13 Oct 2007, 6:22pm
Events Interviews Music

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Kiosk: Interview with Babak Khiavchi, Guitar

So how long have you been with the band?
Seventeen years, since the beginning.

Wow, you don’t look that old.
I’m eighteen years old.

So you’re all child prodigies. Why is the band’s name Kiosk?
This goes back to 17 years ago… we would get together and experiment with different musical ideas. Because of the restrictions in Iran, we couldn’t rehearse anywhere, like in a proper rehearsal space. So we would clean out basements and storage spaces of our friends – just clear out the dead cats and clean up the place and we’d line the walls with egg cartons to make it sound proof. And we’d call them our “kiosks.”

What’s the weirdest kiosk you’ve practiced in?
They weren’t really all that weird. Most of our friends had storage spaces that we’d clean out and use. One was on Sohrevardi Street and that was the one where things really started happening. It became a hangout for lots of musicians in Iran… there were forty to fifty people that started recording. Everyone had day jobs and we just got together and got drunk and we’d just record our ideas and have fun., and we’d dream of performing on a stage like this.

How has the dynamic changed now that you’re all spread out everywhere?
Email and mp3 and the Internet decreases the distance between us. Everytime we get together for a concert we do a few hours of rehearsal and then we just play together.

What about distance affecting the process of writing music?
It hasn’t been an obstacle so far. Everyone contributes their ideas. Arash is the main lyricist, and he records the demos. Then we all give him input and go into the study and record bits and pieces – drums and keyboard and everything in parts. Through the internet, we’ve managed to overcome a lot of obstacles.

As far as writing the music, the lyrics always come first?  Do you ever fight about lyrics?
We don’t fight about anything. It’s all a creative process and fun.

Do you all have day jobs?
We all have day jobs and do this on the side, for love.

Have you thought about recording in English?
[Babak asks Arash Sobhani, Kiosk's lead]

Arash – We might, someday…

Babak – Never say never. But we still have a lot to say in Persian.

How has the music changed now that you have many fewer musicians contributing and collaborating?
We hope the same vibe and atmosphere continues the way the original kiosks did… it’s still the same energy level that we had all those years ago.

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[...] recently, Kiosk guitarist Babak Khiavchi created the Iranians of the Day application, which pulls current content from what is, arguably, [...]


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