Interview: Mahan Mirarab Of Sehrang


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Q: How did Sehrang form?

A: Sehrang was formed in early 2013 in Vienna. We three Iranian Europe-based musicians got together with an idea to make music that we love to listen to and play such as jazz/world/folk/Latin and combine it with our Iranian roots. Besides the very strong personal and musical connection we share, our desire is to blend all these elements. Because of all these possibilities and cultural depth we started a long, fascinating journey which is always in the progress of change. After four months we recorded our first album Dar Lahze, which we are still promoting by doing live concerts mainly in Europe for 2014.

Q: How would you say working with Sehrang is different when you are solo?

A: Working in a band is always a different experience than working solo because it involves teamwork, compromise, flexibility, and commitment. We write and arrange the new songs together and we also share the responsibility to promote and establish the band. In Sehrang, musically speaking, we have very similar tastes and a mutual respect towards each other’s abilities and are also very much inspired by each other’s musicality. This helps us to shape the compositions around each other and make a sound that cannot be easily made if we were to substitute another musician for any of the instruments.

Q: What are the primary musical influences of the band?

A: African, jazz, Latin, traditional Iranian and folk music are all influences of the band.

Q: What does Sehrang mean and how did that become the name of the group?

A: The name credit of the band belongs to drummer Shayan Fathi's father. Sehrang means three colored in Farsi. It symbolizes the three different characters and stories each of us brings to the music.

Q: How did the album come about?

A: Four months after the band was formed, we recorded, produced and printed our first CD, Dar Lahze, which means “in the moment" independently. The songs on the album are vocalist Golnar Shahyar's or my compositions, which they worked on together since 2011, playing them in different formations of quartet and duo. The compositions finally found their home when Shayan was in the picture. Since then we tried to sound as big as we can but also as much as the music needs for a live acoustic trio. This includes bringing in choirs and also playing other instruments by each of us. It‘s a pretty tight process.

Q: What are your plans for the band?

A: Since everyone of us realized how much Sehrang means to us we started to put all our energy in it. We didn‘t expect such a positive feedback from family, friends, and fans. It‘s still a small independent band and without any kind of big promotion or help; the fan base is growing constantly. Therefore, the year 2015 will be a busy one. We are planning on touring Europe and the U.S. and do our second album. Our social media platforms are being always updated.

Q: Who does the songwriting in the group?

A: Since our first CD was recorded the three of us realized very quickly after writing our first new song “Negaram" together that this is how we should sound like. This way of creating music between us started very naturally. We simply see us as a band. Therefore, we are now focusing on writing and arranging new compositions together. New ideas that become songs in the future appear after spending time together as friends, hanging out, cooking, traveling, listening to music. For example, somebody comes up with an idea and the others follow. That's actually how bands worked in earlier days. If you wanna get successful you need a band day.

Q: Has the group built a fan base locally as of yet?

A: Yes, the band is gradually building a fan base in Vienna, Madrid, and the U.S. Since each of us was active in the world music, jazz and Latin scenes in Europe for some years, this process is faster. We are also getting a lot of feedback from the Iranian Diaspora worldwide and the Iranian audience living in Iran.

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