The Full Stigmata Interview (For The Fix Edition 3: On The Sunday Leader)

The remastered version of “Hollow Dreams” has been quite the hot topic in Colombo and with only a few more weeks till everyone gets their hands on it, could you tell us what else makes this release very special (bonus material)?

Thank you for saying that, we’ve been hearing so much of great stuff and feedback that we are trying to just focus on the event after really pushing ourselves like never before; we re-mastered Hollow Dreams and recorded four new bonus tunes which will appear on the second disc in a few days. It was a deadline as crazy as we are, but thanks to the help of Dan Aloysius we were able to deliver the goods. You must remember that all of us work or study so recordings were primarily from 6pm-6am.  It’s been a lot of hard work because we decided to release it independently ourselves without tying up with any label and it’s been hectic. First of all Hollow Dreams is not just our debut album, but it is the country’s debut metal album as well. It is also the country and the region’s first Concept Record and of course on the 31st we will launch the re-mastered version as a Double Album. It’s special for so many reasons. The 4 Bonus tunes will not be on any other albums or records; at least that’s the plan so there will be a sense of true exclusivity for everyone who turns up for the Hollow Dreams 10 Year Anniversary and also all our Saints around the world who pre-order or reserve the Double Album.


Would there be a version available with that “old skool” sound cuz let’s face it, I’m sure there would be a few who would love to have the original un-remastered material.

Well first off there’s nothing that has been re-recorded or omitted or added on the record; it’s still that raw, in your face record that it always was, we have only augmented and boosted the levels so that the audio experience would be further enhanced. If anyone does wish to own the Hollow Dreams version originally launched in August 2003 most of those tracks are available to stream or to download on our social networking platforms. To be honest most of us in the Band don’t own an original Hollow Dreams either, through the years the CDs have been borrowed, gifted to someone or sent for reviews overseas so in a way the ‘cult’ disc status of HD exists because almost all the CDs available from back then are owned by hardcore collectors or fans who actually attended concerts and turned up at the HD launch 10 years ago. The re-master Double Album is our way of giving something special to fans young and wise; something everyone must own and is bound to satisfy them.


Here’s a question a lot of fans must have asked you and the band over and over again but for the benefit of those that havent, why Independent Square?

They were a band that truly did things in their own terms, they composed some great tunes and worked hard to take the band as far as they did. Most of us are hoping for a reunion of some kind and a new album even but leaving that aside their originals helped carve the Sri Lankan industry into what it is today. They were a solid live band and their first record ‘Bring Back the Sun’ is a landmark in Asia and Sri Lanka and ‘Anger’ is our way of thanking them and paying tribute to them Stigmata style.  So we ask you… why not?


So you have stated that the newer material has elements of doom and even some baila, care to elaborate on this…

To be clear Stigmata have ALWAYS experimented and spread our creative wings to explore new terrain; from day 1 actually. We have always been a band that is an acquired taste and we have never been afraid to stretch ourselves to incorporate new styles and dynamics to our sonic formula. Whether we have flirted with traditional folk in ‘Andura’, the latin/flamenco of ‘Jazz Theory’, the ‘Eastern/Baila’ influence of ‘the Summoning Cry of Aries’ we have never been what you’d call a genre shy band. We enjoy numerous styles of music and the new music will be an extension of discovering new techniques, styles and approaches without ever compromising the foundation and blue print of who and what we really are. The new record will have elements of jazz, funk, eastern, baila, classical, blues, tribal, reggae and all the Extreme, Thrash, Prog, Power, Doom and Tech-Death elements that make us an unforgettable and crushing force.


5 fun things about the band that have changed since Lakmal & Chathuranga joined

5) I know this may not necessarily be categorized as ‘fun’ but we rehearse more now. Piti G and Lakmal are two of the most hard working and dedicated members we have had. They rehearse regularly and often and keeps the three founders of the band driven and motivated as well.

4) They are very enthusiastic and an inspiration as they enjoy working on our classic tunes as well as composing new music. They aren’t languid or lethargic and I think that shows in their live show as well as the recordings.

3) They’ve brought in some light & life again; they are both two very, very cool guys; unpretentious, funny, kind hearted, genuine Metal Heads who are great friends above all else and they are there for their band mates, friends and families come triumph, trials or tribulations.

2) We play more video and PC games now thanks to Piti G. Lakmal is a very no hanky panky kind of dude and he inspires us to be more sober and focused now in a way.

1) Musically we are having so much of fun. The new tunes are seriously from another planet; it’s an adulterated eargasm I swear! When you have members who are on the same page, with the same levels of commitment and passion and everyone’s excited about creating something new that will blow people’s minds, the journey naturally transcends from something generic to something more adventurous and bountiful. It’s a ton of fun ‘live’ as well because everyone shares the same fire and fury to make every performance better than the last.

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