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Guitarist Nishith Hegde Replaces Daniel Rego In Demonic Resurrection

The Mumbai extreme metal band introduced the Albatross guitarist as their new member at the farewell gig for Rego

Anurag Tagat Jan 20, 2014
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(left) Rego with Demonic Resurrection frontman Sahil Makhija at Bangalore Open Air in July 2013. Photo: Prashin Jagger

(left) Rego with Demonic Resurrection frontman Sahil Makhija at Bangalore Open Air in July 2013. Photo: Prashin Jagger

With Demonic Resurrection, no move is badly planned. Last week, during the Mumbai extreme metal band’s farewell show for lead guitarist Daniel Rego, Makhija stepped off stage and introduced DR’s new guitarist Nishith Hegde [from heavy metal band Albatross and death metal band Reptilian Death], who came on to play the set staple “Spirits Of The Mystic Mountains” from the 2005 album, A Darkness Descends. Rego and Hegde spent the rest of DR’s hour-long set pitting their guitar solos against each other.

Frontman Sahil Makhija says Rego’s intention to leave the band was being discussed for months. Says Makhija, “We have regular band meetings and we knew at some point that these six months were going be Daniel’s last with DR.” The band announced Rego’s departure through a press release on January 6th, in which the guitarist cited no longer feeling the “same passion and connection with this style of music [metal].” In 2008, Makhija first saw the then 18-year-old Rego trying out guitars at a music store. Says Makhija, “I instantly knew that he was the replacement for Pradeep.” Rego joined DR in 2008, replacing original guitarist Pradeep Pande, who left to concentrate on death metal band Infernal Wrath.

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Makhija remains the only founding member in DR since he formed the band in 2000 and in 14 years, DR has had several lineup changes including three guitarists, two bassists and two drummers. The band was last tasked to find a replacement for bassist Husain Bandukwala when he opted to leave in 2012 due to family and personal commitments. Bandukwala now handles managerial duties for DR.  

Makhija has now recruited Hegde for DR but admits that finding anyone to match up to Rego would be difficult, “It’s a lot of his musical abilities [that will be difficult to replace] ”“ like his theoretical knowledge and trained ears.” Meanwhile, Rego has been getting desperate pleas from fans to reconsider and explain himself, some even angry at his decision to leave DR. Says Rego, “I’m not anti-metal, but it’s just that I’m not interested in creating metal anymore.” Rego will now concentrate on playing guitars with fusion/Sufi band, Indicus, whom he joined in August 2013. Rego was invited to join the band by saxophonist Shirish Malhotra. Says Rego, “I came in for sessions work and he said it will be a good fit.” Rego adds there’s an as-yet untitled blues rock band that has been in the works for the last year, which he will make “more conscious efforts” toward to launch this year.

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Even with the shift out of metal, Rego denies that he’s shunned the genre entirely. In fact, he’s still helping Makhija wrap up tracking and mixes on Demonic Resurrection’s upcoming fourth album, due in June this year. He’s still open to doing guest spots and will continue to perform with prog rock band NerveRek.

Makhija mentions that the January 19th farewell show for Rego will be their last in Mumbai until they release the album in June. Says Rego, “I’ve been with DR for nearly six years now. I’ve played in places I never thought I would visit. I always wanted to visit Norway one day, but I never imagined I would do it so early in my life and that too as a musician. [DR played at the Inferno Festival in Oslo in 2010].” 

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