What do Suresh de Silva and Stephen King have in common? Not an awful lot, it turns out, except a shared recipe for a good read. A member of the heavy metal band Stigmata, poet and entrepreneur, Suresh has decided to try his hand at writing a book. He describes his first novel as “horror/fiction” and says it’s based in Sri Lanka. “It deals with all kinds of nasty creatures - lots of violence, sex and mayhem intertwined! I doubt it’ll be anything revolutionary, it’ll just be a fun read. That’s the idea.”
Suresh is also a poet, with over 300 poems waiting to be compiled into a collection. He already has a title ready – ‘From Chaos to Catharsis’. While some are up on the writeclique website, “the more gritty ones and obscure subject matter” are posted on his official blog http://anomaly.blog.co.uk.
As the front man and lead singer for Stigmata, Suresh is now in the throes of recording the band’s much anticipated third album; and as one of the Directors of 891 (Pvt) Ltd., he and his band mates Andrew and Tenny are promising their clients creative solutions for advertising, marketing and events.
After he’s done with his daily quota of meetings, rehearsals and classes (he’s studying for his second stage CIM exams), he can sometimes be found singing rock and roll karaoke at Sopranos.
What are you reading now?
I have multiple mood swings quite frequently and so I generally like to sink my fangs into a myriad of books, different genres and styles at the same time… it keeps things interesting. I am currently reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula; (a friend lent me a weathered early edition), Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice and Paint your Dragon by Tom Holt.
Are you enjoying them?
I am enjoying them more or less but I can’t really dissect them till I am done with them. Some books grab you by your assets and disappoint you in the end. I am still hooked on Mario Puzo’s ‘The Family’. I read that one a few months ago but it’s still with me.
Is there an author who has influenced you or been referenced in Stigmata’s lyrics?
One of the reasons I fell in love with Heavy Metal when I was a malevolent little tot was that the music told a tale, but so did the lyrics. I love story tellers. That’s why I dig Yeats, Hemingway, Wilde and Jean Arasanayagam. I would say that Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder, J.V. Jones, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Tolkien have definitely contributed in honing my psyche a bit here and there.
Do you like to listen to music when you’re reading? If yes, what are you listening to now?
This might sound strange coming from me but I prefer the sentient sound of silence when I read. But I can’t resist telling you what I’ve been listening to these few weeks: Bob Dylan, Morbid Angel, Amorphis, Rush, Toto, Blind Guardian, Dream Theater, Kansas, Into Eternity, Arsis, Cynic and the Beatles.
What is the one book you think everyone should read before they turn 20?
To hell with the age limit, everyone should read The Stand by Stephen King. I love the setting, despite the story’s backdrop being based everywhere in the United States. It’s easy to relate to because a lot of what happens in the book can easily become a reality.
It also emphasizes on our need to belong to something greater, to believe in each other irrespective of faults, demography and lifestyle.
It’s a story about how the survivors of Captain Trips (a nasty plague) come together in light of their beliefs in order to build a new world out of the bedlam and ashes. It’s about human behaviour and our penchant to eviscerate one another in wonderful, profound ways.
It’s about life and death and the choices we make that shape the consequences of our lives, while proving just how desperate, dysfunctional and unpredictable we are as a species in times of tribulation, how we depend on each other and then take the good things in life for granted.
The story harnesses the age old concept of good versus evil with a vivid look into the minds and souls of different people who all want to survive.
The Stand is such an amazing story, the detail, writing and characterization makes it epic!
How do you decide whether you want to read a book or not? Ever judged a book by its cover?
I generally know what I want to pick up when I hit a bookstore, but there are moments where an interesting book title or a cover can tempt me to test its waters and after reading a little I would know if it’s my mug of coffee or not. That’s how I got hooked on Dean Koontz. Love his writing style. Andrew had left ‘The Face’ lying around and I went through it and was hooked like a fish. Sometimes friends would recommend and lend me books they think I might like. I just finished ‘The Devil Rides Out’ by Dennis Wheatley - it’s a cult classic. I had no idea about the guy before but I am keen to read more of his work whenever I can.