KS interview with Mute Agency -Iranian TripHop

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Before asking The band to introduce their project and elaborate on their work ,it would be good to note that Mute Agency Is the only Iranian trip-Hop band known yet .They have just finished their first album-Fisrt Experience- and at the moment are busy recording and preparing  their next collection of songs.Although their video clip was shown on Music Nation television for its audience,It’s worthnoting that audience and the number of people who have heard the band’s songs is of little importance.I think the matter which does cocern them is their experience in playing instruments , home recording and making new sounds.An experience which made their album a distinctive production in Iranian Independant music production scene.

KS: We would be grateful if you could just tell us about the band ,Mute Agency ,How long you guys have been working together and how are you doing ?
Siavash Emami : It’s better to start from 2000 ,as you now ,At that time i was doing some music experiences for my own ,and composing a bunch of songs in my PC,it was not important what would be the result i was just doing  my favor and seeking for  new ways and tunes.I think it was 2002 when a couple of my friends came over ,from the France to visit Iran.the last night of their journey to Iran ,We were in my room and talking about music ,while I was trying to do something at my computer. It Was 3 a.m. I made a song and then My friend Arash Sarkeshik Added a Flute Solo .His brother Nima Played the Keyboard and I played the guitars . We had a huge lack of time and in this limited time Arash imrovised around some french lyrics he had in mind .I don’t actually remember how we sent it to TAMO but it was included in Tehran360.com Festival and got some attentions i could never think of.
One year later in 2003 i was again doing my work at my PC.and Now I should tell you about My relation with Mohamad Moradi and Hooman Ajdari.Me and Mohamad have been neighbours for many years ,but non of us were aware of this .I didn’t know we had someone in our neighbourhood who could play drums ,and so was Mohamad .One day an old friend of mine  -Vahid Ashtari- told me that he knew someone in the neighbourhood who played drums and it was possible to see him in his room.We went to his home and since then we have started to play together.I made my songs and took them to Mohamad’s room for Drums and practiced with His beats.Till this moment our Band Was ” Motojen”.We were searching for a suitable vocal and tested some persons till Mohamad suggested Hooman Ajdari who was playing Bass and Vocals in Atra Band Trainings.We made an appointment with Hooman .In our first Visit Hooman singed some of Beatles’ , Bob Dylan’s ,Guns ‘n Roses and WE enjoyed since we did not know How it would sound in our music.We started to train with Hooman and on the first day the Song’ Fed Up’ was born.We worked together since we needed to record our tracks .The name Mute Agency is the name of The Band at this moment which, i think, it clarifies the doctrine of the band.

KS: How do you record your works ? Do you have financial Supporter or a backer(producer) for your works?

S.E: Some tracks from the ” First Experience” were recorded in My room and some others were recorded in Amir tavasoli’s Home.I means I composed our songs and then we brought them to Amir’s home  ( which has somehow an Acoustic condition ) to Add Bass,Vocals and some additional Sounds ,mix and mastering.Now we are doing all of this here in my Room.
About the producer .I must Say no. We have no producer who provides money and equipments as people think of ,but Saman Moghadam ,Made a video Clip for us with his own production and broad cast it on some Music chanels.

KS : What about the Sound and effects you used?

S.E. : We used Kazoo in Our Album with an Iranian traditional  tune. I can say it was the first time someone used Kazoo like we did.It was Arash Ganjbar Who palyed Kazoo in the album.Shahram Gholampour Played Gheychak in the Song”More DEp ” and a Piano Section in “Cool and Smily ” was suggested and played by Amir Tavasoli .All Drums and Sound effects are programmed because of Our limitation in recording equipments.

KS: You have probably answered this question many times : Why do you use English Lyrics for your music?

Hooman Ajdari: From the Very first begining of the Band Mute Agency ,it was our favor to do it in English,Cause we thought it ‘s time to send some messages ,from inside , out  for non- Iranian Audience .Further more, Doing some english vocal experience was  pleasing for me .

KS: And two questions about your lyrics:Your first album lyrics are written by Ramin Salamati , Mohamad Etrati and Houman ajdari .Except Houman ,How did you get to know about the lyrics of the other two?  how did you choose them? second question, Do your lyrics show the band’s ideology or you just consider them as one of elements of creating a Track?

S.E: Lyric for “Fed Up” was Written by “M.Etrati” Who is Hooman’s friend.Hooman Ajdari Wrote “cool and smily”, “Surrounded” and “Some Kind Of Love In Our Hearts (SKOLIOH)”.the rest of Our lyrics are written by Ramin Salamati , Mr.Moghadam’s friend , who worked in a Ship in dubai and had written his lyrics there on the deck and had sent them to us by SMS ,It was amazing ,his lyrics were nice and complex so most of the First Experience Lyrics were done by Ramin Salamati .
the other thing is that if we wanted to see lyrics just as an elemnt of Rock music ,we could do it instrumental. We choseThese lyrics because they matched our Thoughts and our music is like a canal through which words are expressed and conveyed ,not sth that disturbs them.

KS:What other Activities do you do ,beside your career in Mute Agency?

S.E: Now a days We are training on Hooman Ajdari’s band  Live performance. That band is called “Mad City”.

H.A : I am doing My career in Rock’n Roll composing ,poetry and Bass guitar .In my personal works i use Persian(Farsi) Lyrics.It’s a little Rock band named “Mad City” which you must not look for it in the official music scene ,cause it has never got its publishing licence. Apart From  music I like poetry and literature ,i mean both  writing and reading.

KS: Is it possible for Mute Agency to perform live?

H.A: I think with the  recent general equipments ,available in iran, it’s so unlikely to perform “first Experience” live. considering the Popular music Audience in Tehran who aren’t accustomed to performances done by 2 or 3 persons with such electronic equipments, makes it so improbable! I think It would be easier in the west and if we could get there we wouldprobably be able to have live successful performances .

S.E: yes it’s possible But We have never tried it as an acoustic live.i think most of our Sounds must be played back.A PC ,a drum ,a bass , a guitar and vocal.


KS: Those who do it ,know it best . Can you tell us about ups and downs of iranian Independant Music Generation ?if you see something special in both cases :negative or possitive?

S.E: In Iran , if you play Electric Guitar they call you rock.It’s obvious as you know.I don’t talk about Rock philosophy ,but Every music has some roots and principles.After islamic Revolution in Iran and passing about 20 years from those old days of pop music ,we could see a sudden rush of new generation bands .I think in this crowded scene of Pop,rock blues , ande etc,there exists some rock experiences which are good for the starting point.I think we have mostly stopped in 70’s.it’s almost 10 years that we are talking about Rock music in Iran but we are just beating around the bush.I don’t know if it’s as a result of the lack of Our knowledge or equipment. 10 years ago there were no Music equipments in Jomhoury Avenue (Tehran) , Now there are very good gears available  for sound and recording.I think we have somehow got stuck in the past.Bands are using the same Chords ,same Instruments ,same layouts,same melodies,same recording technics.Some think their track must have a huge solo inside…. these are all experiences.Not a new Genre this is all nothing but mere imitation yet.Many want to be Mark Knofler , many want to be Gilmour,or Malmsteen.It’s all because we have no live events in Iran.when we can not perform for audience then we can not learn from the audience.Nobody has an idea that can be fulfilled or flourished by the artists! why we should go ahead when there is no one waiting for us?   By the Way it’s all our fault as Iranian young musicians,we must raise it up we should include passion in our works.WE should pay attention to passion because passion that thrive a communicative trend in music .

H.A: Generally speaking, Our Music is growing .Iranian youth have heard many types of music from diverse genres. Although we have lack of sound equipment and technology ,They are always trying to be updated.Though not on stage,But if you take a look at basements you can see a society of underground musicians who are working at their P.Cs or simple studios to role up their songs.I think the situation will be better.Many bands did well ,i appreciate their great works.but our music is somehow sick in its popular scene . It is schmaltz sort of entertainment.When our music scene is scourged by a pest called ” Conditional music” and To yak is supposed as creativity..when you see many persons who go on with their money and meretricious acts ,they perform live and those who can do something real  have been kept down and are targetted by the poisonous arrow of jealousy.But i am pride of our youth who Stand on their feet with out dreaming about the future.They are working and trying and it’s why i believe it will be better and more mature as time passes.

KS : It’s essential for every artist to have their own audience and Income.what is your plan for publishing your album?Do you want to do it inside IRAN?

S.E. : No differance for me .I just like our workes to be heard by people ,either in Iran or any other place in the world.about live performances i should tell that we need a liitle room for our live performances and in iran we have no possiblity to do it live.

KS :At last our General Question : What do you think about The world today and the Human condition?

H.A : The World is inclining to be vanished.The World we made for ourselves ,soon would be demolished by our own hands.This Machine  of vain and absurd production , under the title of THE WORLD TODAY, is working well.there are always some persons considered to be its  rusty , disobidient gears,who dont operate effectively and efficiently . However,there are always some fabric ones who get rid of the old and ramshackle cogs and  willingly substitute them and take over.

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