This week's interview: Martin Furängen of...

interview by: Mark Carras
Transcribed by Sherri Carras

Mark Carras: What country is Lost Horizon from?

Martin Furängen: Sweden.

Mark Carras: Okay, so you guys are from Sweden. The band's history is a little longer than most people would think, correct?

Martin Furängen: Yeah, if you want the long version, correct.

Mark Carras: Okay, give me the long version.

Martin Furängen: The long version starts in 1990. It starts with me and the guitarist, Wojtek, putting a band together called Highlander. At that time we had a singer, called Joacim Cans. He's now singing in Hammerfall. We started that band to play heavy metal the way we wanted to play it. We didn't really have any goals of, now we're going to play this and we're going to get signed. I was sixteen years old when we began to play for the hell of it. This band has been with us on and off throughout the years. We played for a couple of years and then we took a break for a couple of years, did other projects, other bands, music school. Then we got back together with some new membersl. Highlander has always been there for us. Last restart was in early 1998. It was me and Wojtek, and drummer Christian, it was only the three of us then. We didn't have a singer at that time, but we did have a lot of material that we started to work on again, and to reinvent and to really putting out mind into making this into a song. This took about a year, one year to take in fixing and making the music good. Then we needed a singer, of course, to do the vocals. We remembered we had heard this singer once at a birthday party for a mutual friend eight years back, or something. We remembered him having a really good metal voice. So we managed to get a hold of him. We found out he was playing for another band, but he was still interested in checking out with us, which he did. We recorded a two set demo, A Storm, and Perfect Warrior. We sent that to several different labels. We got a response from four of them, and two of them were really interested in signing us. We ended up signing with Music For Nations. Their way of working with bands, their philosophy, is sign one band in each category of music rather than like Century Media, that has several bands in each category. Music For Nation's approach is to put a lot of effort into every band that they have, so that they are successful in their respective genre, which really appealed to us, which is why we signed to them.

Mark Carras: What would you say Lost Horizon is about, and stands for?

Martin Furängen: I would say that it about finding yourself, and believing in yourself, and not following the mainstream or following what people tell you, and to really walk your own way, and not accepting being pushed around by a parent, or whatever. I'm not saying that everybody should uprise or revolution. I'm saying that we believe in individuality, and the fact that you can do pretty much whatever you like if you put your mind to it.

Mark Carras: What do you think the band Lost Horizon brings to the metal table that you feel is missing now?

Martin Furängen: I hope that we bring, musically, really good true metal, classic true metal with a modern approach, that we're helping to promote classic, true metal into something new, that we're not just one of all the same other bands, that we're not copying someone else. That's what we'd really like to bring to the musical situation.

Mark Carras: What are the bands biggest influences?

Martin Furängen: I cannot point to a couple of bands, only because it's not only bands. It is a lot for me, it's about the spirit that was around in the 80's when I grew up. When I listen to all the great metal of the 80's, Maiden, Europe, Dio, Manowar, Riot, bands like that, and the spirit that we lived in, they were such great times. They were inspiring times. It's not that any particular band has inspired us to write music. It's also the movies, is a very big source of inspiration. A movie is an art form really, it has both visual and audio channels to go through to appeal to you in a way that is different than music. There's both music and something else happening on the screen.

Mark Carras: The band recorded, produced, and mixed the album in your own studio. Why did you choose this way instead of going with a named producer?

Martin Furängen: Because we knew exactly what we wanted and we thought that we did know how to get the flow. It doesn't work for us when someone else is telling us how we should do our music. I don't think it would work. I don't think we're ever going to work with another producer because of that. I think we're always going to produce ourselves. We might have a really creative studio technician with us, who has his own way of sorting things and bringing other ideas that might enhance the song, but I don't think we want to use a single producer for the purpose of creating our song.

Mark Carras: How has it been with Music for Nations, and how has Koch been so far as far as the American version of it?

Martin Furängen: Music for Nations has, from the beginning, has a lot of confidence in us. They've never had any objection to us doing all the stuff ourselves. We also do the artwork and C.D. layout ourselves. In that, they've been great. Pretty much, they pay the bills and we do the work, and that's really good. I think their promotional campaigns and their sending out stuff to people on time and setting up all the interviews and promotional trips has been really good. I don't know about Koch Records yet, since we've only begun to work with them. But so far, apparently, they've been doing a good job, because I keep hearing good things about them. I keep reading positive reviews of them.

Mark Carras: Is their going to be a tour for this album, or is it just going to be festivals?

Martin Furängen: There is going to be a tour. We're not going to do a headlining tour this year, because we're not known enough to fill the houses for that. But we are going to do a tour in September, probably. It's not finally confirmed yet, but we're going out together with another European metal band.

Mark Carras: Is this just going to be Europe, or are you going to hit America, too?

Martin Furängen: It's only Europe, first, but I hope it comes to be in America, as well. I think it's a bit early to start looking for that right now, but when the album has been out for a month or so, I think it will be a good time to start finding an appropriate band for that kind of tour.

Mark Carras: What festivals do you currently have planned to attend?

Martin Furängen: We were supposed to play the Dynamo on Friday, but the entire festival has been cancelled due to foot and mouth, which is a big shame. But now we're looking to play at Wakken on August 4th, and we're also playing at EuroRock on August 5th. That's it for now. We're doing a mini-tour at the end of August. It's not really a festival gig, but it's a three or four festival gig.

Mark Carras: What would you say is in the near future for the band?

Martin Furängen: More touring, hopefully. We have to get out there and do what we really like doing, which is playing loud. It's what we really want to do.

Mark Carras: So, as much shows as you're able to do and people can check out the new album?

Martin Furängen: Yeah!

Mark Carras: I thank you very much for the interview.


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