Iranian electronic rock band The Casualty Process, whose members are political refugees now based in New York City, will perform at a free concert in the Hub at 8 p.m.
The band’s members, Cis Nadjafi, Natch Nadjafi and Shayan Amini, were forced to leave Iran due to governmental constraints on political and artistic expression and hope to provoke discussion about the region’s social issues through their music. The concert — hosted by the Persian Student Group, Associated Students Human Rights Board, KCSB and A.S. Program Board — will follow a Q&A session with the band in the MultiCultural Center from 3 to 5 p.m.
Local band Givers & Takers will open the show for The Casualty Process, formerly known as The Plastic Wave, who cites influences such as Justice, Björk and Nine Inch Nails.
PSG Co-President Armand Amin, a third-year global studies and economics double major, said tonight’s program will give students a more comprehensive perspective on Iran’s political situation and unique culture.
“When people think of Iranian music, they think of sitars and classical [styles]; they don’t think of modern music,” Amin said. “This music is a voice for the youth. News programs only focus on protests. The real revolution comes from small acts of rebellion and from freedom of expression.”
Amini, the band’s guitarist, bassist and vocalist, said the group has a long history of using music to underscore political struggles in Iran and surrounding areas, and has often paid a price for its expression.
“After [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad became president, he closed the [concert] venues,” Amini said. “We couldn’t do shows in public, so we decided to do an underground show.”
According to Amini, the band participated in a massive underground rock concert in 2007 in Tehran, Iran, during which more than 200 attendees were arrested in a police raid.
“The policed arrived and we were arrested and jailed for 15 days and fined 50,000 U.S. dollars,” Amini said. “We tried leaving Iran in 2008 but we were rejected in Dubai by the American Embassy.”
As The Plastic Wave they were booked for the 2009 South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, but they were denied visas and were unable to perform in person. However, a representative from the organization Impossible Music Sessions contacted the musicians and coordinated a performance of The Plastic Wave’s songs by the U.S. based group Cruel Black Dove.
Though The Plastic Wave’s former female lead singer Maral Afsharian remains in Iran, Nadjafi and Amini have carried the group’s legacy to the U.S. through The Casualty Process.
The band’s appearance on campus provides students a unique opportunity to connect with progressive humanitarian and social efforts through the international language of music, Amin said.
“I thought it was fucking cool to have them share their message and their music with us,” Amin said. “There is no distinction between music and humanity. It’s universal.”