Mongolia is known for its vast steppes and rich culture, which bears a lot of similarities to modern heavy metal music. It’s no surprise then that the western world has taken The HU to their hearts and welcomed them with open arms. Mark Bestford chatted to Tempka, Jaya, Enkush, and Gala about the country and cultures that have influenced their music.
What’s it like coming all the way over to the UK to play?
Gala: “We’re so excited to be here because we’ve come al the way from Mongolia, to the UK and Europe and the fans are fantastic, especially in the UK as all of our headline shows are sold out and we feel so loved by the people here.”
I can see on your Spotify account the plays are in millions, what’s it like having that reaction to your music?
Gala: “First we are so humbled and honoured to see what’s going on and the reactions of the fans. It makes us want to make more beautiful music and that’s why we’re about to release our first album on September the 13th. The pre-order actually started on June 7th so you can go ahead and order it and receive it in September.”
What’s it like playing heavy metal music coming from a country like Mongolia?
Jaya: “The thing is, we play Hunnu Rock. Hunnu rock is something we came up with based on Mongolian traditional old music and instruments and combined with western rock music. It’s not that hard actually because Mongolian traditional music tuning is fourth and fifth which is rock tuning guitar and we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Our ancestors have been playing similar to rock music, but nobody tried combining it with western heavy drums and bass, so it was actually a pleasure, it wasn’t that hard for us. Of course, creating something was hard work but we’re so happy to be here.”
The western perception of Mongolia is that it’s quite a rural country, but what’s it actually like where you’re from?
Enkush: “In Mongolia we have everything, we have vast land, there’s a lot of places untouched you know, nature is beautiful, but we still have cities and stuff. As a band we’re from Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, we have our studio with our producer Dashka and we reside there. Two of the guys are from the western side of Mongolia, the countryside, and two of the guys are from the city.”
There is quite a mix of Mongolian influences coming into the band then, from different areas of the country?
Gala: “Of course, having different information from all places and also Mongolian tradition, the way we live is also very important to our culture so we want to share this with the world, help the world to get to know who Mongolians really are. What really Mongolia is.”
The album is coming out shortly, is it more or less the same as your previous music?
Gala: “The album consists of nine songs and there are a lot of messages. Some songs are heavier, some songs are not that heavy. The messages contains a lot of messages, like respecting our elders, honouring our country and nature of this world. Honouring women, and also the main idea is just to help everyone in the world to get some inner strength within and do something good. The name of the album is called Gereg, there’s a song called Gereg. The Gereg is actually the first diplomatic password introduced to the world by our ancestors, Ghengis Khan. With this Gereg in the 13th Century a person with the Gereg can travel to many countries without harm and freely. That’s why we named our album Gereg, this album to be our diplomatic password we travel freely to every country in the world and share our music and culture.”
With the political outlook of Asia at the moment, with China dominating the area, have you found it relatively easy to travel to play?
Jaya: “We’re from Outer Mongolia which is an independent democratic country. We don’t have any problems with any country, we have fans in China and all around the world We’re so happy to be travelling all around the world really and sharing our culture.”