Hac San band is the only Vietnamese band appearing at the Europe Music Festival which kicks off today in Ha Noi and HCM City.
The four member band debuted in 2013. With nearly 20 progressive metal songs blended with Vietnamese folk music, Hac San has constantly achieved success.
Culture Vulture interviews with Pham Viet Dung, the band's lead guitarist on the establishment and development of Hac San band.
Why has your band been given a chance to perform at the European Music Festival?
We were invited by the festival's producer when they saw many television shows naming some of our songs Hac San as Best Arrangement Artist of the Year and Favorite Songs.
One more reason is that the festival wants to invite a band that can represent the so-called ‘Vietnamese essence'.
We believe it's a precious chance for us to introduce Vietnamese music to international friends.
Are you excited to perform at the festival?
Europe is the centre of art in general and especially rock music. In the past, Hac San performed with many international bands from Sweden, Taiwan...but this time, we feel way more excited since we are the only Vietnamese band to perform at the festival.
What does Hac San mean ? Why did choose Hac San as your band name?
Hac San is a Vietnamese word, which is combined by two words: Hac and San.
Hac, means the eternal symbol of birds, immortality and dignity. San means the mountain.
The name Hac San was formed with the image of the bird's wings, flying beyond the mountains and heading to the sun.
What kind of music do you play?
Back in 2010, our guitarist Dz came up with the idea of a Progressive Rock band (a genre that blends with jazz, fusion and heavy metal), our first idea of what we should play would be Vietnamese music, inspired by Vietnamese folk music combined with modern rhythms to bring out strong yet familiar music.
The contradiction between the heavy western metal and traditional music creates the unique contrast yet harmony of Hac San's music.
We are also influenced by Dream Theatre - one of the best progressive metal bands in the world.
You're releasing your debut concept album with 11 songs. Could you tell us about the album?
At this festival, Hac San will perform all 11 songs, from our upcoming concept album this December. The album features 11 songs inspired by fairy tale Thach Sanh.
Through 11 songs under a consistent theme, Hac San recites a story of a brave man conquering the darkness and villains but also facing many obstacles to convey the album's message of ‘karma'.
Through the album, for the first time ever the audience will experience a non-stop concept album, in which all the songs are connected together.
Also, this album features many traditional instruments like the nhi (two-string violin) and the tranh (16 chord-zither) in our songs. Hac San also uses some poems on this album. — VNS