Making meaningful music | Daily News

Making meaningful music

Arun Jilukshan.  Picture by Sarath Peiris
Arun Jilukshan. Picture by Sarath Peiris

‘If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you” - Friedrich Nietzsche The world is descending straight into the abyss. Our humanity and morality are being dragged into this never ending pit. However there is always hope as long as people like Arun Jilukshan and his band continue to play. Melodies speaks to Abyss a band that is a voice raising awareness about issues that need to be discussed.

“The abyss to us is a never ending pit. That is our perspective. To elaborate on what it means to us is that there are certain rules and regulations imposed on us by the political systems in this world, even though there are those who say they don’t want to conform to this system, most of us are forced to follow it. Basically the entire nation is being dragged into a never ending pit, where they are forced to conform to these rules and regulations.

It is sad, but we are fighting a system that is corrupt. Man people hold positions when they do not deserve it,” said Jilukshan. A Death Groove Metal Band they feel strongly about burning issues in society and with the power of their rock music they highlight these issues.

“Basically Abyss does not only focus on one type of genre. We normally do a genre called ‘Groove Metal” with a mix of death elements called ‘Death Metal Elements’. Basically we call ourselves a ‘Death Groove Metal Band’! In Sri Lanka rock and metal music is not very much supported. It is supported through a few social media platforms. The message we want to give people is about what this country is going through. The message we want to give everyone is to live your life the way you want to live your life. You don’t have to follow rules and regulations given to you by other people. As long as you know that what you are doing is right just do it and just follow it,” explained Jilukshan.

Jilukshan states that there is talent in this country when it comes to rock and metal. These people just need the exposure and opportunity. “We want rock and metal to be a big part of this country. There are so many talented musicians in this country who want to bring their talent out in this sphere. But there do not have this opportunity because of the lack of support they get. So we want to get this message out,” said Jilukshan.

There is a need for equal treatment in society. You can’t have one set of rules and regulations for one group of people and a totally different set of rules and regulations for another group of people.

“The day to day events and the unfairness people go through this world inspire us to write our lyrics. Let me give you an example. If you take a pregnant woman about to give birth to her baby and she is rushing to the hospital. But on the roads no one even realizes she is there and she needs to get to the hospital urgently. No one makes way for her to travel fast to get to the hospital. But you take a minister; all the roads are opened up for him. Everyone makes way for him. So this unfairness in society is what we want to bring out through our music. An expecting mother is not treated the right way but a minster is given all these privileges. She is poor and stuck in a three-wheeler and doing her best to get there.

We need everyone to be treated the same we need to get that awareness. Everyone should be treated the same. There should be equality,” pointed Jilukshan. Jilukshan added that there is a misconception about local rock and metal, people think it is dangerous and satanic or they think is gives a bad message to society. They do not appreciate it. But actually it is not. It is an art.

“My major musical influences are bands such as System of a down, Lamb of god, Pantera and Motorhead (The game and King of kings by Motorhead). And my guitar influence is Daron Malakian of System of a down. I am also a huge WWF fan and I like the wrestler Triple H ! The theme music was by Motorhead and I got addicted to this music and got into the genre. I love it! I liked that rock heaviness,” said Jilukshan. He feels that Sri Lankan rock and metal music must be showcased to the rest of the world. They have a group of dedicated fans who flock to their gigs but he feels Abyss and other rock bands have the potential to go international.

“We have a passionate following in the form of our fans. One FB post is enough to get them all the way over to where we do our gig. We are very happy with our fans. We need Sri Lankan talent to be shown to the world and we need to go internationally. The world should know there is a Sri Lankan local metal scene going on. They have to know Sri Lanka has many passionate talented musicians,” added Jilukshan. Jilukshan stressed that there are so many entities in Sri Lanka who are brainwashing people saying that rock music is bad and not to listen to it. They say it creates evil in you which is not true at all.

They say that those who listen to rock music are not normal and sort of outcasts. Basically anyone can listen to metal and have fun and it brings your emotions out.

“My message to those who want to succeed is not to give up even though there may be only two or three people at your gig. Just play for them. Don’t stop just keep doing it. So many bands do well initially and have talent but along the way they come to a point when they feel they have no support. So what they do is they stop the band. Make original music and support the local industry Lastly I wish to add that brainwashing people is a problem.

When you read the newspaper or go on the internet or FB, you see stories of children getting raped and women getting raped, so we just wish there would be a better world. We want a world without corruption,” summed up Jilukshan. 


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