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Lost Horizon
Sweden's latest export attempt to become Metal's salvation.
Review after review Hails Lost Horizon as the next great Power Metal band. The band's debut album Awakening The World has already sold 20,000 units in Europe and is set for a stateside release on June 12th. Originally known as Highlander, the band was formerly home to several future members of Hammerfall. Though Lost Horizon are quick to point out they are nothing like Hammerfall, there hasn't been a Power Metal buzz like this in America since that band's debut. Awakening The World
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"OK, I like metal. And I haven't been able to bring myself to differentiate between metal that came out 10 years ago and metal that came out last week, metal that's really fast and metal that's sometimes slow, metal that has mostly screaming and metal that has some singing mixed in, metal with guitar solos and metal with no guitar solos, metal that talks about blowing your head off and metal that talks about petting your dog....I'm interested in knowing exactly what defines ALL these mysterious metal categories"
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 Lost Horizon Official Site

Lost Horizon are on a self ordained mission to give Metal back its good name, to rid the world of all crap Metal. Can they do it? We'll see, but they've surley created a visual and sonic spectacle that leaves no stone unturned. Drummer Christian Nyquist recently spoke with About.

So how's it going over there?

Fine. I'm sitting here on my balcony now, the weather's great, and things are taking off for Lost Horizon, so I am very happy.

The reviews I've read for the album have been overwhelmingly positive.

That's exactly how we feel, overwhelmed. We are very happy about the positive response, especially from the US. We didn't expect a good reaction from America because we've been told that this kind of music is not that big in the states. A U.S. tour would be nice!

You guys spent a lot of time recording the album, were you striving for perfection?

No, not really. Well, not musically... more so creatively. We wanted to have all the ideas, all of the emotions conveyed in a certain manner so that the listener could really understand us. We changed studios for each instrument because we wanted to keep the atmosphere of the music fresh. Sitting in the same studio for five months will drive you crazy. I don't know, I guess we sere striving for perfection because we all are perfectionists. I mean, we wanted to make the greatest Metal album that we possibly could. The material, some of it was ten years old so we put a lot into re-arranging it and making it up to date. Our hope was to make an album that had the ingredients that today's Metal is often without.

I've read some of the things the band thinks about the Metal scene and the record industry. You're not quite happy with it are you?


Well, it's mainly the record industry. They are so greedy and they just launch so many bands hoping that some of them will sell. There's an overfed market with so many bands, a lot of them are not very good, and people get confused by it and think that this is how Metal sounds. In the last ten years there have been some big losses in Metal. People are not writing about relevant things anymore. It all the image of dragons, warriors, and swords, and no content behind it. Anybody can learn how to play an instrument; it's what you do when you learn how to play it. They can play well but they really don't know what they're doing, they have no direction. Then when these bands play live it looks like four guys from the audience are on the stage. That's not what Metal is about for us. We want the big live shows, a powerful appearance, and powerful music with a message that people can share with you.

There's definitely a very emotional and passionate element in your music and lyrics.

There has to be. Otherwise it's not Metal. Metal is about passion and power, and what's in your mind.

There's a very spiritual/otherworldly feel to your music.

Yes it is spiritual but not religious. We're not into religion of course, because of what it has done to people throughout history. But I do think the album is spiritual just like all of us in the band. We think a lot about the 'big things' and the situation of our world. We try to convey this in our music because we know there are millions of people out there who feel the same way that we do. Years ago I thought I was alone in feeling this way, isolated from the world, but there are literally millions of us who are not happy with about what's going on with our planet. This album is for those people, especially those that love Metal.

Why do you think that Metal, even the classic stuff, still doesn't get any respect from the mainstream critics/writers/historians?

I think it goes back to what I was saying before. There are so many bands polluting Metal. In the early 90's people here in Sweden were looking at Metal as if it was pathetic, that laughed at it. They couldn't see the sincerity behind most Metal music. This was because of all the big Hair bands of the 80's. And I think the same thing could happen again now because of all the low quality bands releasing albums. I don't know how to stop it really. Who am I to say which bands should release albums but there are so many. Nuclear Blast for instance has like 200 bands, only five of which get any real financial support. So you have all these albums being put out that aren't being funded with the money to afford a quality recording. If we were on that label we wouldn't have had a third of the funding we had for this album. We wouldn't have been able to make a quality Metal record. Money and music shouldn't go together, but unfortunately they do.

So your label, Music For Nations (Koch in the US) is taking care of you guys?

Yeah, so far we are very happy with the support we have gotten from the record label. That's one of the reasons we chose them. They don't have this library of bands. There are only 15 or 20 bands on the label and they are genre specific. They don't have 28 True Metal bands, 37 Black Metal bands, 48 Death Metal bands. The label gives us complete attention in out area of the Metal world, and the other bands on the label get the attention they need in their corner of the Metal world. It's a very professional organization. When we went searching for a label we wanted to find a company who would really appreciate what we do and would give us the support that we need to conquer the world.

Do you worry that people make a big deal about your connection to Hammerfall?

The Hammerfall thing always comes up. Except for in France. The distributor in France of course knew that some of the former members of the band when we were still called Highlander were in Hammerfall, but he saw no similarity in the music, so he didn't mention it to the press at all. And no one, not one person in the country asked us anything about Hammerfall. I think people read the history and just assume that we do the same thing. We are very different than Hammerfall and I think that anybody that's into Metal can hear the difference. We have nothing to do with them musically. They play a very traditional style of Metal and they do it well, but we are not like them. There's no point for us to do Metal that's already been done. They play Metal the old way. It sounds very 80's. We of course have a close connection to the classic Metal sound but we're updated. We sound modern. This is a new millennium and we can't just do the same thing over and over again. We want to progress, DAMN IT! (laughing).

I see that there are two new members now, a guitar player and keyboard player.

Well, on the album our guitar player Wojtek Lisicki recorded both guitar parts and synthesizers. The music is written for two guitars and a keyboard so...
we needed to eventually find the right members, with both the music ability and the right mind to be in this band. Being a great musician is not the only reason to be in Lost Horizon. It's more important where your head is. We got a great collection of musicians right now and it feels great. We're looking forward to going on tour together.

So what kind of tour plans do you have?

We just found out that we are going on a European tour with Iced Earth in September, going all over the place.

Wow. That's a big deal man.

Yeah, we are really looking forward to it. I don't know they're music but everyone says that they are very good and have been around for quite a while, that they're very respectable, and they're very good people... We were supposed to go out with Gamma Ray... I'm really pissed off about it. Some of the Gamma Ray crew I guess saw us play at our first show in Paris and they were complaining about our attitudes, and we don't know really what that was about. Because of this, we've been having trouble getting connections with the German Metal scene. There's these rumors that we're arrogant or something like that. I guess they wanted an opening band that would just be like 'excuse us, it's very nice of you to let us open for your little festival here'. That wasn't the case in Paris. We put on a kick ass show, the fans loved us, the press loved us, all the journalists were trying to talk to us, so I think there was some sort of jealousy thing going on that a new band would get that much attention. These rumors made us lose that tour and we had trouble getting on the festivals in Germany as well. I hope it doesn't happen in the future or else we'll have to get aggressive (laughing)... it's just very sad, people are acting like children.

Why do you think they would say you're arrogant?

Well, I think we have a very strong presence, and sometimes people will misinterpret that as we're trying to stick our noses in the air. It's just the way we are. We are very confident, but not arrogant.

Explain the titles you guys use with your names?

Well, it's too long to go into the meaning of each one but it's mainly for the art. When I see the picture of myself in the middle of the universe it looks kind of corny with Christian Nyquist under it. We wanted something that would go with the artwork so we came up with these personal and spiritual titles. It gives people an idea of how we visualize ourselves spiritually. These aren't the names we are going to use; it's just titles for the artwork to show how we see ourselves in a greater way.

 




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