Different tempos of Mad Scientist | Sunday Observer

Different tempos of Mad Scientist

A star lit night- a breeze swept beach in Kandakuliya, Kalpitiya- Pulsating heavy music swelled and vibrated in the velvety blackness of night drawing you like a magnet. I struggled through the sand towards the source of music and there on a coconut thatched stage two young guys were belting out heavy music in the drum and bass genre- they were giving it their all and a mesmerised audience was dancing and rapping their cares away. It was another outstanding performance by MAD SCIENTIST – a duo very much in demand nowadays at the recently concluded Wild Collective Kalpitiya.

Chathuranga Pitigala and Sasith Gamage banded together to form MAD SCIENTIST on fourth August 2018 and in less than one year they have left their footprint on the local heavy music scene. Presently, the songs they play are originals- composed by Sasith under his iClown moniker.

Chathuranga’s interest in music was kindled when his father bought him a drum set when he was a child. His initial reaction was “Thaththi, you are wasting your money.” Gradually, the drum set intrigued the boy and he tentatively started making sounds on it and then got hooked. For Sasith, it was different. He was introduced to music as a toddler of two. So, he came under the influence of music at an early age and by seven years he was enrolled at the Academy of OrganMusic and is one of Directress Shama Perera’s oldest pupils. He has qualifications in both theory and performance from Trinity College, London. While learning the organ Sasith gravitated towards Metal and electronic music and became a self-taught expert. Both these ardent musicians believe that heavy music is more than a genre – their take on it is that it is more of a culture and a lifestyle and they have embraced it fervently much to the benefit of the Sri Lankan music scene. The different tempos of heavy music like death-metal, doom and industrial opened up possibilities for their creative and musical talents and they started honing their skills in these varied tempos. Initially, they were on separate musical journeys.

It was at a memorial show for the late Chester Bennington that Chathuranga Pitigala and Sasith Gamage first came across each other. By this time Chathuranga who had returned from UAE where he had lived in Ras Al Khaimah and studied at the Ras Al Khaimah English Speaking School was teaching drumming to aspiring drummers. Sasith decided to follow a course in drumming with Chathuranga. Within a short space of time the guru and pupil found that they were kindred spirits and opted for a joint musical and creative journey. Thus, MAD SCIENTIST was born.

A major gig for MAD Scientist was when they were asked to play for ‘One More Light, an event organised by Child, Adolescent and Family Services (CAFFS) to raise awareness for mental health. The big bang or big break for MAD SCIENTIST came when they performed at Colombo Comic Expo (CCE). They played a mash – up of Rip& Tear/BFG Division from the DOOM soundtrack by Mick Gordon who himself ended up sharing a video of their performance on facebook with a simple caption “OMG AMAZING”.

Chathuranga and Sasith consider Wild Collective Kalpitiya their best ever outstation performance so far. Their set-list included iClown’s remix of the Daredevil, which gained 1 million views on Youtube, and a set of originals which included some brand-new songs off Sasith’s upcoming EP. They said the superb organisation and punctuality of the event was world-class.

Speaking of their future plans, Chathuranga and Sasith said that they hope to widen their repertoire to include originals exclusive to MAD SCIENTIST and taking their unique madness to world-wide audiences.The recent Easter Sunday Blasts have been a setback as many of their plans, gigs and productions, have had to be put on hold and the local music scene also has gone a bit low key.

Apart from MAD SCIENTIST, Chathuranga also drums for Neurocracy whose genre is progressive death metal. Both guys also play for Constellation who recently released a music video for ‘Pillar of Light’, from their upcoming album.

Sasith has been streaming under the moniker iClown since 2012 playing his own compositions. His inspiration comes from sci-fi, games and anything that is connected to the cosmos. In a short time, he has achieved global success, by getting signed to an international label, High Chai, being featured on numerous BBC shows, and having his music played across multiple countries including Russia and Australia.

Chathuranga enjoys a wide variety of music from Metal to J-Pop, while Sasith worships at the altar of Pendulum and Tesseract.

Apart from music Sasith is reading for his Masters in Business Administration at American National College and hopes to complete his CIMA in the near future. He is currently employed at MAS Intimates.

Chathuranga is acopy-writer currently working for Wentworth Management, part of The Regent Group. His intense sessions of drumming has meant that he suffers from tendonitis. Though it is currently under control, he has to be watchful.

When asked about advice they’d like to share with young musicians the duo encouraged dedicated-practice, perseverance and humility as fundamental components to be a great musician.

When speaking of the local music scene, particularly the underground, which is what the group believe they belong to, they spoke about the high level of talent and dedications their fellow musicians possess, but also the struggles faced by them due to the lack of support infrastructure. However, things are starting to look better.

The MAD SCIENTIST duo is not only exceptional musicians they are great guys with their feet firmly planted on terra firma but looking to soar skywards with their music. Best of luck MAD SCIENTIST.