The Free Keys

The Free Keys


Risking arrest in Iran, the Free Keys began underground in Pooya's basement until they eventually had to flee the country, ending up in Brooklyn.
Through the past year, The Free Keys have changed up their sound, playing music that ranges from slow progressive rock to high-energy punk.


Free Keys is an alternative rock band originally from Tehran, formed in 2006. Free Keys consists of Pooya Hosseini on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Brandon Simes on Drums, Anthony Azar on Bass and Julie Neusner on saxophone.

In Summer ‘07, The Free Keys teamed up indie rock quartet The Yellow Dogs for a couple of strictly forbidden underground gigs in Tehran, where Western music is strictly forbidden. Risking arrest and consequences including prolonged jail time and physical beatings, the Free Keys sound-proofed then transformed lead singer Pooya's basement in west Tehran to a music venue and rehearsal space, complete with a stage and pyrotechnics. Two major events were thrown in that venue before the bands had to abandon it so to avoid arrest.
In 2008, The Free Keys were featured in 'No One Knows About Persian Cats', the latest Cannes Award-winning movie by the well-known Persian Director, Bahman Ghobadi. The semi-documentary, Co-written by Roxanna Saberi, who was arrested by Iranian Authorities and then released shortly afterwards, delves deep into the underground music scene of Tehran to bring the world's attention to some of the best Iranian musicians and the difficulties they have to face in order to play music in Iran. Much of the movie was filmed in Pooya’s basement. When the film was released, The Free Keys had to flee Iran to avoid arrest. They fled to India, then Turkey, and came to Brooklyn in 2012.
Pooya is currently in the process of obtaining political asylum in the United States. He reunited with Anthony and met Julie and Brandon through their mutual friends, the Yellow Dogs. The band rewrote many of their songs and adjusted their sound to integrate punk and reggae influence.


Whistling Kettle

Written By: Pooya Hosseini and Julie Neusner

whistling kettle whistling kettle
listening to it until it burns the handle
whistling kettle whistling kettle
singing while landlord cut the TV cable
whistling kettle whistling kettle
never want to pay for burnt furniture at all
whistling kettle whistling kettle
dead mouse in the fridge and whole life is fatal
escape to the promise land
with hopeful visions without a plan
leaving home family and friends
is it worth it in the end?
quicken the pace
to stay in the race
not a single second to waste
time is scarcer in this place
I abandoned my palace so my soul could be free
with the clothes on my back and the dirt on the ground
ill build a life the way I want it to be
no time to rest
no time to think
no time to sleep
no time to sink
move forward push the pedal
no time to listen to the whistling kettle

natural born destroyer

Written By: Pooya Hosseini and Julie Neusner

I get the feeling sometimes when it all falls into place
that some good force outside this world leads me through the race
and in these hopeful days
free from pain and strife
I feel grateful to the forces that guide me in this life
but as the time passes I begin to understand that good fortune wants something in return
and I have to work for it
to burn mild and long for it
so many tries and losses prove that our creation is so full of flaws
that make us destroy everything
and we put our faith in baseless tales
our misguided attempts for this world to make sense
I start to hate myself, the people, and all gods
for perpetuating this lie
and I’m left with no solution
not even to die.
were going to god’s funeral
and its all so fucked up and so wrong
fuck the world and fuck this place
my mind is sinking to empty space
I’m falling down, hitting the ground
and puke all over this fucked up town
just black thoughts and I’m sick of the sound
I need some light, to find the might
to climb my way from this hole
It’s all in my head, get out of bed,
down the same old roads, so it goes.


2013 EP (Set to release by September 2013)
1. Low
2. Whistling Kettle
3. H
4. Natural Born Destroyer
5. The System

Untitled EP
Released on March 5th, 2008 as a free download on the band's Myspace,, and facebook.
1. Time's Spin Zero
2. Freaky (Tehran)
3. Dreaming
4. Time's Spin
5. Time's Spin Pt. 2

Dream Mechanics
The band's debut full-length Album, 2010
1. Dirty Street Rat
2. Abortion Blues
3. A French Inquisition
4. Twice
5. Ships
6. Time's Spin V2.5
7. Dream Mechanics
8. Genesis For Dummies
9. Limp
10. Nightmare on Wall St.
11. Skip
12. The Hypocrisy of our Dictatorship
13. Dream Mathematics
14. The Eulogist
15. Arsenium
16. Sam and Jack
17. Mood Swing
18. A Minor Convenience

Dreaming was Featured in Bahman Ghobadi's 'No One Knows About the Persian Cats' in full, accompanying a video.
It was first Aired on Iranian Underground Radio Broadcast Zirzamin ( in Late 2007 and is also part of a Compilation CD featuring Iranian Rock bands released by Hesam7 Productions in Europe in 2009.