Indian Ocean guitarist Susmit Sen has parted ways with the band after being a part of it for 23 long years.
Susmit, along with the late Asheem Chakravarty, had founded the band in 1990.
"Right now, I am at my creative best. Indian Ocean is a sound and style we created. After more than 27 years of playing, I feel I am brimming with more compositions, more music -- but in a grammar and style that is different from Indian Ocean," Susmit said in a statement.
"So I feel restricted now as I am sure must be the case with the others as well. I strongly believe that my moving on will be beneficial for both Indian Ocean and my creative expression as well," he said.
Susmit has already come out with an individual album called Depths of the Ocean, where the compositions bear his trademark and which has his unique style of guitar playing.
He is collaborating with a bunch of musicians -- Anirban Ghosh, Nikhil Vasudevan, Amit Sharma, Sudhir Rikhari, Rajiv Raja and old friend Gyaan Singh (of Mrigya fame) and creating music with them as 'The Susmit Sen Chronicles'.
Young and upcoming guitarist Nikhil Rao will take over the task of carrying on Susmit's tradition.
"Rao is a promising young guitar player with a lot of Indian-ness in his playing. He will be able to give a lot of impetus to Indian Ocean as he will not only add value to concerts but will also be able to create new music with the band in their signature style," Susmit added.
In the picture: Indian Ocean, from left, Amit Kilam, Asheem Chakravarty, Susmit Sen and Rahul Ram at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Photograph: Rediff Archives