Finding enough space in the back of the band van for a bass drum and not running out of beer are some of the major obstacles for touring rock bands. In the case of Iranian trio Free Keys, playing gigs without getting arrested by the Tehran police is a bigger concern.
The progressive rock band formed in 2007 playing underground, sold-out shows with post-punk outfit and best friends The Yellow Dogs. From transformed parking lots to apartment building basements, Free Keys went subterranean to avoid arrest from Iranian authorities during their illegal shows. Led by Pooya Hosseini’s ominous vocals and sweeping guitar riffs, Arash Farazmand’s pounding drums, and AK’s technical bass grooves, the Free Keys’ epic sound couldn’t be contained underground for long.
Releasing their first EP in 2008 and following it up with a song placement in the award-winning film No One Knows About Persian Cats (which cast Pooya and Arash in roles), the trio’s music busted out of Tehran in a big way. After leaving Iran in 2011, the group found a new home in Brooklyn — one that didn’t require clandestine band practice.
You can catch the Keys in NYC at The Delancey on May 2 for a sampling of the Iranian underground. In the meantime, watch them tear through the track “Freaky.”
Photo Courtesy of Danny Krug