by Heshan Perera
The six individuals comprising Wagon Park have their own story as to how they were first introduced to music. They believe family influence played a big role and inspired them to play their first instruments as children. Wagon Park consists of six musicians, where four of them, Buddhi (Vocalist), Maddha (Rhythm Guitarist), Maiyya (Drummer) and Chikka (Key boardist) were childhood friends from the music city of Moratuwa.
The sounds of baila was in their blood. Milo (Lead Guitarist) was influenced by his parent’s taste in Classical and Classic Rock genres. Fira (Bassist) who is of Maldivian origin was influenced by Reggae and Psychedelic genres during his childhood.
Every band member was influenced by many artistes from the international and local industry. Bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Doors, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, musicians of the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and local maestros such as Clarence Wijewardena, Amaradeva and Kasun Kalhara, influenced these musicians. When asked about other inspirations they said, “We believe that many of our experiences have inspired us to create and write the music that Wagon Park plays”.
“What does Music mean to you? How does it make an impact in your life?” “Music is our identity and music defines our meaning to life. It is what we will be remembered for when we leave this world someday”, they said.
“We as musicians who create original music which defines the sound of old school Rock music with simple yet powerful lyrics that can relate to any human being who has experienced life, they said.
When asked about their best experience or incident they encountered at a concert or in their musical life, they said “We believe that every experience we’ve had in the past is a special and memorable experience as we learn something new each time we finish playing a gig”.
Their genre or style of music is such that it sounds like Old School Rock N’ Roll. “We do not stick to a particular genre or style but experiment within our comfort zone to bring the sounds out of every song we create”, they said.
“Since our lyrical content is mainly based on real life situations and how we believe in change have touched our fans, while of course our grooving sound connects with the audience musically. Each time we play a gig, we see new faces as well as the ones from the previous gig, so we believe we have a strong following which has encouraged us to launch our first album and start recording for the next”, they said.
All of them have different professions as it is hard in Sri Lanka for Rock musicians to survive with an income solely based on music. Their future plans in music is to keep on doing what they do and play to more audiences wherever it may be.
They were finalists at the TNL Onstage 2007, Bronze winners of Best Rock Band and was nominated for the Best Music Video at the IndieGo Music Awards 2012. Also in 2013, the band was nominated for Best Duo/Group Act and performed live at the YesFm Homegrown Awards.
Wagon Park has been active since 2007 but as individuals, every member started off their musical career at a young age. The band will release their debut album Stoned on February 1, 2014 at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort (75/74 Prof Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Colombo) at 7.00PM. The album will be available for and it will also be the entrance for the event.
Their advice to young aspiring bands: As the wise words of AC/DC said, “It’s a long way to the top if you want to Rock N’ Roll”. By any means it will not be easy but courage and dedication will one day get you where you were meant to be.