Iris - Biography




The story of Iris began in 1977 with Nuţu Olteanu, Emil Lechiteanu, Nelu Dumitrescu. Through the years, the band has experienced many line-up changes.

In 33 years of activity, Iris became one the best names in Romanian music history. In the beginning of the 1980s, Cristi Minculescu and Nelu Dumitrescu, who are still present in the current line-up, played with Nutu Olteanu (guitar), Florin Ochescu (guitar) and Marty Popescu (bass guitar). Together they released a debut-album (Iris I), which included songs that became some of the most popular Romanian rock songs: "Doar Pentru Voi" (Only for You), "Trenul Fără Naş" (The Train without a Ticket-collector), "Pe Ape" (On Water), "Cei Ce Vor Fi" (The Ones to Come).

In 1987 Iris II was released with an extravagant cover for those times during the communist regime, a cover which represented one of Cristi's idols, Angus Young, "in action". The band's line-up was Cristian Minculescu (vocal), Nelu Dumitrescu (drums), Valter Popa (guitar), Mihai Alexandru (guitar, vocal) and Doru "Boro" Borobeica (bass guitar). On this album, notable songs included: "Strada Ta" (Your Street), "În Parc" (In the Park), "Zi Si Noapte" (Day and Night).

One year later, Iris released its third album, called Nu Te Opri (Don't Stop), recorded with the same line-up as Iris II. The Disc contained 8 tracks, but the most important are "Floare De Iris" (Iris Flower), "Uită Tot Ce-a Fost" (Forget all that was), "Eu Şi Cu Tine" (Me and You), "Ploaia De Vise" (The Rain of Dreams).

In December 1989, when the downfall of the Romanian communist regime began, Iris recorded the album Iris IV in Tomis Studio, without Mihai Alexandru, but with Cristi, Nutu, Boro and Valter. The hits from this album include: "De Ce Oare Ai Plecat?" (Why Did You Leave Me?), "Vino Iar" (Come Again), "Rock And Roll", "Cine Mă Strigă În Noapte?" (Who Is Calling Me in the Night?).

In 1992, Iris held an anniversary concert, called Iris 15 ANI (Iris 15 years), at Sala Polivalenta in Bucharest in front of 10,000 people. This was a record audience for a Romanian band, unequaled since that time. That same year, at the Cannes Festival, Iris won second place in the rock section and they appeared on MTV.

The 5th Iris album was named 1993 and was recorded with the same line-up as Iris IV, but with one more guitarist, Dan Alex Sârbu. This disc contains 3 dedications: Harley Davidson (for Marco), Valuri (for Adrian Ilie), Iris Nu Pleca (for Roberta). Iris played in Italy and on the Malboro Tour, in the big cities of Romania. In July 1996, following Dorian Ciubuc's idea, Iris signed a contract with Polygram for 6 years. In this time, Iris recorded 6 albums.

In October 1998 they released Mirage. The album was co-authored with Mihai Godoroja.

In 1997 on October 17 Iris celebrated 20 years of existence with a live performance in Bucharest. At the anniversary concert, active members of Iris and former members delighted the audience. For over 2 hours and 30 minutes in front of 5,000 people they played band hits like: "Corabia cu pînze", "Floare de Iris", "Călătorul", "Trenul fără nas", "Speranţa", "De ce oare ai plecat?", "Sa nu crezi nimic", "Baby, Baby".

Three weeks after the show Iris released a celebrating album entitled "20 DE ANI" (20 years). The album has 13 tracks from the live concert, like "Pamîntul îl cuprind", "Călătorul", "Trenul fără nas", "Speranta", "Iris, nu pleca", "Pe ape", "Mirage", "Cine ma striga în noapte", "Valuri", "Floare de iris", "Tot zbor", "Baby", "Somn bizar".

In 2000 the band began the largest tour ever undertaken by a Romanian band. The "mega-tour", as it was known, was named ATHENAEUM. The band also released an album of the same name. Two years later, the first DVD of a Romanian band, DIGITAL ATHENAEUM, which features recordings from concerts during the history, was released.

In 2002, the "Iris 25 Years" concert gathered thousands in the biggest concert hall in the country. The next album, "Matase Alba" (White Silk) featured ballads, such as "Iubire fara de sfarsit" (Endless Love) and a cover version of "Lady in Black" by Uriah Heep, played with them, which won an MTV Music Award. This album was followed by "4Motion" and, in 2005, "Iris Maxima". The most notable ballad on "Iris Maxima" is "Vino pentru totdeauna" (Come back for always).

In 2007 on October 5, the band has been decorated by Romanian president Traian Băsescu for their 30 years of cultural activity. In the same day the band performed in a live show in the front of over 15,000 fans.

In 2009 the Romanian legendary frontman Cristi Minculescu has suffered a surgical intervention consisting in a liver transplant. His wife, Rodica Minculescu has donated him a portion of her own liver. The costs of the surgical intervention has been supported by the Romanian Ministry of Health (Romania). The Minister of Health at the time, Ion Bazac, stated: "It is a sign of respect and gratitude for an artist who has delighted our souls".

In 2009 on October 8 the band performed in the first big concert after the liver transplant surgical intervention suffered by the frontman Cristi Minculescu in the same year. Tickets have been exhausted well before the date of the concert, at the time of the show being present over 7,000 fans. On the occasion of this live performance it was released Integral Iris, basically a boxset comprising the entire discography of the band, new packaged and remasterized.

Starting with September 3 2012, long-term vocalist Cristian Minculescu (with the band since 1980) will leave the band, being replaced by Tony Şeicărescu (ex-Directia 5).