After chartbusters, a split, a regroup and a rechristening, the rock band 'Indus Creed' is back to wow audiences with a sound that's fiercely their own. A chat with the lead vocalist of the band, Uday Benegal, reveals their journey so far and what music means to them. Excerpts from the interview:
From 'Rock Machine' to 'Indus Creed', your best memory to date?
Wow, there are so many! One was playing with Slash, the guitarist of the band 'Guns and Roses', at the MTV India launch in Bangalore. Every time we record an album, every time we sing onstage and the crowd joins us. Ok, I have it! The one great moment was when we won the MTV Video Music Award (Asian Viewer's Choice Award) for our song, 'Pretty Child' in 1993!
How does a format like MTV Unplugged act as a showcase for bands?
We, as a band and as musicians individually, really loved the Unplugged format right from its inception. It brings songs and music down to its most elemental form. When you hear a song on an acoustic instrument, it is stripped to its basics. That tells you what a song is all about. I love music in the acoustic space. It's beautiful to explore, especially for bands since it shows what you can do as a musician. Plus, it's great fun!
How lucrative is the music scene for bands or independent artists today, compared to Bollywood?
Independent, non-Bollywood music cannot and probably will never be able to compete with Bollywood and therefore, should not. They are two separate worlds. Not that they can't merge, but they are very distinctive. While independent music will not make as much money, there's nothing stopping you from following another path.
And you have chosen to be independent...
The path you want to follow is a musician's choice. We choose this one because this is music we enjoy listening to, playing, writing and composing.
We make music for a very selfish reason - it makes us happy. So if a Bollywood project comes along, we would be happy to do it, but it would probably be on the side. The band, this is what we do, front and center.
How does the sound of 'Indus Creed' stand out as an English band?
Honestly, we don't look at our music as being different from Indian or international bands. This is OUR sound. There's no comparative term. We look at it in the absolute. We are different because each individual is different, within the band and as a collection of musicians. We express ourselves in the way we know how, and this perspective is what makes us different.
Watch a sneak peek of the second episode of MTV Unplugged featuring Indus Creed.
And as a band, how do you combine creatively despite being a diverse team of musicians?
Through exploration. We explore ourselves, and explore ourselves through our music.
What's on the cards for 'Indus Creed' after MTV Unplugged?
More music, a lot more live concerts, more albums and more good times because that's really why we do it!
10 songs we would find on your playlist right now?
Music I'm listening to these days? Well, there's 'Walk' from the Foo Fighters' album 'Wasting Light'. 'Pretenders' is another from the same band.
Bjork's 'Big Time Sensuality', 'The Who'- so many by them! Peter Gabriel's 'Washing of the Water' is beautiful. Songs by 'Karnivool', the post progressive Australian band, 'Porcupine Tree'....is that 10? (Grins)
How would you describe 'Indus Creed' in 5 words?
High energy, big on melody, expansive and emotionally layered.
And 5 words for Uday Benegal?
I like to have fun!
Tune in to Indus Creed's episode on Royal Stag Mega Music MTV Unplugged on November 17th, 2012. For more Unplugged photos and videos, click here.
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