A two-and-a-half-minute video report from the San Francisco’s KGO-TV station about former MACHINE HEAD, TESTAMENT, SPIRALARMS and current ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT drummer Chris Kontos‘ A.F.A.R. coalition (Alliance For Artist Rescue) can be seen below. A.F.A.R.‘s mission “is to assist metalhead refugees that are in dangerous cultural situations overseas; to help them settle in the U.S. by hosting and finding them jobs upon their arrival to the [San Francisco] Bay Area.”
Chris and his partners head up a selfless organization that has already helped bring artists from Iraq, Iran, and South Africa into the United States. It is a noble and amazing effort that should be respected and shared with everyone in the metal community.
“We are oppressed heavily, and we are Satanic, and we are all of these things they want to throw on us, and most of us aren’t Satanic,” Kontos said.
One of the artists that A.F.A.R. has helped is 23-year-old Artak Ozan, who was a target of his own government for being a heavy metal musician in Tehran, Iran.
“If you’re walking on the street with long hair, and some black metal T-shirt, people arrest you, they cut your hair,” Ozan said. “They have scissors.”
Ozan‘s YouTube video of him playing music in a dark room caught the attention of Kontos, who sent the Iranian musician to the UN to get refugee status. Artak succeeded and is now residing in the San Francisco East Bay. Kontos said, “This kid was out of control on the guitar, and he was doing things that are Bay Area-bred stylistically.”
Raed more from KGO-TV.