The six members of the Cuban heavy metal band Hipnosis requested political asylum in the United States upon their arrival this week in Miami, the Web site Cafe Fuerte said Thursday.

The band members prefer "to accept the uncertainty" of the future in a "place where there are opportunities and options, and not in a country (Cuba) where there is nothing and nobody hopes for anything," Giovani Milhet, the group's singer and guitarist, told the Web site, which is dedicated to covering current events in Cuba and Miami.

The musicians flew to Miami from Havana on Monday and defected immediately upon arriving at the airport instead of boarding another flight to California, where they were scheduled to perform several concerts and cut a record.

"Things for us were closed in Cuba and a Cuban official began to impose rules on us for what we could and could not do on the trip," and so the band decided to "accelerate things" and defect in Miami, Milhet, 38, said.

Defecting along with the lead singer were his wife, Fanny Tachin, the group's 39-year-old bass player; drummer Alain Candia, 29; guitarist Reymond Daniel Rodriguez, 25; keyboard player Indira Labañino, 28; and singer Ramon Pupo.

After making their asylum requests, the members of the band were able to leave the airport facilities.

"A life change always creates a certain fear, but it's something positive," said Tachin, who added that they had felt "too many limitations" in Cuba.

The band in 2002 won the award on the "Cuerda Viva" television program for best new group and the next year they released their first album: "The Chosen One." EFE