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IRANIAN ROCK GODDESS


Travis Beard

Cutting her teeth with the finest musicians in Tehran, Maral (23) has become somewhat of an ambassador in what is an almost outlawed modern music industry. Resisting the laws of her government that forbid citizens playing Western music, forbid women singing in public and forbid women singing alone to an audience, Maral has a short but extensive career. At 19 her taste of Western music was with a Metal band she used to play bass guitar in. She then moved over to Trip Hop and began writing her own songs. Last year she was invited to sing at the infamous and illegal Karaj Concert. After the religious police closed it down, arrested 100s of people and they splattered the government controlled papers with articles titled: “The Devil Prayers Meeting”. Maral was lucky to be released without charges, while other main players were held for up to 3 weeks and had to pay fines in the facinity of $20,000. Maral decided to get away from all the heat and moved to Abu Dhabi to sing with a covers band, but she only lasted 6 months before she was fed up with the uncreative aspects of playing other peoples songs. Back in Tehran she formed the Trip Hop band: “The Plastic Wave”. She also took over as vocalist for Thrash Metal band: “5 Grams” after their last female singer left because of the government’s intimidation of female singers. Maral has recently joined the only existing rock band in Kabul, Afghanistan: White City and they have just returned from a successful tour of Tajikistan. Now she is off to Armenia with 5 Grams to bang heads with the best of Caucus metal bands. 1000 word Article Available. Images and Text by Travis Beard and James McLeod-Hatch


 

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White City guitarist Archie and Maral work on a song together

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 20/10/2008

 

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White City drummer Andeas gives Maral tips on how to play

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 20/10/2008

 

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The White City Practice room is always relaxed and fun.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 20/10/2008

 

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Maral playing the drums.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 20/10/2008

 

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Maral with her band "The Plastic Wave" Practicing in a tehran studio

Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 27/08/2008

 

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Maral with her band "The Plastic Wave" Practicing in a tehran studio

TESTbridge, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 26/08/2008

 

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Maral with her band "The Plastic Wave" Practicing in a tehran studio

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 26/08/2008

 

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Maral with her band "The Plastic Wave" Practicing in a tehran studio

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 26/08/2008

 

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Maral with her band the drummer from the band 127 practicing in a Tehran studio

Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 28/08/2008

 

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Behind closed doors the women's veil comes off and the listen to music and comtimplate its meaning.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 27/08/2008

 

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Maral and fellow White City band Member Travis discuss a song they are writing together.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 26/10/2008

 

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Maral and fellow White City band Member Travis discuss a song they are writing together.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 28/10/2008

 

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Maral writing songs in her room in dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Maral writing songs in her room in dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Maral with her band "The Plastic Wave" Practicing in a tehran studio

Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 28/08/2008

 

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Maral poses for the camera while at a jam session in musical museum in dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 26/10/2008

 

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Maral plays with a tou gun in a appartment in dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Portrait of Maral in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 24/10/2008

 

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portrait of Maral in Tehran

Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 26/08/2008

 

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portrait of Maral in Dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 02/11/2008

 

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Maral with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Maral with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Maral with the Kabul based band "White City" in a disused factory on the tajik/afghan border.

border region, Tajikistan - 23/10/2008

 

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Maral with the Kabul based band "White City" playing guitar on the tajik/afghan border boat.

border region, Tajikistan - 23/10/2008

 

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Maral with the bass guitarists from Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 30/10/2008

 

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Maral with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan

Dushanbe - 29/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 25/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 31/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 01/11/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 26/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 31/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 25/10/2008

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 01/11/2008

 

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It is illegal and punishable by death for a female to sing in public. At this concert maral was arrested and detained for 3 days before being released without charges.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 01/08/2007

 

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Maral singing with the Kabul based band "White City" on a tour of Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 01/11/2008

 

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Maral with her former bass player practicing in a tehran party

Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 29/08/2008

 

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The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians what instruments or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. Alcohol bought on the black market is common at these parties.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 29/08/2008

 

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The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians what instruments or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. behind closed doors the women's veil comes off and they enjoy the music like most women would.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, islamic republic of - 29/08/2008

 

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portrait of Maral in Dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 31/10/2008



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