The first time members of Gachpaj (گچ پژ) played together was back in the spring of 2007 when they played live for a performance of the play “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” in Tehran. What kept the members together till 3 months later they chose the name Gachpaj, was reaching a common musical ground from the beginning which was a direct result of the members’ similar musical ideologies. This same commonality is still apparent in the band’s improvisational styling.
Gachpaj is a jam band and like all other jam bands does not subscribe to one specific musical style. The band’s style is a combination of various musical genres such as Funk Rock, Alternative Rock, Experimental Rock and Krautrock. The Eastern influences seeping into the band’s music at times makes their sound close to Oriental music.
The instrumental make up of the band is the usual line up of bands playing the same style with one key difference: In Gachpaj, Saxophone replaces Keyboard giving their music an energetic, fresh sound.
They are well known for how they use Farsi lyrics in their Rock style songs.
The current members of Gachpaj are: Hooman Hamedani (Vocal), Hadi Sabet (Tenor Sax), Sohrab Hosseini (Acoustic & Electric Guitar), Arash Fattahi (Bass) and Pedram Hajbashi (Drums). Hooman Hamedani (Vocal) and Masoud Ahmadzade (Alto Sax) are past members who’re not actively playing with the band at the moment.
The band members got together for the first time in April 2007 to compose and play their music for the play The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Three weeks later with the addition of their vocalist the band was on stage at Sharif University’s Music Festival with three songs: Tashee Jenaze (The Funeral), Faramooshi (Amnesia) and Sahne 9 (Scene 9 – the last Scene of the play The Beauty Queen of Leenane).
A few weeks later the band jokingly settled on the name Gachpaj in order to more actively pursue their musical aspirations.
In the summer of 2007, Gachpaj was preparing for a concert* to benefit UNESCO on World Music Day when the concert was cancelled for undisclosed reasons only one day before their scheduled performance. That same summer, the band recorded the song Havapeyma (Airplane) to be used in a movie. The band facing the same problems plaguing all underground bands continued to gather and practice here and there and the result of their perseverance was the songs: Gharare Molaghat (Rendevous), Benzin (Benzene) and Bagavazraka (A song with old persian lyrics).
In 2008 the band recorded their practice sessions at the studio and a recording of Benzin (Benzene) was entered in the non-competitive internet music festival: Tehran Avenue Music Festival (TAMF).
In April 2009, Gachpaj was on the stage again at Sharif University’s Music Festival improvising and playing all their songs.
After the festival in the early summer of 2009 Masoud Ahmadzade the band’s Alto Sax player left Iran for immigration purposes.
In August 09 the remaining band members played live in open air at the two day event commemorating the 40th International Mathematics Conference at Sharif University. It seems this marked the first time in the history of the University for a live performance in open air by a musical group. Also, at the same two day event the band played a 30 minute impromptu session accompanying a performance art piece in open air.
In late Fall 2009 Hooman Hamedani the band’s vocalist left Iran. In the winter of 2010 the remaining members of Gachpaj played live music accompanying the play Bekhatere Yek Mosht Roobl (For A Handful of Rubles) written by Neil Simon (rewriting short plays of Anton Chekhov) directed by one of the best actors and directors of Iran Hasan Majooni at the Iran Shahr Theater garnering much praise from critics and audiences alike. The band accompanied the play every night till the end of winter of 2010.
In March 2010 Gachpaj along with their Alto Sax Masoud Aahmadzade who had returned to Iran, played a 15 minute live session at Sharif University’s School of Physics Music Festival playing 2 pieces composed previously for various plays.
The band members have also had other musical experiences individually or in collaboration with other musicians composing and performing pieces for various plays and movies.
At the moment the remaining four members of Gachpaj continue to feverishly practice at the studio preparing to record their latest compositions.
* The Cultural-Historical Niavaran Convention, Tehran’s Sa’ad Abad Palace, under the auspices of UNESCO