Yellow Dogs

UPDATE: AP reports that two of the victims were Yellow Dogs members and that the gunman was a former member of a separate band, the Free Keys.


An unthinkable tragedy last night in Brooklyn: A former member of Yellow Dogs, an Iranian indie rock band who had relocated to Brooklyn, shot and killed three of his former bandmates in East Williamsburg, then killed himself.

The New York Daily News reports that the unnamed gunman, recently booted from the band (reportedly for selling equipment), entered the apartment building and murdered band members Soroush Farazmand, Arash Farazmand, and Ali Eskandarian. An unnamed 22-year-old was also shot in the arm and elbow, and he’s in stable condition at an area hospital. The shooter also fired at but missed two others, who were hiding in a bathroom. He then shot himself on the building’s rooftop.

The band started in 2006 in Tehran, where they had to soundproof their practice space and play covert shows, to avoid attention from the repressive Iranian authorities. They relocated to Brooklyn in 2010 and played frequently around town. Last year, they released their Upper Class Complexity EP through the eMusic Selects program. Our eMusic colleague J. Edward Keyes has written a moving tribute. What a sad, messed-up ending.

Comments (11)
  1. This is an awful tragedy… It goes to show you how little we know about people until something unfavorable happens and they lose their shit!

  2. this. this is awful. these young people have lost their lives for what is no doubt a seriously trivial reason. but underneath that, the world is now robbed of their future music, a true tragedy considering a band from iran no doubt had plenty to say and fresh perspectives to hand out. this is awful.

  3. Very sad :( Stereogum, BBC News reports that the shooter was not a member of the band.

    • Hmm, this is a little ambiguous however. We know that the shooter was either a “former member” of the Yellow Dogs or “a member of another band” — but couldn’t these be inclusive statements? Said former member could have later joined another band…

      But whatever. Ambiguities will be cleared up in the near future, I’m sure, and regardless this is just a huge, huge tragedy. One of the strangest and saddest events in recent music history. I’m in disbelief.

    • The shooter was a member of the band who was kicked out earlier this year.

      • Thanks. Just was unsure. It certainly doesn’t take away the tragedy aspect of this. R.I.P.

        • Actually, you may be right. The latest reports say the shooter may not have been in the band. All three victims may not have been in the band either. From AP:

          NEW YORK (AP) — A musician shot and killed two members of an Iranian indie rock band and a third musician early Monday, and wounded a fourth person at their apartment before killing himself on the roof, police and the group’s manager said.

          Two of the dead were brothers and members of the group the Yellow Dogs, who came to the U.S. from Iran three years ago after appearing in a film about the underground music scene there, according to band manger Ali Salehezadeh. Another person killed was also a musician but wasn’t in the band, and the wounded person was an artist, he said.

          The shooter was a member of another band from Iran, the Free Keys, who knew the victims but hadn’t spoken to them in months because of a “petty conflict,” Salehezadeh said.

          Preliminary reports from police were that the shooter had been a member of the Yellow Dogs but was kicked out. Commissioner Raymond Kelly said it appeared to be a dispute over money, but police were investigating the motive as well as the relationships between the victims and the shooter.

          • Man, that’s still incredibly rough. You don’t hear about such terrible things happening like this in indie rock but its just incredibly awful and very sad. I think like other commentators have said, what makes it especially tragic other then the obvious is that these guys came from war torn Iran with the hopes of finding peace and then they have something so terrible happen. Thanks for the update.

  4. Guy is clearly off his rocker if hes firing at people who weren’t even involved in the dispute in the first place.

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