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Catching up with Uday Benegal of Indus Creed During The Band’s Visit to Nagaland for the Hornbill Festival 2019

The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mixtape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.”~ Rob Sheffield

We all have unique relationships with our music – as creators, and as listeners. For folks in Nagaland, music is a huge part of growing up, with almost every activity that has shaped the individual involving some form of music – from singing in the choir to waking up to country music playing across the hall, to jamming to rock music to bonding with family over a bonfire and a guitar, music runs in the life and blood of the Nagas.

That being said, music performances are a huge part of the most prominent festival in Nagaland – the Hornbill Festival, which happens every year from Dec 1 to 10, with a host of music artists from across the country and abroad coming to Nagaland to perform. This year, as a part of the ongoing “The Great Hornbill Rock“,  a 3-night rock music extravaganza in Dimapur Nagaland, Indus Creed (formerly known as ‘Rock Machine‘) is set to perform on the 8th of December. The news of their performance had us all excited and nostalgic with our all-time favorites like Pretty Child and Fireflies playing on our minds with fond memories of the yesteryears.

We caught up with Uday Benegal from the band Indus Creed, who was kind enough to oblige to our last minute request for a quick chat about his musical beginnings, their performance at this year’s Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, and more.

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Members of Indus Creed (L to R) Uday Benegal, Mahesh Tianaiker and Zubin Balaporia

  • It’s lovely to be chatting with you! Please introduce us to Uday Benegal – the person behind the musician. 

I was born and raised in Bombay. I loved my childhood in that crazy city and continue my relationship with it, which is about love as well as hate: love for its unrelenting energy and unbeatable spirit; hate for its loss of potential for greatness.

  • Who/what introduced you to music, and what made you think of starting a rock band? Tell us a bit about your first gig.

My older brother was the source of much of my musical upbringing. He used to regularly bring home albums by bands like The Who, Deep Purple, Santana and Led Zeppelin, which fed my soul.

“It was almost by accident that I joined a band called Rock Machine which happened to get some fame – which went on to get renamed as Indus Creed some years later. My first gig with them was in Goa at the Farmagudi Engineering College. It was wild, to say the least.”

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Uday Benegal (3rd from right) with the band members of “Rock Machine” | Photo source: Mumbai Mirror

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Indus Creed today | (L to R) Zubin Balaporia, Uday Benegal and Mahesh Tianaiker

  • What’s your creative philosophy? What inspires you and your music?

Inspiration for me comes from life: the way I embrace it and experience it. Things I see, how I feel, events and moments that shape me-it all come together in my music.

  • What are your thoughts on the music scene/talents from North East India?

The northeast has been rich with musical and other talents for at least as long as we’ve been coming here, since the late 80s.

  • What do you hope people take away from your Art/Music/Creations?

We just hope that listeners have a good time at our concert. We prefer to be a happy memory than any other kind!

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Uday Benegal | Photo: @induscreednow on Instagram

  • What should we expect from your performance at this year’s Hornbill Festival?

Loud and melodic rock. Truthful, unfiltered and heartfelt.

  • Is this your first time traveling to Nagaland? What are you looking forward to from the festival and the visit?

We’ve been to Nagaland a few times since the 80s. I came to Dimapur last year as a judge for the rock competition as well. But this is the first time Indus Creed will be playing as part of the Hornbill Festival. We’re thrilled about it. Along with playing the concert in Dimapur, we’ll be heading up to Kohima for a day to experience the Hornbill festival in all its splendor.

Watch them perform live at the Great Hornbill Festival Rock on December 8th at the Agri Expo, 4th Mile, Dimapur Nagaland. Follow them on Instagram to stay updated on their music.

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Indus Creed

Nara Longkumer