Iran: Musicians are losing hope

1 November 2011
While on tour in the US, members of the Iranian electronic rock band The Casualty Process spoke with Jamie Kim about being censored and suppressed by Iranian religious authorities, and expressed what their participation in the Impossible Music Sessions in New York had meant to them.

In a question-and-answer session at the campus of Stanford University, Saeid ‘Natch’ Nadjafi and Shayan Amini told Jamie Kim and a group of university students about almost losing hope living in Iran:

“It seems you’re trying for nothing,” Nadjafi said. “All you can get is negative energies from everywhere. Me and Shayan have been working together for 10 years… we have wanted to quit more than 50 times.”



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Quotes from the article

“In 2006, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power in Iran, rock music was banned and underground music studios were forced to shut down. Saeid ‘Natch’ Nadjafi and Shayan Amini saw that their garage band had reached a dead end.

The next year, Nadjafi and Amini planned an underground rock concert for 200 people in Tehran, Iran, where they lived. To their surprise, 700 people — mostly uninvited — showed up.

“We lost control,” Amini said. The Iranian authorities soon arrived, and about 200 people were arrested; the others ran. Nadjafi and Amini, as well as their female lead singer, Maral Afsharian, were imprisoned for 15 days and fined the Iranian equivalent of US$ 50,000.

“Unfortunately they labeled us as Satanists,” Amini said with a smile, to the audience’s laughter. After being released from prison, they wanted to continue making music, but found few available options.

“The only thing I had at the time was my computer, so I thought it would be a good time to make electronic music,” Nadjafi said. Thus, The Plastic Wave was born.

The three bandmates rehearsed in private because they were not authorized to perform in public, mainly because of Afsharian’s gender. The songs were not in themselves politically controversial, but in Iran, where female vocalists are taboo, the authorities still found more than enough grounds for condemnation.”

Impossible Music Session
Through his foundation Impossible Music, Austin Dacey organized a concert to introduce The Plastic Wave to a Brooklyn audience. In March 2010, a counterpart band performed The Plastic Wave’s music in a Brooklyn theatre. From Iran, through Skype, the band members watched an American band perform their songs. Afterward members of the audience stormed an empty stage to chat with them.

“It gave me a lot of energy,” Nadjafi said.


Read the article

The Stanford Daily – 28 October 2011:

‘Iranian rockers react to govt oppression’

More information

The Casualty Process’ official home page:
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