Exploring different genres

By Madhushala Senaratne

There’s still more time for Valentine’s Day. But, Nemesis is working hard. They’ve got this brilliant anti-love song that they hope to release sometime in February. Let me give you a clue. Some of you have already heard it. The lyrics by the way are simply awesome. Very meaningful. And so is the music.
That’s not all either. With plans underway to release a few other songs this year and hopefully an album as well, the boys have a lot in store for their fans.

And so we caught up with Nemesis…

Originally formed in 2005, the band has gone through many line-up changes over the past three years. Nemesis currently consists of Tharindu ‘Mackie’ Mathew (22) as the lead guitarist, Mihindu Ariyaratne (20) as the lead vocalist, Loshaarn Bastian (21) as bassist and Sithija Dilshan (18) on drums. Sithija who started drumming a couple of years back after his O/Ls is the latest addition to the band. Of his “discovery,” Mackie, the only member from the original line-up says, “We were looking for a drummer and we met this guy at a show.” A couple of “meetings” with the band, and Sithija, not surprisingly, said he’ll join them permanently. And, this line-up did manage to do well. They were named the winners of TNL Onstage 2008 with Mackie been named the best musician.

An interesting aspect of the band is that they refuse to identify themselves with a particular type of music. Instead they explore different genres including rock, progressive metal, blues and acoustic music, thus giving their audience something new and unique. “We don’t like to stick to a set genre. Instead, we prefer to explore a lot of different types of music and come up with whatever we feel like,” explains Mackie. Referring to another new track, called “Chakithaya,” he adds that the band is also experimenting with more local styles, such as including Sinhala lyrics and tunes.

All members have their individual styles and influences ranging from instrumental guitar to power metal and rock bands, says Loshaarn, adding that he loves listening to all types of music, particularly Metallica. Loshaarn, who started playing guitar rather late says, “I met Mackie mid 2006. It is only after I joined Nemesis that I took to playing my guitar very seriously.”

Some of the songs performed by Nemesis in the recent past include “Fade to Black” by Metallica, “Nadee Ganga” by Chithral Somapala, “I am the Highway” by Audioslave, as well as their originals, “Chakithaya” and “Half Cocked.” The band is currently in the process of recording a few tracks, which they hope to gradually release during the course of the year.

“Being a rock band is not easy. It’s not just about the music, there are other aspects you need to consider, such as sound balancing, stage presence and so on. All this comes with experience”, Mackie says. Speaking of experience, the boys say, “Onstage helped us gain a lot of experience and gave us the exposure. There was a massive audience and we are fortunate to have performed on the same stage as an international band did”.

The band believes there’s great potential for rock bands and new music in Sri Lanka, especially with more people looking for something new.

And, as they say, with a bit of practice, dedication and determination, there’s much to achieve.
But, all in all, “It’s all about us being us.”

For more details on Nemesis – their songs and performances – visit Nemesis – Facebook group, Myspace.com/nemesistheband or youtube.com/nemesisrockz.

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