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Sigiriya

In the 90s Acrimony from Wales was one of the British bands that kept on drawing attention to stoner and doom. Unfortunately the band folded in 2003, but four out of five members from Acrimony now return with their new band called Sigiriya. The album 'Return To Earth' is a massive return to the scene and reason enough to ask these guys some questions. Drummer Darren gave informative as well as funny answers as you can read in the interview below.

By: Pim B. | Archive under doom metal

So, after eight years since you pulled the plug on Acrimony you guys are back with almost the same line-up, but with a new name. Why did you decide to reform and why the name change?
Hi there Pim. I think we all decided we wanted to do something musical in one form or another and I'd spoken to Mead about doing something together, he'd been speaking to Stu and so on…you get the picture? To be honest, we all wanted to do something and the only people we felt comfortable doing it with were our old battle partners. We weren't sure if it would work or feel right but it did and we slowly started pulling songs together and eventually thought about doing an album. This was all a pretty organic and slow process and didn't have and still hasn't got an agenda. We just do it because we're enjoying it and, if people dig the stuff, then all's good. We gig when we want to and we do it our way. We changed the name because we really see Sigiriya as a separate entity to Acrimony and we didn't want to confine ourselves to trying to reproduce something we'd been doing ten years ago (and also for ten years before we split). Having a new name gives you a new mentality and really frees you to explore other sounds and directions. Sigiriya is a fresh start a 'tabula rasa' all our sins are wiped clean ha ha.

Musically you definitely sound like Acrimony and I think the vocals of Dorian are a large part in that. I'm interested to hear from you what you think are the biggest differences between Acrimony and Sigiriya?
I'd describe Acrimony as a massive stoned mammoth sitting on your chest while you're flying backwards through a black hole. I think the main difference with Sigiriya is that the Mammoth is also quite likely to punch you in the face while he's sitting there! Most people won't have heard Acrimony's last split EP with Church of Misery, but if you listen to that, I think you can see where Acrimony was going and where Sigiriya has taken off.

band imageI always felt that Acrimony had a huge part in the British doom and stoner scene, so why did you actually threw the towel back then?
Thanks, it's nice of you to say so. Well we did our bit - we hopefully contributed something somewhere - that's all you can ask really. I think that in the end Peaceville and Music for Nations didn't really know what to do with us as a band and, to be fair to them I think we were out of our minds and a bit out of control by the time 'Tumuli' came out, so we definitely were on self-destruct mode ha ha! There were lots of reasons why it ended, but you know sometimes the best things don't last but we had a good time while it did.

You guys have been active in other bands all these years. Are you guys still involved in other bands right now? What do you think is worthwhile mentioning regarding to your other acts?
Some of the other lads did a band called Black Eye Riot after Acrimony and they were even more fucking crazy than Acrimony!! Stu played in Iron Monkey and the Dukes of Nothing after Acrimony too (so he went out of the flying pan into the fire!). The Dukes are reforming for a one off gig at the Morrowfest tribute gig next year and Stu is part of that and Sigiriya are also playing it. Apart from that, Mead has a psy-trance project called Yeti and Dorian is a full time professional drinker and man about town. I take heavy duty medication and laugh at horses.

What does the name Sigiriya actually mean?
It means 'throat of the lion rock' in Singalese; the ancient language of Sri-lanka. Most people can't get the name right which is why we chose it.

How did you end up on The Church Within by the way? It's a small but dedicated label who has proven to be able to find killer bands. I haven't heard about any demos or so, so I was wondering how you got out the news you were back?
Our friend Volki who organizes the Dawn of Doom festival in Switzerland got in touch to ask us to play and mentioned about Oli and The Church Within. We met Oli at the gig and he liked the band but thought we would be a bit too crazy to work with. He must have changed his mind but I'm glad he did. It's a great label - he does things the old school way and puts the music first, so I have a lot of respect for him. The other bands on the label are great too so that's a big plus. Lord Vicar are my favourite Doom band (actually one of my favourite bands in any genre) and Orchid are simply amazing on record and live. Serpent Venom are also on there and a super solid doom band doing it for the UK.

The album is great, it sounds really good. Can you tell us a bit more on the recording?
Thanks again Pim - the Euros are in the post! The album was recorded locally about a year and a half ago and engineered by our friend Gethin Woolcock who plays in Prosperina (top band and worth a listen if you like vast progressive soundscapes). He did a fantastic job on the engineering and then Billy Anderson (who'd worked with Black Eye Riot) did a mix and master for us. The record is mostly live with some guitar and all vocals over dubbed, but drums, bass and rhythm tracks are as we laid them down. The record has a raw live feel and Billy's mix has given it a bit of dirty low end for good measure. It's taken a bit of time to see the light of day but we had some delays because Billy's house burned down just before he was due to mix and other things…well better late than never I suppose?

So what's the future like for Sigiriya? Any tours planned or other exciting things?
Lots of things - we're writing a lot of new material which is sounding really good and we plan to do another album next year too and we'll have to try and fit that around all the usual normal shit that bands have to do to pay the rent. We're doing the Roadburn festival in your good country next April and we'll be touring in Europe around that time with Orchid and Lord Vicar which is going to be a trip of a lifetime. There should be a vinyl release of return to earth out for that tour as well.

That's it from my side. Anything else you want to share?
Yep, listen to Motörhead, Sabbath and Celtic Frost and you can't go too far wrong and don't waste your energy on things you don't believe in but fight to the death for the things you do. Peace.

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