Iran (aka Persia) is a country with about 3000 years of civilization history. Iranian people are so proud of that, their culture and their art too. Unfortunately metal music is illegal in Iran but it doesn’t mean that Metal is not alive there. ANGBAND is a Persian power metal band, formed in 2004 in Tehran by talented musician Mahyar Dean, who also is known for writing books about the bands Death and Testament.
METAL SHOCK FINLAND’s Chief Editor, Mohsen Fayyazi has recently conducted an interview with Mahyar and asked him several questions about his band, metal music in Iran …etc. You can read the whole of this interview below:
Hello Mahyar, welcome to Metal Shock Finland. How are you doing?
Hello, I’m fine!
To begin with tell us about this history of the ANGBAND, how did you find out it was time to form a band and tell us more about the band’s name?
Sure, I’ve been playing and studying music for a long time, I started with classical guitar and then switched to electric guitar, also spend many years to study music composition under the mentorship of professor Houshang Ostovar. I formed Angband in 2004 as an instrumental progressive band but with the conclusion of Ashkan who is a great singer we switched to a power metal/ progressive band. Angband is a fortress in the fictional world of J.R. Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” and it means “iron prison” in elvish language the word “band” also means prison in Persian language.
Left to right: Ashkan Yazdani, Ramin Rahimi, Mahyar Dean
Can you tell us more about Metal music in Iran? It seems most of the metal bands in Iran prefer Death metal, but can you tell what made you to choose power-progressive metal?
I can say the scene is growing especially among the younger generation. There are many bands in Iran but unfortunately most of them don’t take music and production seriously and use computer drums and even computer guitars instead of professional players!
We play Power-progressive metal because we like to create music in a very vast area and inspired by different styles of rock and metal. One can hear some of those elements in our music.
Would you tell us more about band’s influences?
Sure, great bands like Judas Priest, Death and Control Denied, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and many more…
Let’s talk about band’s newest album, “Saved From The Truth”, It seems you hired your brother for designing artwork, am I right? If yes tell me how did you get the idea for the artwork?
That’s right, my brother Maziar did the artwork and I’m happy with the result. The idea of the artwork and the whole album comes from a quote from Nietzsche “We have art to save us from the truth”
How has the feedback been so far for the album, both inside and outside of your country?
The feedbacks have been great! Lots of impressive reviews on big magazines for example on “metal.de” or “lords of metal” and I talked to pure steel records manager and he was happy with the feedbacks. I got many messages from Iranian fans. Its cool to see critics are shocked to hear a world class metal album from Iran!
Can you tell us the role of technology and the internet in the success of the bands like yours, who are living in a country where metal music is illegal?
It’s an important role; you can’t live without it these days. In 2007 pure steel records found us on myspace and also we use internet for sending our work to the mixing studio in Germany so as I said it’s really important.
I’d like to know your opinion about role of record companies in the music industry, especially in the case of ANGBAND.
I think of it as an essential thing for a professional band, you can focus on creating good music when your label take care of promotion, selling your Cds across the world and putting you in good festivals. Sometimes I see a review of Angband in a very far country or I see our songs in a playlist of a Radio that I never heard of it! I mean you can’t do it all by yourself. When you’re unsigned lots of magazines, radios and festivals don’t take you seriously and going forward becomes very hard.
What are ANGBAND’s plans for the future? Would you tell us if you have any plan for tours in the near future?
We were going to play in one or two festivals in Germany in 2013 but with the recent event in the exchange rate in Iran it’s impossible for us to travel so we had to postpone it but our drummer Ramin Rahimi has a new solo album that will be in stores on November 19th via ARC music. Farshad (bass) and I took part in this album, We played 2 Persian folk metal songs in this album that are rare combinations of heavy metal and Persian traditional music.
Thanks for being a part of this interview Mahyar, as your final word feel free to leave a message to the Metal Shock Finland readers.
Thanks for the interview, I like to thanks the fans across the world for their kind words and support, Metal ON!
For more information on ANGBAND: