The Plastic Wave

There’s an underground rock scene in Tehran, Iran. It’s not like underground scenes in other countries, though, because in Iran, all rock music is underground.

The Plastic Wave plays really good modern hard rock music. The Plastic Wave has another challenge, quite aside from being forced underground by the Iranian government and culture — their singer is a woman, and women are now allowed to perform in front of mixed-gender audiences. Two of the band’s members, Saeid Nadjafi and Maral, have been arrested twice for performing their work, under suspicion of “Satanism.”

In 2009 they were accepted to play at SXSW in Austin, TX, but they were denied visas to leave their country to perform.

In 2010 the Brooklyn, NY, band Cruel Black Dove heard about The Plastic Wave and began to learn their music. As part of The Impossible Music Sessions, the New York band performed the Iranian band’s music to an American audience for the first time, with The Plastic Wave joining the show via Skype from Tehran.

More from NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

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