I’ve never spoke to a person of such courage. This turns into an honour very quickly as I soak up answers. The man behind The Great Wound of History speaks out.
Hello Greetings and thanks for giving me the opportunity of this interview which will assist me in my work and give me motivation as well. If I was a cowardly man, I wouldn’t go for black metal.
My name is Keyvan, currently living in Nowshahr city, Mazandaran state, the northern parts of IRAN, and I do not have the slightest amount of fear of facing any complications from Iranian government for stating my current whereabouts, for I believe I am not a criminal. I’m just an artist.
Since the year 2008 I wanted to be a creator of some kind, more accurately, I wanted to create works of art. At the time, I did not own the equipment and resources for doing so. Instead, I had a tremendous amount of motivation and passion, and I believe passion and motivation for the thing we love is half the work toward succession. I have done numerous solo projects which were not supposed to go public and mostly were experimental and private. But in the recent years I’ve decided to increase my efforts to reach my goals, and I believe I’ve succeeded to an extent and then I decided to form my official project “Beshenitar”.
The word “Beshenitar” dates back to 247 B.C before the assault of Muslim Arabs to Iran, and in middle Parthian books of the academy of Persian language and literature, roughly translates to “to torment and give sorrow” and the name of the band is adapted from the mentioned word. A new evolution with Beshenitar!
I’ve been a big fan of Black Metal since 1992, that’s the year I heard Immortal play live when they supported Morbid Angel. Tell us this, what got you into the darker side of heavy metal?
Splendid! I’m proud of you Sonovmi!
I’ve always loved metal music, since I was a kid, I used to hear it in video games and other places all the time, so my ears were familiar to the sound but I wasn’t familiar with the genre. Until 2004, I think. The first metal song I’ve ever listened was from Motorhead. Obviously, my young age didn’t allow me to get into metal before that and go “metalhead”. But then I gradually got familiar with other genres. In case of black metal, I think the first band I listened to was Burzum.
Can you tell us about ‘The Great Wound of History’?
About the new album “the great wound of history“, it’s a political and socially critical album also exhibiting my own complications. About the albums cover art, I can say it’s a human skull on the shadow of the map of my country, Iran. Displaying the dreadful economic and social state of Iranian people. People in Iran are not living a good economic life by any standards, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. My goal by releasing this album is showing sympathy towards them and express these feelings in the form of art, as black metal and depressive black metal music which shows the frustration and gradual decay of my country.
Now for the real question that may lend proper understanding to Beshenitar – coming from Iran, please tell us of the possible problems you face as an artist working in a theocracy of such brutality.
Fake metal band under the Islamic law! Metal music is prohibited in Iran, and it’s difficult to play publicly with a band in critical metal music, especially in genres such as death metal, thrash metal, black metal or etc. and if you see so-called “metal” band being active in Iran and preforming show after show, I must say their music is worthless and are performed under Islamic laws boundaries and it’s safe to say that is Islamic metal music for the sake of wealth…
in case of black metal though, I must say several solo projects were done before mine and lots of effort was put on them by artists which I’m not sure if they ever met their goals or not. Unfortunately, most of them were disbanded or put on hold due to the lack of support, resources or legal difficulties. Band such as Emerna or Aras.
In my opinion, hope for financial success has distracted lots of bands from their main goals and made the do the governments bidding, or have left Iran because of bad political state it’s in. There really aren’t many true metal bands in Iran that I can recall, imagine political leaders drawing the lines for metal bands and showing them what they can do, does this sound acceptable to you? Can we call this music metal? I think not.
I can’t really say what I’m thinking in Iran without censoring it or I might face prison or even capital punishment. So, I word with caution and I feel sorry for myself for not being able to state the facts in my works more clearly. I don’t think I’d ever be able to criticize religion or politics in Iran directly because it will cost me dearly. For I’m in Iran and I’m alienated towards religion and I don’t have an opinion about it.
It might seem interesting to you, the silence of black metal against religion.
First of all, I consider religion as a personal concept, second, anyone can choose anything for the solace inside, whether its god or Satan or anything that you accepted in your heart. So Beshenitar’s Black Metal cannot be against religion for it considers religion a personal and private matter. My theme has always been “to rebel against Iran’s despicable political stands, death, isolation and my personal matters” and that is my personal point of view. Also, if you take an anti-religious stand in Iran, death and capital punishment awaits thus I’m unbelievably limited.
Plans for the future of Beshenitar… As a current solo artist, can you see yourself approaching other musicians in the future with a view to play live shows or festivals?
Currently I have no plans for concerts or live performances, because Beshenitar’s philosophy is alien to these subjects. I can’t even imagine myself playing on stage and live for people, the reason is since childhood I’ve always been an introverted unsociable person. I spend most of my time hidden from views and alone, which is both painful and pleasant to me. I like working in isolation, this, also, has both advantages and disadvantages for me.
My only goal is leaving Iran, if I had the resources and financial support I would leave, because I cannot tolerate this place.
Damn you wealth. Viva isolation!
Onto some inspiration.
- Name some top music inspiration?
Currently Satanic Warmaster… Satanic Warmaster … Satanic Warmaster… (lol)
- Have you ever dabbled in the dark arts, black magic, Wicca etc.?
No… Personally I don’t believe it.
- What is your favourite quote and by whom?
Pleasures will end, freedom is close….
- What have been your favourite study topics?
Religious-historical and political subjects
- Any artists or philosophers that you follow at all?
In my opinion not every band deserves to be followed. I don’t appreciate every Black Metal band, their philosophy and points of view are more important to me than their music, there are lots of band you might like that I don’t enjoy and visa verse, personally, I adore Satanic Warmaster.
I don’t have a certain opinion about the philosophy because I consider it an always-altering subject and estimations have a role in philosophy and physics, so I don’t follow anyone and I’m a follower of my own belief system.
What instruments set up do you use? (Guitar, pedals, amp) and can you speak a bit about the recording process? How long did it take to finalize ‘The Great Wound of History’? Run down on the instruments? Guitar tunings? Drum work etc.
Currently my gears are a Jackson js32 guitar, a Yamaha keyboard, a zoom guitar effect, a Laney amp, a soundcard. A computer, midi controller and etc.
When it comes to writing music, I write notes for each line then I record them on guitar, I also record keyboard lines, for bass guitar and drums, I use VSTs and for making ambient sound I use a synthesizer.
My favourite interfaces are Cubase, reaper, sonar, and Mixcraft. The 2019 album took almost 10 months and was recorded in a home studio with the least equipment. I don’t claim to be a great musician but I’ll use anything that I learn and helps my knowledge of music in my future projects.
Beshenitar is certainly different to most Black Metal bands and projects. Is this fully what you intended? Are you completely happy with what you’ve achieved or do you take the critical frame of mind that most artists seem to carry alongside themselves?
Black ambient structures with black metal elements has always been pleasing structure for me, although I must say I don’t like symphonic black metal at all, I try to reduce the flaw of my work to almost zero using a synthesizer and I think I’ve succeeded in that task to an acceptable extent. Atmospheric ambient black metal and depressive black metal are my favourite genres. After the mentioned above, my most favourite genre is true Black Metal, because that’s the genre I like the most and I feel inside that I can show my feelings using Black Metal music that way.
Maybe I’d remove these ambiences and get closer to the true Black Metal in future projects, but you must understand working as a solo artist is really tough. Every piece of the music is coming from you own mind and thoughts, in bands there are bassists, drummers, etc. and everyone would work on their own line, instead I have to work on all lines by myself which would make working more difficult for the solo artist. There are no opinions, critics or suggestions beside mine so that I could use in making the project, because all of my works are from my own thoughts and mind and there’s no one around to give me ideas so I must take all the responsibilities by myself.
Thanks very much for taking the time Keyvan, I and Antichrist Magazine extend our best wishes towards you and Beshenitar.
Thank you and your team for the interview, I hope you get what you want most and I hope for myself to get better day by day and eventually leave Iran.
The last words are always given up to our gracious interviewee…
Ending note: a gentle northern breeze of spring in May on the fields under the Alborz mountain, with trees, their head above the clouds, me, alone, far away from everyone, in the embrace of the breeze.