Emir Mosheni is a Tehran-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and frontman of the rising New York-based rock outfit The Muckers. Back in Mosheni’s native Iran, listening to rock music has been forbidden since 1979 and has been relinquished to the underground since then. Mosheni grew up on a contraband CDs from a small retailer in a local mall: The shop owner sold classical Iranian music over the counter, but would pull out a thick alphabetized folder from which the Tehran-born musician would pick out the Western music that wouldn’t make its way to Iranian airwaves. At the time, it would albums like The White Stripes‘ Elephant, Green Day‘s American Idiot and so on.
Those albums and those bands deeply inspired a desire to play music –and to play the guitar. He quickly developed dexterous chops on a nylon string guitar that he inherited from his older brother.
Around the time he turned 18, music piracy began huge, and Mosheni’s music tastes shifted: He started downloading videos from Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax and others. A five-hour download session led to an astonished viewing of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” video. Not only did that video cement his love for metal, it inspired him to purchase his first electric guitar, a Gretsch Electromatic, which he still plays today.
When Mosheni turned 19, he was called into mandatory military service. His shoulder-length hair — styled after his guitar heroes Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa and Dave Mustaine — was shaved, much to his dismay. When he recalls this period of his life, a time where he had to obey orders from an authority he didn’t believe in or respect, perform repetitive tasks deprived of meaning, and share bunk beds with people he felt no connection to, the loss of his hair was — for him — the biggest offense of them all.
Upon completion of his military duties, he was awarded a passport and began the process of attempting to secure a visa for the US, an extremely difficult task for an Iranian citizen. While he waited for a decision on his visa, Mosheni began writing the songs that would eventually appear on The Muckers debut album — “So Far Away,” “Suspended,” and “Will You Make It?”
When he was 22, Mosheni traveled to Turkey to attend his first ever concert at Istanbul‘s Beşiktaş Stadium — The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. He stood on line for six hours to get in — and watched in awe as his heroes took the stage, one after the next.
When he returned to Tehran, Mosheni was increasingly convinced of his desire to be a professional musician. Braving the possibility of imprisonment, he played underground house shows, which always ended with the morality police shutting the party down, and attended doing everything they could to not get caught.
After several years of applying for a US visa, Mosehi had a breakthrough: a letter of support from the mayor of Austin Steve Adler, who became aware of Mosheni’s story through Taco Bar owner Dave Dart, with whom Mosheni corresponded with through Facebook Messenger. Finally, Mosheni received the elusive visa that would enable him to pursue music professionally.
Upon his arrival into the States, Mosheni formed The Muckers with Anthony Azarmgin (bass) and John Zimmerman (drums). The trio quickly developed a reputation across New York for their energetic live shows and a sound that recalled both MTV’s early days and 00s alt rock. And Mosheni grew his shoulder-length curly hair back.
The Muckers’ full-length debut, 2021’s Endeavor was released to critical praise from Rolling Stone, who dubbed it, “a record that shimmers with fire and possibility,” and the BBC 1′s Jack Saunders, who said it was “a wild ride of loose hectic guitar playing [that]you won’t be able to get enough of.”
“Suffocation,” the rising New York-based trio’s latest single is the first bit of new material from the band since Endeavor. The single sees the band introducing a heavier sound and a much more direct approach to their songwriting — and as a result, “Suffocation” is imbued with a raw punk rock-like urgency while rooted Mosheni’s dexterous guitar work and the band’s tight and propulsive rhythm section.
“Bands like Misfits with their simple but straight to the point lyrics and Nine Inch Nails’ hectic beats and harsh guitar tones were big inspirations” Emir Mosheni says “This is the first project that I recorded by myself in my home studio. I’ve always felt that my demos are the closest to the sound that I want to put out.” The bass and drum parts were recorded with Lucas Carpenter at Brooklyn-based The Cave Studio.
The song tells the story of a transition, from purgatory to hereafter, “when all the anger and frustration from the past find their way out to destroy and build a new path,” Mohseni explains.
Directed by Yazz Jansen, the accompanying video for “Suffocation” is a stylish and fuzzy romp through Brooklyn with the band, who are wearing full-on rock god uniform.
The band will be embarking on their first UK and European Union tour this fall. But they will kick the tour off with an August 24, 2023 stop at The Knitting Factory at Baker Falls. Check out the tour dates below.
Aug 24 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory
Sept 06 – Berlin, DE – Urban Spree
Sept 07 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
Sept 08 – Heusden, NL – Misty Fields Festival
Sept 09 – Paris, FR – Supersonic
Sept 10 – Brighton, UK – The Hope & Ruin
Sept 11 – Newcastle, UK – Zerox
Sept 12 – Glasgow, UK – Flying Duck
Sept 13 – London, UK – Shacklewell Arms\
Sept 14 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb lfor Bach
Sept 15- Le Havre, FR – PiedNu
Sept 16 – Leffinge, BE – Leffinge Leuren Festival