Farzad G
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Farzad G

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2002
Solo Rock Progressive




"Interview with Siamak Pourzand Foundation"

[find the audio of the interview at the link]

In the third episode of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s People of the Underground podcast series, Farzad Golpayegani, an Iranian musician and visual artist, speaks about the experience of obtaining state permission/licences for music albums (without lyrics). After a brief overview of the history of underground music in Iran, he speaks about his experience as an artist who unintentionally emerged as an underground musician primarily due to state limitations. He speaks about his varied and contradictory experiences in receiving state licenses for his albums.

In this conversation, Farzad emphasizes that the genre of music can make obtaining state permission easier or more difficult. For instance, according to him, rock music is often considered less “threatening” than metal. However, after requests for license increased for rock music albums in recent years, state officials began to ask some of the musicians to perform their songs in front of them. If the performance was excessively energetic and exciting, and thereby “threatening”or “westernized” in the eyes of the Islamic Republic, the artists would face numerous obstacles in obtaining permission. Farzad also examines the relationship of visual arts, primarily painting and graphic design, with the state apparatus. In his view, visual artists face similar experiences as musicians when it comes to censorship. Portraying human figures is particularly difficult in receiving state permission for exhibitions. Farzad explains that at the launch of the exhibition in Iran for which he had state license, he realized that the breast of one of the figures in his symbolic painting was covered with a piece of paper.

Farzad Golpayegani
Farzad Golpayegani is an Iranian artist, who studied graphic design, and works in the fields of music and visual arts. Farzad composes, plays, records, mixes and masters music tracks, and designs album covers by himself. He plays 7-string Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar and Violin. He has also had other musicians playing in his records as guest artists. He performs live solo and also with his band: “Farzad G band”. Most of his tracks and artworks are only named with numbers, as he believes in the importance of musical and visual concepts against the the title’s influence. He also composes music for Advertisements, Video Games, Animations, Short Movies, etc. - Siamak Pourzand Foundation

"Interview at Darkorg.altervista.org"

name: Farzad | surname: Golpayegani | year of birth: 1979 | country: born in Iran. Have been | living in Iran, Turkey and currently in USA

Q1: When did you start making art?

Like many other artists at very young age. My father use to be Graphic designer and Painter so I had the chance to grow up in artistic environment.

Q2: What does inspire you?

Almost everything. Although my creations come from my imagination and look Surreal but are influenced by anything from real life including World news, Politics, History, different Cultures and beliefs.

Q3: What are your techniques?

I Work both in Digital and Physical media and I’m always trying to experience new techniques, but at the same time I usually have some elements that give a personal character to my artworks. For instance I use cross-hatching a lot, and I get the advantage of this technique by Pen, Pencil, Marker or Digital Pen. I also use a lot of thin and watery colors and don’t fully cover the layers beneath while painting.

Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?

I try to avoid a particular subject for my works. My ideas are general and basically about a feeling or sense that I believe cannot be translated to words properly. By that feeling I try to reach enlightenment and showing a face of reality that cannot be seen normally.

Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?

I don’t think I have a main color in my artworks. I try to take advantage of all colors. What I mainly do is to create compositions with harmonic colors so they fit beside each other. My goal is to choose colors that fit beside each other perfectly, and it doesn’t matter what color it is. I usually avoid very sharp colors that are not in the same family or value.

Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?

I don’t have a particular plan, I usually right down ideas to make improvement or new experience about my works. Also make study sketches and trials before going for the original version. I usually spend so much time just thinking about idea, technique, composition and everything. I try to improve my performance all the time. I really don’t like to get stuck in one shape of technique or artwork. Although it’s not so obvious on my painting, but I try to be dynamic and flexible while do not lose my style. Plus, I never start painting a new artwork without having a new idea. I never paint something that is only beautiful but is meaningless and has no message for the audience.

Q7: Do you have any project for the future?

I’m currently completing my Acrylic on Canvas collection which all artworks have the same large dimension as 121 x 121 cm. So far I have prepared 6 artworks and have in mind to reach more than 10.

Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of farzadonline.

Introverted, Dynamic, Seeker.

Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.

This HERE is not my very first artwork tough, but maybe the first I took really serious while creating my first collection back in 1997. I use to work on this mainly during boring classes in school! I only used Bic black ballpoint pen on paper and I think it took me about a week to complete. It’s in a small dimension but it was so challenging because it had very smooth light and shades and details which was hard to draw by a pen. In this collection I followed the idea of Mask-like portraits and I tried to represent different typical characters and the concept of skin deep personality.

Q10: What did change from your first work till now?

My method use to have a Grotesque and Expressionism look which has turned to more Surrealistic over the years. I use to draw grotesque cartoons at my early career that I quitted after couple of years, because I found it had negative effect on the direction of my progress.

Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?

I would say both. Or maybe a way to understand the essence of life by escaping from reality. I believe life is not only what we understand or call reality. Art is a shortcut to understand the things which are beyond our understanding. - Darkorg.altervista.org

"Interview with Robex Lundgren"

What is the name of your band?

My name is “Farzad Golpayegani” and I’m a solo artist and I have released my albums under my own name. I also have my band which we perform live concerts called “Farzad G band”.

How was the band formed?/Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are?

I have had many musicians in my band during my career. I performed my first live performance with my band back in 2003. At beginning like many other musicians I collected band mates among friends. I also have invited some of talented guitar students of mine to play in my band. Other than me who I play Electric and Acoustic guitar and Violin, current band members consist of my long time friend “Ali Sanaei” who is an extremely talented and a genius in bass guitar, and also I’m glad to have another great friend and musician “Rameel Nissan” as Drummer and Percussionist who joined the band early 2013.

What made you form the band?

Obviously live performance plays a very important role in success of a musician. When I formed my first band I had already released my first album. But of course it was necessary to bring the music on stage.

Where are all band members from?

We all are originally Persian, and currently are based in USA.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started?

Hopefully I have been conscious and realistic to what it looks like to be an independent artist. But anyway I had dreams to release many album and perform many concerts in my country which it turned to totally different direction. I managed to release one official record and couple of concerts inside Iran. But then I was banned and unable to work because of conservative politics of the government. So I moved from Iran and so far I have released 6 albums and performed many gigs outside Iran.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven’t heard you?

I play Progressive Metal music with Middle Eastern elements. My music is mostly instrumental, has various themes and instrumentations in it. I also have three albums with a different genre, album “Four” is fully acoustic and it’s Fusion, my fifth album “Five” have electronic theme with Electric guitar solos, and my sixth album has orchestral theme.

Where was your first gig?

June 2003 in Tehran/Iran. In “Farabi Hall” of University of Art

Where was the latest gig?

July 2013 at “House of Blues, Foundation Room” Los Angeles, CA.

Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics?

So far I have written everything. But for the upcoming record I have in mind to get band mates involved as well.

Who has the best since of humor in the band?

I believe it would be Ali!

Do you have any clips on YouTube?

Couple of videos, but unfortunately we still lack some professional video clips.

How old are you?/What got you started in music?

I’m 34. I owe my passion to music to my older brother. He was listening to Rock and Metal music when I was a kid and hopefully I got familiar with the genre at young age.

At what age did you start playing?


How old were you guys when you first stood on stage?

I was 23 years old. Actually I consider it late, the reason is there were many limitations and problems to play Metal music in my country. We needed to get License to perform a show which was a real hard job.

Best/worst gig you’ve played?

Our performance in Istanbul/Turkey in front of more than 30,000 audience was the best, and a performance in Los Angeles that faced technical difficulties was the worst.

What places will you be playing in the immediate future?

Since I’m working on the new record ’m not planning any gig for now. But most probably in couple of months we’ll have a few more gigs in Los Angeles, and couple of more in East Coast in New York.

Where have you played from then till now?

Iran, The Netherlands, Turkey and USA.

What songs are in your live set’s?

Usually depending on the environment of the hall or festival I chose among my songs. Hopefully I have various options so I can manage to perform a heavy show in a Metal club as well as a soft acoustic Fusion performance in a Jazz Club.

What are the plans for the rest of the year?

We’re working on the new album called “Seven”. At this moment I have recorded Rhythm guitars so far. I hope to release this album by 2014.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern?

Although I still listen to older bands a lot I think it’s easier from modern bands. I basically play a modern style and I’m interested to achieve new experiences.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Almost everything has happened or is happening around me or I’m informed about. I try to keep my knowledge about what’s happening around the world up to date. I’m mostly inspired of the reason of events and not the events itselves. Living in different environments and countries like Iran, Turkey and USA gave me this opportunity to experience a lot and I believe it opened my mind somehow. Usually my ideas are general and I prefer not to focus one single issue. At the same time musical concept is very important to me and I like my impress my audience completely musically other that under influence of song’s title or lyrics, that’s why I name my songs only as numbers.

What’s the first step when making a new song?

Usually it comes from playing improvisation and jamming on guitar. Also I sometimes start the song directly by writing down notes. And then edit it on guitar if necessary.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums?

I hate it because it makes it so hard to survive in this industry, but at the same time I believe we’re moving to next generation of music industry and by some improvement on online streaming and downloading rules and keeping the rights of authors then there will be hopes for artists to get their rights.

What would be your dreams for the band?

My only dream is that my band mates and I have a condition that we don’t waste so much time on unrelated jobs and commissions, so we create and experience more music. like many other indie artists we all have jobs and works to do that are not so related to our music activities.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to?

Many different Genres actually. I listen to Classic, Jazz, Fusion, Traditional and of course many types of Rock and Metal other than my own style which is Progressive Metal.

What do you hold most dear?

Value of artistic and creative spirit in a piece and making people think while enjoying an artwork.

What would be your greatest fears for the future?

Not sure, but maybe not being able to follow my goals.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then?

There is no fear on stage, it’s all about enjoying and excitement. Maybe since I play a technical and complicated type of music, the only concern is to have technical difficulty which leaves a negative impact on performance.

Have you been part of any other projects?

Yes I have collaborated as guest guitarist in plenty of projects and songs so far. The last one was collaboration on a song called “The Juggernaut Caprice” by the band “Quicksilver Night”.

Have you been in any other bands?

Yes for some time early in my career. The first band I’ve been into rehearsed for couple of months but we decided not to continue, and also I use to be part of a Symphonic Gothic metal band called “Amertad” many years ago.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music?

Yes, I’m also a visual arts artist. I’m graduated in Graphic Design and have been active in many related fields including Print and Web Graphic Design, Illustration and Painting for even longer than I’ve been into music professionally.

How important are your fans?

Of course they mean a lot. Their feedback is really effective. But at the same time I have always tried to do the best I can and not the best that just fans will enjoy. I believe musicians should do their own job perfectly, then fans of that type of music will follow and appreciate it. To me it’s wrong to aim producing music for a particular fan community. That would be Business and not Art and causes decrease the creativity of artwork.

How often do you rehearse?

Almost everyday. I only do not rehears while I’m on different level of music other than playing and record such as mix and master. Need to mention since I’m a Painter and Graphic designer as well I need to spend so much time on those too.

Where do you rehearse?

My individual rehearsal happens in home, or maybe better call it home-studio.. and at rental studios to rehears with band. we don’t have private rehearsal studio.

What do you feel is the best liveband you’ve seen?

I have seen many actually, at the moment I can recall “Rammestein”, “Steve Vai”, “Mr. Big”, “Slayer”…

What drives a band that isn’t all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing?

That would be Love of Music. Even fame or wealth cannot guarantee success or progress in music for a long time, only a real passion can.

Do you have any webpages?

Yes, my official website is www.farzadonline.com and also my profile and page can be found on Facebook, YouTube, ReverbNation, MySpace etc.

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there?

The most important reason to keep going should be enjoying what you do, not sell a lot or be famous. Otherwise you won’t really succeed. - Robex Lundgren

"ProgArchieves.com Interview"

Farzad Golpayegani is a virtuoso guitarist who was born Tehran, Iran.

Farzad Golpayegani bought his first guitar in 1994. For a while, he had a guitar teacher, but he developed most of his skill teaching himself. Farzad Golpayegani composes all the music, mixes and masters all tracks and some cover art is self designed.
He plays 7 string guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars and for keyboards, drums and percussion, he sometimes programs it himself. Other times he will use band members for other instruments.
His style can be described as a cross between jazz fusion and metal.
He has released four albums. The two first albums are available from his website as free downloads while the last two albums are available through CD Baby.

I got in touch with Farzad and here is his story.


Just to start with, please tell us more about your background and why you took up music. Who were and still is your musical inspirations ?

I’m Farzad Golpayegani, Persian Composer, Musician and Visual Arts artist. My father was artist as well, although he passed away at my childhood but we always had the spirit of interest in arts in the family. I have an older brother who had a big role in forming my musical view since I was a kid. He was listening to rock and Metal music on and little by little I found rock music interesting. When I became teenager I bought my first electric guitar and focused on music more seriously.

Iran has a very restrictive view on music and in particular; more contemporary music and art. Musicians and film directors has been put in jail for making music or movies. You have now relocated to Istanbul, Turkey. But how was it to compose music (your two first albums ?) under these restrictions ?

It was very difficult. There was a time that even carrying a musical instrument in the street was a bit risky but about 8 years ago some opportunities started to appear on government’s politics about arts. That time there were some hopes of having the musical activities as a rock musician legally. I was lucky to get the first license for a Metal album in Islamic Republic of Iran. Then after some more struggles got the permission to have couple of metal concert as well. Although my music is Instrumental and also has many Eastern and Iranian elements in it still it was very hard to get the permission. We needed to get everything about our work Approve by the government, Including band’s name, members with complete portfolio, music, cover design, advertisements, vocals and lyrics separately (if there was any) and etc. other than that we could face serious problems.

Even after getting all the licenses still we were not 100% sure that we’ll having a performance or something like this. For example it was possible that just before going on stage or after playing one or two songs an authority prohibit our performance. All these were only about the time that working was Possible, because after the next president and more conservative view of their politics it was almost impossible to have any serious activity. It was the time that underground music in Iran started to grow faster. I’m currently consider as a underground musician but underground music is something different in Iran, because we’re not allowed to work. Though in western countries people prefer to be underground artists on their own.

Let's go to your first album One from 2002. Please tell us more about this album.

In brief still I’m following the same idea of that record, which was achieving a mix from Metal music and Middle Eastern and Persian music. It was my first experience to record my songs in that level. In fact first I made some records to take it to the next level then in a professional studio, but it didn’t happened. There were many problems and little by little I learnt how to work on my home studio and then completed the album myself. Even finally in the main version I used some of the first records that I use to make as a guide. For example in the demo version I had some solos that I decided not to repeat again because I thought the feeling that I was following while playing the parts is fit into music. Obviously because of first experience it has some mistakes but I learnt a lot during preparing the tracks. I composed the music, performed, recorded, mix, mastered and even designed the cover on my own. I took the license for releasing the album myself and then signed an unfair contract for album “One” with a record label inside Iran which wasted many opportunities about my first records. I faced a very long latency, about 2 years for it to be published..

Let's go to your second album Two from 2005. Please tell us more about this album.

Since “One” faced many latency for distribution, preparing the second release became a bit slow. I had so much enthusiasm to work on my projects especially because it was very new and different from other releases on that time inside Iran and there was no any other metal music in our official stores. I managed to get the license for album “Two” as well but when I was waiting for my turn to have my album be published president and the politics of the ministry of art changed. They found my record doesn’t meet the qualifications they accept and refused to let album “Two” be published. From that time I didn’t go to get any license anymore.
Theme of my second album is very similar to the first one but it sounds more professional. Again I tried to mix Metal and Traditional music and other styles together, used eastern tuning for guitar and etc.

Let's go to your third album Three from 2008. Please tell us more about this album.

Album “Three” is my best experience to have different types of music in single Metal record. I call the style of the record as “Persian Progressive Metal”. To get more progressive feeling on the music I decided to have only three tracks with long durations like 17 - 18 min. for each. Another element which is different from previous albums is that I tried to mix eastern and western elements in all different parts of the record, Especially in heavy and fast parts it’s more obvious. I have special tuning for acoustic guitar that make it sound like an Iranian instrument. I have used this technique in previous albums as well but this time I used it while having the fast tempo and very aggressive rhythms too. In this album “Arash Jafari” was the guest artist on percussions, we used “Darbuka”, “Oudo” and “Daf” on some parts. Album also includes a hidden track which is a medley cover song from 10 different artists. I covered the tracks in my own style like other tracks in the album. Also connecting one song to another brought more progressive sense into that cover song.

Let's go to your fourth album Four from 2010. Please tell us more about this album.

In last three albums there were moment that music was close to “Fusion” music. For this record I wanted to make a full album in that style. In spite of big role of technical playing of electric guitar in my music I decided to do not use electric guitar in entire record. In fact there are only Acoustic guitar (steel and nylon sting), Resonance guitar, Bass guitar and Violin, which I played all by myself. Also “Ali Sanaei” was the guest artist on bass guitar for last two tracks of album. I have done programming for strings in some songs too. This record does not include any drums and percussion as well. Comparing previous albums I have more Middle Eastern influences in this record. In many moments listeners think I’m playing an Iranian instrument but in fact like previous records it’s all acoustic guitar.

You were also very much involved in the computer game Quest of Persia: Nader's Blade and it's soundtrack. Please tell us more about this game and soundtrack.

Aside of my own projects I also work as a composer for short movies, advertisements and video games. Quest of Persia II was a very interesting commission to me because it needed most of qualifications that my works already have. Radicals like Persian motifs and Dynamic feel of rock music. The only difference was need of epic sense that I fulfilled it by adding Strings and Choir into compositions. Story of the game come from the Persian history and it’s one the best video games that has produced in Iran so far. First we wanted to release the soundtracks untouched as an album but then I had an idea to rework on soundtracks to form it like another record of mine. A record that doesn’t include only Themes and Rhythms but also Solos. I have also composed music for another video game called “Garshasp”. Quest of Persia II has a historic theme and Garshasp is more ancient. For Garshasp I also wrote wind instruments to achieve the right environment. I’m adding some parts and Solos to these two projects and have in mind to complete it as my sixth record after I finished my own fifth music project.

For those of the readers who are not familiar with your music: How would you describe your music and how would you describe your guitar style ?

My music has Middle Eastern and Persian elements in it. I’ve followed different styles in my albums. They are mainly “Instrumental Progressive Metal”. I also work in “Fusion” genre. Traits of my music are shredding with Eastern feel with 7string electric guitar, using Acoustic guitar with innovative tune which make it sounds like old Eastern instruments, Progressive and dynamic riffs, mix different styles into on single composition. I’m influenced by legend musician and composers in different categories, like Folklore and Traditional, Jazz, Classic, Rock and Metal. In spite of technical view of my works, to me playing solo and shredding is not only passing from one technique to another and it doesn’t matter how hard is to play a solo part, more important and valuable part is the feel, character and sense in it. When I play a solo I try to keep the Persian and Eastern root, even if I’m playing a very fast and heavy riff.

Your two albums are free downloads from your website and the final two albums are available from CD Baby. I believe all four albums are self-released. Please give us pros and cons of releasing your music on your own.

Music industry has changed a lot and in my opinion waiting for a record label to sign with is losing the chance to get more experience. Actually I was signed for my first record, but the situation was even worse. I wanted my album be released in a good way and financial part was not so important to me for the first record because at first I wanted to get more exposure and audience, so I gave most of the rights to record label. It was a mistake of me that thought if I give them more rights they will distribute it better because they didn’t treat fairly. They made delay for about two years on releasing my record, and then did it in a very bad quality. There was only cassettes and I never even saw their CD! The price they paid me was contemptuous low. In the meantime there was struggle with government for getting the permissions for the next records, so after that I preferred to publish the records as Self-released which was not legal actually in Iran. I made some CDs by myself but generally my records were distributed over the internet on my official website farzadonline.com. because of economic sanctions I was not able to release the albums on digital music stores until I moved to Turkey and assigned my last two record “Three” and “Four” as a self-released on “CD Baby” and all streaming online music stores. Financially I don’t receive a big feedback but hopefully I can plan and schedule on my own. I believe nowadays number of independent artist is growing and it’s not unusual to release an album without signing to a big record label.

Besides of music; how is your life in Istanbul ?

I spent last year not so smoothly, I had all the usual problem with moving to a new place, sometimes I’ve been facing hard problems that now I consider them as experiences. Hopefully now I feel more settle in here. Istanbul is a very live city and I like its atmosphere and culture. I also visit my hometown very frequently. I work as a freelancer and for most of the projects that I receive it’s not important where I stay. Aside of being a composer and musician I’m also visual art artist and work on graphic design commissions as well.
The first reason for me to move to Istanbul was to continue my musical activities easier. During the last year I tried to reform my band for start having performances but unfortunately it didn’t work. Just recently I sorted finding the suitable members out and it’s possible to have a concert soon. But as my activity, I’m usually working on commissions I receive and my own projects at home-studio.

What is your plans for this year and beyond ?

If everything goes well I’ll be starting my performances in a few months here in Turkey. I have in mind to release two albums in this year, which will be “Five” and “Six”. Album “Five” has a different style from my previous albums. It’s electronic ambient and has electric guitar solo in it. Rhythm of this record’s compositions are not heavy or metal in anyway but in solo parts it is very technical. The sixth album will be reworked soundtracks that I have composed for video games so far.
I enjoy hard work on the projects I like, and I hope to find the time for fulfill my plans. Beside all of musical activities I’m a Painter too and I hope to complete my next Painting collection soon. Since I started working on music seriously I haven’t spent so much on my paintings. During last year I didn’t find time to paint any new artwork.

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

I only have a message to beginner musicians and that they should never waste their time to find a high level opportunity to continue their work. If they don’t work, they don’t make progress on their carrier. The most important thing is to enjoy working on music, and not getting a huge feedback. If you don’t love playing music in the first place even getting a huge exposure will not be satisfying for long.

Thank you to Farzad for this interview - ProgArchieves.com



A little search on Google, brought me to Farzad's website and there I learned he was born in May 1979 in Iran . He is son of late Behzad Golpayegani (Painter & Graphic Designer 1938-1985). Farzad is graduated in graphic and works in the fields of Music and Visual Art.

What would happen if you were to combine the industrial chugging sounds of Fear Factory, the jazz fusion parts of an Al Di Meola and some eastern psych a la Erkin Koray and add a fretboard masturbation of Yngwie Malmsteen to the whole? I guess you'd probably end up with a style which is very reminiscent of Farzad's latest offering “Two” .

This release mixes lots of different styles, from metal to jazz to classical to cajun and back again, a complete fusion of styles here. 11 original tracks, with fine guitar playing mixed with sequenced backing, which makes for a rather enjoyable listen. I will give Farzad credit. He is extremely talented and a great player. He also has a lot of diversity in his playing style. Already the first song is a true knock off song: “ 9” clocking over 7.45 minutes and full of turns, twists, melody changes, heavy riffs, soft synth strokes and just plain virtuoso guitar play. Another seven minute composition “ 20” opens very atmospheric, and builds up to a song with a heavy guitar and keyboard bombastic groove all the way, but I have to say, this is more what you can expect on an album such as this. Still, I think it is way above average! In “ 19” he shows his dark, heavy experimental side, with pounding riffs and crunchy play. “ 18” is Joe Satriani and the Crazy Horse Band , nice pace, but I'm not too keen on the drums/bass sound in the mix here, Like in so many cases with people who want to do everything on their own, the drum parts are programmed. The rocking “ 10” contains some nice moments but as a whole it really has no structure moving from one style into another without meaning. Closing song “ 43” lifts everything up again, to a higher level. If vocals a la Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and exotic drums would have been added, this would have been a great song!

Any fan of Malmsteen , Satriani , Vai , Petrucci , over the top seven( ?)-string wanking should also definitely listen to Farzad .

Cosmicmasseur. - concreteweb.be

"Nachgefragt: Farzad Golpayegani/ Heavy Metal musician from Iran"

- Who are you?

I am Farzad Golpayegani, I was born 1979 in Tehran/Iran. I'm a composer, musician, painter and graphic designer. I play 7string electric guitar,

acoustic guitar, bass guitar and violin. I have 3 full records in Iranian progressive metal genre so far, including music themes and background music

of an Iranian game called "Nader's Blade" which I'm going to release it as an record too. Also I'm working on my forth record which is completely

acoustic and fusion. And I've had some concerts inside and outside Iran so far.

- You seem to be not the only one, who is involved in art in your family. Who else plays music, paints or does anything else within art?

My late father use to be one of the leading modern artists in Iran. He was a graphic designer, painter and musician as well and he is mostly known as founder of temporary Iranian typography. It needs to be mentioned that I lost my father about 24 years ago.

- It is hard for us to get a fair view on Iran. How would you describe your country today?

Yes I believe that most of medias don't show the real face of Iran and it's usually introduced in negative way. But I'm sure when people have their own real and individual experience in Iran they are usually surprised. For instance I have many foreigner friends who were journalists, artists or students who have come here and were really interested in Iran. In brief although there are a lotof limitations in my country but there is a visible difference between people and the government's politics. But at least during events of our last presidential election many people around the world watched real Iranians. Because why I live inside Iran and need to be careful of what I say, I can't describe it very well!

- There were some problems to get in contact with you because of filtering in Iran. What can you tell us about this problem? Does it hinder you in your work?

Of course, as I mentioned before there are a lot of limitations in here. Actually for the last 4 years rock music has been completely banned and I'm not allowed to have releases, gigs or concerts. That's why I have all my records free to download at my website! It's really painful that after working such a long time on a record I don't have permission for release. Also it means I don't earn any money from my albums. During last presidents era I had some concerts and a release but after that I only have had performances abroad and that's very rarely because usually it costs a lot or it's hard to find an opportunity. About 7 years ago I took the first Iranian Metal records license for release in Iran. But after that I couldn't succeed and now I don't even try!

- I love your paintings and drawings, since I saw them. What concept do you have? Where do you got this connection to expressionism from?

My favorite style is surrealism and expressionism and I have tried to achieve my own style in my paintings. The idea of the concept is very close and similar to my music, the only thing that differs is the way I express them with notes or shapes and forms. In both I have the influence of eastern culture, contain details and technical talents, only use numbers and don't call them with names, I don’t point to subject straight and use symbols or surrealistic motifs and...

- How do you become involved into Progressive Metal?

I'm a metal fan and since I'm not very strict about style and enjoy most of genres of music, I have tried to use them in my own songs as well and it makes my songs sound progressive metal. I call them Iranian Progressive Metal. I usually try to combine dynamic, energy and power of metal music with dept, spirituality and purity of Iranian and eastern music.

- Why don't you name your songs?

When it comes to instrumental music it would be a good idea to get the impression only from music and not from the words. I don't want to give my listener a view of idea of the song. I usually don't aim on a particular subject in my artworks. I like them more general.

- What kind of scene is there in Tehran for an artist like you?

Unfortunately musically there is no chance to have any especial activity. Rock and metal music is completely banned. But since I work on Fusion style

as well I can work on that a bit easier sometimes. I've had a fusion concert about 2 years ago in Tehran. But we were not allowed to have Drums and also we haven't had Electric rhythm guitar as well. It was mostly acoustic and we had Percussions instead of Drums. In fact we're not allowed to get and give

impression fully in front of audience. The most important place for us is on the net and we have difficulties according to filtering in Iran. for example there is no access to "MySpace", "YouTube", "Facebook", "Twitter", "Orkut" and many of music magazines or news broadcasting websites, and people need to use their proxy software for them.

- Everybody has a message in its art, also if he do not know it. - Regiomusik

"Music Without Borders - Interview: Farzad Golpayegani"

Farzad Golpayegani is an Iranian born musician, composer and visual artist. His music seamlessly blends progressive metal and rock with the traditional sounds of the music of his home country. He is also a visual artist and graphic designer. He has released 3 cds so far and another is in progress. Due to the difficulty in getting his music to the wider world from Iran, all of his music is available for free on his website. Farzad has also just relocated to Istanbul, Turkey. Hopefully this will give him more to share his music with the world. He was kind enough to do this email interview with me just after his move. Please be sure to visit his website.

• Your music blends Iranian influences with western-style prog and metal. Was this natural for you to do?

It had been my idea since I started to compose my own songs. Personally I enjoy many different genres and I have tried to blend my favorite styles including Iranian traditional and prog metal to achieve my own style. I won’t say it hasn’t happened before but I’ve tried to give an Iranian taste and spirit to this type of metal music.

• What is the reception of your music in Iran like?

Unfortunately there is no space for musicians like me. Because metal music has been totally banned in Iran for years. I have had some concerts and releases in Iran but they were about 5 years ago. Even though my songs are instrumental and also have Iranian elements I still don’t have permission to release or perform them.

• Do you play your music live? How is the live experience different than the studio for you?

For couple of years my only chance to have a concert has been playing abroad, which is a bit hard when you live in a country where always there is difficulty getting a visa. That’s why I recently left Iran for Turkey, to maybe have a better situation.

• Do you have a favorite piece of gear? Something you can't live without?

Well, I’m used to get the best result that I can with a minimum of equipment. I have record most of my songs with a low level quality instruments so it doesn't matter to me. The only thing is that I prefer play with a 7 string electric guitar other than usual 6 string.

• Talk about your musical influences, who inspires you? Are there any newer bands you really like?

I always enjoy discovering new bands and there are many different artists that I like but maybe more interesting is when I’m inspired by a completely different song or artist other that metal ones and then its influence comes to my metal works.

• Do you have a regular practice routine?

Actually no! Because I’m busy with different activities and play instruments like electric guitar, steel and nylon acoustic guitars, bass guitar and violin, or work on my visual projects like painting and graphic design, but I usually focus on one of them at a time.

• Describe your writing process a little. Do you use notation? Do you write with other people or do you work alone?

I don’t have a regular process. Sometimes I start composing and sometimes I get an idea for a song while I’m improvising. Also I usually use notation when I need a another player other than me for a record or a concert. And I also write my songs alone, but I always enjoy jamming and cooperation with other artists. I always have some jamming and improvisation parts with my band at my concerts.

• Your website says your next album will be all acoustic. How is that coming along? What led you down that road?

At the moment that record is mainly finished. I always have had some fusion songs or parts in my record but this time I wanted to make a complete record in this way. Maybe some who were interested in my previous records will not enjoy this record as previous ones but I will also have new audience with different taste by this record. Composition of the instruments in this record is: Steel and Nylon Acoustic Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Bass Guitar and Violin. And I have used acoustic guitar with about 6 different tunes within the tracks.

• You've written music for video games, what was that like?

It was a good experience. Since my works are instrumental I can write music for games, animations and films easily and I really enjoy it. By adding some bonus tracks and different versions I will prepare these two game soundtrack projects as two complete records of mine. The historical theme of “Nader’s Blade” and ancient theme of “Garshasp” have been close to my own works, the difference is the epic feeling that I added to them and I used a different orchestration (different instruments).

• You have formal training in visual art, does your art influence your music and vice versa?

Of course. For me working on music or visual art is like saying a same thing with a different language. There are the same rules, elements, motifs, feeling etc, but only in a different shape. I have in mind to start a series of performances like what I had in “Intergalactic Music Festival” (2006) in Amste - ProgRockin'

"THE PROGRESSIVE STATE OF IRAN, IN MUSIC : Reviews of Iranian progressive music : Farzad Golpayegani"

Farzad Golpayegani : One (IR,rec.2002,pub.2004)****'

Farzad is a graphic designer with a deep interest in music. This album he describes himself as an Instrumental Fusion-Metal album, but I personally want to say his music style goes way beyond this description. As a guitarist and composer, here he definitely sets out an intelligent, conscious and crafted vision on guitar driven instrumental music. He has a great technical ability in playing the 7 string Electric Guitar, he uses eastern tunings for Acoustic Guitar, mixes easily different Persian styles from flamenco-like or Persian classical origin with metal and progressive rock.

The recordings are built up around two guitars mostly (both electric or electric with acoustic), electric bass, drums and some Persian percussion. The percussion is not played live but is composed and played by computer programming in a way that it is hardly noticeable, especially the rock and Persian percussion.
But also on the metal passages the compositions are just perfect as they are. While a part of the tracks uses metal as first fundament, this is mixed in the same composition with progressive rock, heavy metal or even has acoustic guitar to it. A few tracks focus more on the Persian fusion, always with tremendous guitar, from Persian acoustic to thoughtful heavy metal solo’s.

The album is so interesting it will be hard to choose highlights for airplay. Recommended !!
The album did not get permission to be released in 2002, but is now available on line in MP3 since 2004.

For live concerts this is the group who performs : Farzad Golpayegani : 7 string electric guitar & acoustic guitar, Behrang Bashash : bass guitar, Mahyar Vosoughi : electric guitar, keyboards, Mahyar Pour Hesabi : drums, Reza Shafeghati : setar, Amir Djadid-Al-Eslam : tombak, daf.

Audio : "33"(-the first, darker heavy metal driven track, mixed with a more progressive rock passage-),
"7" (-a wonderful track in more eastern tunings, with Persian percussion and electric bass-)
Homepage : http://www.farzadonline.com & http://www.myspace.com/farzadgolpayegani
More Info : http://www.vampire-magazine.com/bands/farzad_golpayegani/info/...
& http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=34154
Info on this release : http://www.metal-archives.com/release.php?...

Private Farzad Golpayegani : Two (IR,rec.2004,2005,unreleased)****°

The second album by Farzad mostly has a progressive heavy metal foundation, but here are added even more ideas and talent in the mix, like a symphonic rock element, or classical music and some bluespsych.
On a couple of tracks the blend of metal, progressive rock and Persian elements, expressed in a mix of acoustic with electric guitars is more than brilliant and rather unique. If this wasn’t enough, a few tracks have additional keyboards which give the compositions even more contrast, depth and content and make the expression even more complete. “21” in this way has symphonic rock capacities within a heavy metal context. On “20” the piano has a truly adapted classical music aspect. Then we also hear an expressive Bach-like tune on organ mixed with some heavy metal guitar, with also some cello added. “19” is progressive/symphonic metal with incredibly fast keyboards and guitars and some modern mixing ideas. “31” is symphonic with a baroque piano and very fast heavy metal electric guitar and bass. “18” used some blues theme mixed with a complex heavy metal composition. Also “10” used some blues riffs, but is again progressive metal, mixed with bluesppsych. “38” surprises once more because of tiny percussive ideas and eastern tuning acoustic guitar mixed with some incredible heavy metal, and some modern mixing.

The album surprises all the way. It is really a shame that such a truly incredible, must-have album couldn’t get any official release yet in Iran. I think it surely deserves the world’s recognition, in the metal as well as the progressive rock milieu.

Last track, “43” is a perfect conclusion, and an example of a blend of all different guitar approaches, starting with progressive Persian guitar rock, with some original rather experimental percussion, acoustic guitars, fuzz guitar and heavy metal guitar.

I must make the same remark as with the first album : it is really hard to take out highlights from the album, because all tracks show some brilliance.
The album surprised me much, even after having heard the first album just before this. I’m sure Farzad’s third album, which is nearly finished, and which is supposed to have a few 20 minute tracks will be as much rewarding.

Audio : "30" (-a wonderful track fusing/blending a great variety of styles just perfectly-), "38" (-another brilliant and perfect blend of acoustic guitar in eastern tuning mixed with heavy and dark metal, with some tiny percussive ideas and a brilliant modern production-) ; Video on youtube
Homepage : http://www.farzadonline.com & http://www.myspace.com/farzadgolpayegani
I - psychemusic.org

"Chasing the underground part 6 – The long hard road"

Posted on May 20, 2011

The underground music culture in Iran didn’t just emerge from nothing. It emerged in increments after years of repression and bureaucracy. And progressive metal guitarist Farzad Golpayegani knows better than most how difficult it was dealing with Iranian government.

“I wasn’t very interested in being an underground artist but I have been pushed to be an underground artist because there hasn’t been any other way for me to play music,” Farzad says as we sit in his apartment in Istanbul.

It’s a spartan room near Taksim Square, and Farzad’s musical equipment seems to take up most of the space. A long ponytail of dark hair and a pale face, Farzad is soft spoken and reserved – a surprise considering the intensity and energy of his metal music.

Farzad became interested in metal music at a young age, and was the first artist to successfully gain a license from the Iranian government for a metal record.

As we talk in his studio apartment in Istanbul he jams for a little while. His metal music is a fascinating blend of western metal and Iranian classical and folk music.

“it’s was very important for me to show and express my influences from eastern music and Persian music,” he explains.

After a few minutes though he places his guitar to the side and sighs in frustration as he recalls the difficulties of his musical career inside Iran:

“In the performance the audience should be seated, they can’t stand. Musicians are allowed to stand but we couldn’t move a lot. We couldn’t have a head bang on the stage, which is very usual for a metal musician.”

“Even when we get the license we’re not 100 percent sure we’re going on the stage, because maybe at the last minute an authority can stop our concert being performed.”

And Farzad says after Achmadinejad gained power it became almost impossible to work legally as a musician.

“They even just refused the previous licenses. For example I received the license for my second release inside Tehran but I was only waiting for my turn for my record to be published. They stopped my record and it couldn’t get published, after that they didn’t accept it.”

And like a generation of Iranian artists and musicians it was the internet where he found his last outlet of expression within Iran.

“After facing too many problems to get the licence to have releases inside Tehran I decided to release my record on my website as a free download.”

“I received much more audience, especially outside my country and a good part of my music was instrumental and I can have audiences fans in different countries. It doesn’t matter in what language they are speaking,”

But soon even that wasn’t enough. Farzad says he felt Iran could offer him no more by way of his music, and he now lives in Istanbul. There he’s free to play music and tutor students how to play guitar.

“For me the most important thing is to work as a musician and a composer and to enjoy the activity, and right now I’m enjoying what I’m doing.” - Shoestring Correspondent


It's not often that I get to review a CD from Iran (ok then, never) so some background might be in order. Farzad Golpayegani was born in Teheran May 1979, son of the late Behzad Golpayegani (a noted painter and graphic designer). Farzad completed graduate studies in music and graphic arts (his fine paintings are used on the CD cover), and developed an interest in guitar in the mid-1990s. After some initial tuition, he started on a personal journey of improvisational discovery, pulling together various strands of influences to develop his own sound. This is his second album (duh), the first one being available in Iran only. Imagine if you will a virtually new species of psychedelia based on a 7-strng guitar style that sounds like a cross between the Mahavishnu Orchestra's John McLaughlin and the Black Sun Ensemble's Jesus Acedo, underpin it with Eastern tunings on acoustic instruments and apply those elements to Persian, Classical and Heavy Metal forms to bake your own metal-fusion head music and you'd be getting close. What has helped him immensely is that all instrumentation on 'Two', apart from cello on two tracks, is played by Farzad, and use of computer recording, mixing and mastering technology has set him free and allowed him to home-brew the whole shebang (important in a country that would probably brand these results the work of an infidel).
The first track '9' (they are helpfully given numbers that relate to some kind of master compositional list) starts out with a traditional middle-Eastern workout on acoustic instruments and you can almost taste the sense of place evoked. But a few minutes down the road Farzad's electric lead kicks in and you'll be muttering "Holy Sheite" as you pick yourself up off the floor. It's genuinely face-melting stuff from the far end of the progressive rock halls of gratuitous guitar pyrotechnics fame: part of you wants to laugh at the unmitigated gall and part of you wants to bow down in worship. What works particularly well here and on other tracks is the dialectic between Eastern instruments/tunings and Western acid rock and metal riffs and leads. The second track '30' is a spectacularly over-the-top example of this. '21' and '31' engage in trade in typewriteresque speed metal and delirious flights of soloing including some sounds I don't think I've ever heard from guitar before. It's an exercise fuelled by pure adrenaline and those susceptible to panic attacks are warned to stay clear. The extended '20' is unapologetically bombastic classical-progressive rock, but carries the listener with it on a tide of pure self-belief and gloriously melodic multi-tracked guitar bliss. And so it goes. Final tracks play with Easternisms, found vocal transmissions and irradiated metallic riffs to the point that one feels like one is at some shortwave epicentre where early Metallica intersects with Iranian state radio. The whole thing comes off like a summit on how to combine fundamentalisms in ways that erase fundamentalism itself. (Tony Dale) - the Terrascope

"Farzad Gholpayegani"

There are few guitar players and progressive rockers in Iran like Farzad Gholpayegani who are looking for different ways of crossing over the Technical Art Rock Music and Iranian Traditional Music philosophy as he does.

I had an interview with Farzad Golpayegani and asked him about his music and the condition of rock music in Iran today.

Z.Z: How can you describe your life as a rock musician in a country like Iran?

Well in this country a rock musician must has a different job too or work for his own. In many cases rock musicians work on other styles (generally pop) but I don't believe in this way and I can't even stand that kind of music! At the present I work in a different profession (graphic design) and sometimes work on my songs.

Z.Z: How does it feel, to be a musician and not getting permission to play your music?

Seriously it's very hard and it really has changed my life. I consider myself so hardworking but I don't have permission to work.

Z.Z: Have you ever applied for permission to releasing an album? What happened?

Yes of course, actually I had a release in 2004 that it must have been released two years before that time. But in fact the most important problem is not permission and licence because I had that experience. In other word, government has made an atmosphere that there is no way for any kind of music except some pop records. And if you release an album it can't have a good distribute and sell. But today they don't give the licence and we can't even have an unsuccessful release!

Z.Z: As we know your music style is Instrumental Fusion Metal. Why Instrumental? Is it because you haven't found a right vocalist or is it because you are more comfortable playing alone as a solo guitar player?

I'm so serious about music itself and I really enjoy instrumental music at first. But also I like vocal with my songs but if I had vocal with my songs I couldn't get the licence for concert and release, because I like a powerful vocal with my songs and not a weak moaning voice! Anyway I like instrumental music better and I want the audience of my songs be communicate with my music and not with any word in the song and that's why I name my songs and albums as numbers and don't choose a word. I believe that the music has every meaning in it.

Z.Z: What is it that you want to achieve by crossing over the musical and cultural barriers between western heavy metal and our traditional music?

Well something that is so special in our traditional music is deepness and immaterial intend, and in heavy metal there is energy and power of music. Also heavy metal is so flexible and it can be mixed with other styles. In fact I'm trying to achieve to a style with energy and abstruseness of metal with deepness of Iranian music. But I think I'm close to metal and especially progressive music more than Iranian music.

Z.Z: Aren't you trying to give some sort of national identity to Iranian rock music this way?

Maybe, but I'm just trying to catch my own style and find something new.

Z.Z: Now let's go back to the condition of rock music in our country.

Is it normal to have a rock concert in Iran these days and what kind of problem you guys normally have?

These days there are no concert with licence from relative ministry but there are some small gigs that don't need the licence because small halls don't need the licence, but that is not the solution for us. Even those concerts are not secure and it's possible that the concert have some problems like be cancelled before going on the stage or even in the middle! Also these concerts perform in small halls that can't have enough ticket, space, advertisement, marketing and…

Z.Z: Let say that you will get the permission for a live concert, are there enough rock music fans to fill up a concert hall?

Yes there are but when we're performing in a small hall that doesn't have enough ticket sell we can't pay for advertisement and many of our fans can't be informed. Also there is not sponsor for this kind of music.

Z.Z: Any plans for any live performances soon?

The plan is don't have performance! Because at the moment it's nothing but a big trouble!

Z.Z: Now some basic questions, Who are some of the artists and bands that have influenced you over the years? Why is that?

When I started to play guitar (about 1994) I liked some bands that were so top that time, like Megadeth, Exodus, Manowar, Over Kill, Pantera, White Lion, Sepultura, Slayer, Metallica… and some guitarists like Malmsteen, Steve Vai. But I really don't think I am so influenced by them and in fact they were my masters! Because generally I learned electric guitar by myself and by listening to recorded songs of these bands.

Z.Z: Have you ever collaborate with other Iranian rock musicians? Which or who?

Well I had been in "Amertad" for about two years, also I've had some experiences with other musicians. In fact I really enjoy improvising a - ZirZamin

"Farzad Golpayegani, on his Iranian Prog/ Metal music and his new album."

Submitted by Nassir Mashkouri on Sun, 01/20/2008 - 18:48.

Z.Z: Those who would like to know you as an artist, can read your biography on your website (www.farzadonline.com) or read our older interviews with you on zirzamin's archives (Here), but let me start by asking you how it's going with the recordings of your next album "Three"? F.G: It's about 2 to 3 years that I have started working on this album and due to lack of time and the amount of works involved, I've not been able to finish the recordings yet. There is nothing much left on mixing and mastering. I think the album will be ready in a month. But I can't say anything firm about its release yet. I prefer to complete the works and then look for a suitable channel for the release. But I will have some parts of some tracks on the www.farzadonline.com.Z.Z: The next album includes only 3 compositions which are 17 min in length, each. Is it because you wanted to give a more Progressive profile to it?

F.G:Yes, if the album wouldn't have been Progressive, I could have increased the number of tracks to 15. Two of the songs (14 and 39) contain a lot of variations, they transform a lot and have depths. Also in track "47" I have sang little bit in it which has become an interesting piece of work. I also have one hidden track which is a replay of 10 Metal songs melted down together and played in my own style.

Z.Z: Do they have that touch of the Iranian music as always or is it pure western Prog/ Metal this time?

F.G: The style of this album is Iranian Progressive Metal and many of the bars have a very Iranian and Eastern characteristic. Actually the Metal part of this album has been increased compared to the previous works. Also more Eastern tones and Metal is heard in this album. For instance, the acoustic guitar, which was tuned in a special way to sound like an Iranian instrument, is accompanying the guitar in most of the songs.

Z.Z: You have also composed some improvisational tracks (Improvisation 1 and Improvisation 2). Tell us about them?

F.G: I, accompanied with my band, conducted a few improvising sessions in a studio. It was a very good experience and we had some good results out of it. My goal was to record our improvised work after some sessions and make an album of it. In fact it would be like a "live" recording which would be performed in an improvised way. We also did this but the recording conditions were not that great and the drums did not sound good. Our drummer left the country as well so we were not able to go to studio anymore. It is my intention to work on those tracks again in order to release them.
- ZirZamin


- "One" (2002)
- "Two" (2004)
- "Three" (2008)
- "Four" (2010)
- "Five" (2011)
- "Six" (2012)
- "Seven" (2016)



Farzad G's solo music project is Progressive Rock, Fusion and Ambient. He plays 7 string electric guitar, Acoustic guitar and Violin live and uses Loop effects and playback for background of his music. He is also a Visual arts artist. He projects videos of his painting on the screen, or does "Live Drawing" during his performances. 

His original music include: Technical playing (7-string electric guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Violin), Innovative tuning for Acoustic Guitar, Electronic and Ambient atmosphere and Progressive feel.

Farzad produces his albums entirely by himself. He has published over 7 albums so far. He performs his live music as "Solo performance" and also with his band: “Farzad G band”.

Band Members