This Guy Wants to Bring Metallica to Iran Where Metal is Punishable by Death

Metal is so powerful that it will find its way into the most unlikely places–even parts of the planet where this kind of music is not only illegal but often punishable by death. This brings us to Persian Magnetic. This is from The Independent.

A movie about the coming together of an Iranian radio DJ, an Afghan indie rock band and Lars Ulrich of Metallica is easy to cast off as an unrealistic premise.

However, Radio Dreams, directed by Iranian film-maker, Babak Jalali, is an offbeat comedy about love for Metallica in the time of conservative religion that last month picked up the €40,000 Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Although it might seem unlikely, the movie is based on a nugget of truth – that in a deeply religious pocket of the world, where Metallica’s machine-gun-like drum work, growling vocals and penchant for Satanism might seem out of place, exists a solid base of their fans.

While Metallica fans can be stereotypically described as angry, socially awkward and sweaty, in Jilali’s home country, Iran, they exist as something similar to a secret society.

The group of fans, who have named themselves Persian Magnetic, not only defy the public perception that heavy-metal fandom is akin to devil-worshipping but have also found a way to circumvent government bans on social media to create a community dedicated to their favourite band.

Babak Alipour, 29, is a firefighter with a nervous grin and love of brightly coloured polo shirts. While it isn’t possible to tell by looking at him, he is a self-confessed metalhead and online administrator for Persian Magnetic.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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