interview with Farzad Golpayegani

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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? 15

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.

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