Tengger is the name of the sky god of Mongolian grassland. Created in 2009 by the bandleader Nature Ganganbaigal in China, Tengger Cavalry blends overtone throat singing, Mongolian horse-head fiddle and other nomadic music tradition of North-Asia with heavy metal music, creating an unique music genre – Mongolian folk metal.
Tengger Cavalry Interview
Metal Empire: Would you care to introduce yourself for our audience? What is your name and what do you do?
Tengger Cavalry: We are Tengger Cavalry, a folk metal band from China. Tengger Cavalry blends overtone throat singing, Mongolian horse-head fiddle and other nomadic music tradition of North-Asia with heavy metal music, creating an unique music genre – Mongolian folk metal.
Metal Empire: What is the band up to at the moment? Is there something you’re working on currently?
Tengger Cavalry: Actually we are about to release our fourth album Blood Sacrifice Shaman in US and EU. So far so good, we got good feedbacks from other media. Looking forward to see how our fans react to this new release.
Metal Empire: Tell us about the music you make, how would you describe your sound?
Tengger Cavalry: We are a very different folk metal band. Most of the folk metal bands we know combines European folk with heavy metal, like Viking metal and Celtic metal. But we blend our own culture-Mongolian culture into metal music. We put together a bunch of Asian nomadic instruments into our own stuff. It sounds like thousands of Mongol horsemen charging under the boundless sky.
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process? How do you go about writing new material?
Tengger Cavalry: Before I write any new motive, I would usually go back to Mongolian grassland to experience real nomadic life and get inspiration from nature. And then I will get back to the city and jam on my guitar. It is hard cause it not only has to sound like a metal riff, but also has to sound very folky, I mean, Mongolian-folky.
Metal Empire: What and who are some of your major influences? Please give a few details about what you enjoy about creating music and what inspires you to make it.
Tengger Cavalry: Famous European metal acts like Eluveitie and Turisas. I like how natural it sounds when they combine their music tradition with modern metal rhythm and technique.
Metal Empire: What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
Tengger Cavalry: Seeing people enjoy our music and go crazy with it. Feeling like people are connecting with us.
Metal Empire: Have you played any shows or toured alongside any major artists? Are there any shows that come to mind that you feel make a great story? If so, tell us about it.
Tengger Cavalry: Yes. In 2013 we did an opening show for the famous Finnish metal act Turisas. They actually gave really good feedbacks to us. They told us they never heard of anything as unique and exotic as what we just performed on stage before.
Metal Empire: What are you hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself as an artist this time next year or the year after?
Tengger Cavalry: Write new material and put up a even better record next year. Provide the best stuff we have to our fans.
Metal Empire: What do you think about music piracy, do you think it effects music sales negatively, or do you think there is another cause behind the current drop in record sales?
Tengger Cavalry: I am not an expert in the music industry, but from my own personal experience music piracy vastly damaged the benefit of musicians. You pay for your food, you tip the waitress, and you even buy ticket to get into movie theatre. So why not show respect to those musicians who work their ass off and spend hours to craft a single melody for you.
Metal Empire: There is a lot of talk about the downfall of the music industry as a whole, do you believe this is the case, or do you believe it is evolving? What do you feel could improve the situation???Tengger Cavalry: I think one of the factors that makes things so negative is because we have so many modern technology, people become lazier than before. We don’t spend that much time craft our skill or vocal anymore. Everything could be revised in digital format. If we could care more about our soul and what we trying to do, or what’s the life meaning behind all the willingness to write music.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what’s the craziest, creepiest or coolest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Tengger Cavalry: Yes we received lots fan emails. I think one of the things make me happy is they told us our music make their life more positive and energetic. We want to use our Mongolian metal spirit to pass this positive nature spirit to people and make them become more motivated about their life.
Metal Empire: If you could have one wish, what would it be and why?
Tengger Cavalry: Keep my honesty and keep making good music for my fans.
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about what you do. Do you have any final words, or anything you would like to add?