Eager to share tunes to a wider audience, Iranian garage rockers, Psychic Bloom are on their way toward making their dreams a reality.
The Tehran-based psych rockers have been making waves in the underground community since their self-titled release in 2017. Rather than spending money on studio time, guitarist/vocalist Hashill Ah followed the path of many other modern DIY artists by deciding to record the project in his bedroom. Without the luxury of a localized music scene, Hashill looked outward in efforts to expand his horizons which is how he came across Weiner Records.
Acting as an offshoot from Burger Records, Weiner Records is a go-to spot where up and coming artists or audiophiles can independently produce projects, so Psychic Bloom took the opportunity and used the platform to release their self-titled on cassette. Soon later, Burger Records reached out and offered them a deal to record a new album. As the pieces of their career fell into place, Psychic Bloom unveiled another supply of spaced out jams in 2019 for their album, Mysterious Temple.
Although Psychic Bloom's plans to come to the US and perform for their first time were hindered by unforeseen circumstances, they still have high hopes to make their US debut later this year at a variety of Burger showcases such as Burgerama. Prepare to witness the group blossom in the months to come.
I had the opportunity to chat with Hashill while he's still overseas.
Here's what he had to say:
Q: How did you first get into making your own music? When I bought my first guitar, I started covering different styles of music and after a while it couldn’t satisfy me anymore. Then I started to play and record some of my own riffs and melodies. I realized that I had a deep passion for making music since I'm able to apply my own feelings to it.
I used a simple drum machine and tried to gather different parts into one structure to record them on my computer which led me to the experiences of songwriting and production. That was just the beginning. To start working more professionally, I decided to band up with my old friend from school and this was how Psychic Bloom started!
Q: What was it like recording your music in Iran? Is there a scene there? A: That was extremely difficult and frustrating! We could burly find a good studio and renting rates are too high. The studio men look like they don’t have any idea to what exactly we need to do for the process and they were totally alien to our musical style. They just tried to keep us in the studio longer so they could take some more money.
So we decided to record the debut album in our homemade bedroom studio with a tape recorder where we had to handle all the stuff like recording, mixing and mastering. For the drums, we used one-mic-recording technique which was done in a remote and under construction building around the city.
That was all very time consuming and after all these difficulties, we weren't too satisfied with the result although we got so much positive feedback. There is not much of a scene in Iran. There are several independent artists working almost entirely in secrecy, in their private spaces.
Q: What drives you to create garage/psych rock? A: I’ve been in love with Spaghetti western movies and the culture behind the 60’s and 70’s era. This music has always made me interested in twangy guitar sounds. Over the years, I found myself through the garage, surf rock and Nuggets stuff. Also, Roky Erickson has always been a big inspiration to me.
Q: How did you get in touch with Burger Records? What's your relationship like with them?
A: I was searching for a way to release my debut album and browsing on Burger Records website.That’s how I realized I could release the album on tape by Wiener Records! The idea of releasing on cassette was intriguing enough, so we finally released the first album in 2017!
After a while, I received an email from Burger Records and they liked my debut album so they asked me to sign onto their record label for a new album. Once I was signed in, they wanted me to play in their festivals and showcases. I’m so lucky now to be working with Sean Bohrman of Burger Records who's helping me in almost every part of my visa process. He really supports me through everything in my career.
Q: When did you move to the US? Did you embrace the change? A: I haven’t gone to the US yet! It’s a very long and frustrating process and I was in the middle of the Visa process until COVID-19 stopped everything. I hope all this craziness is over by then.
Q: Have you been able to play any shows yet? If so, how were they? A: Unfortunately, I’ve never had a chance to play live shows but it’s gonna happen soon.
Q: Any plans for the rest of the year? What're you looking forward to once the global pandemic settles down?
A: Yes, I have so many plans for the rest of the year such as playing so many shows in the US and also recording new stuff. In the meantime, I'm really hopeful that it all gets over soon so I can get my US visa and play on the festivals and showcases that I’ve been invited to.