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Their visas were initially denied. On their next trip to the U.S. consulate in Dubai (there isn't one in Iran), visas were handed out without question.
"We asked them, 'What happened? You hated us two weeks ago,'" Raam recalls. "They said, 'You have a very, very powerful fan in the United States. We had no idea. It was only later we found out what happened."
It seems, at the behest of a music agent, that New York senator Charles Schumer faxed the consulate a letter on the band's behalf. The men of Hypernova are hopeful that this type of good fortune (just like landing on the Sisters tout) stays with them. When the guys hit these shores, they carried little more than $400, a guitar, a suitcase and a big heart. Energized by the band's success since then, Raam says he wants to prove rock music can come from "an obscure place like Iran." With their visas expiring in 2011, that leaves them just three years to make their mark.
"We never planned on staying more than two weeks, and two weeks has turned into two years, almost," Raam happily recounts before breaking into laughter. "Back in Iran, my mom walks around telling everyone, 'My son is a rock star.' Every day, it just keeps getting better."