From metal to soul- a life in music with Lasith Fernando
By Thamali WijekoonLasith started off music being the vocalist of the heavy metal band ‘Angel Down’. Several years after ‘Angel Down’, he is making a name for himself in the Lankan music industry. If you’ve been hanging out at ‘The Station’ at ‘Tuesday Nights with Lasith’ you have got your soulful of his music. Not to forget that he kicked off his first original ‘Mathaka Mal’ at the beginning of this year with his second ‘Oba’ following, which were also the first ever Sinhala songs that he wrote. On a side note both these songs owe to soul music; a huge leap from metal and proof of a very intriguing vocal range!
“But I’m still pretty metal on the inside. Hard at the core” hereminded as he took a sip of his tropical -watermelon- strawberry juice.“If someone came and told me five years ago that this is what I would come up with in five years I would have cracked up.But once I started working as a musician I had to absorb lots of kinds of music. I started playing at pubs and open mics andgot exposed to other genres of music. Ihad to see what people felt and play to match that feeling.” he explained.
Lasith first got involved in music when he was at school. “My friends wanted to put a band together to audition for an Interact concert and they asked me whether I could play. I couldn’t play for shit by then because I had bought my guitar only a month ago but I told them that I could play anyway” he smiled a sly smile . “Then I went through a two- week crash course in guitar and started picking up stuff and learning.” With this he fondly remembered his band matestoo;“I love those guys. They were like brothers to me.”
When did you sing for the first time?
“I first sang at an Interact concert where the vocalist couldn’t make it at the last minute. When I went home and listened to the recording it sounded pretty crap and I felt that I should stop it right there” he said, laughing. “But it felt fun! I felt I was telling a story”
Is it passion or talent that drives you forward in this field?
“I think I started with about two percent of talent but a whole lot of passion. It motivated me to try harder.”
Well, it might take some time for one to learn how to scream and growl to techniques but all complexities aside, being a part of a metal band does make you a cool kid.
“Well it might have made me a bit cooler or it could have just made me seem weirder than the already weird kid I was at school. You should ask my friends about that” he joked.
Catch the complete interview in the December 2017 issue of Chokolaate Magazine