Alt-Afghanistan: Rock Band Looks to Afghanistan for Inspiration
Last year, when young musicians Ariana Delawari and Max Guirand were looking for a unique name for their band, they decided upon “Lion of Panjshir,” a reference to the Afghan hero and military leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. For those who knew who Massoud was, they felt that it represented a vision of truth and fighting for what you believe. For those not familiar with Afghanistan, the name remained mystical and mysterious, open to interpretation.
The two musicians were joined by Paloma Udovic and officially began their musical journey. In June, the group traveled to Afghanistan to record their first album with a number of Ustads, or expert musicians. Despite many recording obstacles and power outages, the band was able to record music with Ustad Mohammad Wali on Tabla, Ustad Ghulam Hussain on Rubab, and Ustad Almruddin on Delruba. “As young musicians it was such an incredible honor to play with them. I think we are still processing this experience for ourselves. We set out to create something collaboratively. We wanted to create a bridge between worlds,” said Ariana Delwari.
The band will appear on a Madonna Tribute Album that is being released in November 2007, performing the song “Crazy for You” with a number of Afghan musicians.