LYNCHPiN breaks new ground

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A report by Janelle de Souza for Trinidad’s Newsday.

Although they did not place in the first four at the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle, LYNCHPiN gained numerous new fans, respect from their peers, new friends, knowledge, and a record deal.

The four-man band, consisting of vocalist Sievan Siewsarran; drummer, Aaron Maharaj; bassist, Jiggy Khatri; and guitarist, Gerard Ferreir, shared the stage with over 100 rock bands from around the world at the Wacken Open Air Music Festival in Germany in August and met many of their Metal heroes as well.

Speaking to Sunday Newsday, Siewsarran described the experience as “insane, mind-blowing.” Not only did they play in front of over 10,000 cheering Metal fans, but they had fun and learned a lot.

For example, Siewsarran said they gained an understanding of what equipment they should have, what to use when travelling, planning their finances, and more.

“They just shared a wealth of information.

I think they were just so happy to know that another part of the earth loves this kind of music,” he said.

He added that one band could not make it to the show and, although it was technically against the rules, LYNCHPiN was given more time on stage because, according to the stage manager, “How many times is the Caribbean going to be here?” Siewsarran noted that some bands and some fans actually knew of them, and said they never heard LYNCHPiN’s kind of metal before. That was when he realised just how much their Caribbean roots influenced their Metal.

He said the band’s proudest moment was when they walked off stage and the other bands congratulated them, saying how “insane” their performance was.

“We just felt so proud to be the first Caribbean band to play on the Wacken stage. We never thought our music could get that far. There is a world out there that Caribbean bands could reach. We are such a heavy band, so extreme that it’s harder for us. If we can get through, there is hope for other mainstream bands. Anybody can do it with dedication to their craft,” he said.

On their return to Trinidad and Tobago, the band started talks with Los Angeles-based Dead Sea Records label owner, Michael Black, and signed with his new label, Dead Sea Records Caribbean in November.

The band first met Black when he performed with Taipan for the Wacken Caribbean Metal Battle competition in Paramaribo, Suriname in April, which LYNCHPiN won. Impressed with their professional attitude, Black kept in contact with the band and helped them get sponsors.

However, after witnessing the band overcome various financial and technical obstacles to go to Wacken, when they returned from Germany, Black informed the band he was establishing a new label for Metal and Rock music in the Caribbean, and he wanted them to be the first band signed to the label.

For Ann Barbara Applewhite – director/ teacher – “SSBDTS is the realisation of a lifelong dream.” As a retired registered nurse, she has been involved in Ballroom Dance for over 25 years and her qualifications include DVIDA Certified – Associate of Dance Degree (American Style Smooth). And IDTA – Ballroom and Latin – Double Bronze (International Style).

Nicole Applewhite is Grand Master Teacher – co-director/teacher, whose love for dance began in Secondary School and continued as a member of the “Belvedere” under musical director, Richard Tang Yuk, where she performed in South Quay Story and An Evening with Cole Porter to name a few.

Additionally she is also a training and management consultant.

Her list of dancing certifications is impressive and includes two levels completed at the Ballroom Dance Teachers College in San Francisco, USA: DVIDA Certified – Associate of Dance Degree (International Style Standard) and DVIDA Certified – Associate of Dance (International Style Latin – Rumba & Cha Cha) However, says Nicole, “My biggest accomplishment for 2016 is being recently appointed a ProDVIDA Regional Examiner.

I am now able to examine medal students up to gold level and the Associate Degree Bronze Level.” Guest instructor, Anthony John – Grand Master Teacher, also brings his list of DVIDA Certificates to Sophisticats.

The organisation has been conducting Student Medal tests since 2011.

Says Nicole, “Additionally over the last two years we have trained five teachers in their Associate Degree – American Rhythm Dances (Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo, East Coast Swing, American Bolero).

Three of the teachers are also certified in Merengue, West Coast Swing and Samba.

All teachers also attained Honours and all examinations have been conducted by a ProDVIDA US National Examiner who visits Trinidad once a year.

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