Record company Music For Nations announces Lost Horizon's debut album "Awakening The World" as one of the best debut releases ever, and I have to admit it's the truth, and nothing but the truth! Because of the young age of the band we were in search for some answered to traditional questions like where, when and how it all started, and what better chance to get to know more than when we sere offered an interview with the band's drummer Christian?

"Okay, actually it's not that short a history! From the beginning of the nineties...1990, or '91, Wojtek, Martin, Joakim Cams, and some other guys started a band called Highlander. They did some touring in the Gothenburg area. Me, I joined Highlander in '92, I think, and there have been several set-ups of members, and actually the songs we play today are the result of the embryos that we made during this time from the early nineties. So, in '98, when we decided to start working on the album, we took the old ideas, and made them fresh again, and of course made a lot of changes and re-arrangements. Because we obviously learned a lot of things during the years! So we took the ideas from that time, and we tried to make it very up-to-date, a little more technical, as we all became better musicians, and after one year of hard work we finished the material and recorded a demo. Which finally led us to signing up with M.F.N.."

The band members use fancy surnames. Where did you find these, and why use them?

"Wojtek is the Trancendental Protagonist, and Martin is the Cosmic Antagonist. Daniel is the Etherial Magnanimus, and me myself, I am the Peternatural Transmogrifier. But I want to make something very, very clear: these are not like artist names that we are going to use. They are titles that we have on artwork and stuff like that, and the purpose of the names is to kind of reflect our personalities in a spiritual sense. We kind of looked into ourselves and tried to find a way to squeeze in as much as possible of our personalities into a few words. We use it as spiritual titles, and it suits with the artwork and all the other stuff, so this is really something we have been thinking a lot about before we chose the names. So that's the reason, we are not gonna present ourselves like, "Hi, my name is Peternatural Transmogrifier!” That is not the case. Our names are what they are, and these are just titles!"

Where does the band name come from?

"Actually, when we signed with M.F.N., our name was Highlander, but there was a German band that already had that name, and they had released several albums. We were very disappointed at that time to have to change the name, but after weeks of discussing and looking into dictionaries and other things to get ideas, we finally came up with Lost Horizon. And we really felt that this was a name that told everything we wanted to say about our songs and our purposes with our music."

With "Awakening The World", it's very obvious that Lost Horizon already has recorded an album which proves they have already created a renovating, refreshing own identifiable sound which will catapult the band immediately to the top of the today's melodic powerful True Metal top. What's the band's secret to become such a mature band in such a short time?

"Actually we grew up with this kind of music...or the music where our music comes from originally! We all grew up during the eighties when all the hugh Metal bands were at their peak, and of course we are influenced by them, since we listened to 'em during our teenage years! And then when we started playing music, we started playing this style of music. I mean, we all tried to... Tried...! We all have played different music styles, to get a wider perspective of music, of course, but you always have that Metal spirit in you, and once you're Metal, you're always drawn back to it. Because its a powerful music style that includes so many things! So, we're not like beginners, and the reason why we...I mean, we were very happy with the result, of course. It was very much hard work, we almost emptied ourselves of knowledge during the process of making this album, and we really tried to make it as good as possible. Because the reason we started Lost Horizon, or Highlander, was because we felt there was really a lack of that really, really well-made Metal. I mean, there are so many bands today, and too many bands haven't found that special magic that you need to possess to create music like this! I mean, obviously a lot of people succeed, but it takes time to learn it. You have to listen to it, you have to play it, and you have to feel it! And experience it, and then you can produce music like this. It's not a thing that happens overnight, there's a lot of hard work behind it. And when we made these songs, we put all our energy into it, and we really emptied ourselves of power when we recorded it! I think you can hear that on the album, because we wanted to make sure that we got as much power as possible into one CD! So that the listener can feel this power, and use this energy while they listen to it!"

Who are the lyrical and musical masterminds of the band, or is everyone on the same level?

"Wojtek Liscki is the songwriter, and the writer of the lyrics! Although of course, we all have arranged our instruments, and...I mean, the lyrics are really the philosophy that we all have in the band. It's things that we discuss all the time, but Wojtek is the one with the best ability to put words and music to it! And on this record, it's he who wrote all the material!"

The album is both well arranged and brilliantly recorded and produced, but that's no surprise, as "Awakening The World" was recorded in several different studios around the Gothenburg area in Sweden from late March 'till mid August. Did you never have an impatient feeling during this long recording period?

"O yeah, we really did! This was a very long history for us. We were very tired afterwards. It took a lot of work, but that was necessary! I mean, you can't just make a song, and not do it properly! We wanted to do it really, really as good as it can be, and that takes time! It was deliberate that we chose different studios to record, because when you want to do a production like this, that takes a lot of time, to sit in the same room for so many months...you would probably go mad! Because you always need a change of atmosphere. You also need to listen to the record with different sound systems, because they all sound different. So the more sound systems you can listen to do the production in...you get the whole picture of the sound in a much better way! And besides this, of course, different studios is better for different things, and the thing we did when we recorded, is that we recorded the drums in Studio Fredman, which is the top studio in the whole world, I would say. I mean, he is really professional, knows his stuff. He has great acoustic rooms in the studio, he has all the things that you need to get that powerful sound in the drums! Then we rented rooms in different studios, and we recorded the guitars, bass, keyboards, and the vocals in those studios. But we really used our own equipment, and only rented space in those different studios! And we used Studio Fredman again to engineer all the technical stuff, and so Fredrik set the equipment for us, and made the sound sound the way that we wanted it to! And he...I mean, he's one of the best, so, I'm sure we're gonna use him for our upcoming albums as well!"

With all the different studios, there must've been a big budget, but maybe the band had to put up the money for that upfront themselves?

"O no! We got a recording fund from M.F.N.. And since we used the money...I mean, a lot of other bands put their money into going to a different country to record, have to pay hotels, pay travels, pay producers, pay huge amounts of money, just for being in the studio all day. And since we've got our own system, we could concentrate more on...I mean, we didn't have that limit that other bands have. You know, the money running out, because technicians cost a lot. We produced this album ourselves, recorded it ourselves, so the economic part was not a problem, and we could put that into using time, because we feel music shouldn't be limited by money, because money and music have nothing to do with each other! Money is like a fake symbol, and music is something for the soul! So these two things...unfortunately it's not like that in the world, but the dream is that those two never got in touch, because it's very sad when great musicians don't have the money to produce the music that they have written, the way that they want it to sound! It's ridiculous, really!"

On the front cover it seems like all animals rule over humanity, but in the picture on the back cover, the Lost Horizon warriors are in control of the animal kingdom. Is there a message behind both artworks, and perhaps also in the lyrics?

"It's not hidden! It's very obvious actually! That's how we feel, anyways! The whole concept with Lost Horizon, and the title of the album, and the lyrics, and the cover, and everything, has to do with our thoughts and the message in our music! I mean, the 'lost horizon' really means that the horizon that once was lost, but now is brought back...you can interpreter it in many ways, but of course we mean that the lost horizon in this case is primarily the Metal era that was lost! We will try to bring Metal back to a high-quality and respected music style! Hopefully we will influence other bands to put some more effort into their songs and try to sound more interesting than they are now. And of course the message is not that the animals control the humans. The animals are symbols for institutions and companies, and people around the world who are without conscience, using people and using nature, and just thinking about their own profits! I mean, I'm sure you are aware of the situation in this world today, and a lot of people are really feeling lost, and they are really blind to what is goin' on. We tried to put all of these thoughts and ideas into this concept, so... I mean, Metal is more than just going to a concert and see a couple of guys playing in jeans and T-shirts. What you say should be something important, a great amount of power that you transmit to the listener. It should be all these things, so you can feel the unity with all those things, and that is really what we feel what Metal is about. So everything has to do with each other on this record! Even the order of the songs are really thought-through, as well as the lyrics, to build up to a certain level, where hopefully the listener is filled with this energy that we put into the album! I know that when I'm tired, and I put on the album, after a couple of minutes I'm ready to go again, because I can feel the energy of the music! And that's not only because I play in the band, if other people had performed the music, I would feel the same thing! Hopefully other people will feel the same way when they hear it! I mean, that's why we do this, to give the people that really like Metal that feeling that they haven't had anymore since the eighties. I remember going to an Iron Maiden concert, listening to a Judas Priest record, or any one of those old great ones...that feeling is lost somewhere. Metal is a music style that has been almost laughed at for the last ten years! And I think that is very wrong, because it's a very serious music style, and unfortunately the record companies are over-feeding the market with a lot of low-quality bands, which makes the music as an art lower in its worth!"

Vocalist Daniel has a really clean voice, does he use equipment for that?

"Like 'Altitune'? O no, it's really impossible to use that! Like, you hear a lot of these commercial bands, like boy bands? You can hear this Altitune all the time, and you can wonder if they can even sing at all! But in this kind of music, when the notes are going up and down, and there are so many variations...I mean, it's impossible to cheat! You have to have the talent, it's no thing that can be fabricated! I mean, you can put a person who can't sing at all in front, with an Altitune, and he would sound like a totally great singer! But you would never feel that extra magic, because it has to be the real stuff to accomplish that. And Daniel, his lungs are made of steel! I mean, he's got an incredible voice! He really blew us away at times in the studio!"

Two demo songs were sent out to several record labels, resulting in a very positive feedback and interest from most of them. Lost Horizon chose M.F.N. to sign with, why, and how is working with them?

"So far, I must say that M.F.N. must be the one...the one most professional record label right now. Because we are so happy with the support that we have, and the sincere belief in us! I mean, we didn't even sent our demo to these labels with hundreds of different bands, because we know that they have like three out of a hundred bands that get all the attention, and we were not willing to compromise there! I mean, we feel that you need a professional label that really gives this music the attention it deserves. I know that there are a lot of smaller bands in big labels that don't get any promotion support when it's possible, because they only concentrate on their big bands that get all the economical support! So when we discussed the terms of the contracts with different labels we really felt that M.F.N. were the ones who...I mean, they don't really have that many bands. There are a few bands, and each band has a different genre to it. Like we are the only Metal band in this (!) sense on this label, which means they can concentrate only on us! And that's a very professional way to look at it. They're not looking at gaining as many bands as they can, in the hope that maybe some of them can get big! They really go after quality at M.F.N., and they know when they hear it, and when they hear it, they really know what to do with it! That is a very obvious trademark of the label, and so far our companionship is going perfect!"

"Actually, and obviously, we're not discussing headline tours, as this is our debut album, and none has ever heard of us yet! We're going to as many festivals as possible this Spring and Summer, and hopefully we can go on tour...perhaps with another band in the Fall or Winter. Of course we do this to go out and play live, that's what we love about this, and the first performance we will have is in Paris on the 31st of March, a festival with Rhapsody, Savatage, and some other bands that I really don't know who they are yet! But other than that M.F.N. is discussing with a lot of organizers around the world, like the Dynamo festival and Wacken, but nothing is confirmed yet. So, I really don't have any dates, or any confirmations for you, but I can promise you that we are going to be seen all through Europe, and it's goin' to be a great performance! I can promise you that! that's what we really will try to do for the audience: to bring back that old feeling when you went to a concert, and when you came out of there, you went, "Waw! What happened!?!". Because today we feel it's almost like it's a couple of guys from the audience goin' on stage, and then they leave. There's nothing about the whole experience. I mean, it should be experienced with your eyes, and...all your senses, and not just your ears! You can do so (!) many things with Metal, and you can visualise it, make the audience really experience your music in a powerful way. And that's what we try to do, but of course it's difficult for a debuting band to see all your dreams visualised. But we have a lot of ideas of how we should achieve becoming a different band with spectacular promises. So count on hearing and seeing us all over Europe this Summer!"

 

 

Lost Horizon:

Cosmic Antagonist  - Martin
Ethereal Magnanimus - Daniel
Transcendental Protagonist - Wojtek
Preternatural Transmogrifier - Christian

Discography: "Awakening The World"   March 2001.
Transcendental Protagonist
Poesy of spiritual enlightenment / the entire string romanticism / soulhealing euphoria generators
Translation for mortals - lyrics / guitars / synthesisers
Earthshape - Wojtek Lisicki

Cosmic Antagonist
Orchestrating of thunder & seismic harmonising
Translation for mortals - bass guitar
Earthshape - Martin Furängen

Preternatural Transmogrifyer
Keeping of the Universe's pulse & taming of Chaos
Translation for mortals - drums
Earthshape - Christian Nyquist

Ethereal Magnanimus
Laments of the souls & primal victorious warrior cries
Translation for mortals - vocals & screams
Earthshape - Daniel Heiman

Tracklist: "Awakening The World"

"The Quickening", "Heart Of Storm","Sworn In The Metal Wind", "The Song Of Air", "World Through My Fateless Eyes", "Denial Of Fate", "Welcome Back", "The Kingdom Of My Will", "The Redintegration".

 

The official Lost Horizon Website
www.oncelosthorizon.com

 

Web Page Music For Nations:
www.music-for-nations.co.uk/

 Promotion by Zomba Records for Belgium.

 

To contact Lost Horizon for information, bookings, interview requests, questions about the Universe or life in general, or if you just want to leave your point of view, send an e-mail to: mailto:info@oncelosthorizon.com?subject=I want more info



E-mail: mfn@music-for-nations.co.uk

Fax: +44 (0)208 964 5460

Address:
Music For Nations
333 Latimer Road
London, W10 6RA
England

Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon's debut album, 'Awakening The World', was recorded in several different studios around the Gothenburg area (Sweden), for the purpose of getting the best possible result throughout all of the different phases, from late March through mid August of 2000.


Drums - recorded in late March through early April at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg

Bass guitar - recorded in April at BMC/Meta 4 Music Studios in Gothenburg

Rhythm guitars - recorded in early May at BMC/Meta 4 Music Studios in Gothenburg

Solos - recorded in late May at Metalking Domain in Gothenburg

Keyboards - recorded in early June at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg

Instrumental mix - made in late June at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg

Vocals - recorded in July at Studio Mega in Bollebygd

Final mix - made in early August at Tremolo Music Studio in Gothenburg

Mastering - made in mid August at The Mastering Room in Gothenburg.