LebMetal Admin: I asked the EmptyWords.org’s approval to copy this material from their site, but after getting no response for more than a week, I took the liberty of sharing this with all of you people as my purpose is to simply spread the word.
On the morning of January 9th, 2001, the local mailman rang at our door asking whether he was at the right address. In his hand was a package from Iran (hence the confused mailman) addressed to EmptyWords (hence an even more confused mailman). I quickly signed for the package and rushed inside to open it. Content: two beautiful books about Death in Farsi (the language of the Persian people of Iran). So this was what the guy was talking about in his email…..
This all started a few months earlier, when we got an email from R-Joe asking us for our mailing address. We had no idea where he was from, and I guess we assumed he, like a lot of you, was from the States. But then this package arrived all the way from Iran and we were totally amazed. He told us one book was for Chuck and the other for us. So we sent a copy over to Chuck, who in his words was, “truly blown away and extremely honored by the obvious work and devotion he put into bringing the book to life”.Meanwhile we got to learn that there were three guys behind all of this:
*R-Joe (Ali Arjmandi), to whom I was already introduced. He made the cover of the book together with Mahyar’s brother (Maziyar Mohyedean, actually the fourth guy).
*Mahyar Mohyeddean who actually translated all the lyrics into Farsi and
*MP (Mohammad Pazhutan) who did the corrections as well as some writing.Iran is a culture very different from what we are accustomed to in our comfortable and rich Western Society. We understood when emailing with the guys, how extremely difficult it must have been for them to realize this piece of work. This got us very interested in the story behind it and the story about metal in Iran. We thought it would be a nice idea to share this with you all and we asked Mohammed if he could write it down for all fans to read. Read the words and understand one simple, underlying message. Whoever you are and wherever you’re from, those who have a story to tell will always find a way to express the voice of the soul.
The sitekeeper, February 2001
About three years ago an Iranian company released a book about Pink Floyd, it was the first book about a band including just their lyrics. Soon many companies began to release such books about Metallica (5 different books), Camel, Beatles etc….
I was wrong when I thought it was a new way to inform people about musicians because the books were full of rumors and it was just a way for making quick money. As a result, I decided to create a book including the articles about metal music, then I chose to focus on Chuck Schuldiner’s lyrics for many reasons. Firstly he is one of the pioneers of the metal movement, secondly his lyrics are great and they have a lot of things to say, they make us think about the facts of life. Thirdly we really appreciate sophisticated poems with deep meaning, like those in our culture, great poets like Rumi & Hafez.Well, I started translating and writing articles. Most of the time my friend Mohammad & me were discussing and sharing our ideas about them. After 9 months I finished the book. I took it to some book companies but most of them had any keen on it and some of them offered to buy it but they decided to change it for making quick money, so I replied them a big NO.
Then I visited Mr. M.J. Mosafa, a famous philosopher and writer. He told me that he was tired of deceiving rules of companies too and he had received a certificate to print his book himself. Then he read some lyrics and translations and said, “They are great”. His words made me hopeful because he was a writer for more than 30 years and has translated most of the Krishna Murty’s books. Then he told me that he will support me and I can use his certificate to print the book myself.
I made up my mind to print it myself. I took it to the Ministry of Culture to receive permission to print it. After about one month they replied that there are some problems, first they wanted me to censor the lyrics of the song “Spiritual Healing”. I discussed with them and they agreed to censor just two sentences. There were some pictures of Chuck Schuldiner inside the book and on the cover and they told me to remove them. I asked the reason because similar books contained pictures of vocalists. They said since the beginning of this year they will no longer let anyone do it! But they let me print the covers of the albums easily!I received the permission, and when you receive the permission they give you papers with 45% discount. So I took the papers to a printing factory and at last after a year and a half, the book was brought to life. When I saw the first one in my hands something came to my mind: “There are things in life worth fighting for”.
There are a few mistakes in it due to software problems but I will correct them if there will be a second edition, if there is one. There is no rose without a thorn.
The Book Crew
Translations, articles and edition by Mahyar Mohyeddean
Design by Maziyar Mohyeddean
Computer art works by Ali Arjomandi
Thanks to Mr. M.J. Mosafa and Mohammad Pazhutan for their time, sharing ideas and creativity.
That’s not where the story ended (don’t forget to look behind the cover). Chuck sent over some gifts for Mahyar to Iran, also some CD’s which were initially confiscated by the Iranian Ministry Of Culture. Mahyar talked with the man at the Ministry for five hours about music and lyrics (describing the philosophy of metal vocals) because only instrumental music is allowed in Iran. He managed to convince him and was finally allowed to take the CD’s home. What a big surprise it was when they wrote us saying that that same Ministry bought 500 copies of Mahyar’s book for the national public libraries of Iran! So for the Iranian fans visiting this site, you know where to go.The sitekeeper, April 2001
EmptyWords.org -Published on April 7 2001