tend to shun publicity. I think certain acts are inspirational too; whether it be an act of heroism or being that lone voice of reason in an ever more loony world.

Tell us about your work/music.
We are releasing our Debut album – Waiting For The Summer Sun – 18 June which we are really excited about. It moves slightly away from our debut EP released early 2020 and is slightly heavier in feel and is definitely moving more into Rock with an occasional hark-back into indie pop.

Waiting for the Summer Sun – was mostly written by Andy after he took a riff I was working on and formed the basis of the song. I will let Andy explain what the song is about lol.

The Writing Was On The Wall – is about having a ‘teenage’ crush but it doesn’t come to anything until meeting up again much later in life. So basically it’s a good old fashioned love song.

Spaceman Spiff – is a tribute to a Calvin (from Calvin & Hobbes) alter ego. I still love reading Calvin & Hobbes cartoons… They are funny, heart-warming but also very reflective of the world we live in. The song is light-hearted and a definite pop song rather than rock. When we were invited to contribute to Miniatures 2020 a one minute version of this song was submitted.

Too Late To Say You’re Sorry –We’ve developed a habit of telling audiences what the song is about because they often think we are bemoaning religion when in fact all it is about is the lunacy of humanity when it takes things too far. I just used religion as the foil as it has, unfortunately, suffered from its fair share of such lunatics!

Lovers By Moonlight – lyrics by TD is a kind of ballad that develops into a heavy rock piece. I will let you work out what the song is about if/when you listen to it. This is probably my favourite song by the band.

Waterfalls – this we re-recorded for the album and TD plays guitar on this. First time she played it live was in Boro (Doc Browns I think) and I pointed this out to the crowd just to help add to her nerves! Who messed up? Yep. Me. Instant karma. Song is about those people who seem determined to take offence or upset even though none is meant or could be implied.

Honey & Wine – the Mosh pitter and Alex the drummer’s fave. I am allowed to sing a bit on this. It’s about the story of people from minority backgrounds who fought in the Vietnam war and were appreciated at the time but then were met with undisguised racism in the years that followed.

Didn’t Seem Coming Did Ya? – another Andy creation and our first dip into the world of ska beats. It’s not truly ska but you will hear the nods. I have no idea what it is about; I’m not sure Andy does either. I love playing this live. The video is well liked on YouTube – all done and edited by Andy.

The Ballad Of Teenage Annoyance – never originally identified as a single but we had a video ready so we released it and it has done incredibly well for us. Lots of radio play, thousands of spotify streams etc and by itself gained us over a thousand followers on facebook. Bet we’re getting the Foos worried!! The lyrics are based on a rant by my daughter who reckons she is due royalties.

Wait For Better Days – as mentioned earlier, a song about families writing for their loved ones to come back from wars. I deliberately wrote this with a soft then hard feel to try and evoke the maelstrom of feelings people must go through during such times

What have you got coming up in the future?
We are going hopefully back in the studio in a few months to record our second album; once we have agreed which songs to do. We have also just gained another guitarist – Simon (of Fizzyfish fame some years ago) – so we are working on how the songs will work with two guitars. And of course he needs to learn the set lists. We are also hoping to get back into gigging as covid restrictions ease. We’re also talking to a few labels who have shown an interest recently; which is pretty amazing.

Where can people find out more about you?
Here are the links to all our media platforms

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