Hurd (band)

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Hurd / Хурд
Hurd performing during DVD release party June 2009.jpg
Hurd at Grand Khan pub in 2009.
From left to right : D.Otgonbayar, D.Otgonbaatar, D.Tömörtsog, N.Naranbaatar.
Background information
Also known as Skorost / Скорость (from 1987 to 1993), Erel-Hurd / Эрэл-Хурд (1999)
Origin Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Genres Heavy metal, Hard rock, Rock n' roll
Years active 1987-present
Labels Hurd Production
Associated acts Kharanga, Chono
Members Dambyn Ganbayar
Dambyn Tömörtsog
Dambyn Otgonbayar
Dambyn Otgonbaatar
Namsraijavyn Naranbaatar
Past members T.Naranbaatar

Hurd (Mongolian: Хурд, [xʊrt], "speed") is a Mongolian heavy metal band. Formed in 1987 as Skorost (Russian: Скорость, [skorəstʲ], also "speed") by drummer Dambyn Ganbayar, Hurd is considered the first band to have introduced the heavy metal genre into the Mongolian music landscape. Along with Chingis Khaan, Kharanga or Niciton, they are considered "veterans" of the Mongolian pop rock scene, and, as such, they have greatly contributed to its diversification and encouraged the emergence of many new rock acts. [1]

Hurd has released seven studio albums, three live albums, and one box set. The band has won numerous Pentatonic Awards (Mongolia's equivalent of the Grammy Award) and Golden Microphone Awards. Guitarist Dambyn Otgonbayar is a member of the Pentatonic Academy. [2] Drummer Dambyn Ganbayar is a board member of the Mongolian Drummers Association. [3]

In November 2009, singer Dambyn Tömörtsog and bassist Namsraijavyn Naranbaatar were respectively awarded with the Merited Artist of Mongolia and the Polar Star awards. [4]

History[edit]

Early years (1987-1995)[edit]

In 1987, drummer Dambyn Ganbayar founded his first rock band with his fellow workers of Ulaanbaatar's train depot. The formation was dubbed Skorost by the depot's director. As the members didn't really get along, this first line-up didn't last. [5] In 1991, lead guitarist Dambyn Otgonbayar joined Skorost after having finished secondary school. He was followed the next year by bassist Namsraijavyn Naranbaatar. With the arrival of singer Dambyn Tömörtsog in 1993, this second formation was complete and Skorost's name was Mongolised to Hurd.

Rhythm guitarist T.Naranbaatar joined Hurd at some point between 1993 and 1995.

Best Collection I, Best Collection II, Unplugged (1995-1999)[edit]

Ticket to Hurd's Unplugged concert

The first major concert by Hurd, called Khar salkhi (Mongolian: Хар салхи, "black wind"), was held at the State Circus in March 1995. For this reason, Hurd is considered to be officially founded in 1995, although they were active since 1987.

Hurd started to be famous among music listeners, especially with the song Tsergiin bodol (Mongolian: Цэргийн бодол, "soldier's thoughts"), which quickly became a hit. From 1996 to 1997, Hurd made the Kharankhui (Mongolian: Харанхуй, "darkness") tour and released their first two albums - The Best Collection I and The Best Collection II. These albums are out of print today and have become rarities. Also in 1997, the band made their first tour outside of Mongolia, traveling to China's Inner Mongolia region.

Prior to 1997, the drummer's duties were filled by Ganbayar, until D.Otgonbaatar has joined the band. From that point on, Ganbayar concentrated more on the band's management and playing secondary instruments.

In another never-been-done move, in May 1998, Hurd held a series of acoustic concerts, later released on CD as Unplugged. The best of Hurd's songs were re-arranged for this event and performed accompanied by a string ensemble, a saxophonist, a morin khuur player and a pianist.

Ödör Shönö, Myangan Jild Gants, Best Collection III (1999-2003)[edit]

From 1999 to 2007, the band was under the patronage of Erel (a Mongolian mining company) and its owner B.Erdenebat. The founder of the Motherland Party provided the band with new equipment and a rehearsal space, in exchange for their electoral support and participation in the party campaigns. For the release of their 1999 album Ödör Shönö, the band used a new name - "Erel-Hurd" (Mongolian: Эрэл-Хурд), although it remains the sole occurrence.

In 2001, the band released a third studio album, The Best Collection III. It contained the hit single Ekh oron, which was previously released in 1999, Ekh orons B-sides and some more unreleased material from The Best Collection I and IIs sessions, plus a new track, Shine jil, which was later put in their next album Myangan Jild Gants, which included nu-metal styled songs.

Mongold Törsön, Züirlekh Argagüi (2003-2005)[edit]

In 2004, they released Mongold Törsön, an album of patriotic songs, which was dedicated to the entire Mongol diaspora. The album is more hard rock and rock 'n roll based. In 2004, they experimented with industrial metal and recorded 16 songs with that theme, releasing them as Züirlekh Argagüi in 2005. On Naadam day, they played a concert in Sukhbaatar Square, releasing it as Talarkhalyn Kontsert in 2009.

Talarkhalyn Kontsert, Unplugged II (2005-2009)[edit]

In July 2007, as the band had just returned from a 4 month stay in the United States, Erel's managers have abruptly ordered the band to leave the rehearsal space and ceased any further cooperation. [6] The reasons that led the company management to proceed in that manner remain still unclear today.

Both sides have come out of this 8-year partnership with their reputations damaged - the company for having exploited the band to achieve their political goals before rejecting them, and the band for having fraternized with politicians by interest.

Rhythm guitarist T.Naranbaatar has left Hurd at some point in late 2008 for reasons undisclosed yet.


Khairyn Salkhi (2009 onward)[edit]

In 2013, they released a box set called "Black Box - 20th anniversary limited edition" which contains all their studio albums, "Unplugged", a CD version of "Acoustic Unplugged-II kontsert" and two bonus CDs, thus putting their older albums back into print.

2018 will mark Hurd's official 25th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the song "Tsergiin bodol", originally written in 1978.

Style and lyrical themes[edit]

Influenced by heavy metal and hard rock bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, WASP, Judas Priest or Guns N' Roses, Hurd's earlier material was classic heavy metal. As their career unfolded, they kept on exploring rock music genres. Nu metal material was written for Myangan Jild Gants, whereas in Mongold Törsön the band displayed more rock and roll and hard rock influences. Züirlekh Argagüi saw the band's return to their heavy metal roots with a shade of industrial metal.

Some songs are reminiscent of traditional Mongolian music, using pentatonic scales, traditional melody styles and instruments, most notably morin khuur. Also characteristic are ballads, which often revolve around the theme of love, respect for parents or national pride. [7] The band's roots in tradition and a focus on national pride make them especially popular in rural areas of Mongolia, as well as with Mongolian migrant workers abroad, such as in South Korea. [8] They are also popular in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and their sales figures for tapes and CDs are higher there than at home. When they first tried to enter into the Chinese market, they faced various problems: officials asked them to translate their lyrics from Mongolian into Chinese, and then banned some of them. [9]

Hurd usually writes songs by composing music around proses and poems coming from either regular contributors or anonymous people.

Members[edit]

Main article: Hurd members
Current members
Former members

Discography[edit]

Main article: Hurd discography

References[edit]