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Viza or VI•ZA
|Also known as||Visa (2000–2009)|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Alternative metal, experimental rock, hard rock, gypsy punk, world music|
|Labels||Serjical Strike Records, Architects of Melody Records, SoundsUP records|
|Associated acts||System of a Down, Serj Tankian, Gogol Bordello, Skindred, Scars On Broadway, Red Snow (disambiguation), Pancho and Sancho, Neurobox, ED, String Harmonies, Blackmore|
Andrew (Antranig) Kzirian
Jivan Gasparyan Jr.
Viza or VI·ZA (formerly known as Visa) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, using oud, duduk and percussion fused with more conventional rock elements such as guitar, bass and drums. The band has released various EPs and full-length albums. The band's music mixes Armenian and Greek-inflected styles with elements of modern aggressive rock and traditional music. The band sometimes blends these various flavors with dance and satirical social commentary.
Viza has performed at Hungary's Sziget Festival, Sweden's Malmöfestivalen, 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 several years.
Viza was associated with Serjical Strike Management headed by Serj Tankian from System of a Down from 2009-2012, also featuring Tankian as a guest vocalist on their track "Viktor". 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.
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. In 2014 Viza released their album Aria, and toured as direct support for Gogol Bordello, Skindred and Soil.
After a brief hiatus to focus on individual music projects, beginning in late 2017 Viza released a series of new recordings via YouTube on the first day of every month continuing into 2018. These 12 tracks were divided into two EPs named "The Unorthodox Revival", in two separate Volumes. The band continues its activities locally in Los Angeles and performed in Paris in May 2019 in support of the My Ouai charitable foundation for providing musical opportunities to disabled children in France.
- 2006 - Maktub (as Visa)
- 2008 - Eros (as Visa)
- 2010 - Made In Chernobyl
- 2011 - Carnivalia
- 2014 - Aria
- 2001 - Visa (as Visa)
- 2007 - De Facto (as Visa)
- 2018 - The Unorthodox Revival I
- 2018 - The Unorthodox Revival II
- 2011 - Bake Me In Clouds
- 2012 - Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill)
- 2013 - In Coins
- 2014 - Midnight Hour
- 2014 - Fuego
- 2014 - When Doves Cry (Prince)
- 2014 - Naive Melody (Talking Heads)
- 2019 - Eros
- K'noup Tomopoulos - Vocals, Guitar
- Shant Bismejian - Electric Guitar
- theoudplayer (Andrew Kzirian) - Oud, Electric Oud, Saz, Vocals
- Alex (Alexan) Khatcherian - Bass, Vocals
- Chris Daniel - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
- Jivan Gasparyan Jr. - Duduk
- Johnny Nice - Guitar, Keyboards
- Carlos Alvarado - Guitar
- Danny Shamoun - Percussion
- Suguru Onaka - Keyboards, Accordion
- Hiram Rosario - Drums
- Orbel Babayan - Electric Guitar, Tar, Saz, Vocals