Possibly the one thing cooler than the way they describe their sound as Neo-Folk World Rock is the support given from the iconic Steve Kilby in the form of an endorsement that HuDost is “the next big thing”.
A fan of all things Steve Kilbey, who hailed from the iconic Australian band ‘The Church’, it peaked my interest…what big thing could HuDost possibly be and thus, my journey into Sufi Kirtan blended with Christian, Hindu and Muslim chants officially began.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Moksha Sommer from HuDost about the band that is crossing faiths and musical boundaries.
Insider Edition: Welcome to the Insider Edition, Moksha Sommer…
Moksha Sommer: Pleasure to chat with you today.
Insider: You have 12 different vocal styles, you sing in Bulgarian, started out in Sufi, you play what you describe as “neo-folk-world-rock-ensemble”…is there anything HuDost doesn’t do.
Moksha: I Don’t go in the metal direction and Jamal is a terrible opera singer… (laughs)
Insider: So no metal or opera albums but everything else goes…(laughs). We have just seen the release of Sufi Kirtan. Ten years down the track you started with Sufi and now you are back there…it just seems like a full circle.
Moksha: It is a full circle, although truth be told it never left. It was always an essential component of what we do and a great deal of what is presented on our new album is material that has been in the works and in our hearts and consciousness through this ten year period.
Insider: Is the world ready for HuDost and its many styles?
Moksha: I hope so. I think people have been ready for our music for a long time. We have experienced that on a grass roots level. The “mainstream people” are ready for what we bring…the diversity of it…the sacred elements of it…the wild rock elements of…the full spectrum we bring.
Over the course of the last ten years, the industry has been catching up to the hearts and minds of people that are in the world and hearing the music.
Insider: Do you feel that with kirtan, there is a lot more openess especially now in the west?
Moksha: Yes, it has been growing for quite some time in the western world…starting in the late 60’s, early in the 70’s. I think it diversified, especially in the last years. The boundaries that existed previously have been broken down. There is more crossover.
Insider: On this album you have infused a lot of different faiths into the music. Did you wonder how it was going to be perceived or was it just a natural process.
Moksha: The natural process came first then the questions of how it will be accepted came later. The song, Universal Worship based on Sufi Teachings by Inayat Khan who brought Sufism to the west, where the whole purpose was to give equal homage to all religions…with no emphasis on any particular religion.
So creating Universal Worship there was some level of calculation because we were trying to re-create a musical version that gave homage through music and chant to many religions.
Insider: With all the different types of albums you have released, what is your favourite style?
Moksha: That’s a dangerous question to ask!
Insider: Because you are going to tell me something completely different to what you play right?
Moksha: No truth be told, I don’t have a favourite style. Part of what I love so much is to be able to explore musically. Its been my whole life. I have a hard time if I have to limit myself.
Insider: So your album cover has the cross, ganesha, buddha…you are just bringing everything together on this album.
Moksha: The reality is, many of us are total mixed bags genetically and how much speaks to us musically…how much we want hear…how much we want to bring forward. I think the same is true in terms of our spiritual practices as well.
There is a lot to be said for a particular tradition, mainly for the mind and heart training; but there’s a lot to be said about expanding one’s view and seeing it from multiple perspectives.
That’s what we hope to do with our music.
Take a listen to the full HuDost interview here