As investigators continue to unpack the tragic triple murder suicide in East Williamsburg that took the lives of three Iranian musicians on Monday, the remaining members of Brooklyn band The Yellow Dogs put out a statement yesterday vowing to continue making music, even while facing "the darkest hour of our lives."
Two members of The Yellow Dogs, brothers Soroush and Arash Farazmand, were allegedly killed by shunned musician Raefe Akhbar in Monday's shooting, along with fellow Iranian musician and writer Ali Eskandarian. Vocalist Siavash Karampour and lead guitarist Koory Mirzeai were not at the 318 Maujer St. apartment building during the massacre; they put out a statement yesterday noting that though "[w]e’re still here, still breathing," they're left with "a gaping hole in our hearts."
For now it’s impossible to even imagine a future without our friends, and no explanation can make sense or begin to justify what has happened to our lives. To say we are heartbroken does not come close. These are the darkest hours of our lives, we are in shock, awe, blinded with rage and paralyzed with grief. Ali Eskandarian was nearly finished with his memoir, Arash had just received political asylum from Iran and Soroush was hard at work on new Yellow Dogs material. Everything we had hoped and worked for was finally coming true…the future was so incredibly bright.
In the aftermath of these horrific events, we are left with pain, emptiness and so many questions that won’t ever be answered. We wanted the world to discover us as we were: a community of musicians defined by our music, our friendships, our culture and our art. This is not the way we ever imagined the world would learn of our story.
As we face the greatest sorrow we’ve ever experienced, we’re left with something that no one could ever take away from us - beautiful memories of our fallen brothers, friends who we love and so desperately miss. We will not forget the dreams we shared and this life that we built together - it’s stronger, more permanent, more real and more full of life than any senseless, evil act could ever begin to take away from us. We will not let this disgusting brutality define us or become our story, but instead respond by creating music more passionately and with more intensity than ever before, embracing the freedom that we all dreamed would one day be ours back in Iran and play to honor those who should be playing next to us. That is who we are, and that is what we stand for, and we will strive to honor the lives of Ali, Arash and Soroush for the rest of ours.
Street artists Icy and Sot and musician Pooya Hosseini, who were present at the time of the shooting, contributed to the statement as well. Hosseini is a member of the Iranian band The Free Keys; Akhbar had been kicked out of that band a year ago, a move investigators believe may have been a factor in Monday's massacre.