We caught up with Tehran-based musician PARHAM GHARAVAISI following the release of his brilliant single “CRADLE ENGRAVED”. Read now!
How did you first get into music?
My personal taste in music is exceedingly specific, and I detest the majority of what is considered ”mainstream music”.
As such, I barely listen to any music that is not my own these days and I used to only listen to certain songs by rather obscure bands in very few subgenres of heavy metal.
I have decided to start producing music because I could no longer enjoy modern music. In other words, I produce music for myself, and I am, first and foremost, my own listener. In other words, I started my career as a musician because I wanted to produce music that I could not find otherwise.
My very first album, “Identity Cipher”, is a Post-Rock Instrumental. The second album I have produced, “Replicas/Hollow”, is a mix of Pop Rock & Alternative Metal. My third album, “Resurrection”, is a combination of Hard Rock & Melodic Death/Doom. All three were released in 2020.
Who influenced your latest release ”Cradle Engraved”?
Honestly, no name comes to mind for the aforementioned reasons, and I consider myself as having no musical influences. I merely create the sounds that I wish to hear and experience myself.
If I were to describe the vision I had in mind when writing this song, I would say a scene that shows the serenity of the deep and endless sea. I think Cradle Engraved would serve great as a calm and soothing postlude to the album.
We see you have a 4th album due for release soon, can you give us any more details?
One of the main reasons I have transitioned from purely instrumental tracks to songs with vocals was because I had a message to convey through lyrics and my 4th album, “War Without”, is aimed to be a wake-up call to us humans, both as individuals and as a collective civilization.
The title track speaks on the subject of Climate Change & Global Warming. It depicts a future where the Earth is no longer habitable, and if we fail to do something about it today, that future will become our reality. “War Without” is a harrowing song about the damage we unwittingly inflict upon the planet that so kindly houses us. We need to fight for the common good of all living being on the planet. If Earth falls, we will all go down with it.
The first single, “Twilight”, is a song about the horrors of war and conflict. It tells the story of a dying soldier on a hostile battlefield, going through their last thoughts in their final moments. “Saviour” is a subtle take on extremism and “My Only Friend” was written as an apology to my dearest friend in life for something that I had done to them. “Scourge” discusses human nature and how we tend to give in to our darkest desires, and “404” is about desperation and hopelessness.
The album will feature four original instrumental tracks (Oblivion, Blossoms, An Apology & Cradle Engraved) as well as the instrumental versions of the songs with vocals and is scheduled for release on June 4, 2021.
What draws you to instrumental composing?
I see music as a vehicle that can be used to carry emotions. I strive to make every melody memorable, and each note count. Music has unlimited potential; it can reach out through social, cultural and regional barriers. An instrumental piece speaks a language that every living being can comprehend. It is truly timeless.
I believe music to be a universal language that we all speak and understand, whether through playing, listening or creating. As soon as you write some lyrics down, you lose that boundlessness and become limited by the inherent deficiency of language which is the fact that meaning always gets lost without exception when thoughts are translated into words. The problem with lyrics is that they can only be understood by those who speak the language the lyrics were written in, and I can only write in English.
Plato has once said: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” I will continue to use lyrics sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
What is the music scene like in Tehran?
Well, I have no idea. I do not listen to local music at all, nor have I ever had much exposure to. I consider English my primary language and prefer songs that are either instrumental or in English.
I release my music worldwide on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, among others. You can easily find me on Google: google.com/search?q=Parham+Gharavaisi
What was the recording process like for ”Cradle Engraved”?
Due to equipment being both extremely expensive and difficult to acquire around here, I have self-produced all my records at home with practically no real equipment. I have no audio interface and instead use a USB Microphone; I also plug my instruments directly into the motherboard, use DAW Plug-Ins for everything and mix on headphones. My sound is entirely digital, no physical equipment, only software.
If you are looking to create music but think you need to buy all sorts of expensive gear to sound good, I would like to ask you to reconsider. Everything is done on computers these days; all you need is the actual instrument and some software plugins. Do not let your equipment or lack there of hold you back and let your imagination run wild.
What motivates you to make music?
As I have mentioned before, finding music that suits my taste seems to be getting harder and harder these days so instead, I have turned to creating music for myself. Whenever a new musical idea comes to mind, I record it on the spot, so I can remember it in the future and tend to use most of those ideas in one way or another later down the line to produce full songs.
What are your other passions aside from music?
Being a former video game developer, I have a passion about computer games and used to play them all day long. Action Role-Playing & First-Person Shooter are two of my favourite genres, but I tend to enjoy any genre that is not Point & Click Adventure as I just cannot seem to get into solving puzzles in games even though I also love Survival-Horror and those are not light on puzzles. Additionally, movies are also a favourite past-time of mine. However, I tend to only watch Sci-Fi and/or Horror films.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Some musicians tend to complain that because the barrier to entry has dropped low, the market has become oversaturated and finding an audience is nigh impossible. I would disagree; I believe now is the best time to be an up-and-coming artist and release new music. You see, not everyone has to become a world-famous rock star; not everyone needs to have millions of daily streams; not everyone needs to be at the absolute top. Music is not a competition; it is an expression! It is a device that can be used to reach out, not to millions, but to one person at a time.
I think we, as musicians, have lost our way and ambition has clouded our judgement. Sure, music can be considered a business, and the only goal of a business is to make money, but not everything has to be about profits. Today, our voices are loudest than ever, and in order to make it, you only need to find YOUR audience. Not AN audience, not THE audience but YOUR audience. An audience that is YOURS and the Internet is a powerful tool that lets you do just that. I never said it was easy, but I believe it is now easier than it was ever before if you take it one step at a time. Persistence is the key, never give up!
What musical plans do you have for the next two years?
I have an upcoming Melodic Death Metal album titled “In Thy Image”, scheduled for release on November 5, 2021, and another titled “The Roundest Cube” which will be released in 2022. I consider Melodic Death Metal to be my favourite genre and would love to take a detour from my usual styles such as Post-Rock and Hard Rock in order to diversify my catalogue and produce some heavier albums. In Thy Image will be reminiscent of the classic Melodeath sound of the 90s and early 2000s, whereas The Roundest Cube will take a more modern approach on the genre and mix in some elements from Metalcore and Industrial subgenres.
FVMusicBlog January 2021
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