Nine Questions

Michael M. Hojjatie

Michael M. Hojjatie is a partner in locally operated Forbidden Records and Forbidden Magazine, run by a small contingency of heavy-metal fanatics whose motto is "Supporting the True Underground." Michael's heavy-metal collection can certainly give anybody else's a run for their money. Be sure to check out and

What was the first concert you ever saw?

King Diamond, at a horrible venue in Tucson that shall remain nameless.

What are you listening to these days?

Anything by Burzum, Hellhammer, Diocletian, Blut Aus Nord, Arditi, '80s Canadian and German thrash-metal bands, and Iranian folk and traditional music.

What was the first album you owned?

Psuedo Echo's first album on cassette. I loved their cover of Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown" as an 8-year-old. The rest of the album was actually pretty digestible, too.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

Whatever is on the radio or MTV. Duh! Well, except for ABBA. I worship them!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I'd have to say Genesis with Peter Gabriel on vocals, as I'm a big fan of '70s prog rock. You can sweep the Phil Collins material underneath a long rug.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Laura Branigan. Her voice moves me like no other, and I was ... saddened by her passing. I'm also a huge fan of Broadway musicals.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

"Morghe Sahar" by Mohammad Reza Shajarian, leading into a thunderous crescendo of "Ey Iran."

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Iron Maiden. All other bands are just pretenders to the heavy-metal throne. Every album defines a chapter in my life, literally. I had a true spiritual awakening in the Machiavelli/Robert Greene sense, tenets I actually live by.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Iron Maiden, Killers. I've listened to it repeatedly for the better part of my existence.