Indus Creed: Bollywood has always been India’s pop music

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Uday Benegal, singer of Indus Creed, one of India’s oldest rock bands, says the Bollywood genre has always been India’s pop music.

Indus Creed, formerly known as the Rock Machine, are known for giving hits like “Pretty child” and “Top of the rock”. They had also performed with biggies like Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. After a 13-year hiatus, they regrouped in 2010.

Asked why they didn’t release another album after “Evolve”, which had hit music stores in 2012, Uday told IANS: “We did put out a single, ‘Thief’, after that. The music industry has changed quite a bit. The ‘Bollywoodisation’ of the country… I mean Bollywood has always been India’s pop music.”

But Bollywood music is “growing even more and more”.

“Places where we used to play like colleges and stuff, there are more Bollywood gigs over there as well, so in the meantime, we got caught up in our individual projects and every now and then, we play a lot together but to take time out to write albums, that requires certain amount of dedication of time and purpose. We will, at some point, but we are also lazy,” said Uday.

Also, making new music is an expensive process.

“Today, it’s not enough to record a song. You have got to back it up with a visual component which basically means a video, and videos cost money,” said Uday.

Guitarist Mahesh Tinaikar feels there are too many challenges now.

“Right now, there is a lot of niche audience, so everything has become like a sub-genre. To find that audience and find places to play, it’s a bit of a challenge. In old days, there weren’t so many bands. We had a relatively easier time in the sense, back then we had the challenge of equipments. Today, we have all the equipments and everything to play but to get an audience is a bit more difficult,” he said.

There is a need for more stages.

“We need a combination of music festivals and even more importantly, permanent music venues, places like Saints n Sinners, Gurgaon (where they just played). There was an upsurge of music festivals and music venues for a good seven or eight years. That seems to have taken quite a dip. Quite a few festivals and music venues have shut down across the country, so that’s part of the struggle as well,” Uday pointed out.

His bandmate and keyboardist Zubin Balaporia shared one “healthy” thing that he has seen in northeast Indian states.

“A lot of festivals in the Northeast…we just played in Shillong and Assam, I think the government in these places plays a very strong role in organising the festivals. They are sort of your partner in the festival, so you get permission, licenses get streamlined, but this strangely happens only in the Northeast,” he said.

“If you take other states in India, I think the organisers face a huge challenge in putting up a big festival together. I don’t think government of other states take any interest in trying to promote any kind of music. I think you can learn from what’s happening in the Northeast,” he added.

The band is now looking forward to perform at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland.

–IANS

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