Big Blind
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Big Blind

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2019
Solo Rock Dark Wave




"Try Not To Have Any Shame About What You Do"

Yousef Bassirpour is working under the name Big Blind, and the music is heavy, spacious and beautiful. He’s a fixture on the Atwater scene here in LA.

Big Blind is an Industrial / Post-Rock project that draws influence from traditional Middle Eastern music. The lyrics are mostly English and occasionally Farsi. - "Play It Like It's Music" by Trevor Exter

"Big Blind Interview"

Q: Can you talk about your history as a band?

A: Well, it's more of a solo project than a band. I started writing BB songs back in 2017. At that time, I was playing in a post-hardcore band called TUFON. Although I loved that music (and still do), I wanted to try something different. I started using Logic to make beats that incorporated both my Middle Eastern and Industrial influences.

Eventually, I got five songs together and decided to release it as an EP (Besa). My good friend Jason Lowrie did the mixing and vocal production on it. He's a truly great musician and producer. After that, I put together a band with my friends and played some shows. Like many people, we had a bunch of shows booked for 2020 that were canceled. I've been working on the next record for the past year and a half.

Q: What is your recording process like?

A: It's kind of all over the place. Because most of my songs have synths and drum samples, I only really need to record the vocals and guitar. My friend Rye Randa has been letting me use his garage-studio for recording throughout the pandemic. He's an amazing musician, and I'm really grateful for his help.

For guitars, I do a mix of DI (direct input) and live recordings. For big power chords, I try to record live as much as possible. They just hit harder that way. My friend Josh Franks has a studio in Burbank, and he knows how to get a great tone out of his amps. For lead parts, I tend to just do a DI track. Although I love playing guitar, I'm not one of those people that has a massive pedalboard. I keep the tone pretty simple, and if I need something more eccentric, I try to find a plug-in for it.

Q: What is your creative process like?

A: A song can start from a beat, a vocal melody, a guitar riff, a synth sound, etc. I'm constantly recording little things on my phone to revisit later.

Generally, though, one idea comes to me, and then it's followed up with more ideas. I try not to force anything. I never sit down and say, "today, I'm going to write a song." I have to let it happen on its own. This is especially true for lyrics. I might have the instrumentals done for months before I finalize the words.

Q: What are some of the themes that are touched upon on your new EP scheduled for later this year?

A: I think that, from a thematic perspective, the new EP is both political and personal at the same time. I guess the best way I could explain it is that these new songs are an attempt at connecting my own experiences to macro-level issues that are affecting the country and world at large. Everything from capitalism and consumerism to addiction and body dysmorphia plays a role.

My dad committed suicide when I was 20 years old. I wasn't able to write about it in the past, but some of the new songs tap into it. I've also been exploring intergenerational trauma and epigenetics. My great-great-grandfather was a well-known Iranian nationalist named Seqat-ol-Eslam Tabrizi. He was executed by the Russians in 1911. Learning about these things gives me perspective on my own life and inspires me in the writing process.

Q: Have you played any of the material live or perhaps virtually?

A: I have played a few new songs on my Instagram account, but they have not been performed with a full band yet. I'm currently in the process of moving to New York, so I have to form a new band once I get over there.

I want a lot of improvisation in the live shows. I am on the lookout for a versatile drummer and some world percussionists. The new record features some middle eastern instruments, such as zurna and duduk, so I would like to find someone that can play those as well.

Q: What else should we know about your music?

A: When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. Then I got into stuff that was more progressive and mathematical. Then I got into hardcore and post-hardcore music. Then came industrial and darkwave stuff.

Nowadays, I really just appreciate new production techniques. The palette of sounds available has never been as big as it is today. I'm constantly trying to improve my skills as a producer while also incorporating a healthy amount of guitar. My good friend Nathan Salon is doing the mixing on the new record, and he has really helped me achieve the sound that I'm going for. He's fantastic at what he does.

While most of my lyrics are in English, there is a bit of Farsi as well. Although I speak the language, my poetry skills are not that great. I enlisted the aid of my friend Sajad Iranpour to help me learn how to write poems properly. He is a true expert on Persian poetry and literature. - Divide and Conquer

"Meet Yousef Bassirpour of Big Blind in Atwater"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yousef Bassirpour.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My interest in music started when I was in middle school. I started playing guitar and by high school, I had started singing and then playing drums. Although I was in the high school jazz band, I was always far more interested in songwriting. I was in a few bands in high school as well as in my early 20’s (Astrochasm and TUFŌN). I went through phases with every genre imaginable (grunge, prog metal, math rock, post-hardcore, etc.).

Although I wrote songs in most of the bands I was in, I was never the sole songwriter in anything. The first time I did music that was 100% my own was in my current project Big Blind. About two years ago, I started writing songs on my own using nothing but my laptop and my guitar. I had never done electronic music before, but I was really into the idea. I had been listening to a lot of Industrial and Darkwave music so I felt it was time to take a crack at it.

In addition to the electronic element, I wanted to incorporate influences from my culture. Being half Iranian, I had always had a deep love for traditional Middle Eastern music and I wanted the music in this project to reflect that. Thus Big Blind ultimately became an amalgamation of Rock, Electronic and Middle Eastern sounds.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think it’s easy for any artist. There are so many different bases you have to cover as a working musician and it can get really draining.

Back when I was in my band TUFŌN it was a tough just to book gigs. We were playing Prog-Punk music while most venues were booking Indie Rock and Surf Punk bands.

With my current project Big Blind I have faced similar challenges. I’ve struggled to have faith that there is an audience for my music out there despite the fact that there’s no precedent for it. The music I’m doing is a little too heavy for electronic audiences, a little too dancy for metal audiences and a little too foreign for people that don’t like World music. Nevertheless, I have found a niche both online and with people in LA and I’m excited to see it expand.

Please tell us about Big Blind.
I just released my first EP last month. It’s called ‘Besa’ and you can hear it on all streaming services.

I guess I’ll say that I’m inspired by a lot of good art. There have been times in my life where I really wanted to die (the feeling still comes up once in a while). If it wasn’t for other people’s art, I might not have survived those periods of time. If it wasn’t for the desire to create my own art, I wouldn’t have been able to pull myself out of that headspace.

I want to give people the same things that I’ve received from artists like Björk, Neil Gaiman, Fugazi, David Fincher, Jeff Buckley, Jeph Loeb, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, David Simon, King Woman, Warren Ellis, Tool, etc.

I try to be as honest as possible in my work and let my feelings guide my decisions. The more cathartic I am the better I can connect with other people (both in music and in my personal life).

The greatest joy I get is from people telling me that they like my music. I know that’s rather obvious, but I think it’s really important for me because my songs are very personal. If someone gets something out of them, it means I’ve effectively communicated what I set out to communicate.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t regret anything. Everything is where it should be. - Voyage LA

"Feel Cool and Collected With Big Blind's "Bãrãn""

Big Blind consists of solo artist Yousef Bassirpour, here to bring a luscious yet somber sound to listeners alike. Big Blind has the goal in mind of combining traditional Middle Eastern music with the modern stylings of the Western World today. Big Blind has already released his 5-track EP, titled "Besa". The EP opens up the integrative stylings of Big Blind, establishing the essence of his sound well. Looking at his most recent work, Big Blind has released another contemporary track, filled with many intricacies that define the eccentrics of Big Blind. "Bãrãn" is the latest offering from Post-Rock band Big Blind. The track itself sees tons of prominent and heavy instrumentals, such as strong performance of guitar riffs, as well as aggressive drums.

Their echoing effect maintained throughout the track gives it an atmospheric touch. Once this is combined with the striking vocalism, the product becomes very balanced, hitting almost an equilibrium in sound. "Bãrãn" will take you on a true adventure with its centripetal effect, allowing listeners to feel a variety of emotions with each sound we're introduced with. We appreciate "Bãrãn" mainly for its composed style, and how harmonious the entire track comes to be. From a lyrical standpoint, "Bãrãn" holds a melancholic essence, taking listeners on an impactful journey. You can always count on Big Blind to bring a thoughtful and misty sounding!

Hey there, Big Blind! Thanks for coming to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the release of "Bãrãn"! Can you walk us through your vision for this track, and more specifically, the kind of message you wanted to relay to listeners?

Bārān is a song that I wrote two years ago. It was inspired by Sufi music. The song has two meanings. The first is about being obsessed with controlling things and learning to step aside and let the universe take over. The second one is about the people of Iran and hoping that something will come along and be a catalyst for change (both regime change and societal change). The lyrics are half Farsi and half English.

Your music is known to contain an integrative effect, featuring a surplus of soundings that stimulate listeners. Where do you get the inspiration to create the production of tracks such as "Bãrãn"?

I listen to a lot of different music. When I started writing Bārān (and the other songs on my EP) I was enamored with the idea of mixing 80's Darkwave synths with Industrial drums and Doom Metal guitars. At the time I was also listening to a lot of traditional Iranian music and Lebanese Dabke. Bārān was the culmination of that dream; it has a dark synth, big tribal drums, a heavy bridge and melodies inspired by Iranian music.

As a singer/songwriter, how do you go about the process of creating a new track?

Most of my ideas start in my head. I'm a drummer so beats come to mind out of nowhere. Most of them are just forgettable motifs, but once in a while something will stand out and I'll jump on it and say 'this is a song'. From there I'll either go to my computer and re-create the beat or go to my guitar and come up with a part. At that point, I'll start singing stuff until a melody comes along that feels right for it. The lyrics...take forever. Bārān really transformed over time. Initially, it was just going to be a dancy song with a Middle Eastern vocal, but soon other elements came along that I never foresaw: the heavy chorus, the bridge with the prog rhythm, the double-time outro with twinkly synths, etc. Jason Lowrie (the man responsible for all of the mixing and vocal production) and Jared Hirshland (the man behind the mastering) really played a big role in giving the song its dynamics as well.

When you were in the curating stages of "Bãrãn", did you feel that you maintained the same vision from start to finish?

The EP that I just released (Besa) was really my first venture into Electronic music. I've always been an analog musician; I've played everything from Jazz to Post-Hardcore. Making Industrial music is an entirely different venture and I hope to learn more as I go forward. I want to find more sounds to incorporate into the music and explore all the different styles that I've dreamt of exploring. I also want to stay on my path and make sure that I don't veer from it. I think it's really easy to slip into making pop music or something that will get you a bit more attention. I want to keep making Middle Eastern / Industrial / Darkwave / Post-Rock for as long as I can.

What are some of the bigger goals you hold as an Industrial/Post-Rock artist? It was great to have you here to chat about the release of "Bãrãn"! Where do you think the music world will take you and your artistry next?

Thank you! I honestly can't even begin to speculate about that. All I can say is that I hope it takes me beyond the borders of this country as I would really like to tour the world. I've always seen this project as being something international and I'm doing everything I can to take it to that level. - Buzz Music LA


Big Blind - Besa 



Big Blind is the Industrial / Post-Rock project of Los Angeles native Yousef Bassirpour. Being of half Iranian and half Irish descent, Yousef has always looked towards his heritage for inspiration in his music. 

Big Blind bridges the gap between traditional Middle Eastern and contemporary Western music. 

His new release "Covert Prestige" is a 6-song EP that was developed both in Los Angeles and New York City. The mixing was done by Nathan Salon and the mastering by Francesco Fabris. The artwork for the album cover is by Yousef's longtime friend Joshua Levy. 

Band Members