Paranoid Earthling take the stage this month

By Yashasvi Kannangara

The ‘Paranoid Earthling’, quartet vocalist Mirshad Buckma, guitarist Dhanushka Samarasinghe, Asela Bandara on bass and drummer Shanka Samarasinghe met ten years back within the gates of Trinity College, Kandy.

“We were the only kids from different batches hanging out during the break. We played and practiced together even after we left school. We had some good times. 2001 was our first gig. It was in Kandy. There we really made a real impact. Then there was TNL onstage. We got some exposure there too. And I guess from there on things caught on and we did what we were good at. Since then we have been together throughout. We are really tight as a band. I think we’re one of the only popular local bands to have no line-up change.”

Known for their diverse scope ranging from psychedelic post to grunge hard rock, Paranoid Earthling is influenced by the music of Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and inspired by the likes of Marilyn Manson and Jimi Hendrix. “The best thing about playing for our fans” explains the band “is the genuine release they get from hearing our music. We talk a lot about the problems and issues faced by youth and so they really relate to the songs we play. We also did a track
in collaboration with YATV titled Bringing Down the Sun, celebrating International Peace day.” The band has played at a number of venues in India including the famed Hard Rock Café. They have also played alongside International artists. “Opening for Nervecell at Viharamahadevi [park]was huge.”
Growing up as a bunch of rebellious youths within the conservative walls of the hill capitol was quite the challenge.

“Growing up it was hard to convince our parents about the long hair and the loud music. But now they have accepted us and they understand it’s who we are,” says Dhanushka. “Original music was being born back when we started and now it has come a long way. Metal audiences are growing. The rock scene has developed since.

The tattooing, the long hair, the rock bands are all being recognized as a part of expression now,” adds Mirshad. “But still the country needs to recognize musicians of different genres more. They need to respect them. When we were in India we realized that you weren’t treated differently just because you had long hair and a tattoo. They still embrace you as talented musicians. But we’re still not there. There is a lot of talent here but no real opportunities. And sponsorships are hard to get. Support is very limited. It’s not easy being a musician here.”

And now, once again, Paranoid Earthling take on Sri Lanka, on May 28 at 8pm. Get ready to experience ‘Paranoid Earthling Live’ at the Aphrodisiac and become a part of the exhilarating performance. “It will be a fresh new set with a lot of the music our fans love.

There will be a couple of new tracks and original compositions. We have some surprise cover songs ready for our fans for the concert. There will also be guest performances from Karmic Sulphur and Nevi’im. We are really excited about it.”

Paranoid Earthling will be releasing their much awaited debut album at the end of this year. Please visit www.myspace.com/paranoideathling.

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