Monday, September 3, 2012

... Interview with Stuart from SIGIRIYA

With their debut "Return to Earth", here's a band that released almost exactly one year ago, one of the best albums of Stoner Rock from these last years... As punchy as Mike Tyson in his golden days, SIGIRIYA is an incredible riffing machine which even takes a higher dimension on stage for some of the most memorable performances you could ever expect... Too bad, vocalist Dorian recently quited the band , which implies a delayed new album but doesn't discourage at all his old buddies, as Stuart  (guit) proves it with his usual  communicative passion and enthusiasm :

So, how is it going, not too hampered by this hand’s injury ? I suppose that at least during the 1st weeks you’re completely off to play guitar… isn’t it too hard to stand ?
Yeah not too bad thanks Steph, despite my thumb injury which has been a bit tedious. Being right handed and having my hand in a cast has been interesting , not able to work or jam has been a bummer though. The break ran straight up along the main bone into the joint, which at first was a big fear as it may have healed and maybe fused the joint? But the specialist assured me it should be fine.

Don’t you feel sometimes a bit frustrated when interviews turn out to include for the most part questions concerning Acrimony ?

I think we’re bound to get it for some time to come really being like four fifths of Acrimony and I think Sigiriya’s yet to stretch its legs fully. Personally I don’t get frustrated if people like to find out the odd thing about the band. We sure get more attention now than when we were active, which I think happens to a lot of cult bands that cut it and quite before their time.

I presume that the departure of Dorian was felt like a big loss by you guys but in some way, don’t you think that the coming of a new singer could almost definitely help to be fully recognized as Sigiriya and not as the new band of ex Acrimony members ?

Dorian was obviously a huge part of the band and his voice informed a lot of the songs, just like they did in our Acrimony days. There’s nothing wrong with being viewed as ‘the new band of ex Acrimony members’ I reckon anyway. Sigiriya already has its own identity so any new person who joins the fold will have to fit in with us and our ethos (and history) and rather than choosing someone that will take us further away from our roots we will be looking for someone who knows our roots, as essentially where you come from makes who you are now.   

Were you aware for a while that Dorian was going to quit or did it suddenly happen ?

We knew it would happen one day sadly and when the bomb drops you always find it hard to get your head around. Think he was finding it hard to juggle the band with family life and that’s the way it goes I guess? We still wish him all the best.
What would be the profile of the new singer ? Did you already have some concrete applications for Dorian’s replacement or will you take care about that when you recover the use of your hand and then rehearse again ?

Nothing set in stone at the moment, we’re just gonna keep jamming and writing for the next lp and keep putting out feelers. Dor was a story teller, a hell of a frontman and a loon. We’re not gonna be looking for a Dorian clone but any prospective replacements have definitely got to be a character who shines and can hold a tune.

I’ve read that you’ve got about 6 new songs composed, are they all completed with lyrics ? could you tell us if they retranscribe a palpable evolution in Sigiriya’s sound ? you described one of them as a mix of 70’s ZZ Top and classic era TROUBLE, I would be really curious to listen how it sounds like !

I think that there’s probably 4 in the bag with a rough lyric style (that will probably change with a new singer) and another 4 near completion. There’s a little work in progress if you like and yeah the sounds kinda the same, a little bigger and dirtier. Why fix something if it ain’t  broken, right? Yeah we’re calling that one ‘Trouble at the top’ at the moment, for a laugh as it’s got the classic ‘Top style 70’s main riff and structure mixed with a massive Trouble breakdown and solo which fuckin rules to play!!

The production of “return to earth” had a very particular sound, raw, dirty, almost sludgy… is it something that you’ll try to keep for next album or do you feel this needs a change, an improvement ?

I don’t think we’d like to change that vibe too much. Maybe make it more massive which is always the challenge. Personally I think it’ll have the bass a little more up there and dirtier as is with our live sound, keeping the drums banging and the guitar heavy and singing.
                                             live at Morrowfest - credit goes to Jez Walshaw
Your (memorable) show at Roadburn only included songs from the album, but did you ever play new songs live ? Is there any songs that you already know you won’t play live anymore when new ones will be definitely ready ? -oops sorry ! I now remember about 2... was definitely  toostoned when I prepared that one :( -

Ha, we did actually play 3 new tracks a Roadburn and 2 of them have been in rotation since the Lord Vicar, Orchid euro tour. I think we’ll always get excited by a new tune and just throw it out there for kicks because we’re chuffed. If we think it’s a winner, let it run. There will always be songs that get cut for a while and will hopefully return when we feel the moments right.

I’ve been really impressed by your way of playing live, very expressive, are you conscious that you’re almost constantly smiling, making faces on stage… is that so orgasmic ?!
Play it from the heart every time mate, mistakes ‘n all.

Was the spring tour with ORCHID and LORD VICAR the best you’ve ever had with any of your bands ? It looks like that it has been a nice human adventure too … ? Which country that you haven’t reached yet would you like to play in preferably now ?

Yes personally it was one of my favorite tours that I’ve had the chance to do; a lot of craziness mind you, but that goes hand in hand. And getting to play with two very accomplished bands every night definitely makes you step up you game. Lord Vicar are one of my fave doom bands also and they kill it every time, plus they will always be true and good friends. I think there’s still a load of places we’d like to play, France, Spain, Sweden, Japan , ha the list goes on and on..

 Some weeks ago, you posted on FB a message that was warning people about a distributor that ripped you off, you then recommended to buy Acrimony and Sigiriya stuff just through Church Within or you directly… it seems that a few other bands have had the same troubles with that guy, are things arranged or is it an integral loss for you ?
Man, it’s a bit of a shitstorm really that I don’t want to bother or bore people with. Just deal with us direct or with Oli at Church Within Recs, that’s all I can say.

After the London’s desertfest and Roadburn this spring, you played at festivals in Germany and Austria this summer… how did you enjoy those both last ones ? Is to play at Roadburn definitely the ultimate highlight for a stoner/doom band or did you take an equal pleasure and have been as proud and happy with the others ?

Roadburn was a definite high point for us as Sigiriya. But they’ve all been a real pleasure and honour to play. We dealt with and met some amazing people doing these shows and hope to do more of the same when we’re back up and running.
Wales and Brittany (where I live) have common celtic historic roots, including in the native language, traditional music, etc… do you feel attached to this culture ? (by the way, I should tell ya that my family name in Britton means “the welsh” !)

I guess I’m proud to be Welsh but don’t really associate myself with culture etc.

Could you imagine a decent reason that would push you to shave your beard ?

Could you please cite any new interesting welsh stoner/doom/metal bands that is worth discovering? I know that Wales is a pretty small country but is there any other towns outside Cardiff that allow to play in good conditions ?

Personally I’m not really keyed up on any new bands, as I tend to keep myself to myself and sadly we don’t tend to play around Wales at all. There is the odd show here and there, but that’s about it. I will tell you to check out HARK from Bristol, they’re a bunch of Welsh dudes, one of them being Jimbob ( One of my best mates and ex TAINT frontman/ He also did the ‘Return to earth’ artwork ) – They win bigtime!!

I remember reading that you formed SIGIRIYA to “feel if the old magic was still there”, I won’t take any risk by thinking it still is, but how do you see the future of the band now ? It’ll be of course delayed but are you still planing to release the new album in 2013 ?

Well I will say that myself, Dar and Mead are still having way too much fun too pack it in. Personally, I enjoy the camaraderie, just jamming with these guys and I guess we’ll keep it going so long as we’re chuffed to do it. As for the record, the plan was to record in jan/feb 2013 and maybe again work with Billy Anderson one way or another? Then to get it out by March 2013. Now it’s in the lap of the gods so to say. We’ll just keep our heads down writing  and see how things pan out?

Could you tell us which SIGIRIYA merchandise is currently still available ? plus add something if you wish, thanx a lot Stu !!!

Yeah get in touch through our facebook page to get a low down on merch and you can deal direct with one of us to see what’s what. Also any of you out there fancies giving the vocal duties a turn, please get in touch also. Big up to you Steph, much thanks always for the support!!


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