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Ilhan Ersahin (of I Led 3 Lives) Interview

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Ilhan Ersahin is one of the three well respected jazz soloists who have come together as I Led 3 Lives. Also including Juini Booth and Jochen Rueckert, the trio’s focus touches on a sound that incorporates drum-n-bass-styled electronica into their jazz mainstay. Ersahin and Culture Bully’s Chris DeLine recently discussed the formation of I Led 3 Lives, Wax Poetic, collaborating with Brazilian Girls‘ singer Sabina Sciubba and the possibility of a national tour.

It’s really interesting to see such a diverse trio of musicians come together – was the group a product of just everyone always being around the same places in NYC?

Ilhan Ersahin: Nublu… and it all came together very naturally. I mean it’s been lots of work somehow because the way we play is all about creating our own language, it’s not so much about that song or that melody, it’s all about talking our language.

What was the focus when preparing the release, was it at all difficult to give equality to each members’ ideas or did everything seem to flow naturally?

Ilhan Ersahin: As far as this record goes we went to the studio and played, then I edited it and my Swedish friend Klas Wikberg mixed it. The focus is really what I just mentioned, we want to be flexible and ready to play anywhere in front of anybody without having set lists or [a] need to rehearse. We create a language, a way to play and listen, then the music flows forever.

What significance was there in recording under the banner of I Led 3 Lives; big fans of the old movie/show?

Ilhan Ersahin: Not really, somehow continuing the tradition from what were listening to and what we like mixing it up with. It is a bit odd but since we ended up playing weekends at Nublu we geared our sound into more dancy beats, mixed in of course with the language we created.

Who is the female voice that we hear on “Curious Red?” Are there any other guest contributions that aren’t as easily heard throughout the album?

Ilhan Ersahin: It is Sabina Sciubba, the lead singer from Brazilian Girls. She’s a good friend. On “East Village Stroll” we have Smitty on steel guitar, also a Nublu regular. That’s it as far as guests for this album.

Peace Now was released via your Nublu label, one that has also published albums from another band I really enjoy – Wax Poetic (another band that Jochen Rueckert has been a part of). Something that I’ve always been curious about is the idea of “acid jazz.” Are Wax Poetic or I Led 3 Lives acid jazz, or is the term something that makes you guys grimace?

Ilhan Ersahin: I don’t really like categories anymore ’cause there really aren’t any. I see all of this as the Nublu sound. Jazz has become such a huge category, from the 1930s til now, lots of things have the name jazz. I do understand stores that need to put bands and CDs under certain categories but our sound is kind of different, but I guess in end it is jazz.

Does the band have any intent on touring or was that never really an idea with the project?

Ilhan Ersahin: We will start touring. Until now that hasn’t been our idea but now we feel ready. I am actually answering this email from Istanbul, where we are now… on our first tour!