Underground music flourishes in Iran

Published July 9, 2013
Iranian guitarist Hamed Babaei practices for his band called "Accolade" in a basement of a house in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian guitarist Hamed Babaei practices for his band called "Accolade" in a basement of a house in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musicians Pedram, left, and Soheil, members of a band called "Rebeat," compose remixes of folk songs on their electronic mixing console in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musicians Pedram, left, and Soheil, members of a band called "Rebeat," compose remixes of folk songs on their electronic mixing console in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musician Danial Izadi performs with his harmonica in an unauthorized stage performance for his band called "Accolade" in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musician Danial Izadi performs with his harmonica in an unauthorized stage performance for his band called "Accolade" in Tehran, Iran.
Nastaran Ghaffari, from left, Kamyar Shahdoust, Farbod Shirmohammad, Danial Izadi and Hamed Babaei, members of an Iranian band called "Accolade," practice at the house of one of the members in Tehran, Iran.
Nastaran Ghaffari, from left, Kamyar Shahdoust, Farbod Shirmohammad, Danial Izadi and Hamed Babaei, members of an Iranian band called "Accolade," practice at the house of one of the members in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musician Ardeshir Jofreh, a member of a band called "Accolade," performs in an unauthorized stage performance in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian musician Ardeshir Jofreh, a member of a band called "Accolade," performs in an unauthorized stage performance in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian back vocalist Azadeh Ettehad and violinist Nastaran Ghaffari, both members of a band called "Accolade," perform in an unauthorized stage performance in Tehran, Iran.
Iranian back vocalist Azadeh Ettehad and violinist Nastaran Ghaffari, both members of a band called "Accolade," perform in an unauthorized stage performance in Tehran, Iran.
Female Iranian violinist Nastaran Ghaffari practices for her band called "Accolade" in a basement of a house in Tehran, Iran.
Female Iranian violinist Nastaran Ghaffari practices for her band called "Accolade" in a basement of a house in Tehran, Iran.

TEHRAN: Heavy metal guitarists jamming in basements. Headphone-wearing disc jockeys mixing beats. It's an underground music scene that is flourishing in Iran, despite government restrictions.

It isn't necessarily a sign of rebellion against Iran's theocratic government, though. Musicians, including a woman violinist who performs underground, say they enjoy the freedom their off-the-record existence provides. Many musicians fled in the 1980s after Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Today, though government minders have allowed some pop concerts to go on, musicians say all the hassles and restrictions make playing underground easier.

''Are we underground because we want to oppose the system? No,'' musician Danial Izadi said. ''We wanted to do what we loved to do.''

Opinion

Editorial

On a leash
Updated 22 Feb, 2024

On a leash

Shehbaz will not find it easy to introduce the much-needed major changes to the economy without running into resistance.
Shameful veto
22 Feb, 2024

Shameful veto

THE US has scored a hat-trick by vetoing, for the third time, a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an...
Truth under threat
22 Feb, 2024

Truth under threat

AS WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mounts a last-ditch effort against being extradited from the UK to the US, one...
Silencing the public
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Silencing the public

Acting as if it is unaccountable, it is now curtailing citizens’ digital rights without even bothering to come up with a justification.
Fitch’s concern
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Fitch’s concern

It warns that “near-term political uncertainty may complicate the country’s efforts to secure a financing agreement with the IMF to succeed the Stand-by Arrangement”.
Zoo zealotry
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Zoo zealotry

IN a bizarre twist of faith and fur, the Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has...