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memri
February 24, 2009 No.
2060

Iranian TV Report on Tehran's Heavy Metal Scene

On August 26, 2008, the Iranian TV program "Shock," which focuses on Iranian youth, explored Tehran's heavy metal scene, asking young people about their hairstyles and clothing, as well as about their drug use and parties.

Following are excerpts from the program, which aired on Iranian TV's Channel 3 on August 26, 2008.

To view this clip, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1855.

To view a previous Iranian TV report on the Tehran heavy metal scene, aired on Iranian Channel 2 on August 12, 2007, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1537.

"It's The Fashion – My Shirt Says 'No'"

Title: "'Shock'"

Reporter: "Tell us what the picture on your shirt symbolizes."

Iranian youth: "I haven't seen it myself yet."

Reporter: "Really? You haven't looked?"

Youth: "No, I wear it because it looks good."

Other youth describing his t-shirt: "It's a picture of a movie star."

Reporter: "What is your hairstyle called?"

Youth: "This is called the 'rooster' style."

Another youth: "It is the 'rooster.'"

Reporter: "What is your hairstyle?"

Youth: "The 'pineapple.'"

Another Iranian youth: "A rooster's crest."

Youth describing his t-shirt: "It's the fashion. My shirt says: 'No.'"

Reporter: "Just 'No'?"

Youth: "That's right."

Reporter: "What does 'No' mean?"

Youth: "It means that nobody can penetrate my heart."

Youth explaining his jewelry: "I got this star [of David] as a gift from friends, who told me that our group should wear them. We are a group of four or five guys, and each should have his own symbol." [...]

Colonel Ramadhani, head of the Social Affairs Department, Tehran District Security Forces: "We are influenced by the world. Our situation is very different that it was a few years ago. Today, there are 1,500 or 1,600 satellite channels, and there is infinite exposure to the Internet. People travel abroad, and there is a cultural leaning toward the outside world. It is only natural that there will be influences.

"What is of most concern is the rapidity of change, and only then the type of change." [...]

Reporter: "What Does 'Rocks' Mean?" Iranian Youth: "I Don't Know"

Reporter: "Can you explain the picture on your shirt?"

Youth: "This is a house, as you can see, and this guy is sad for some reason. His hair is stylish, and his eyes and eyebrows are attractive. Anyone who sees this picture is drawn to it because the guy is sad, get it?

Another youth: "If anybody has this kind of look, he must have some problem. There must be some reason. He must be imitating someone."

Satanic cult member: "I wanted to be different from other people – in my looks, my soul, the clothes I wear, and the way I act. What other people do is conventional. The way they dress is conventional, and I don't like conventional things."

[...]

Reporter: "Can you tell us about the symbol on your shirt? Do you know what it is?"

Youth: "I don't know. I just bought it and put it on."

Reporter: "This pendant on your neck – what does it symbolize?"

Youth: "I have no idea. I bought it because it looks good."

[...]

Reporter, indicating print on t-shirt: "What does 'rocks' mean?"

Iranian youth: "I don't know."

Reporter: "You really don't know?"

Youth: "No, I'm wearing it because I like it."

Young man: "I like to dress 'funky,' hang out, and chill with my friends, because my friends are cool, and l like to dress like them."

Voice of youth: "Many sneakers have special meanings, and so do some t-shirts and pants."

Young man: "I want to dress and be like people [abroad]."

Reporter: "Can you tell me what style you are wearing?"

Youth: "'Baggy style.'"

Reporter: "'Baggy style'?"

Youth: "Yes, 'Rapper style.'"

[...]

Reporter: "Is this a skull?"

Young man: "Yes."

Reporter: "What does a skull symbolize?"

Young man: "Lots of things."

Reporter: "Why do you wear it?"

Young man: "Because it looks good, and I like skulls."

"When I Go Out, People Look At Me Differently... Maybe They Are Jealous Because They Can't Look Like Me"

Colonel Ramadhani: "When this kind of guy goes out, he attracts a lot of attention. He is immediately labeled, and accusations are hurled at him. What do the people who see him think of him? He is certain that everybody is looking at him and talking about him."

Satanic cult member: "When I go out, people look at me differently and maybe even curse me. Maybe they are jealous because they can't look like me, and that's why they curse me. Somebody who can't get something he wants is always jealous."

[...]

Youth: "This is the emblem of the Yakuza – the emblem Japanese gangsters tattoo on their bodies. It's artistic."

[...]

Scenes of young Iranian women walking down the street

Excerpt from a Marilyn Manson music video

Lyrics: "'We will die. So take your last breath. It is time for me to die.'"

[...]

Reporter: "Do you know anything about devil worshippers?"

Young man: "They sing rap and play heavy metal music, and so on."

Other young man: "They don't believe in God. They believe in Satan. For instance, they slit the artery in their palms, and let their blood intermingle."

Satanic cult member: "All these drugs and crystal lead to death."

Reporter: "How did they find out you were using drugs?"

Former Satanic cult member: "My behavior became erratic, and I would fall asleep very late at night.

[...]

"They eat flies."

Satanic cult member: "God does not exist."

"Even If You Are Successful, You Will Grow Old and Die – So It's Better to Die As Soon As Possible, When You Are Still Young"

Young man: "Why does Man need to live? What is the purpose of life? Even if you are successful, you will grow old and die. So it's better to die as soon as possible, when you are still young."

[...]

Youth: "Those who commit suicide are really 'metal heads,' who make us all pale in comparison."

[...]

Former Satanic cult member: "Many [devil worshippers] used drugs, some drank alcohol, and some would sit in the dark, confiding in Satan. Satan comes to help people."

Satanic cult member: "They use drugs, joints, crack, or crystal to get high, to get completely stoned."

[...]

Colonel Ramadhani: "A young man who does this cannot say it's his business alone, because it involves his family and his future wife. Note that I am talking about very dangerous things. He can't just say: 'I would like to have sex freely – pardon me – and it's my affair only.' You can't say such things."

[...]

Excerpt from a Ramstein music video

Lyrics: "'You will die at my hands. I am creeping death.'"

[...]

Footage of an Iranian underground rap group

[...]

Interviewer: "[Rappers] sing dirty and obscene lyrics, and to be honest, the first time I heard the words, they offended me. Are rap lyrics always so offensive?"

One of three rappers: "In 90 percent of the cases. It can be no other way. Nobody has yet come up with the idea of doing it any other way."

Youth: "Their lyrics always talk about despair and death, and they say that the afterlife is a deception and that after death, there is nothing."

[...]

Satanic cult member: "Their parties are different from other parties. Not only do boys and girls mix there, but they even drink blood, and if they go a step further, they eat their own excrement. They get completely wasted. They lose it."

"I Went To Many of These Parties – That's Where I Began To Take Pills And Shoot Up"

Title: "'Raves [Held] by Deviant Groups'"

Rapper: "People who hear about these raves think it's only about boys and girls mixing, but many things are served openly there."

Reporter: "And you?"

Rapper: "I personally used drugs."

[...]

Former Satanic cult member: "I went to many of these parties. That's where I began to take pills and shoot up. Then I became an addict, and I messed up my life."

[...]

Police officer: "This is an invitation produced by the owner of this field, or by the organizer of the rave."

Reporter: "This is an invitation to the rave?"

Police officer: "Yes. It includes the exact address."

Reporter: "That's where the party was held?"

Police officer: "They gave instructions how to get there from the highway. Most of the boys and girls at the rave got to the field with this invitation."

Images of Iranian youth rounded up at the rave.

[...]

Young woman: "I was invited online to the party."

Another young woman: "I saw online that there would be a show and that the fee would be 5,000 toman."

Young Woman: "I Saw That Everyone Removed Their Veils... I Myself Didn't, But Everyone Else Did"

Another young woman: "One of my friends told me about it. We got tickets from him but he couldn't..."

Reporter: "Do you have the ticket?"

Another young woman: "No, I handed it in at the gate."

[...]

Another young woman: "They told us there would be a show..."

Reporter: "Who told you to remove your head covering?"

Young woman: "I saw that everyone removed their veils... I myself didn't, but everyone else did."

Young man: "I am one of the people who always know about these [raves]. Last night, they told me there would be a show. We went there, and I saw what was going on..."

Reporter: "Was there really a show?"

Young man: "Yes, but there was also a rave."

[...]

Reporter: "What does this mean?"

Youth, showing his tattoo: "It is the Antichrist."

Reporter: "What does it mean?"

Youth: "You may laugh at my personal beliefs, but, unfortunately, somehow, I don't get along with Christianity."

[...]

Rapper: "Here, hatred and bitterness are better than love.

"This is hell. Let no one talk to me about love.

"Here, lovers are killed. The beloved is Satan.

"You too are in love, don't say you are not.

"There is a duty to condemn you, based on the covenant.

"Tell me what part of this law is unacceptable."