Whether The HU’s success will open the floodgates for more Mongolian rock and metal bands to follow in their wake, only time will tell, but Gala says they are already seeing a knock-on effect.
“Ever since we released our videos and started touring the world, we can see the Mongolian artists in the younger generation are getting inspired and thinking, 'Yeah, we can make it out.' That's very important to us, showing people and being the icebreaker,” he says.
Askhan Avagchuud of Mongolian folk-metallers Nine Treasures agrees. “I think people will start to play more in this genre for sure, because [The HU] had such a massive hit,” he grins.
The HU might be the hottest new kids on the block but, at more than a decade and three albums old, Nine Treasures are elder statesmen of the Mongol metal scene. Like the majority of their contemporaries, Nine Treasures hail from Inner Mongolia. This is officially an autonomous region of China, but Askhan says he is culturally Mongolian and his band draws on the mythology, history and traditional music of the region.
The genesis of Nine Treasures is little different to that of many bands throughout the world. Askhan was first introduced to the power of overdriven rock'n'roll via a band called Hurd, who formed in Ulaanbaatar in the late ’80s and are widely considered to be Mongolia’s first hard rock or heavy metal band.
“That band was absolutely fantastic for me. I was maybe 10 years old at the time and I had no idea what I was listening to,” he recalls. “I had no idea what this fantastic guitar and bass sound was. It was very new for me and that was the first rock band I heard. After that me and my friends would share cassettes and discover more and more different bands.”