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STIGMATA: sri lanka/ by black dog bone

STIGMATA: sri lanka/ by black dog bone

the music you are doing how would you describe it? some call it black metal where do you fit in? or do you fit in at all.

We have been labeled a Thrash Metal Band with a World Music element, we are considered by a large contingent as a Progressive Metal band. We have Tech Death elements to balls in the wall Power Metal aspects. See we have always incorporated a variety of genres and styles into our musical framework; be it Jazz, Classical, Blues, Funk, Tribal Rhythms, Latin to Baila which is authentic to us as a Sri Lankan band maintaining the Lankan aesthetic in what we create. In what we do. Be that as it may we are predominantly regarded as 'Pure Sri Lankan Metal' and that's something we have embraced. What we do is 'Pure Sri Lankan Metal'.

We don't fit in a conventional sense. We never have. We never will. But importantly we don't want to. We have always admired Bands and Artists that have explored and evolved stylistically and artistically in time. Look at Rush, Nevermore, Faith No More, Death, The Police, Queen, Opeth, Deep Purple, Tool, Metallica, Devin Townsend, Emperor and Animals as Leaders to Toto and Lamb of God... They have never been content to be pigpen holed and to remain within a stereotypical framework.

It's the power of the music, the themes and the live show that has helped us reach out to many people in different parts of the world. What we do resonates with others, even those watching us for the first time because of the sheer relentlessness and energy of the live show but also that the music is eclectic and evocative without losing its flavor, room and space for technical prowess and the perfect balance of melody and brutality. I think a lot of people exposed to what we do when we are in our element is a magical thing. That connects with people because there is conviction and a deep sense of us having the time of our lives on stage which translates and correlates well with the music.

are there other bands in sri lanka doing music similar to what your doing.

There are many Metal and Rock bands here. some excellent artists with diverse musical approaches and some with a unique sound. From Groove Metal Bands to Alternative Metal to Death and Black Metal bands to Hard Rock and Grunge. There are so many genres and styles and many of these bands and artists perform their own material. More albums are being released and there are so many gigs that happen regularly.

As the first Metal Band in Sri Lanka we may have inspired the scene and had some influence on it but we see many artists working towards developing their own sound which is a good thing for the entire movement.

are there a lot of bands in sri lanka.

There must be over a 100 Metal and Rock Bands here, but there is a large segment of secular musicians as well.

wondering how it all began in sril lanka? how did black metal come to sri lanka? was there a certain band that brought it to sri lanka?

There were bands here in Sri Lanka in the '70s and '80s, Rock bands that introduced Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, ACDC and Iron Maiden to the country. There were some bands in the '90s as well. It was Rattlesnake and Venom (SL) here that really laid the early groundwork with great cover versions. Then there came an experimental alternative rock band called Independent Square that released their debut album 'Bring Back the Sun' in '99 that had some great compositions (we paid tribute to them in 2003 recording 'Anger') and inspired the original movement in a big way. We started in '99 but played our first gig in 2000 and always wanted to create and perform our own music but it took a long time to build an infrastructure for original 'Metal' music, heavier and edgier music that delved into darker and more disturbing themes. We released 'Hollow Dreams' our debut and the country's debut Metal album in 2013. But a lot of work went in to build platform where both Originality and Metal music would be taken seriously and accepted and regarded diligently as a respected art form contributing to the arts and culture of or country. The Extreme Metal movement began around 6 years after we had formed and were performing.

who are the other members of your band? are you the lead singer.

We have two phenomenal axemen Tennyson Napolean and Andrew Obeyesekere on Guitars. We have the brilliant Taraka Seniwiratne on Skins and the awesome Lakmal Wijayagunerathne on Bass. Yes, I am The frontman, lyricist and lead singer. We are self managed as well at the moment so a lot of the gig scheduling, marketing etc., is also handled by me.

who write the songs? who writes the lyrics?

The songs are primarily written by Tenny, Andrew and Myself. It's a process where the entire Band fine tunes everything and contributes once the initial ground work is laid. I chisel the vocal melodies and write the lyrics.

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