Saturday, 29 December 2007

10 Second Rule - Sneak preview of the new album

This is very exciting stuff. The first song, "Monsoon Sunday", of the upcoming album is now ready for a bit of a sneak preview. You can find it at .

Please feel free to go have a listen, but pump up the volume first. Let us know what you think!

More tracks to follow.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Religion and bollocks

Religion - To me, religion is more personal than my underwear. My boxers might show when I wear my jeans, but the strength of my faith and belief is only for my eyes. I'm a Muslim. I was born one. Much like your school friends, you have no choice in the matter. If I was born to another religion, I'd be of that. If you take religion as a faith or belief in a deeper meaning to life, then I'm religious. If you take religion as a division, such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, blah blah, then i'm not so religious. But I still do the basics. Does that make sense?

So there I was at mosque on a Friday, performing my basics. As usual I was drifting off to sleep as I couldn't understand a word of what the preacher was saying as the sermons are always in Tamil. I woke with a start when I heard him switch to English. But soon enough I wish I hadn't woken.

According to this guy, there are two evils in this world - Listening to music and, what he calls, injustice. He kept telling his "respected elders and brothers" that music was bad and so is "injustice", and to avoid the wrath of god we must avoid those two evils. Injustice he defines as sexual behaviour outside of marriage, homosexuality, alcohol, etc., most of which is looked down upon in most religions. I'm not going to look into that this evil too much as that deserves another post altogether. Suffice it to say, I have nothing against sexual behaviour outside of marriage, homosexuality or alcohol. That doesn't mean I practice all that.

So what irked me about his sermon was that he started talking about the tsunami. He started by saying that even pious people died in the waters of the rising sea. But then he was quick to add that the people who died, suffered their fate because they listened to music and were practicing social injustices. I found that utterly disgusting. The only thing that stopped me from getting up and walking out was that I was there to perform my basics, and I wasn't going to leave till I had done so.

I did not want to go to mosque to have some uneducated, misinformed idiot tell me where I'm going wrong. I go to mosque for preachers to tell me the beauty of god, not for them to instill in me their belief or faith, which is incidentally my definition of religion. Moreover, I do not go to mosque to have so-called learned people pass judgment on other humans. One of the fundamentals of Islam is the belief in the day of judgment, where god, and god alone, would pass judgment on the way you've lived your life. No one else has the authority. This is where we should ask "who died and made you god?"

The Quran is read in a poetic, melodic manner. If a tune is carried out in reading the Quran, wouldn't that make listening to god's verse wrongful?

My faith and my belief is just that - mine. It's my personal business as to how I live my life. I don't pass judgment on anyone else, so I don't want anyone else passing judgment on my religious commitment.

Here's news for you mr preacher. I make music. Now does that make me the devil?

Bollocks - Religion. That's what's bollocks.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Love hurts, but sometimes it's a good hurt

Everything's been looking up since that disastrous Saturday. The mistakes are in the past, but the lessons learnt are for the future. Music is my love, but I won't let it demoralise me.

So on Sunday I went to the beach with friends. We decided to go to Negambo for a change from the usual down south trips. I hadn't been to Negambo in years. All I remembered of it was that it was a lot hotter than down south. Unbearably hotter than down south. I wasn't prepared for the surprises in store for me!

We went to this lovely hotel called "The Beach". The name alone resulted in a lot of frustration in a 'Dude where's my car?' sorta way when trying to explain where I had gone to others who couldn't make it. It went something like this.

Friend : oooh you guys went on a trip? where to?
me : Negambo. We decided a change would be good.
Friend : oh really? where did you guys go?
me : This place called The Beach
Friend : No really? How smart of you. Which hotel you idiot!?
me : The Beach you cow!
Friend : Oh, why didn't you say so.
me : sigh

So the hotel gave us a room for the day too, which was very nice of them. The room was lovely, one of the best I've seen at a Sri Lankan hotel (if you discount the boutique hotel rooms I guess). The bathroom walls were made of glass, even the door, which would be quite interesting for couples and not for a boisterous group of 10 like us.

We headed out to the beach (the beach, not the hotel. Although we were at the hotel. So that would make it the hotel's beach. Comprehendo?). The Negambo beach is beautiful! It's so wide and the water was calm! It's the first time that i've seen yellow flags on a Sri Lankan beach! The sand is soft, unlike down south. Did I tell you how wide the beach was? It was as wide as half the length of a football pitch! So after many thrills and spills on the calm waters, and a joint effort at making a sand-car (castles are just boring) that we sat in, it was time for lunch!

Lunch deserves a whole post on it's own. But I ate too fast to even remember what I was eating. But I do remember there was sushi, smoked salmon, cream cheese, chillie crab, lamb chops, roast chicken, batter fried prawns to name a few. The buffet was definitely as good as, or even better than, Blue Water Wadduwa. Slightly cheaper too. It was a big spread, so I was a happy child. It's a must have!

After a lunch like that, the only thing to follow is a nap. So there we were, 10 of us cramped in one bed, but all knocked out from stuffed belly syndrome. A drink, a dip in the pool, a broken bead bracelet, a sprained ankle and we were on our way home.

Last morning I caught up with a good friend, and spent the afternoon shopping for Christmas presents. Came back home and I was ready to drop. But not before I attended to important business. A passport, a credit card, a few clicks and a smile was all that was needed! What was all that about?

7th March 2008. Singapore. Incubus.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Of highs and lows

If ever I've hit a low as an amateur musician, this is it.

Two vastly contrasting evenings. The christmas party was absolutely crazy! I've not had so much fun in such a long time. It was just pure entertainment, so much so that I felt like I had to be the dancing queen's king. Good food, great company, lots of booze, fun and games, a super DJ, all of which added up to be the best retro party I have been to. When the fun and games were over, most had left, the good food had been cleared, the super DJ decided to belt out some slow tunes to which the great company decided at 3 am that they should add their vocal talents in unison as there was still lots of booze left. By 4am the waiters had had enough, and had surrounded us, albeit subtlely (or not so subtlely, as we noticed), as if to say 'enough!'. We didn't sound all that bad though.

When I got home at 4:30am, with 6 bottles of left over booze, I was indeed a happy man. Until I realised I have to be up by 7.

At 7:30am the day from hell began, where the night from heaven had ended.

By 9 am was at the studio, where the album is in it's last stage of production. By 11 am I was falling asleep, and my attention span was as short as Jehan Mubarak's longest innings. I was craving for some sleep. But it was not to be. I ran home at 2pm, ate, showered, ran out again carrying a 40kg amplifier, my guitar and a man bag of necessities for the gig. We had another drummer playing with us tonight as Jim is out of the country, so I had to run to his house and make sure he was tight with the songs. By 4pm that was all sorted. Got to Rockapoluza 2 as fast as we could. It seemed nice and chilled out. But my confidence was lagging. We hadn't practiced as a band in a while; the bassist hadn't even met drummer-for-the-night properly. To cut a long and horrible story short, when we came up to play we fucked up. It made us sound below amateurish and there's no one else to blame but ourselves. This was the perfect opportunity to dish out some of our music to an audience who had never heard us before. Our song selection was poor, our co-ordination was shit, and we went right after Powercut Circus, probably one of the top 3 alternative bands in town. We really missed Jim this eve. He definitely brings out the best in us, and is the key ingredient to how tight we are as a band.

I had a bad day as a guitarist. I kept missing my notes, and my guitar tone was rubbish. Live and learn they say. One thing's for sure; the bitter lesson is that you should never take any gig too lightly. I swear to you now, I will never play another gig without adequate prep. There's too much embarrassment and humiliation involved in fucking up live.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

So this is Christmas

Christmas. The time of year when the ducks fly south for warmer climes and stronger liquids. Colombo seems a little more over-populated than it usually is, especially at night. But that's a good thing, cause at this time of the year everything is a little more bright and chirpy. Almost makes you forget how dead it usually is.

Met up with the clique last night, most of whom, like the ducks, have flown in from all parts of the world. Actually some have flown north, contrary to regular duck behaviour. Not that ducks don't fly north. Just that popular belief tells me that they don't fly north during winter.

It turned out to be quite a fun night. A little bit of booze, a lot of Flower-drum food. A little song, a lot of filthy jokes. A lot of frazzled nerves thanks to north-flying-duck's driving skills. Fast disappearing dessert at Coffee Stop where a pretty decent band was playing No Woman No Cry. Well they played other songs too, but that was the pick of the lot. And more frazzled nerves as she dropped me home. It's nice to have old faces back.

Still to come this week; 2 Christmas parties (including the office one. oh bummer!), a gig (Rockapoluza-2, 24 bands?:O) which we are probably gonna play with Anik as Jim is out of the country temporarily, and possibly a trek down south for the day on Sunday! To add to all the excitement, I found out that I might have the chance to catch two wonderful acts pretty soon. But more about that later.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 14 December 2007

You can't fire me...I quit!!!

If not for the air conditioning and (almost) working computers, I would've thought I was working in a government department.

We've got the works.
Nosy secretaries who want to know everything about everyone and then spread malicious rumours surreptitiously to carefully selected allies faster than a Minister's convoy.

Managers that openly bite each others arse off, in the hope of climbing the corporate rope-ladder.

Staff who sing baa baa black sheep each time a superior walks by. Well not really. Only the 'yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir' bit.

Peons who refuse to deliver docuements to client's in rajagiriya cause they 'only deliver in Colombo'.

And, to top it all off, a director who laughs like a hyena on weed, talks as if she can't be heard, and acts like she doesn't know what she's doing!

To think this is supposed to be a multinational organisation. But don't get me wrong, this is the ONLY department of it's kind in this office. The rest of the people are normal. Too bad my qualifications meant I only fit in here. I'm just glad i'm into my final two weeks.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

The show must go on...

Monsoon Sunday is finally over. For now.

It's been a hectic two weeks in which we put on this show. But the 50 minute set was well worth it. We might've not made any money, but hopefully we have a few fans now.

I'm thankful to all of you who turned up, especially those of you who stayed till the very end! Also to the bands that played, great job guys.

We set ourselves a high bar to jump over by opting to play right after Hollowpoint Halo, who, incidentally, were super as always! If any of you caught 10 Second Rule at Monsoon Sunday, I'd love to hear what you thought.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Hollowpoint Halo @ Monsoon Sunday (on a Saturday)

Ranil's got a couple of new babies: An Ibanez Steve Vai replica guitar, a 500watt Marshall stack and a Takamine semi acoustic. The new goodies coupled together with the seductive vocals courtesy of Marsh, the awesome bassist Roshan and the chance of hearing some of their music with drums (a possibility to be confirmed) is reason enough to be at Monsoon Sunday. Happens tomorrow (the 8th) at 8pm @ the Zetter. Also featuring 10 Second Rule, Anil Balasuriya, S.A.M. and Cynosure.

Be there...or be a coconut.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Monsoon Sunday : Tickets Out

It's been a hectic 10 days. Finally got the tickets to hand today. So if you need any, give me a buzz on 0776029141. About 50 have been booked already out of a 150, so get em quick!

I shall return to normal blogging once this gig is over. I solemnly swear not to prostitute my blog, and it's tiny readership, as I have done in order to promote Monsoon Sunday. At least until the next gig.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Cynosure at Monsoon Sunday

(Monsoon Sunday - 8th Dec, 8pm, the Zetter. ft Hollowpoint Halo, 10 second rule, Anil Balasuriya, Cynosure and S.A.M.)

(write up courtesy Cynosure)
Cynosure is a group of 6 musicians between the ages of 18-21, concentrating mainly on the genres of alternative/slow rock music. They have been in the music industry close to 3 years and have performed in many events and competitions and the highlight of which is Sri Lanka’s premier event for local artists, TNL Onstage.

This group of individuals first formed in school as teenagers and from there on developed into one of Sri Lanka’s well known alternative bands. Some of the band’s highlights have been competing and entering the finals of TNL onstage in the year 2005 and also in 2006.
Another major highlight of the band has been the releasing of their first Original "On a Road" which received very good reviews from various radio stations here in Colombo and also large amount of air play. Other than the Usual guitar and drums this band also emphasizes the importance of the piano be it in the originals or the covers they play. This Fusion of guitar and piano brings out a sound that is unique to the band.

Currently the band has taken up the Endeavour of releasing an Extended Play (EP) better know as a miniature album which will comprise of 4 songs composed and written by the band itself.

Band Members
Shezri Junaid - Vocals
Ruvin de Silva – Drums
Shivane Wickramasekera – Guitar
Ahmed Nuski – Bass
Shehan Michael – Keyboards
Peter Vittachchi - Guitars