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    Uday Benegal

    Lead singer of rock band Indus Creed, Uday Benegal, talks about his music taking a new direction

    Theirs is a journey worth reliving. A smashing hit, a break-up, a reunion, and now, Indus Creed is back to woo audiences. We speak to Uday Benegal, the lead singer-songwriter, who will be performing at Hyatt Regency today. He starts off by telling us what to expect at the concert. “I’m doing my second show this year with my recently relaunched band, Alms for Shanti, which is being produced by AGP (Ashvin Gidwani Productions). We did our first gig a couple of weeks ago in Bangalore and I was really happy with the way the band sounded. So I’m looking forward to bringing the music to Chennai. It’ll be a new experience for me in that I’m exploring a certain amount of Hindi element in these songs,” he says. The band is working on a new album and all Benegal says is “It’s harder! I love that we are going into deeper, bigger territory—sonically and lyrically.”

    Rock culture
    As part of the band that released India’s first all-original rock album Rock’n’Roll Renegade in 1988, Benegal shares his views, “Rock music in India is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. It’s a very fertile time and there are great bands across the country who are blazing new trails through their creativity and expression.” Having sung in movies (Life is Crazy from Wake up Sid), he adds that the future of non-film music is very positive. ‘‘I believe the current state of ferment is just the beginning. It’s just a matter of time before commerce catches up with the creativity and shepherds it all into a full-fledged industry,” he explains.

    Know the band
    Having performed on MTV Unplugged this year, Benegal claims he has been a fan of the format right from the beginning. “Getting heavily-produced bands to strip their material down to a barebones form was pure genius on the part of MTV. When they called Indus Creed last year to do an Unplugged, our reaction was a no-brainer—‘Yes, of course’. And we loved the experience,” he says. As an independent band, Benegal claims that playing the bills is the biggest challenge. “That’s really at the crux of it. All else is built around it: how to develop a distinctive sound, write great songs, market yourself effectively, and build a following,” he says. As for what he is listening to right now,he says, “Weights and Measures by the British folk-rock/indie band Dry the River. I saw them play live
    in Bombay recently and was
    blown away.”

    —Mrinalini Sundar

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