Indus Creed live at Purana Qila, Delhi
|Genres||Rock, Adult-oriented rock (early), Alternative rock (later)|
|Years active||1984–1999; 2010–present|
Jai Row Kavi
|Past members||Mark Selwyn
Indus Creed was originally called Rock Machine, which was created in 1984 and featured Mahesh Tinaikar, Mark Selwyn, Ian Santamaria (vocals), Aftab Currim (rhythm guitar) and Suresh Bhadricha (drums). After playing just a few concerts in 1984, the lineup went though some changes. Jayesh Gandhi replaced Currim, Mark Menezes took Bhadricha's chair and Uday Benegal took over from Santamaria as lead vocalist. A few months later, Zubin Balaporia joined the band, adding keyboards to the lineup. Tinaikar, Selwyn, Gandhi, Benegal and Balaporia were to remain the core members of the band for a major portion of its existence.
Rock Machine started out as a "cover" band, playing a mix of straight-ahead rock and hard rock by such bands as Thin Lizzy, UFO, The Who, Deep Purple, Van Halen and Rush. Based in Mumbai, Rock Machine were one of the earliest bands in India to tour the country extensively, performing at college and independently promoted rock festivals. Bucking the country’s covers-only trend, Rock Machine soon began to write and perform their own songs. The band’s original tunes soon began to gain increasing popularity.
In 1988, Rock Machine released their first album, Rock’n’Roll Renegade. Hailed as India's first all-original rock album, it was a huge success and was widely pirated in regions where distribution was scarce, as in the northeastern Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya. Rock Machine's well-rehearsed and high-voltage stage performances made them very popular among rock audiences all across India. Their follow-up album, The Second Coming, was released in 1990 and featured a more slickly produced sound than their debut album. The Second Coming also contained "Pretty Child", a song that went relatively unnoticed at the time, but which was to catapult the band to supergroup status a few years later.
The early 1990s saw a major shift in the entertainment landscape in India. The arrival of MTV onto Indian airwaves in 1992 made new American and British music more accessible to Indian listeners. It was also the year that Mark Menezes left Rock Machine and was replaced by drummer Bobby Duggal. Rock Machine’s first music video to air on MTV Asia was very successful. “Top of the Rock,” directed by Deven Khote of UTV, was put on heavy rotation by MTV in the light of enthusiastic viewer response. The success of the video served as a launchpad for a spate of bands and artists across the country. Rock Machine had moved from “college darlings” to national rock icons.
Change of name
Seeking a change of image and sound from that of a college-style band to a more internationally suited one, Rock Machine changed their name to Indus Creed in 1993. They began to experiment a bit with Indian instruments, such as tabla and sarangi. When their video of “Pretty Child,” directed by Subir Chatterjee and Namita Roy Ghose of Whitelight Moving Picture Co., was released in 1993, the response was unprecedented. MTV instantly put the artistic video on massive rotation. The surreal black-and-white film captured the imagination of a whole generation, winning Indus Creed an Asia-wide MTV Video Music Award (Asian Viewer's Choice Award). The same year, MTV ranked “Pretty Child” the 9th best video of the year, competing with such international heavyweight artists as Madonna and Michael Jackson.
In 1994, Indus Creed released their first album under their new name. The self-titled album was recorded in Los Angeles and promoted extensively on MTV and Channel V, a new music channel on Rupert Murdoch’s rapidly expanding Star TV network. Indus Creed released two videos to support the album: “Trapped” and “Sleep.” The drummer’s chair saw a yet another change when Bobby Duggal was replaced in 1995 by Adrian Fernandes. Indus Creed continued to tour heavily across India as well as explore other regions like the UK and the Middle East. In 1996, MTV flew down Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash to play on stage with Indus Creed at the channel’s relaunch as MTV India in Bangalore, India.
The end of an era
Disillusioned with the way the music industry was changing in India, and with some members keen to embark on other musical pursuits, Indus Creed shut shop in 1997. Uday Benegal and Jayesh Gandhi moved to New York City at the end of 1999 with their new fusion rock band Alms For Shanti and released an eponymous album in 2000. Alms For Shanti played the NYC club circuit heavily, as well as at festivals and colleges, including Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. In 2002, Alms For Shanti released their first and only Hindi-language album Kashmakash (Free Spirit).
In 2008, Uday Benegal relocated back to Mumbai, where he and Mahesh Tinaikar teamed up to create their acoustic side project Whirling Kalapas. In 2010, Benegal and Tinaikar regrouped with ex-bandmate Zubin Balaporia to re-form Indus Creed. They recruited Pune bass player Rushad Mistry and drummer Jai Row Kavi to complete the outfit, now down to a five-piece band from the original six-member group. The newly formed Indus Creed was officially launched on October 7, 2010, when they headlined Harley Davidson’s Harley Rock Riders concert at Hard Rock Cafe Mumbai. In December 2010, the band embarked on their Reboot Tour, headlining concerts and festivals across India, including the Cherrapunjee Indigenous Festival in Assam, Harley Rock Riders finale in New Delhi, Independence Rock XXV in Mumbai and the South Asian Bands Festival in New Delhi. In June 2011, the band was inducted into the Indian Recording Arts Academy Hall of Fame.
Indus Creed released Evolve, their first album in 17 years, on April 21, 2012, with Universal Music. Featuring eight songs, the album has been produced by Indus Creed, mixed by Grammy-nominated mixing engineer Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Tears for Fears, Porcupine Tree) and mastered by veteran mastering engineer Andy VanDette (Rush, Beastie Boys and Porcupine Tree). Indus Creed were featured on the cover of a number of magazines, including Rolling Stone India's February 2012 issue.
Indus Creed was the big winner at Jack Daniel's JD Rock Awards 2013 held at the historic Mehboob Studios in Mumbai, India, taking home Best Band, Best Keyboardist and Best Drummer trophies for their album Evolve. They had been nominated in 7 categories, including Best Album, Best Song, Best Vocalist and Best Guitarist.
- Uday Benegal – vocals, guitars, programming
- Mahesh Tinaikar – guitars, vocals
- Zubin Balaporia – keyboards, vocalese, vocals
- Rushad Mistry – bass, vocals
- Jai Row Kavi – drums, vocals
- 1988: Rock'n'Roll Renegade (CBS)
- 1990: The Second Coming (Magnasound)
- 1995: Indus Creed (BMG-Crescendo)
- 2012: Evolve (Universal Music Group)
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- "Indus Creed Inducted into Indian Recording Arts Academy Hall of Fame". Gibson News-Lifestyle. June 3, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.