The No Label Needed Contest & Series is a collaboration between Metal Insider and Scion to give one unsigned artist an entire DIY music industry education and launch a release without the help of a label. We’ll be posting features and updates on the contest & series periodically on Metal Insider. Find out more about No Label Needed here.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the No Label Needed finalists. Today, we’re featuring Iris Divine.
Formed in 2008 in Alexandria, VA, the band is comprised of Brian Dobbs on bass, Farhad Hossain on vocals/guitar/keyboards, Navid Rashid on vocals/guitar and Tanvir Tomal on drums. Rashid and Farhad took some time aside from campaigning for the lead in public votes to answer a few of our questions.
Why should people vote for you over the other finalists?
We believe Iris Divine truly does stand out. We hope our approach of clean melodic vocals with big hooks and creative technical passages connect with the fans who are tired of the repetitiveness of most modern formulaic metal bands. Iris Divine are not afraid of being honest with our music and passions; it comes through both lyrically
and musically. We feel there are a myriad of people in the metal scene that love heavy guitar riffs, but who are not afraid to step aside and think that there is more to it than just this. Iris Divine interweaves through several genres of music, to form our own unique sound that we hope people can connect to both spiritually and
emotionally. We exist for people who are in need of something just a little bit “different”, and our music is reaching out to them.
Also, in a day and age when studio recordings can be manipulated to sound perfect, we take pride in being able to deliver our music in a live setting. The Iris Divine show is professional, high energy, with plenty of on-stage movement and a commitment to delivering the best experience we can for our fans. We try not to be a typical
“progressive” band, standing still, staring at our instruments and playing too-long solos! Even now, as an unsigned band playing tiny venues, we always want a show to feel like a “show.”
Who’s career do you admire?
Rush – they have achieved longevity, are universally respected, and managed all of this without compromising their artistic vision. They have also brilliantly straddled the line between “progressive” aspects, technical proficiency and writing songs that have great hooks and melodies. Their fans have been dedicated enough to follow them
through all of their stylistic phases over the years. And, they are a great live band.
What is the local scene like in your home town?
Music-wise, there are a lot of radio-friendly heavy alternative bands, and a metalcore/hardcore/grind scene as well. There are a handful of really good melodic metal bands, but we wish there were more! As far as the more progressive side of things, we are one of the only bands that I am aware of.
Personality-wise, we have found bands in our area to be generally cool, friendly, and supportive… some have become really good friends of ours actually. Several of our fans are musicians that are busy in their own bands, but who still go out of their way repeatedly to support what we do, and we are always grateful for that!
What metal trend would you like to see end?
An overreliance on speed and technicality is one of the first things that come to mind… the constant barrage of sweep arpeggios and double bass is exhausting! Also, enough with the God/faith/religion bashing…it is lazy, unoriginal and insulting.
Public voting for the No Label Needed Contest & Series presented by Scion runs through March 8. Visit the No Label Needed microsite to listen to Iris Divine and the 19 other finalists and cast your vote!