Interview with Halahkuh

Halahkuh is a Death/Thrash unit from Pune, India formed in 2011, the band that seems to have absorbed all that is great about death metal mixed up, and spit out with thrash metal. Their new EP Desecration impelled them to new heights. Here we tracked down vocalist Prakhar Soni and talked about band, new EP, their goals and many other general things

Metalhead Spotted: Greetings from Metalhead Spotted! How have you been doing? Is the band busy with writing new material?
Prakhar: A very happy new year to all you guys out there! We have been doing pretty well. Our last show was back in September in thane at metal at the tavern. Since then we have been working on new singles which are almost complete and are ready to be played live.

Metalhead Spotted: What are the origins of bands name? Which are the bands and artists that have influenced you the most?
Prakhar: Halahkuh has derived its name from a ruthless mongol ruler HULAGU KHAN (descedant of the famous mongol ruler GENGHIS KHAN), thus depicting the same kind of intensity and power in their music. Every  band has certain influences. These are an amalgamation of individual influences of each band member. We do not try to imitate what other bands are already doing out there. Some artists we like are Pantera, Sepultura, Death, Decapitated, Kreator etc.

Metalhead Spotted: How satisfied are you  with the latest release 'Desecration' ? What are some of the best responses and reactions you received so far? Are you happy with the response it has gotten?
Prakhar: One cannot simply put the feelings of coming out with your first record in words. For us it was very important to take care of all the intricacies, starting from the recording process to the artwork design. We have had some brilliant reviews from eightoctaves, metalwani etc. The best response we got was from a German webzine which rated our EP 12/15 alongside Six Feet Under and Killswitch Engage which was a great feat for the band. Fans have responded to our work beyond our imagination, yet we still have a lot of places left to cover in the country itself and hopefully we’ll be doing that pretty soon.

Metalhead Spotted: Regarding the writing process, who handled the majority of the writings? Did the whole band compose music for Desecration?
Prakhar: There is no specific person who is responsible for song-writing. It is a collective effort which takes countless hours to come up with the best product at the end. Since all four members of the band have distinct influences, it is pretty much fun to discuss new ideas when we sit to compose and that’s how most of Desecration has been done.

Metalhead Spotted: The album art of Desecration is intensely fine. At the time what literature inspires Halahkuhs lyrical themes. Would you like to shed some light on them?
Prakhar: We made sure to give the artwork a lot of importance as it is one of those things in a record which leaves an everlasting effect on the audience. We got our artwork done from Mr. Hal Rotter (rotting graphics, Sacramento, California) with whom we discussed the whole idea in detail. The artwork revolves around the entire lyrical theme which emphasizes on how a common man suffers in his day to day life, the surge of emotions within him, his struggles and the agony that he has to go through. It also sheds light on the rulers of the society who manipulate the resources granted to them for their own good thereby ruining society’s balance.

Metalhead Spotted: How do you feel being a part of the Thrashfest? How are your preparations going so far? What can we expect at Thrashfest from Halahkuh?
Prakhar: It is an immense feeling to be a part of this mammoth festival which features the best Bands in the country. There'll be a lot of people coming for this one which poses a big challenge for each band to get the crowd going berserk. We have been jamming rigorously, working on New tracks and a few covers for fun. So one can expect some new material from us including New merch designs as well!

Metalhead Spotted: The band was formed in 2011, has the band undergone any line up changes?
Prakhar: The band has undergone 3 lineup changes with Rahul Krishnakumar, Sarvesh Deshmukh and Arjun Menon leaving vocal, guitar and drum duties respectively.

Metalhead Spotted: Well do you think that modern day production affected Halahkuh's sound?
Prakhar: Modern day technology has really helped Halahkuh to  evolve and replicate the kind of sound we exactly had in mind. For this a lot of credit goes to our Producer Mr. Adhiraj Singh (refractor studios) who spent countless hours trying to figure out the exact sound we were looking for.

Metalhead Spotted: What’s been happening in your local metal scene and you have been to any great shows lately?
Prakhar: The local metal scene of Pune has been dormant for quite some time now with only Frameshift Initiatives trying to keep the scene alive. One of the best shows that we went for and were a part of was called Awakening which was a collaboration of Halahkuh, Gaias‘s Throne, Petrichor, Chaoskampf, Concecration etc to organize and promote the gig featuring many bands. The gig was a success which saw a turnout of 230 people, something that Pune hasn't seen in a long time.

Metalhead Spotted: Outside of your own music, whats happening in the metal that you are excited about, what albums, and genres the whole band is listening to lately?
Prakhar: The metal scene in Europe is the best with a massive lineup in fests like wacken and grasspop. We have been listening to a lot of different stuff ranging from revocation , havok, decapitated, kreator etc.

Metalhead Spotted: Is there anyone in Halahkuh active with other projects right now?
Prakhar: Prasenjit(Drummer) is a member of Black wings and  Pitch black Symphony.

Metalhead Spotted: What‘s been your favorite metal release of 2013, and is there anything coming up in 2014 your particularly excited about?
Prakhar: Carcass – Surgical Steel, Soilwork – The Living Infinite, REVOCATION - REVOCATION

Metalhead Spotted: I thank you for taking the time out to this little interview. Are there any last words for your fans in India and beyond?
Prakhar: There is a lot that has been going on in the Halahkuh camp and we are excited to unleash it as and when we can. Two new songs and a cover is a good enough reason for all of you to turn up at Thrashfest. We have also released some cool new merchandise for you guys and it’ll be available at the venue. Before that we’ll be playing at Blue Frog Metal nights on 19th January 2014 with a killer line up. So be there because you wouldn't want to miss the madness. Cheers and keep thrashing!
-Interviewed by Akshay Gaikwad

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