Tehran's Underground Rock

 - Jul 20, 2008
References: en.wikipedia.org
Iran is one of the key topics in the media, but it seems Iran is always portrayed negatively. For that reason, we're investigating a little into Iranian pop culture. Yesterday we featured pop culture in Iran. Today we're shedding light on the music scene in Iran, by highlighting the underground music scene in Iran. Specifically, we'll look at Persian Pop and Persian Rock music.

Persian Rock is increasingly more popular than "Tehrangeles pop", which has been Iran's dominant music genre for the last few decades. While most of the songs are sung in Persian, some are in English or German. German may sound like a random choice, but from a pronunciation point of view, German sounds a lot like Farsi, the Persian name for the language.

"Iranian rock has its roots in American rock, British rock and German rock, but has its own distinctive elements mixed in to create a homegrown class of sounds and melodies, whether progressive, hard, or heavy metal," Wikipedia says.

A good example of western influences in Iran's music scene is Dario Amini, a half-Iranian, half Italian musician. The Iranian rock singer topped popular Iranian radio stations in 2006 with his single, "Just 4 Today." His influences are "U2, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Audioslave, Foo Fighters and The Cure," according to his site.

Tehran's underground scene began to emerge in the 90s and while it has strengthened, it has yet to flourish as government restrictions against rock concerts hold it back.

A popular type of Iranian rock combines poetry based on literature by Hafez, a Persian poet and mystic from the 1300s with westernized rock sounds backed by hints of typical Persian music. O-Hum is a band who has become quite famous for creating these Hafez poems.

The most popular band from Iran to know is 127. Not only where they the first Persian band to tour in North America, but they've also had the most press in global media. Among their most popular songs are "Khosro-e-khouba," "My sweet little terrorist song" and "Perfect Esfehan blues." Their song "To My World" can be seen in the music video above.

Meera, a band whose music is approved by the government, has produced popular songs like "Day-Peace daena band," "My son Arash," and "The Door to This Promised Land Leads to Naught." Their sound "Wound" can be seen following this article.

A few other Persian rock groups and musicians include Sarakhs, Buddahead, Arashk, Agah Bahari, Farzad Golpayegani ("Iran's guitar monster"), Abjeez (from Sweden, their music is much more pop) and Laleh, a Swedish-Iranina songstress who can be seen in the first and fourth featured photos.

More Iran Pop Culture