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LYNCHPiN set for a banging 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017
Rather than hibernate, rock band plans big concert during Carnival season
Lynchpin are, from left, Aaron Maharaj, Gerard Perreira, Sievan Siewsarran and Jiggy (Jignesh) Khatri.

A Trinidad rock band’s dream is to make their mark outside. For the deathcore group Lynchpin, Wacken, Germany was their opportunity to make it so.

Their win at the Caribbean Metal Battle in Suriname was a qualifier to participate in W:O:A (Wacken Open Air 2016). The competition held last August is an annual event, a pilgrimage for hard rockers, at which the best perform and meet with legends.

For Sievan Siewsarran, Aaron Maharaj, Gerard Perreira and Jiggy (Jignesh) Khatri the opportunity meant that they were capable, showing off what the Caribbean could do. The response was 10,000 people chanting “Lynchpin” after their performance.

“The crowd instantly reacted to us, moshing, fist pumping and jumping,” Siewsarran said.

It also meant an introduction to an unusual rhythm not heard in death metal until the Trinidadians arrived. After their presentation, Siewsarran said some fans noted they never heard this type of “groove and rhythm” in death metal so it was rather new to them. For the band, it meant they left a Caribbean mark, a style that could possibly become a new subgenre.

The recognition from the crowd made up for not receiving an award for their efforts. Yet, they were called attention to themselves, while competing with 29 more-seasoned bands. They also got the opportunity to meet legends Henry Rollins; Taria – formerly of the band Nightwish; members of Orphaned Land and Blind Guardian.

“When we went on stage to perform, we met and were introduced to the audience by the legendary guitar genius - Jeff Waters! What a way to start a performance, huh?” said Siewsarran. “We played alongside some to the biggest acts in Metal/Rock in the world and met fans and bands from every corner! Yes, there was a lot of sharing and learning.

That is also why we went. We are from a small part of a bigger world and we wanted to learn the international standards and practices of this craft. And we learned a lot!”

The other experience was learning to be self-sufficient. Most of the funding came from out of pocket and a concert to offset the $250,000 budget to travel to Wacken. In addition to airfare at $20,000 a head, they had cover costs for accommodation, transport, freight fees for their instruments and equipment. The group also received donations from a few companies, fans and friends to defray costs. But the band is hoping that metal/rock music is better seen in the eyes of the State, with the understanding that the genre is more a part of the T&T musical landscape than it is a temporary interest.

The greater achievement, Siewsarran said, was launching a focal point for other bands to follow, in that locals could recognise what is possible. “We have especially seen a few older bands and musicians come back out since we won the Caribbean Metal Battle, as they’ve been inspired to get back into the music,” Siewsarran said. “Local bands have realised that we altered our look and stage presence since getting back to Trinidad. This is due to our desire to evolve. That is what we learned the most, a band has to evolve or left behind.”

In addition, they have recently signed to DeadSea Records Caribbean, an independent US label, originally based in California. Lynchpin is the first metal band from the Caribbean on the label, giving hope to others that goals are within their reach.

“It’s really exciting to see the fire we’ve ignited take effect.” Their connection with DeadSea was as already in the works by the time the band visited Wacken. Through DeadSea Records Caribbean’s Jerry Orie, they were given the opportunity at the W:O:A to meet many label executives, magazine writers, radio personalities and club owners from around the world at the festival.

With the Wacken experience behind them, the band is already preparing for another trip. In April, they will embark on a “minitour” with three dates in Mexico. To make it possible, the band will host a fundraiser, Mas Mayhem, on January 21 at Shakers on the Avenue. The concert will feature the host band Lynchpin as well as Mindscape Laboratory and newcomers Beyond the Animus.

In the midst of the Carnival season, they continue to push the boundaries. “It is known that at this time of year, rock and metal bands go into hibernation, but we want to change that,” Siewsarran said.


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