Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The poorest of the former Soviet Central Asian states and arguably the most culturally conservative, Tajikistan is home to a small but growing rock-music scene in spite of the social pressures to conform and the difficulties finding a working guitar.
"Society doesn't like the music that we play," said Jack Rock, the stage name of the leader singer of Al Azif, Tajikistan's only "thrash metal" band. "Everybody always says that we are wasting time and we need to play softly and slowly."
"Sure, we're influenced by Western hard rock, punk, hard-core and even pop, but our roots are from the East," Mr. Rock said. "We have songs with specific beats with Oriental melodies."