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:: Spotlight :: Spotlight - Supreme Beings Of Leisure rise to the occasion

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

After an absence of five years, Ramin Sakurai and Geri Soriano-Lightwood, the guiding forces behind the Supreme Beings of Leisure, have returned with a soothing and seductive sound in their new album 11i. Circumstances meant their project was placed on hold after two excellent albums at the start of the decade. The duo are now back in command.

This album 11i, named after the duo's fascination with the “number 11” is familiar sounding to their fans who been excited at the band's return and it is hoped that this achievement will ensure further terrific sounds from Supreme Beings Of Leisure.

I had a short chat Geri about the long time out and the feelings following the album's release.

What brought the band to a halt five years ago?

There were a lot of family issues I had to deal with. During the course of the first two records I lost both my parents. I got married, bought two homes, had a child. Everything happened at once. After the tour of the second record I needed to chill out. I had to live up to my name.

Is it a rediscovery for you?

We didn’t really let it down. It was on my mind for the whole time. It was just a matter of letting it sit and let it be what it was going to be. It was always there. When it did finally reveal itself to me, it was new – a different voice. It was a mature, introspective feeling. I was revealing more about myself on this record as ever before.

Were you taking notice of what other music eventuated?

I shut a lot of things out. I get into a bubble when I write. It’s funny because it feels like this whole generation of music came and went in between, while I was writing this. I can’t say that I was really aware of what was going on out there. I’d been listening more to talk radio and political commentary.

What are the short term plans, and does Australia figure in them?

We’re figuring out where we’ll go next. We hope to come down to Australia – not been since 2001 and we’re so excited that this record is getting a proper release there.

Your voice remains as sublime as ever. What do you do to take care of it?

I am a classic abuser of my voice. I don’t do anything particularly special. However, I do avoid certain foods when I’m in the studio. I’m generally a healthy person and realise that my voice is my instrument. Otherwise, I’m a little lazy. I’m lucky, really.

Have you noticed the old fans returning to support you?

Absolutely. We’re getting a lot of hits on Myspace from our old fans.

Talking about the Internet, you were quite ahead of many others when instigating an online presence back when you started. Tell us how you've seen the developments?

Yes, it’s a great thing. We were able to have an impact then because there was nobody doing what we were doing on the Internet. Now it’s ubiquitous – everybody has a web page. It’s all plug and play.

Tell us about making this record and of any collaborators you got on board?

We did 95% of the work. We had some great collaborators and even Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) played guitar. That was a fluke meeting. He came up to us at a music conference saying that he liked our music. The whole record came together conceptually and we wanted to create a journey – a whole piece. That was our goal and we achieved it.

Touring plans this year?

We’re still fielding offers to tour and excited with the possibilities.

What is the likely composition of the live band?

It will be a full live band – five piece – not a laptop show.

"11i" is out now through Rykodisc/Stomp.