Arashk:  A world away, but really right here with us.

By Christy Claxton - Editor


I was at the gym the other night, and I could see, but not hear one of the many televisions airing some kind of modern day war movie.  Although I couldn’t hear it, I could tell that the storyline had to do with a small group of American soldiers in some kind of distress.  I tried to read the closed caption dialogue, but was too far away to see it clearly.  However, I knew this group of soldiers was intercepting the “enemy’s” radio transmit because the closed caption would say: (somebody speaking Farsi.)

Ooohhhh those Iranian bad guys!  Isn’t that just all-American of us?  Popularize the vilification of a nation we really don’t understand except in simplistic, fundamentalist, self-censored terms.  For you history neophytes, that’s a wordy way of describing “nationalism.”  And that’s not a good thing.  It’s just around the corner from fascism.  So let me set some folks straight on Iran.  Just like all Americans aren’t Bush-like idiots in boots, not all Iranians are scurrying around looking for low-tech ways to bring about Jihad.  Actually, it’s a country of mostly nice people.  And just as some “radical” Americans embrace Middle Eastern culture (if you haven’t tried the food, you’re really missing out), some “radical” Iranians embrace Western culture; including something as universally “sinister” as Hard Rock.  A music both countries’ fundamentalists would consider evil, but don’t anybody tell them they actually agree on something, or the world might suddenly stop turning.

A few weeks ago, Salim Ghazi Saeedi of the rock band, Arashk, contacted me.  He invited me to sample his band’s music.  It is a mixture of Western metal and Middle Eastern/Oriental melodies and scales that give Arashk a heavy gritty sound with this beautiful overlay of music most Westerners are hardly familiar with.  Needless to say, I was fascinated, so I explored their website and myspace site.  Arashk is based in Tehran, Iran, and they make it no secret that they are hoping to break artificial bounds and bindings.  Sounds psychedelic, doesn’t it?  And truthfully, the music feels a little trippy.  But in a good way.  A way that opens our minds to possibility; to universal oneness and peace through music.  When I replied to Salim’s email that I would definitely write about Arashk because it was a positive statement from two nationalities that need to find peace through understanding and common ground, his response was, “the boundaries are broken!” 


Arashk’s latest release is “Abrahadabra.”  It is an instrumental album composed and performed by Salim, and it reflects the hopes, agitations and quests of the composer.  Something tells me that Salim’s music represents many people of his country.  Regardless of where rock music is composed, it is always about breaking bounds and breaking rules and exploring freedoms within many conscious states.  And it always speaks for many; not just a few. Future Arashk albums will explore the functional faculties of “being,” and carry on the message of breaking though boundaries and bindings. This is music about freedom; however each of us defines it. Whether we need to break free of personal oppression, relationship oppression, or religious or political oppression, Arashk explores a universal theme and reaches around the world to share it.  In Iran, Arashk may be considered radical and even dangerous, and in America, Arashk would be considered radical and dangerous, too.  Once again, rock music breaches a taboo.  And this one needs to be broken and embraced, so check out Arashk, and buy yourself a CD and experience the oneness and the vastness that is Arashk.


www.arashkband.com- Last Updated: 2011/11/21