Report: Iraqi Rockers Eye OZZFEST

Karen Bliss of JAM! Music reports: Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi, whose record label is home to BLOC PARTY, CHROMEO, THE STREETS, THE BLACK LIPS, and PANTHERS, plans to get Iraqi metal band ACRASSICAUDA into a state-of-the-art recording studio, then onto Ozzfest 2008 — but first he has to help get them out of danger and to a safe country.

"If we can get in trouble for this, then so be it," says Alvi, who has followed his convictions since starting the edgy counter-culture magazine, Vice, in 1996 out of Montreal.

ACRASSICAUDA — dubbed "Iraq's only heavy metal band" because it is the only one known to have performed on a stage — is the subject of Vice Films' moving documentary "Heavy Metal In Baghdad", co-directed by Alvi and fellow Torontonian Eddy Moretti, and executive produced by Academy Award-winning director Spike Jonze ("Adaptation", "Being John Malkovich"). Right now, the band members are living in Damascus, Syria, where the government has refused to renew their visas.

"They're going to start kicking Iraqis back and their visas are expiring in the middle of October," says Alvi, who is based in New York, but traveled to Iraq and Syria.

Vice had covered their story — from surreptitiously rockin' out in Baghdad to attempting to start over in Damascus — through a series of filmed segments on VBS.tv, Vice's Internet television channel whose creative director is Jonze. The full-length documentary recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, but things have taken a turn for the worse for ACRASSICAUDA and Alvi and Moretti have started a fundraising campaign to help out these guys they now consider friends.

Read the entire article at JAM! Music.

"Heavy Metal In Baghdad" theatrical trailer:

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