Acrassicauda: Heavy Metal Hardship In Baghdad

Acrassicauda is an Iraqi heavy-metal band — though its members live in a one-bedroom apartment in Elizabeth, N.J.

Despite their humble quarters, the band is happy to be together: When they were still based in Iraq, their practice space was bombed and they received death threats.

The band first gained widespread notice in a 2007 documentary, Suroosh Alvi's Heavy Metal in Baghdad, which followed the band in the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein. (Watch the entire film in the widget below.)

Initially hopeful, the band members watched their country crumble around them. Two years of exile in Syria and Turkey followed before the men were able to settle in the United States.

Now reunited, Acrassicauda is again receiving attention. Recently, band members were VIP guests backstage at a Metallica concert, and after years of dealing with immigration bureaucracy, they're looking forward to having more time to practice.

Lead singer Faisal Talal and drummer Marwan Riyadh and director Suroosh Alvi join Fresh Air to discuss Heavy Metal in Baghdad. The film airs on the Sundance Channel March 19.



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