In the wake of Monday’s horrific shooting that claimed the lives of Yellow Dogs members Soroush and Arash Farazmand, as well as their friend and fellow musician Ali Eskandarian, each new detail that’s emerged from the events has been more heart-rending than the last. Now the band’s surviving members Siavash ‘Obash’ Karampour and Koory Mirzeai have released their first statement since the tragedy, saying, among other things, that they will continue playing music together.
They also mention that they hadn’t seen the shooter, Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie ‘Rafi’, in over 14 months, though they steer clear of getting into too many details of the estrangement. Part of the band’s statement excerpted below:
We want to extend our deepest and most sincere thanks for the overwhelming support, love and encouragement we’ve been shown over the past few days, in the wake of such an incredible loss. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of Soroush and Arash Farazmand and Ali Eskandarian, and will together share our sorrow.
Three days later, we’re still here, still breathing but with a gaping hole in our hearts. For now it’s impossible to even imagine a future without our friends, and no explanation can make sense or begin to justify what has happened to our lives. To say we are heartbroken does not come close. These are the darkest hours of our lives, we are in shock, awe, blinded with rage and paralyzed with grief. Ali Eskandarian was nearly finished with his memoir, Arash had just received political asylum from Iran and Soroush was hard at work on new Yellow Dogs material. Everything we had hoped and worked for was finally coming true. . . the future was so incredibly bright.
In the aftermath of these horrific events, we are left with pain, emptiness and so many questions that won’t ever be answered. We wanted the world to discover us as we were: a community of musicians defined by our music, our friendships, our culture and our art. This is not the way we ever imagined the world would learn of our story.
We will not let this disgusting brutality define us or become our story, but instead respond by creating music more passionately and with more intensity than ever before, embracing the freedom that we all dreamed would one day be ours back in Iran and play to honor those who should be playing next to us. That is who we are, and that is what we stand for, and we will strive to honor the lives of Ali, Arash and Soroush for the rest of ours.
Currently, they’re working on raising money to cover memorial expenses and other costs that have come up since the shooting—donations can be made here.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.