The following is a multimedia article. The links therein will lead you either to song files, websites, or videos. To be able to see and download all the songs that are mentioned in the article, you can go to this page. The mp3 files represented on the page are there for you to download and keep should you wish to do so.----------------------------------------
In the introduction and part 1 of this article, I reviewed the album "Eshghe Sorat". It's now time to sit down and read what the guys from Kiosk had to say about their album, their tour, and life in general.
The band will be in Vancouver Friday, 28 September 2007.
Check -- 1,2 -- 1,2 --
Dude, can you lower the volume on that amp a bit please? Thank you.
Are we ready?
All tuned up! and looking forward to it!
Cool... Alright. I think I'll actually start with the previous album. It's been 2 years since the release of "Adam e Mamooli", and things have more or less settled down since then. How do you look back at the first album now with the distance? How have you changed, or rather, how did that album change you? Also, what have you been doing since then other than putting together "Eshghe Sorat"?
Well, it took us 3 or more years to write and record "Adam e Mamooli". Everytime I listened to it I could hear how I had changed during that period of time, and it gave me an idea how I was evolving (if you can call it that), but right after the album was out, I moved to the States, and I had to adjust myself to the new environment, so I was very busy "adjusting" myself to the new speed of life here, although I was surprised about how "Adam e Mamooli" had become popular and we felt very happy! But I had lost hope of doing a new album, first because I was outside Iran and thought that I have no right to talk about Iran anymore, and second because of the recording costs.
It took me about a year to start writting again and once again I got lucky by meeting the right people who encouraged us to do the new album and all the band members and others involved in the project started putting such good energy that it got out of my control (!) and the new album was born...
Do you deem Adame Mamooli to have been a successful album? Did it get to where you wanted it to? If so, how did the success of "Adam e Mamooli" affect you? That is more what I meant.
I never tried to picture how "Adam e Mamooli" would do, it was a fun journey for me.... I still don't know the meaning of "successful"! If you mean commercially, NO! It did not even cover its expenses, but I still consider it a very successful album as an "album", it established Kiosk as a band with identity, it was distributed through the internet, without backing from any label company, any TV stations or any radios, but it found its way to its audience, mostly from educated people who had lost hope in Iranian Non Traditional music...and it portrayed a period of our lives and that was the best part, it was honest in its content, but it was not perfect!..... So in a way the album is very similar to me! Total financial failure, but I like it!
You mention an audience of educated people and the concert in San Francisco also showed that you actually had a very mature audience comprised of an unusual bunch for a pop/rock/blues band -- mostly over-thirty year-olds. We talked about this in our first conversation, but we didn't really establish any reason for the phenomenon. Now with some distance (and time to think about the subject!) why would you say that is? (Please don't say it's my "saghe siah"!)
Babak, Ahmad, or anyone else's opinion on the subject would also be very interesting.
This wasn't a big surprise for me, because from the very beginning that "Adam e Mamooli" started creating a buzz, almost all of the positive feedback we received via email was from old-school classic rockers and mature music lovers. A lot of these emails have developed into deeper friendships and created the launching base for the second album. If it wasn't for the various forms of help and support we received from this intellectual and mature fan base, (especially my 4 role models in the Bay Area!), the 2nd album and the concert would never have happened.
Its also interesting that most of the feedback we have been getting recently is similar to "I have been waiting for this music for 25 years"..."This is what we tried to do 30 years ago "... "We were the first Iranian Punk Rock band in this area 25 years ago.." ... "I never thought something like this would happen.." , which all goes to show how badly we need a change in our mainstream music, and how the generation before us is eagerly helping us move step by step towards making a change.
Arash, what's your take? Babak, could you delve a bit more on your "4 role models in the Bay Area"? I'm not sure many people would understand who they are. More, who were the "classic rockers" you mention?
I think a lot of it has to do with our distribution, as we mentioned we introduced ourselves online, we put the videos online, we were pirated online (!) so everything was online!
So we connected with people who get the news from the internet, they are mostly educated and mostly over 30 (which makes sense, if you are younger you have better things to do and if you are older you watch sattelite), and those who look for (new) music/bands online, they are either musicians or have a good understanding of music. That was the case with "Adam e Mamooli", but in the second album, I think we were able to reach out to a more diverse audience, but the backbone is still the same, this community is a good example.
I am talking about the "Bay Area Fab 4", anyone who has the original Eshghe Sorat CD can look up their first names in the CD credits :) These guys are so down to earth that they wouldn't even let us put their names in the CD!
By classic rockers I meant people who had grown up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, etc . People with that kind of a background have been able to connect easier to our music.
Arash, how did the new album come to be? Were these songs you had written already, or did you write them up after the release of Adame Mamooli?
Some of the songs like "To Kojaee" go way back, I had them before "Adam e Mamooli", but never thought it's worth recording, but when I started tweaking the arrangement I changed my mind! Some of the songs were just sketches, "Amoo Asdollah" and "Bi Tarbiyat" were Babak's idea and we had talked about it a lot and had some demos but never really finished them till "Eshgh e Sorat" project became serious! And some like "Zoghal e Khoob", were written when the album was being mixed! We had to rush it to the guys who were doing the mastering so we could have it in the album, so "Eshgh e Soraat" actually starts before "Adam e Mamooli" ends. A lot of friends have told me that they hear a continuity of "Adam e Mamooli" in "Eshgh e Soraat", now I don't know if that is good or not!
Speaking of Bitarbiat, I know it's been inspired by a Chet Atkins song, but I saw a name on the CD credits that caught my attention. Did you guys write the song with... Ebrahim Nabavi? ("Davar")
We were working on the song when Ebrahim Nabavi came to SF and we talked about possibility of a collaboration. I played the song for him and he really liked it and so wanted to add something to it, whereby he came up with 6-7 verses and we ended up using one of those verses, "kothay e ghahvei khandehhay e loos.....!"
Tell me more about the Chet Atkins song. Do you have a link to it?
The Chet Atkins song is called "Read My Licks" which is the title track from his 1994 album. The name of the song is a wordplay on the expression "read my lips" and "guitar licks". The content of the lyrics is pretty tame compared to Bitarbiat, but this was the first good example of someone using guitar notes to fill in the blank words of the lyrics and that's where the idea came from. We took the idea and added a few twists, otherwise it is a very relaxed and friendly country music song.
So To Kojayi was actually the first song in the album that was written, right?
We're gonna go through a song-by-song analysis of Eshghe Sor'at now, I hope you're ready for this...
Stay tuned for the conversation we had with Kiosk on every single song in Eshghe Sorat!
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