Back in 2017, multi-instrumentalist/lyricist Ian Luddy decided to embark on his journey and created his solo project International Furlough. With a heavy sound and deep meaningful lyrics, he gave the world a taste of his world on his latest singles Blind in One Eye and Down on the Pharm. And today we’re gonna chat with him to get to know more about International Furlough.
Hello Ian, we’re happy to have you here with us on Rock Era Magazine,
- I can hear heavy and diverse sounds and approaches in your singles, would you tell me about your early influences? And which ones steered your writing in them?
I have to credit the Tony hawk pro skater 3 soundtrack for getting me into my main early influences. Hearing CKY, Motörhead, The Reverend Horton Heat, KRS-One, and zebrahead at a young age kickstarted my interest into metal, rap, and alternative music. I got further into exploring music when a friend showed me “Hammer Smashed Face” by Cannibal Corpse and I thought it was just astounding. That song single-handedly got me into death metal, death core and all that really heavy stuff. As far as steering my writing on these tracks, groups like CKY, Helmet, Tool, and Pantera helped shape the foundation of my current sound.
- Being a multi-instrumentalist, what was your first instrument? And what made you move on to the next and so on?
I first started on drums when I was 9 and played for about 2 years but I absolutely sucked and didn’t like it so I quit. Despite not liking it, drumming did influence how I currently play guitar because without those early years of drums I would not have the current percussive guitar playing style I do now. I picked up guitar around age 12 and clicked with that immediately, took some lessons then was no you missed a fun job bring mostly self taught. After a few years of guitar it made sense to start bass too considering how similar it was. The last instrument I picked up was vocals. I’ve had no formal vocal training so that was and always will be a work in progress
- Have you played with any band before deciding to go solo? And what made you take such a tough decision?
I tried a few times in Denver to get a group together and nothing really transpired. The final guy I met suggested the only way to write “real music” was to rent a house in the mountains and take large amounts of DMT and huff it ether together and only then should we begin making music. Not wanting to end up in a bathtub with my kidney stolen I never contacted that guy again. After that I realized I needed to go solo or this project was never going to get anywhere.
- Since you started International Furlough in 2017, please tell us about your writing process. And how have those songs changed as you evolve as a person and musician?
When I first started writing I had no idea what I was doing and I was a very average guitarist at best. I also had a pill problem which didn’t help. As a result my early writing, Blind in one Eye included, had more traditional song arrangements, more repetition, and fewer progressive elements in general. As I got better at writing and playing over time I started to want to be challenged constantly. I wanted fewer repetitive parts, fewer predictable riffs, more down picking, weirder sounds, etc. Getting clean from pills in 2021 also drastically improved my playing and writing because I couldn’t block out my emotions anymore, which sucked, but all that energy went into songwriting and ended up churning out some of the most intense stuff I’ve ever made. The second set of releases will be noticeably faster and hopefully more interesting.
- How would you describe your sound to someone who wants to get into International Furlough?
Heavier than rock but lighter than metal
- What are your plans for live performances? Got any session line-up ready?
Nothing live planned yet. I was considering hitting up my session drummer and maybe doing something in the future depending on how things pan out.
- What are your plans for 2023? Got anything exclusive for us?
Putting out a bunch of singles. I’ve got 9 ready to go and 9 or so currently in the works. Nothing exclusive unfortunately but I do have a new single “Haven” out June 10th.
Thanks for your time Ian, wishing you the best of luck.