By Pavani Jayasinghe Munagamage
With a series of performances building up together as of recent, The Sunday Morning Brunch decided to take a closer look at Stigmata, the group of four who have been in the entertainment world of Sri Lanka for more than 18 years now, making frequent comebacks with elating performances in attempts to perfect the sound of metal.
Acoustic Saturday, a recent event held at the Ex Servicemen’s Club, proved to be a successful and thrilling night for everyone who attended, with them leaving the venue with their thirst for sound quenched. The concert featured a brand new lineup brought together featuring Indrachapa Liyanage, Yohani Jacob, Odyssey, Senkadagala, Echo, Ascendant, Anuki, Shashyani, and of course, Stigmata. Along with a full house of rock and metal fans from all around Sri Lanka, the talented artists rocked all night long.
Suresh de Silva of Stigmata commented: “We have been working relentlessly and tirelessly as a four-piece and are elated it worked out great. We enjoyed delving into the origins and telling the stories behind the songs from classics like ‘Voices’, ‘Lucid’, and ‘Andura’.”
Let’s delve a little bit into how Stigmata started up on its own. Back in ‘99 at S. Thomas’ College, three young dreams were patched together to form one. At first, Suresh, Tenny, and Andrew, who started off playing for fun, figured out that they had something more original and extraordinary than they thought, which then gradually started evolving into the band it is today, after the losses of some members and the gradual gain of fame as is the case for most bands which make their mark.
To look further into the story of Stigmata, The Sunday Morning Brunch took advantage of the opportunity to have a small chat with Suresh de Silva.
What is the dream for Stigmata, and for you?
We have lots more to achieve and with our 20-year anniversary next year, we have some big plans. We are working on our fifth album, a series of momentous overseas and local shows, and have some sick merch planned out. In many ways, our journey is just beginning. This is the dream. We are living it. I believe profoundly that Tenny, Thisara, Hafzel, and I have a wondrous adventure ahead of us. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what we believe we can truly accomplish.
Where does your relationship with Stigmata stand today?
Stigmata is what I think of when I go to bed at night and when I wake up every day. You can’t separate the art from the artist – well you can, but in my case, this is part and parcel of who I am and I won’t be here if not for Stigmata – heavy metal and music, which anchor me and give me the strength to pursue all my other creative interests.
How would you describe this passion you’ve put forward into your work?
Passion alone is like a well-forged sword, but without the skill to wield it, it’s just a sharp, pointy object. So, while you need to be passionate about who you are and what you do, you need to be smart, pragmatic, and be willing to make a lot of sacrifices along the way. Nothing worth achieving should be easy anyway.
Catch Stigmata again live in action at Stuart & Co. for the second edition of No Covers Allowed on 22 September 2019. Don’t miss it!
Photo Natalie Soysa