When Mongolian metal band The HU uploaded their songs “Yuve Yuve Yu” and “Wolf Totem” to YouTube in 2018, the group quickly became cultural ambassadors of their country, which ultimately earned them a place in some of the biggest music festival lineups in the world. .
The HU perform what they call “Hunnu Rock”, which is inspired by the ancient Mongol empire known as the Huns, and their music features old Mongol war cries and poetry through Mongolian throat singing traditional.
According to the band’s website, all four members hold bachelor’s or higher degrees in music, as well as several years of touring experience in Asia and the Pacific regions.
The band’s 2019 album, “The Gereg”, peaked at number 103 on the Billboard 200 chart. There is another album in the works, but a release date has yet to be set.
HU will perform April 15 and 22 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Members Jaya and Gala, and their producer Dashka, spoke to The Desert Sun via Zoom about music in Mongolia, touring around the world and their excitement about performing at Coachella. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Are there other musicians in Mongolia following in your footsteps?
JAYA: There are people who try to follow our path in the Hunnu Rock genre and are inspired by us. We are happy that there are a lot of bands coming from Mongolia and getting into the genre.
Was it hard to get your hands on western music in Mongolia?
GALA: When we were little, our older brothers visited neighboring countries and bought CDs on their travels. It was so valuable back then due to the lack of imported products in our country. We borrowed each other’s and our brother’s CDs but always had to make sure not to scratch them, they always scratch after a few times no matter how careful you are. I remember borrowing a Guns N’ Roses CD from my brother and listening to it and it was skipping a beat because of the scratches. It didn’t matter, I always erased the CD and listened over and over in my old CD player. I still have the CD player, and the CD to this day because it’s one of my fondest memories as a kid who loved music, and I still love it as an artist.
What’s it like to travel around the world and bring your music to people?
JAYA: It’s very important for us to be the representation of our culture, our language and our rock genre. We are fascinated to meet our fans who positively embrace us.
During all your tours, is there one experience that you remember the most?
GALA: When we first toured Europe, we played at the Rock am Ring festival (in Mendig, Germany). Being a young band, we thought there wouldn’t be many fans waiting for us. But when we took the stage, there were thousands of people waiting for us, clapping and clapping.
HU got a lot of attention in 2019 and 2020, and then COVID-19 brought your momentum to a halt. How did it go for the band?
DASHKA: The pandemic was a tough time all over the world, and that was true for the band. We were very disappointed with the tour cancellations. But it gave us more time to focus all of our energy on our music. We hope our second album will bring a lot of joy to the world.
What can your fans expect from the next album?
GALA: In our next album, we have worked and collaborated with many incredible and legendary artists. We’ve spent the last 18 months writing, recording and perfecting these new songs that we hope all of our fans around the world will enjoy, and [we hope to] still gain new fans. We performed some of the new songs live and felt like they connected very well with our fans. We are excited to release our new album this year.
Do you sometimes feel like there’s a language barrier between the band and the fans?
JAYA: We don’t care at all because music is a universal language and there is no barrier. We believe heart to heart, there is no limit to what music can do. Our fans are good at remembering the lyrics. For example, when we sing, they sing with us, regardless of the language. It’s great how far they would go [go] learn our language and our style. We are so grateful.
Is there anything you would like people to know about Mongolia?
GALA: In addition to history, we like to share the practice of nobility from our ancestors that can be useful to the modern world. This ancient way of life is one of the greatest assets mankind can have. One of our main goals is to share this feeling of how nomadic lifestyle can be.
How do you feel about playing at Coachella?
JAYA: Not only are we excited to play Coachella, but also the people in Mongolia and our fans [are excited for them to play at the festival]. Everyone we know is so excited that we’re playing Coachella and cheering us on. We can’t wait to go to our rehearsals to prepare for it.
Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye.