Mohit Chauhan on life after Silk Route, in conversation with Abishai Fernandez.
Your song, Tum se hi, from Jab We Met is a chartbuster, you must be thrilled.
Frankly, I did not expect the song to be such a huge hit. I got a lot of compliments for Guncha from Mein Meri Patni Aur Woh too. It was a slow, soft number but I guess, because the film didn't do as well as expected, the song was quickly forgotten.
What took you so long to return to Bollywood?
When Silk Route was formed, I focused on it completely. I contributed majorly to the first and second albums. Bollywood is a different ball game. At the same time as an artist, it gives me a chance to explore new dimensions. As a part of the band, I can sing and express myself without any creative restraint. But in a film, the music director insists that you sing in a certain way You also need to . keep in mind the character and the mood.
What's happening with Silk Route?
We are lying low at the moment. I am not sure what we are going to do next. Musicians are temperamental and moody. Four musicians working together were bound to have differences. <b1>
There are rumours that you've formed a new band called Karvaan?
Some members of Silk Route would like to play with me, like Kenny, the drummer. We're trying to put together a new band and toying around with names.
How different will the new band be?
The sound will be very different but the sensibilities will be the same. I have some compositions ready. Once the band is formed, we could put out a new album.
Silk Route's music was very Indi-pop though you refused to admit it.
We did not want to be labelled. No matter what we did, we always said our music speaks for itself. People who write about music should know the difference between an Indi-pop and a jazz or rock band. Our music had the soul of rock, not in terms of chords or riffs but the freedom to express yourself.
Why didn't you ever come up with another song like Dooba Dooba?
We have songs like Dooba dooba.. but we haven't recorded them. Infact, you haven't heard Silk Route's best. If you think Dooba Dooba is good, just wait for my next album.
Singing or composing, which do you prefer?
It excites me to do be able to both, though they are different worlds for me. Singing a Bollywood song like Tum se hi gives me a different kind of high. Now, after making so much music, I feel like singing a real rock song. I know can.
Any favourites amongst Indian bands?
There are too many to mention, not only amongst the bands but also the composers. Our country has immense talent waiting to explode.
Releasing albums on the internet has become a trend. What's your take on it?
The good part is that your music can really go far. But remuneration is a worry .
What's the money scene like?
The money is good as long as you're good (laughs). I'm not getting into money details with you.
Album sales are up. That must make a difference?
Yeah, but tapes that at one time cost Rs 50, today cost double that. It makes no difference to the rich kids, but I want my music to have a wider reach.