For the last decade, the collective of Out of Nowhere has reiterated their passion for their craft in a way that far exceeds to the typical rigors of being a working musician. While just about every band can articulate a story of struggle that made them better for it, few face the kind of opposition of a metal band that exists in Iran - a region that has outlawed the music.
Spending years refining their brand of djent/progressive adjacent metalcore, the band has worked in the shadows, functioning under the radar and secretly amassing their following under the constant threat of imprisonment our worse, execution, all for making aggressive metal music. It's a unique reality that results in a product that beams with sincerity and ultimately galvanizes the players in a way that truly defines the word - band.
The band's latest release in "Blind Crow" serves as a testament to the kind of perseverance that exists at the core of the unit. Emerging from a region that admonishes the music, the band has taken on the opposition and continued to thrive. Concocting a potent mesh of subgenre within their own sound, Out of Nowhere don't just meet the standard, they are intent on creating their own with a sound that showcases their unwavering love for what they do.
The band offered their thoughts on the accomplishment of their most recent music video for the single "Blind Crow," their dedication despite such very real dangers, and aim to reach a global audience with their brand of heavy.
The band writes, records, and performs under the constant threat of being put in prison or worse, executed according to Iranian law. How much does that contestant threat play into the songs that you write?
We started 15 years ago in one of the most religious cities in Iran. Despite everyone saying you can’t make it, we didn’t give up on our dreams, so we made the pact that we will make them our goal to make sure we’ll all see a day that our message has been spread around the world. No matter what, no matter how many sticks and stones will get thrown at us.
MUSIC FIRST! ALWAYS MUSIC FIRST!
Given that metal music is in fact, illegal in Iran, what is the scene like and more importantly, what is the connection like with your fans given that they are breaking the law with you each time they participate?
Well, the scene has seen lots of changes throughout the last two decades all because of the internet. It connected local bands here to perform some small live shows that were immediately banned and never happened again. We could finally see our fans in some small venues where they had to sit still on chairs. However, our goal was never limited to a single country so we decided to work more on the international market that is much different and has lots of obstacles in Iran and hard to learn in an uninformed scene, that is why you don’t see or hear from Iranian bands every day. Seems like the world is starting to hear us now.
What was the album, song, or band that convinced you to pursue this counter culture lifestyle?
We couldn’t name one specific release or band as we grew up listening to bands like Linkin Park, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Children of Bodom, but our taste expanded as newer generations appeared in the industry. However, we try to create our own unique sound and bring new ideas into our music that was never there before.
Do you feel like your circumstances result in music that is much more sincere, more emotionally charged because of how you essentially have to create in the shadows?
Things were like this when we started, being in the shadows and only doing what we promised each other to do no matter what. But now we can proudly say that we are not in the shadows anymore, we get messages from fans that live in other countries. We also had some invitations to festivals and tours, and we couldn’t make them happen due to the situations we had in our country. The Shadow is becoming kind of a spotlight as we are still doing the hard work and keep the balance between staying informed about how the industry works and writing creatively with passion.
Do you feel any responsibility to showcase your culture in your music?
Music does not always have to represent a culture, and, to be honest, our music does not have anything to do with our culture. Metal itself is a culture. We want our music to show people all around the world that passion is not limited by pain.
What kind of sacrifices do you have to make in order to pursue these kinds of dreams in a region where it’s outlawed?
Well, we made lots of sacrifices, two of us had to leave their family, and we all quit our jobs to focus only on the music. We all had some other profession that could generate lots of money for us to have stable lives, but when it doesn’t feel right inside, it doesn’t matter if you are wealthy or poor. We preferred taking care of what we loved instead of taking care of our bank accounts. It feels better now that we are putting all we have on the table, and it still doesn’t count. Artists also have paychecks and rent to pay. We really hope that streaming services and websites like your own help artists along the way.
What was the band’s headspace when writing “Blind Crow” - what’s the message in the track that you hope to convey to the fans?
We tried to describe the life cycle from the beginning till the end, painting all the pain and suffering most people carry through their lives — it can be depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness that we live with. We are ambitious enough to set this song as an example of how you can survive no matter how low you think you are right now. Just stay on your path and keep going!
Watch the premiere of "Blind Crow" from Out of Nowhere below.