Transient Iraqi Band Hits Turkey

Musicians forced to flee mirror plight of many Iraqis
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 6:23 PM CST

(Newser) – Four young Iraqis formed Acrassicauda—Baghdad’s only heavy-metal band—in 2001, and since the 2003 invasion have struggled to keep their music (and themselves) alive to prove culture could still exist in their homeland. But playing a Western style of music made them a target, and like many Iraqis, the BBC reports, Arcassicauda fled, first to Syria, then to Turkey.

A tightened Syrian refugee policy dictated that the musicians return to Baghdad for a month to renew visas: " If I could stay in Baghdad even for one day and survive, I would … so we didn't have another choice but Turkey," says drummer Marwan Ryad. Locals helped defray higher costs of living by lending an equipped studio so the band could resume rehearsals.