Daniel Kenneth Rego started playing guitar at age 9. He is well-known in the Indian music circuit as the ex-guitarist of metal heavyweights Demonic Resurrection. He now handles guitar duties for the likes of Armaan Malik, Jonita Gandhi and Fake Plastic Friends. Daniel is also an ardent tea drinker.
6:00 AM, MUMBAI
Daniel is awake. He reaches for his phone and glasses, both on the bedside table. In two and a half hours, he’ll be on the flight to Kolkata. The airport’s just 20 minutes away. He gets out of bed, gets ready. His tour suitcase is packed and waiting. Daniel checks his PRS SE Custom 24. It’s 7AM. Time for tea. His tea infuser sits on the kitchen countertop. This morning he chooses the Irish Breakfast. A spoonful goes into the infuser. Four minutes later, Daniel pours himself a cup of tea. He’s now ready to face the day.
Daniel boards the flight to Kolkata. He’s thinking about the show later, sifting through the setlist. Tonight’s gig is with Armaan Malik, one of India’s most sought after Bollywood, Pop & RnB artists. The flight to Kolkata takes 2.5 hours. Daniel refuses the cup of airline tea he’s offered.
11:30 AM, KOLKATA
Daniel checks into the hotel room. With a few hours to kill before sound check, he decides it’s time for another cup of tea. He chooses the Avongrove Spring Black from his stash.
5:00 PM, IIT KHARAGPUR
Daniel and his bandmates arrive at the venue. He takes his time setting up and testing tones and levels. Post sound-check, there’s an hour or so before they take stage. He feels the familiar build up of adrenaline before the performance. IIT Kharagpur is celebrating their annual Springfest and Armaan Malik and band are headlining the event. Daniel’s done this kind of show countless times before; how different will this one be, he wonders, looking at the demanding set list. Besides, it will be a gig where the audience would know every song.
Minutes before the show, a cup of Assam Black – Daniel’s pre-show fix – steeps. It’s his favorite tea, his staple. If he was stuck on a deserted island, this is the one he’d choose. “I can’t see myself tiring of that taste and experience. I think I’d rather die marooned than miss that strong cup I’m so used to.”
With the show done, Daniel packs up and heads back to his hotel room. Contrary to popular belief, there’s not much time for post-show revelry. Tomorrow is another day, another city and another show. But for now, it’s time to catch up on some sleep. Waiting in the hotel room are his favorite low-strength black and green teas. Perfect to help him wind down and into a dreamless sleep.
A cup of wisdom
“Diversity is always good, with music, tea, everything. Exploration and discovery keeps life stimulating and this is what I keep in mind every time I pick up the guitar or shop for tea.”
Daniel’s tea list