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Martin Furangen of Lost Horizon.

Sweden is just one European country that continues to be a stronghold for the heavy and melodic power metal genre that has gone deep underground for us here in the States. Joining a league of such bands as Iron Maiden, Dio, Hammerfall, and Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Lost Horizon prepares to carry the torch. Before the new album Awakening the World releases in the U.S. on June 12th

bassist Martin Furangen, a.k.a. Cosmic Antagonist, gave RockRage a call to talk about the band, the new album, touring and more.


RR:       First off, youíve got a great power metal album here. You capture all the elements with the music, artwork, the whole wizards and warriors fantasy theme that bands like Warlock or Dio did back then. Who were your influences?


MF:      Well, thatís the entire metal spirit that was around in the Ď80s when we grew up. Thatís been with us when we, or Wojtek rather, wrote this music. Some of the material is pretty old. Because it reaches back to another band we used to have called Highlander.


RR:       Okay. I was going to ask you about HighlanderÖ


MF:      Wojtek and I thought of that band in 1990. At that time, we didnít have any goals set on getting signed or anything. We just played because we wanted to play that type of music.


RR:       Also going back to the theme, all the members have a special name. Where did that idea come from?


MF:      Well, itís actually not names. Itís more like titles, descriptions of our personalities or our spiritual descriptions, to express our personalities in a different way.


RR:       The album has already been released everywhere else since around March.


MF:      Except for South America.


RR:       Okay. Why a two month wait [for U.S.]?


MF:      I donít know actually. I suppose that there are better and less good times to release certain types of albums in certain territories. But, Iím just guessing...Japan was actually released before Europe. It was only a couple of days, March 23rd. The rest of Europe was the 26th.


RR:       The album was recorded with four members. But now you have six. Is that correct?


MF:      Yeah. We have added another guitar player and a keyboard player.


RR:       Why did you change your name from Highlander to Lost Horizon?


MF:            Highlander was a band that we had throughout the years, but we havenít had it constantly. Weíve been putting it on ice several times and done a couple of restarts every now and then. So weíve had playing a couple of years and then doing something else for a year or two and getting back together, perhaps with some different musicians. But the last restart we did was in í95 and it went on for another year Ďtil í96, and then we kind of naturally ended again because Wojtek and I were going on tour with Luciferion, which is Wojtekís death metal band and the other guys went on to do other things. Then in early í98, Wojtek and I and Christian, the drummer, got back together and wanted to really work in perfecting the old material we already had, like finishing it and rearranging it and making it complete in order to have material for an album. We spent about a year with this, doing the material work. We still didnít have a singer at that time, so we started looking for one and we ended up with Daniel. We recorded a two-track demo. Actually, Daniel wasnít in the band then, because he was in another band. But he was very interested in what he heard with us, so he recorded a two-track demo with us. We sent that out and we got very positive feedback. We ended up signing with Music For Nations. When we had finished the recording and everything was done, when they were like just about to start pouring out material to start building the buzz, they found out that there was a very not famous German motorcycle hard rock band with the name Highlander and they released like four or five albums. So we couldnít really use.


RR:       Who came up with Lost Horizon and what is the meaning behind it?


MF:      Me and Christian and Wojtek. We sat down and really scratched our heads to find an appropriate name. We wanted a name that meant something, like in the meaning of the words, and also a name that sounded like a good name. Lost Horizon, to us, means the once lost horizon that weíre brining back through our music.

RR:       Is that why the web site is named


MF:      Yeah. That and the fact that is taken by some kind of a web sites bureau or advertising or something in Los Angeles [California],


RR:       From what I read, [Lost Horizon] did your first concert at the NTS Festival in Paris [France]. How did that go?


MF:      It went really well. I think the album had been out four days or something. So the French audience pretty much knew nothing about us. Itís like they heard probably a buzz because we had been doing quite a lot of interviews in Europe prior to the release. So theyíve been reading some stuff on the internet and magazines and stuff. But they were totally with us from the first note we played and throughout the concert. It was a fantastic response. It was a 2,000 people venue, sold out. It was really great.


RR:       I know you have a couple shows scheduled for August in Belgium and Germany. Any talk about doing a tour in the U.S.?


MF:      Not yet, but Iím quite sure there will be. Weíre probably doing a European tour in September.


RR:       Who are you going to be touring with?


MF:      Iced Earth. Itís not 100% confirmed yet. But as soon as it is weíre going to put it up on our web site.


RR:       How about a radio single?


MF:      We didnít put out a single here in Europe. Because they didnít see it was necessary or good to do it. Itís usually quite seldom that heavy metal bands put out singles before their debut album. I think that on the second or third, etc., then itís more common to put out a single. But as I understand it, it can be a bit risky to put out like one single track before the album. If people donít catch that then maybe the album is just going to fly by as well.


RR:       Does the same go for videos too?


MF:      No. The reason why we havenít made a video yet is because there is a problem with who is going to play a heavy metal video these days. I mean MTV in Europe doesnít play that kind of music. They donít get heavier than maybe Bon Jovi. Maybe Limp Bizkit is probably on there, but theyíre very commercial.

RR:       Thanks for the interview Martin.




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