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Mahesh Tinaikar Leaves Whirling Kalapas To Start Solo Project

Frontman Uday Benegal talks about the Mumbai acoustic rock band’s change in sound and lineup, while guitarist Tinaikar tells us about his new acoustic solo project

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Anurag Tagat Mar 03, 2014
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(left) Tinaikar with Benegal and Kini while recording Whirling Kalapas material last year. Photo: Avni Murthy

(left) Tinaikar with Benegal and Kini while recording Whirling Kalapas material last year. Photo: Avni Murthy

The two founding members of acoustic rock band Whirling Kalapas, vocalist Uday Benegal and guitarist Mahesh Tinaikar, have split, citing creative differences. While Whirling Kalapas are working on new, blues-oriented material after recruiting guitarist Ashwin Andrew [who plays drums for electro rock band Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator]. Tinaikar is forming his own solo “pure acoustic music” project. Says Tinaikar about breaking away, “There were a lot of disagreements and it was not a pleasant situation, so I decided to leave.” Both Whirling Kalapas and Tinaikar’s solo project plan to perform live in April.

Tinaikar is working with flamenco guitarist Neil Mukherjee, vocalist Sasha Chhetri and guitarist Bradley Tellis [from alt rock band The Colour Compound], for his new acoustic project. Says Tinaikar, “There’s no synth, no loops, and it’s not much different from the original Whirling Kalapas sound.” Whirling Kalapas, on the other hand, will undergo an “alteration of sound,” according to Benegal.  The frontman adds about their newest member, Ashwin Andrew, “He was in the original lineup of Whirling Kalapas in 2009. This was before Indus Creed reunited. Back then, he was the drummer, though.” Whirling Kalapas plan to release a four-track EP, which was recorded last year, featuring collaborations with singer Suman Sridhar and percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, among others. Benegal says that once they release the EP, they will also release singles featuring the new sound, which is influenced by blues artist Taj Mahal, folk act Junip and singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez. Says Benegal, “It’s very funky blues and way more up-tempo.”

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Tinaikar, on the other hand, is working on “a couple of songs and covers” for his setlist. Says Tinaikar, “We’ve got no original material yet, but the plan is to put out fun stuff.” Despite going separate ways with Whirling Kalapas, Benegal and Tinaikar are still part of Indus Creed together. Indus Creed also added new members, including bassist Krishna Jhaveri [from alt metal band Goddess Gagged] and guitarist Gaurav Gupta [from alt rock band Tough On Tobacco]. Says Benegal, “Gaurav played his first gig with us at MTV Xtreme and a new guitar player is good, because we’re in a heavier space.” Tinaikar adds that both Jhaveri and Gupta are “very talented, enthusiastic and clued into the new scene.” Indus Creed also plan to release two new songs next month. Says Tinaikar, “It’s all in the air at the moment, but we hope to have 10 songs by the end of the year and then probably think about cutting an album.”

Both Whirling Kalapas and Indus Creed will perform at the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh on April 18th and 19th. Benegal’s plans for the two bands are similar, “There will be more regular releases in the form of singles between the two acts, and definitely more visual content to look out for, like music videos and performance videos.” 

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