The Casualty Process
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The Casualty Process

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band EDM Rock




"To break free and confront the world”: The Casualty Process Interview"

The Casualty Process is a two-piece electro-rock band that churns out anthemic guitar riffs and swirling vocals backed by drum machines and hypnotic bass. With their music the Casualty Process wants you to wake up, get down, and work to change the world. If you ask Shayan Amini and Natch Nadjafi, who have been playing together since 2001, about their music, they’ll say, “Our music is powerful – it is fighting music and we want people to have this feeling to continue and be strong.”

In Iran, where they are from, they were labeled “Satanists” when the Iranian authorities busted them for playing an outdoor concert in 2007. Shayan and Natch were arrested along with their parents and over 200 other people in attendance.

Since then, the Casualty Process have gone through a lot of changes: They modified their sound, simplified their lineup, and eventually moved to New York in April 2011. In the last year they have released an EP, toured the United States, appeared at a TedX conference in Florida, and played at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s Exiled Voices of Iran event on May 5.

That day Sampsonia Way sat down with the Casualty Process. In this interview Shayan and Natch talk about the N! Festival where they were arrested, the feelings behind their music, and where one can go to buy a guitar and illegal CDs in Tehran.

Can you take me to the scene of the N! festival in 2007? What happened? What was the chain of events that led to your arrest?

Natch: The story is so simple: We had a rock band and we were trying to be heard—like every other single band in the world. When we started, there were some institutional venues where we could play our music under the title of “educational concert.”

After 2005, all of the institutes and venues were closed, but we didn’t want our story to end like that. We thought that we could organize underground gatherings for our friends. We did it a few times and the last one was the N! gathering. Because previous concerts went well, we planned for two hundred people. Fortunately, or unfortunately, more than seven hundred people showed up. We lost control and everything went wrong.

Natch (Casualty Process)
Natch Nadjafi
Did you get to play the show?

Shayan: Yeah, the show was over and suddenly the police stormed inside the garden and arrested two hundred and forty people. The rest just ran away.

Natch: Actually, we should thank the police, because they let us play the whole set.

Shayan: That was cool.

Natch: “Okay we’ve finished, you can arrest us now.” (laughter)

In the shows prior to this, where did you usually play?

Natch: We played at people’s houses—

Shayan: But out of the town in a very safe places.

Natch: This one was in a garden, with an outdoor stage and we thought it was safe too, but we made a big mistake.

Shayan: We told our friends about the show two or three months before. That’s why so many people knew about it.

Natch: The music scene in Iran is not like the music scene in the United States where tons of bands play on the same street in any given night. If you have a show in Iran, it’s underground but half of the city knows about it, so it’s not very difficult for the authorities to find out what you are doing. But that was a risk we had to take.

You were arrested and imprisoned for fifteen days.

Shayan: Our parents were in jail too—but only for two days—because they were also at the show. They fined them $50,000 and took the deeds to our houses to let us go.

There were many other musicians imprisoned with you. Did you play music in jail?

Natch: In the morning we had to go to the prison yard to run around. When we got tired we used to sit in the corner and play music with our mouths. It was cool, but we couldn’t play real instruments.

Shayan: Another thing that was interesting was the label the police gave us. They called us Satanists. The prisoners were really eager to see those Satanists, and when they saw us, they were like, “What? You?” It was really funny and terrible.

They were almost disappointed. “Where are the tattoos and piercings and crazy haircuts?”

Shayan: (laughter) Exactly.

What is the significance of your song, “Reveille”? Who were you telling to wake up and who is the war against?

Natch: We try to write our music in a general way so everyone can connect with it. When we were writing that song, we were fighting with ourselves. I felt like I was isolated from everything; I wanted to break free and confront the world. You’ve got to be Iranian to feel what I am saying. At the time it was like a war with the whole world, but the song can mean something different to everyone. It completely depends on you.

What do you mean “isolated from everything”? How would you describe that isolation?

Shayan: You only need to have an Iranian passport…

Natch: Media censorship, religious restrictions, cultural limitations, social beliefs, and an unclear future all make us feel insecure. That’s probably why we are on guard about the world around us. It’s like being afraid of an unknown and wild world that needs to be tamed.

“We tell our stories and we want people to know how brave we are. Not “we” as in Shayan and myself, but Iranian artists, Iranian people.”

Would you guys say that you are a political or protest band?

Natch: If you’re Iranian, automatically you’re political. As I mentioned, we didn’t try to be political. Yes, we are a protest band, and as human beings who want to be free, we are protesting whatever it is that’s going to try and stop us.

Shayan: We didn’t want to be in this situation, but they put us here.

Natch: It’s complicated. We don’t cry, “Why?” I don’t want people to get it wrong and think that we’re sad, that we’re complaining. We are not complaining. We tell our stories and we want people to know how brave we are. Not “we” as in Shayan and myself, but Iranian artists, Iranian people. We are fighting for our rights. Someday we will have them. Unfortunately a lot of people get it wrong and think that we are here just to tell a story and that we just want people to listen to us without follow-up and everything is done. No, we don’t want that.

What kind of effects or changes would you like to see as a result of your music? What do you want people to take from it?

Natch: When you listen to our music, you will find aggression in it. This is what is in our soul. It gives us the energy to fight; it is powerful. We want people to have this feeling and the strength to continue. Maybe the change that they want to happen is going to take one hundred years. But if they fight for their rights, for their life, at the end of the day they can say with satisfaction, “At least we tried. At least we followed through with that.”

Shayan (Casualty Process)
Shayan Amini
The hope that you allude to there is also present in the music. Do you use computers and drum machines as a stylistic choice or necessity?

Natch: That story is so funny. After we were arrested the government took every instrument we had. So when I got home from jail, I stepped into my room, looked around and there was nothing except for a computer. I said, “Why not? Let’s make electronic music!” That’s how it started. I love electronic music and that was the time to start making it. Then I bought drum machines and MIDI controllers. After awhile I thought, “Okay that’s good, I like it, let’s continue,” and I invited Shayan into the band. The combination that we have now wasn’t the initial plan. It formed during the process.

Some people believe that rock music doesn’t fit so well in countries like Iran, not only because of the politics, but also because the culture is so attached to religion. What is your answer to them?

Shayan: That’s the wrong image. You should just go to Iran. When you meet people, you’ll see that you cannot believe the news at all. Nowadays, most young people don’t care about that image and their reaction to religion has changed. You should feel it, you should be there. All I can say is that is the wrong image. That’s it. You shouldn’t trust the news; they are liars.

Where would I go to buy an electric guitar in Tehran?

Shayan: There is a famous street called Jomhouri where you can find anything you want. We bought our instruments there—except that Gibson Les Paul. I bought that in the United States.

Natch: If you need a special guitar that you cannot find it in Tehran, you can still buy it, but you’ll pay lots of money and after a period of time they can take it. The shops there buy the guitar from somewhere else and then they have to find somebody to bring the guitar into the country. It’s a long process.

Shayan: Plus, because of the sanctions, the prices are about double.

Natch: For example, the guitar that Shayan bought here…

Shayan: You’d pay roughly $5,000 dollars for it in Iran.

What has enabled you to persevere? You’ve been playing music since 2005?

Shayan: No, since 2001.

Natch:We are following Pearl Jam (laughter). For sure that’s the music that give us the energy to continue, and inspired us to speak to people around the world with our music. That’s the life we chose to live and we know how to survive.

Shayan: We are trying to follow them. At the N! festival show we were just covering the hits from bands like Sound Garden, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Audioslave, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, A Perfect Circle, and Creed.

“When you are not allowed to know, see, listen, or go to different places outside of your country, you will be curious.”

Talk about the ways that you heard the music you just listed?

Natch:There are lots of ways. When I was a child there were tapes, but not very many. People who traveled to foreign countries would bring tapes and we would pass them around. I had a Blood Sugar Sex Magik tape.

When we grew up a little bit, there was the internet. But it was slow. Instead of downloading an album in fifteen minutes, in thirty minutes, we did it in two days or a week. We had it at the end, though.

Shayan: When you are facing the limitations that we faced, when you are not allowed to know, see, listen, or go to different places outside of your country, you will be curious. When you are really free and you have everything, maybe you won’t be as curious about everything. That is why we were able to find that music. We wanted it, we needed it.

Natch: I forgot the most important source we had. There were four or five secret shops in Tehran that were apparently selling computer stuff, but behind closed doors they were a big source of music. I remember they had a book, maybe five-hundred pages, that listed all the bands in the world we could imagine. You decided what you wanted and after one or two days you came back and they’d have your CDs.

We don’t have copyright law in Iran, so it was cheap—twenty albums on a CD for maybe two dollars. I probably listened to more music than you, it was so cheap. (laughter)

Have you guys thought about adding traditional Iranian music to your sound at all?

Natch: No.

Shayan: No, I don’t think so (laughter). We would love to, but I think it doesn’t make sense. I don’t know, we haven’t tried it.

Natch: We don’t deny Iranian music. My father is a great singer. He was not educated in the traditional music industry, but he sings traditional songs. He has great potential and a great voice. He’s sung since I was a kid. I don’t know what happened to me; I experienced lots of music when I was a child. My mother used to listen to old pop music too. I liked the music, but it wasn’t the thing that I was looking for. I remember, when I was fifteen or sixteen one of my friends gave me a Metallica album, Justice For All, on tape. I liked it because it was different. Then I started to listen to Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands.

Shayan: I think the reason we didn’t think about mixing the traditional music of Iran with our music is because we listened to that music a lot when we were in Iran. We wanted to make something new, even for ourselves.

Natch: Lots of people have done traditional music. We didn’t want to do something that…

Shayan: Someone did before. - Sampsonia Way

"The Casualty Process on Sakkou (Manoto TV) + a short documentary about Dative (another project of Natch and Shayan)"

The Casualty Process on Sakkou (Manoto TV) + a short documentary about Dative (another project of Natch and Shayan) - Manoto TV

"The Casualty Process live on Live on The B-Sides Radio show 91.5 FM"

The B-Sides Radio show 91.5 FM - The B-Sides Radio show 91.5 FM

"The Casualty Process a band that's kickin' butt and taking names."

Here's a band that's kickin' butt and taking names. Originally from Tehran currently residents of Brooklyn, New York The Casualty Process deserve your attention.
- Bearly Rambling

"Iran, New generation of Rock."

Iran, New generation of Rock. An interview with The Casualty Process (in Farsi) - Beshkan (Iranian Magazine)

"Forbidden sounds"

Put Iran's youth in mood for rebellion The Iranian government is attempting a fresh crackdown, but the underground music scene is thriving on the support of young fans fed up with ëliving a lieí, writes Simon Broughtonin Tehran - Irish Times


Thirty years after a revolution that banned all music, has anything changed for musicians in Iran? Simon Broughton reports from Tehran's overground, and underground, music scene... - Something inside so strong

"Dangerous Sounds"

An interview with German magazine - Spot on

"The sound of freedom"

Have you listened to music today? If so, it probably did not occur to you that you were enjoying a human right. The freedom to make and hear the music we choose--protected by the guarantee of freedom of expression in Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights... - Washington Post

"The Impossible Music Sessions"

A unique new project called The Impossible Music Sessions connects censored artists from around the world with artists in New York who learn and perform their music live. In the first of the Sessions, Brooklyn-based group Cruel Black Dove played a tribute to the music of the illegal Iranian band The Plastic Wave, who appeared remotely from Tehran. - The Impossible Music Sessions

"Impossible" Show Welcomes Music From the Iranian Underground"

The Plastic Wave is banned from playing in its native Tehran, but the group's songs were performed by musicians in Brooklyn last night as part of the Impossible Music Sessions, a tribute bands who cannot appear live. - NBC New York

"An excludive interview with The plastic Wave"

An exclusive interview with The plastic Wave via Skype about the album [RE]action and The Impossible Music Session - Livestream B-side Radio Show

"The Plastic Wave Interview: SXSW 2010"

In the hubbub of SXSW, it's safe to say that most people don't think about the simplest of freedoms that we, as Americans, tend to take for granted. Many of the names that pepper this year's lineup would balk at the idea of risking life and limb simply to create and play music. Saeid Nadjafi, a.k.a. Natch, of the genre-bending, experimental Iranian brother and sister duo The Plastic Wave, took the time to speak with Spinner about the challenges the siblings face in their home country and the joy that can be shared by and through making music...Rear more on the link below: - Spinner

"Rebel Music"

look at some of the most banned, censored and persecuted musicians in the world today, with Ole Reitov from Freemuse – the global NGO campaigning against music censorship. It’s a selection of music that somebody somewhere doesn’t think you should be allowed to hear, including tracks by The Plastic Wave, Lapiro de Mbanga, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Ferhat Tunç and Chiwoniso Maraire...Read more on the link below: - Radio Wave

"Music You're Not Supposed To Hear"

Musicians are often made targets for censorship. Across the globe, when an artist's message or aesthetic is deemed too controversial by a country's government or society, he or she can be shunned, threatened, barred from performing or even imprisoned...Read more on the link below: - NPR : National Public Radio

"Forbidden music from Iran"

A visual report of Impossible Music Sessions and The Plastic Wave...Watch this on Yoube: - VOA (Voice of America)

"Muzzled Musicians, Mett Your Match"

I hope one day I come to see you because, every day here, it's worse and worse." The young man's guarded,
disconsolate voice comes distantly from Iran on a bad Skype line. He's a well-known figure in that country's
burgeoning but relentlessly suppressed underground rock music scene...Read more on the link below: - The Wall Street Journal

"Securing the homeland for Iranian rock"

It's Friday night in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is to say, Thursday night--the beginning of the weekend. My friend Saeid "Natch" Nadjafi is hanging out with his bandmates in their rehearsal studio at an undisclosed location in central Tehran. The clandestine bunker, stocked with multiple electric guitars and customized midi controllers, is chilly despite the space heaters. But he loves it, he tells me by cell more on the link below: - Ethical Ear

"Soundcheck: A Forum for Impossible Music"

In many places around the world, musicians are the target of governmental censorship. And if authorities deem a song or style or simply the act of playing music too controversial, an artist can face threats or even imprisonment. But in Brooklyn, NY, Austin Dacey’s Impossible Music Sessions are working to give those artists a voice – and an audience...Read more on the link below: - WNYC

"Voices Of Revolution" - 33 RPM Voices

"The True Sound of Iran"

Terwijl de een in Iran in de gevangenis belandt voor het maken van ’westerse’ popmuziek, trekt de ander met traditioneel Perzische muziek in Amerika volle zalen. Filosoof Austin Dacey stelt ons Saeid en Hafez voor: twee jonge Iraanse musici die ieder van een andere planeet lijken te komen....Read more on the link below: - Trouw

"Great indie rock from Iran (you didn’t think Iran had any of that did you?)"

Rappers dissing each other and showing off their bling… Lady Gaga wearing a dress made out of meat… Americans have forgotten what musical rebellion is. What if simply getting up on stage and performing at a rock ‘n’ roll concert could get you thrown in jail? There are places in the world where that happens. Yet there are people who love music so much, they will take that risk.

Members of The Plastic Wave went to jail for rock ‘n’ roll, literally, after participating in a concert in Teheran, Iran in 2007. Police arrested 230 members of the crowd and a number of musicians, accusing them of numerous crimes against the state and Islam, and jailing them for 21 days. Saeid Nadjafi (aka Natch) and a gifted female vocalist named Maral Afsharian were among those jailed for daring to perform music the regime didn’t like (having a female vocalist is also a big no no). Not deterred, they and a friend, Shayan Amini, formed The Plastic Wave... read more on the link below: - The Music Missionary

"Exiled Iranian Band to Perform at City of Asylum Pittsburgh"

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.

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

"Rebel Music | Iran: The Music Never Stopped (Full Episode) | MTV"

Watch the interview with Natch Nadjafi with MTV's rebel music on the link below: - MTV


IT TAKES TIME - 2015 [5-track EP]
[UN]even - 2011 [5-track EP]
A Drowning - 2010 [Single]
Code - 2010 [Single]
Where Is My Mind  - 2011 [Single]
Dressed To Kill - 2012 [Single]
We Need To Talk - 2013 [Single]
Back On My Feet - 2013 [Single]



The Casualty Process is a Brooklyn based electronic rock project formed by Natch Nadjafi in 2010 in Tehran, Iran. 

 Darkly cinematic soundscapes where raw sorrow and rage burst from searing guitars and analog synths propelled by punishing bass and electro-rock beats.

After their national tour in 2011, TCP established its base in Brooklyn, as part of the tour they played at Nashville Film Festival, TEDx conferences in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Press coverage includes BBC World Service, Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, WNYC’s Soundcheck and MTV’s Rebel Music.

The Voices of Revolution project selected The Casualty Process as one of 33 artists featured on an album of revolutionary political music from around the globe.

TCP’s music has been featured in major marketing campaigns by Nokia US, Amazon, and in the 2014 film “Desert Dancer.”

In May 2016, TCP debuted a new line-up before a full house at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.

Band Members