THE METAL AWAKENINGS OF LOST HORIZON

Updated: 07/14/01

Lost Horizon is a metal band whose message is one of an extremely positive nature. This is music that is created to inspire and provoke, and many are hailing Awakening The World as one of the best Metal debuts of the Year! There are the inevitable comparisons to Hammerfall, but the band has managed a look and an over-the-top musical style that separates them for their other German contemporaries. We recently spoke with the Cosmic Antagonist of the band, their bass guitarist who also happens to go by the mortal name of Martin Furangen.

Highwire Daze: Tell me what you do in Lost Horizon and how long the band has been together?

Martin Furangen: I play bass guitar and basically I am the one that holds the practical stuff together - keeping in contact with everybody and seeing that all the graphics are fixed. Officially, Lost Horizon has been together since 1998. But it's based on an old band that we began playing in, in 1990 or so, which was called Highlander. We had this band on and off through the years and then stopped and did other things, and then got back together. But in 98, we decided it was time to sort out all the material we had laying around and re-arranged it so we could release an album.

HD: So there's ten years worth of material on Awakening The World?

Martin: Yeah. It's been re-arranged of course. The first versions are barely recognizable now. Some melodies are still there.

HD: Did you ever record anything under Highlander?

Martin: A couple of demos, but never anything that we released.

HD: Did you get the name of the band Lost Horizon from the famous book or movie?

Martin: Well, Highlander the name obviously comes from the movie. But Lost Horizon actually doesn't come from the book or movie. We found out later when we had made up the name. I got a question from an interview I did, and it was the first time I had heard of the fact that it was a book. I just got the book, by the way, and started reading it. But no, it has nothing to do with that. But our name was Highlander up until we were about the release the album. Then we found out there was a very unknown German heavy rock, biker rock band that had released some five albums. Obviously, we needed to change the name. We wanted to find a name that was both sounding good and meant something to us. Lost Horizon means to us, the once lost horizon that we bring back - speaking of the once lost point of existence, and also of the music that we're playing.

HD: Is there any significance behind the album title Awakening The World?

Martin: Yeah, absolutely. We want people in society to wake up and see what's going on basically, which also describes the artwork of the CD cover.

HD: That artwork is really trippy with the animals and everything. Where did you get the idea for the artwork and how much input did you have on it?

Martin: We've made everything ourselves - all the music, all the recording, all of the artwork and all the graphic stuff. Everything is made by us. Early on, the Music For Nations label had a lot of faith in us. Apparently they believed in us because of the material that they received on the demo. So we told them how we wanted to do it, and they didn't have any objections. The idea behind the artwork is connected with the title. It describes how we see society today. You have the characters in suits that represents the "soul infectors" as we call them, which control their victims like marionettes. Of course, the suits are symbolic, because usually people in this kind of powerful positions are men in suits. And also the animal heads, they are underlying enhancement of their refinements of specific types of animals we usually use as symbols of despise and cunningness - the vultures and snakes and all that. And the humans symbolize the victims and the blindfolds symbolize them not seeing what is going on. And of course, we come down through the time warp in the background and try to bring a new thought.

HD: Where do you get the ideas for some of the lyrics on the album?

Martin: Wojtek, who writes the music, also writes the lyrics - so obviously most of it comes from his deepest self. But they are about this common character. It's written as this experience by the one who reads the lyrics, because that's who the lyrics are about. A lot of it is about being at the bottom of life, feeling really like sh*t. And realizing it and doing something about it. It's about the way back to gain more energy through metal.

HD: Your singer has an amazing voice. I was wondering what kind of vocal training he has had - if any.

Martin: He doesn't have any vocal training. He's been equipped with this fantastic voice. He's been using it throughout the years, since 14 or 15. I've only played with him for about two years and did not know him from before.

HD: What is the Hammerfall connection with the band?

Martin: The only connection is that we're from the same city. We know some of the guys in Hammerfall and we've been playing together. Joakim, their singer, he was in Highlander at that time. He was only a vocalist - he didn't really affect the music in any way. There's been a lot of talking and writing about us trying to ride on the success of Hammerfall, which is quite annoying. We didn't really wanna mention that at all, because we knew there would be talk like that. But obviously the label wants to mention it, because they think it would sell more albums. Some people really want there to be some kind of conflict so they could have something interesting to write about - but there is no conflict with Hammerfall. They do their thing and they do it well - and we do our thing and we think it's quite different. Though it's in the same genre, we think our music is very different from theirs. Also, they have the traditional German metal power theme and we don't.

HD: What is a live Lost Horizon show like for those of us who have yet to see you play?

Martin: It is a major energy explosion. We use paintings. When we get the room for it, we will be using some very interesting light and film shows and of course pyrotechnics. When we go on support, we're probably not going to get that much room. We're going to have to settle with ourselves and how we look and appear. But there is always a lot of energy. It's not like we're standing with black tee shirts in a corner stamping our feet. It's very much more than that.

HD: Is there a chance of Lost Horizon playing out here in the States?

Martin: I hope so. There hasn't been any talks of live performances, but there's been an amazing reaction from the United States. We weren't really expecting this type of music to be that big in the U.S., which I suppose it isn't. I know that Hammerfall is not selling very many albums there. But I think I've read eight reviews from the US, and they've been the best so far out of all the reviews we've been receiving. That's really interesting. If there is a big interest, I can't see why we wouldn't go on tour there.

HD: If there was one thing you'd like a listener to remember after hearing your music, what would it be?

Martin: That would be to believe in yourselves. There is nothing you cannot do if you want it bad enough. The purpose of our music is to leave the listener in a state of having received a major positive energy kick in the ass.

HD: Any messages for someone reading this who might want to check your music out?

Martin: If you're feeling depressed and you're into metal, this will probably make you happy.

Be sure to check out their webpage at http://www.oncelosthorizon.com as well as their debut album Awakening The World now available from Koch Records!


LOST HORIZON LINKS

LOST HORIZON: The Official Home Page!
KOCH ENTERTAINMENT: The US Record Label for Lost Horizon!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!