A four-piece outfit from Nagaland got Mumbaikars nostalgic about alternative rock at their recent performance. They talk about the evergreen rock in the northeast and making ends meet as full-time musicians
Their last gig in Mumbai was in 2018. A year later, Alobo Naga & The Band, a four-piece rock band from Nagaland, is back with a more evolved sound. The outfit, which came together when Dimapur boys Alobo Naga (lead vocals, keyboard), Lima Mongro (lead guitar, backing vocals), Fung Walling (bass, backing vocals) and David Sunar (drums) met nine years ago, shot to fame in 2011 after the video of their single Painted Dreams went viral. They were also nominated for a prestigious Music Award in Europe in 2012. While their songs still talk about the issues the youth can relate to - love, break-ups, dreams and broken ones too - their music has traversed across the wide spectrum of rock music. We catch up with them at their gig at Flea Bazaar Cafe in Lower Parel.
How did the band come together?
We were introduced to music early and had been playing for a while when Alobo, who was launching his first album in 2010 with a concert back home, invited around 70 musicians from across Nagaland to play with him. Four musicians from that concert decided to form a band. The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s the music scene in the northeast like at the moment?
The old folk there are still listening to classic rock and metal, but the younger generation is mostly into rock, pop, hip hop and Kpop. Kpop is a big thing among the teens there.
Are you all full-time musicians or do you have day jobs?
We are all full-time musicians, though each of us does have a business that’s related to music. Our parents have been supportive of our career choices from the beginning. Now, in our 30s, we can say that yes, we may not be rich but we are happy. We’ve been surviving solely on our music for the last decade, so we have no complaints.
Please tell us about your Mumbai set?
We will be doing a mixture of our old songs and songs from our upcoming new album. If you’ve attended our last show and come for this one, then you will hear the evolution and growth in our music that has happened in just a year. We’ve always been to open this and have incorporated elements from other genres over the years - we’ve gone from rock, alternative rock to contemporary pop-rock. We still haven’t decided whether we will release two EPs or one full-fledged album, but we know we’ll be releasing them soon.
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