Viza

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Viza
Viza troub high res.jpeg
Band picture taken at Troubadour, Los Angeles, in 2012.
Background information
Also known as Visa (2000–2009)
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Alternative metal, experimental rock, hard rock, gypsy punk, world music
Years active 2010-present
Labels Serjical Strike Records, Architects of Melody Records
Associated acts Serj Tankian, System of a Down, Red Snow, Pancho and Sancho, Neurobox, ED, String Harmonies
Website experienceviza.com
Members K'noup Tomopoulos
Orbel Babayan
Shant Bismejian
Andrew (Antranig) Kzirian
Alexan Khatcherian
Chris Daniel

Viza (formerly known as Visa) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Unique in its musical arsenal is the inclusion of oud and percussion blended with more conventional rock elements such as guitar, bass and drums. Formerly known as Visa, the band released two EPs and two full length albums, along with an award winning music video.[1] The band's "De Facto", "Eros", "Made In Chernobyl" and "Carnivalia" albums incorporate music pervaded with sonorities from various influences and musical styles.

Lead singer Pete "K'noup" Tomopoulos is also from Kastoria in Greece.

Given the band's members and their respective backgrounds, certain influences and musical strains from Armenian and Greek styles are discernible, fused with elements of modern aggressive rock and traditional music. The band sometimes blends these various flavors with dance and satirical social commentary.[2]

Viza has performed at Hungary's Sziget Festival (alongside Korn, The Killers, Axwell, The Vaccines, The XX), Greece’s Rockwave Festival (alongside The Prodigy, Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly), Sweden's Malmofestivalen, Norway’s Kartfestivalen, and Slovenia's Schengenfest and Trnfest festivals, among dozens of headline shows, as a part of 6 European tours over the past 2 years.

Viza is currently associated with Serjical Strike Management headed by Serj Tankian from System of a Down. In August 2010, Viza embarked on a series of introductory performances in Europe, opening for Serj Tankian’s “Imperfect Harmonies” Tour in the cities of Yerevan, Athens, Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, Zurich and Bologna. Viza accompanied Serj Tankian again during his "Harakiri" World Tour in the Fall of 2012 as the main support act for 19 shows throughout North America and Europe.[3]

On April 20, 2011 the band released their first single, "Bake Me In Clouds" recorded during the sessions of their CD titled "Carnivalia".[4]

In December 2011 the band released their fourth full-length album, "Carnivalia", and released the title track as a single.

In July 2012 the band recorded and released their third single, a cover of the 1927 "Alabama Song (whisky bar)" by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

Viza also engages in fundraising for human rights related charities, homeless shelters and orphanages.

Discography[edit]

  • Viza EP - 2001 (EP)
  • Maktub - 2006
  • De Facto - 2007 (EP)
  • Eros - 2008
  • Made in Chernobyl - 2010
  • Bake Me in Clouds - 2011 (Single)
  • Carnivalia - 2011
  • Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill) - 2012 (Single)
  • Aria - 2014

Band members[edit]

  • K'noup Tomopoulos - Vocals, 12 string guitar
  • Orbel Babayan - Electric Guitar, Tar, Saz, Vocals
  • Shant Bismejian - Electric Guitar
  • Andrew (Antranig) Kzirian - Oud, Vocals
  • Alex Khatcherian - Bass
  • Chris Daniel - Drums
  • Jivan Gasparyan Jr. - Duduk, Zurna (has not left the band, but has not appeared with the band on recordings or in concert since 2010 as he is overseas working)

Former members[edit]

  • Johnny Nice - Guitar, Keyboards
  • Carlos Alvarado - Guitar
  • Danny Shamoun - Percussion
  • Suguru Onaka - Keyboards, Accordion
  • Hiram Rosario - Drums

References[edit]