Exiled Iranian Band to Perform at City of Asylum Pittsburgh

by Eoin Koepfinger    /  April 20, 2012  / No comments

The Casualty Process

Natch (left) and Shayan (right) of The Casualty Process

On May 5 at 8pm, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh will be concluding it’s Reading the World 2012 series with three presentations under the event Exiled Voices of Iran. The final presentation is a free concert from The Casualty Process, an Iranian electronic rock band in exile. The band includes Natch Nadjafi on guitar, keyboard, MIDI controller, and vocals, and Shayan Amini on guitar, bass, and vocals.

  1. COAP Reading of the World Series: Exiled Iranian Voices
  2. City of Asylum Pittsburgh Logo
  3. • Saturday, May 5, 318 Sampsonia Way (under walled tent)
  4. • Nazila Fathi talk: 4:00 PM (make reservation)
  5. • Pegah Ahmadi reading: 5:15 PM (make reservation)
  6. • The Casualty Process w/ TM Eye concert: 8:00 PM (make reservation)
  7. • FREE with reservation

Their music is influenced by artists such as Depeche Mode, Björk, Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, Justice, and Aphex Twin, and features, in their own words “aggressive noises, meaty bass and guitars, and industrial beats with electro and rock influences.” The Casualty Process creates a collage of danceable beats and catchy hooks offset by clamorous sound effects and longing vocals.

The roots of the band go back to 2007, when Natch and Shayan’s previous band, Dative, performed at N!, an underground rock concert that attracted over 700 people. There, Natch met his future band’s lead singer, Maral Afsharian, who was performing with another band. Police raided the event and arrested over 200 people. Maral was released the next day, but Natch and Shayan were imprisoned for 15 days and fined the equivalent of $50,000. Natch’s instruments were confiscated, so he began to explore electronic music on his computer with Maral as vocalist. Shayan later joined the band as guitarist for the album they were composing. In Autumn 2008, they officially named themselves The Plastic Wave and released their debut album [RE]action. Still, the trio still could not perform publically since, as a woman, Maral was forbidden by authorities to perform lead vocals in a Western-style band.

Despite these obstacles, The Plastic Wave gained enough notoriety through their recordings and legal troubles to be invited to the 2009 SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. However, the American Embassy in Dubai denied them travel visas because, due to their inability to play live, they were unable to demonstrate to officials that they were experienced musicians.


The Casualty Process performs “Reveille” live at R-Bar, New York.

The band finally received something of a break in 2010, when their music was featured in the first Impossible Music Session in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn natives Cruel Black Dove performed a set of The Plastic Wave’s music, which was broadcasted to the band members via Skype.

Maral later left the band to pursue a solo career, and Natch changed the project’s name to The Casualty Process. In April 2011, Natch and Shayan relocated to New York City, having finally acquired visas. The following July they released the follow-up EP [UN]even. Since then, they have had the opportunity to tour the U.S. and play special performances at TEDx Conference, Festival of Ideas, The Impossible Music Sessions, and the Nashville Film Festival.

Exiled voices of Iran will also feature a talk by exiled New York Time correspondent Nazila Fathi at 4pm and a reading by exiled Iranian poet Pegah Amadhi. Pittsburgh natives TM Eye will open for The Casualty Process.

Visit the band’s official website

About the Author

Eoin Koepfinger graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 with a B.A. in film studies and fiction writing. In 2010, he was first place winner of the University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies Undergraduate Writing Award for the essay "The War Game: Human Tragedy and Institutional Criticism." While an undergraduate, he also contributed fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to the student-run magazine The Original, hosted a weekly radio show at WPTS-FM, and presided as vice president of a film screening group.

View all articles by Eoin Koepfinger

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