The Sunday Leader

Debut Album Of Sakwala Chakraya ‘Captain Zero’

Sakwala Chakraya, playing the self-coined genre post-colonial trance punk, is gearing up to release their debut album in December.  The band came together in 2014, when the late Prasanna Abeysekera and Thushara Kulatunga got together with Sarani Perera, Uvindu Perera, Harshan Gallage, and Isaac Smith a little later on. The current line up consists of Thushara, Sarani, Uvindu, Isaac, and Yohan Jayasooriya.

Sakwala Chakraya will be releasing their album, titled ‘Captain Zero’, on the 16th of December 2017 at La langousterie, Mount Lavinia. The concert will also be a tribute to the late Prasanna Abeysekera, a founding member of Sakwala Chakraya and a pioneering figure of the Sri Lankan Rock music scene. Prasanna formed the first music group in Sri Lanka to play its own rock n’ roll music named ‘Cancer’ which set a significant precedent for rock n’ roll bands in Sri Lanka. Here’s Thushara Kulatunga with his thoughts on the last few months, Prasanna, and the new album.

Working on the album…

‘We’ve been getting the album ready, all the tracks were recorded two years ago, but it took some time for me to record the vocals and more time for the mixing and mastering process. We’ve also been jamming with a new drummer so we’ve been taking a break from performing until everything is tight again. Of course not having Prasanna was also a huge draw back as we have had to adapt to a big change in sound and energy.

Prasanna…

‘It was Prasanna and I who started Sakwala Chakraya. The impact he had on us as a fellow musician and as a human being have been huge. He was a truly inspiring individual with a heart as big as a bus. He was someone who just wanted to rock and he did just that till the very end. That is truly inspiring. five out of the eight tracks in the upcoming album are riffs that were made by him. He was somewhat of a minimalist and the things he would do on the songs were very simple and minimal but it made such a huge difference to the overall sound. It’s impossible to replace him so we didn’t even try. This album and everything we do in the future as a band will be dedicated to Prasanna.’

About the new album…

‘The album is called Captain Zero, which is actually the name of an awesome song by Cancer, Prasanna’s band from the 70’s that was responsible for some of the first original English music in the country. It has eight tracks that we’ve composed over the past three years and we were fortunate enough to record everything before Prasanna’s passing, which means you will be hearing his playing in this record. We feel that the music on this is quite different and hope that it will give people something fresh to listen to, but we shall let those who listen decide how it is. We hope you can all be there for the launch concert.’

The album launch in December will also give the stage to ‘Paranoid Earthling’ and Local. Tickets, priced at Rs. 1000 will be available at the gate, and the album, sold separately, will also be available for purchase.

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