The Temple Of Metal
Interview with Lost Horizon
Questions: Michael Dalakos
First of all, let me tell you that this is a great honour for me. I believe that “Awakening The World” is definitely one of the best debut albums in the past few years.
It’s really great to hear that from You! It seems that You have heart on the right side.
Tell me about the bands' history. Does any member of the band played previously in other bands?
I will take it from the beginning. Highlander was started under 1990. It was a great time. An absolute Metal-climax-period for us back then. We had many gigs even though the band was only known in the Gothenburg area in Sweden. It went really well. During the period 90-93 we recorded three demos, though for personal pleasure only. Who the hell gave a damn about things like labels and contracts. The only thing that counted was to play. Eventually all of the band went to the MI (Musicians Institute) in Los Angeles, to back up their interest with knowledge and technique. All except for me. The reason being, that already the same year (approximately six month earlier) me, Michael Nicklasson (present bassist of Dark Tranquillity) and Peter Weiner from Hellgoatsummoner (J), started LUCIFERION. From the day I heard Morbid Angel I was “blessed”. 1995 the debut album Demonication (The Manifest) was released on French label Listenable Records. A number of gigs were done all around Europe. After roughly a year, the Highlanders started to return home. What they found was the brutal truth that Heavy Metal was more or less "off the wall" completely, and that the grunge-crap had taken over all attention totally. A fact we truly hated. Filthy wimps with flannel shirts playing gut-twisting-of-disgust hybrid shit between rock and all other kinds of rubbish. Damn, what an infection! We did start Highlander again anyway. OFF COURSE! Did some gigs with the partially new line-up. But after a while it all cooled off again caused of different reasons. Eventually, the guys kept themselves busy with other musical experiments. Martin, for example, jumped in with Luciferion. Christian “became” studio musician, but he even played with an older rock band. Highlanders break-up in 95 did not happen because of media's disrespect, or lack of interest from us, but rather that people simply did not seem to want to listen to Metal anymore, and that you did not receive any support from "the world", thus no motivation. But that was back then. A lot of things have changed. Now the original old embryo-versions of the songs are TOTALLY transformed and perfected. There are new members. We have learned how to play instruments professionally. My composing is very mature now. We have a very clear way of life and ideology. A common such. There are new members. We are now a sex-pieces band. The fifth member is a keyboard player with name Attila Public and the sixth one is Fredrik Olsson on guitar. Before Lost Horizon Attila was a jazz/fusion musician. He played in many different constellations with older than him professional musicians. Fredric has been playing with some local bands before he moved to USA to study music. There he played professionally with different local bands. We are a real band now, consisting of real explorers of this existence’s magic. We re-created the band due to endless love of True Metal which is always inside us.
How do you end up with a contract with Music For Nations? Did you talked with other companies? I’m pretty sure that if there’s one company out there that didn’t get you… well they probably have swallow their tongue by now!
Yes, I guess so. There were some companies that showed their “interest” with a big-boss-attitude, and that was several MONTHS (!) after they got our package. They could kiss our asses, as our position on MFN was insured. MFN was very quickly to answer. They called just some days after we sent the material to them. Their conditions was VERY convincible. We quickly decided to cooperate with that label. They loved the material and seemed to believe in us. There was also a known German label that showed a big interest, but they couldn’t match the MFN’s contract propositions. Greetings to them anyway!
I am also amazed by the whole lay out quality! As far as I know I haven’t see such quality paper from… Helloween “Master of the Ring” (but I may be wrong).
That’s right, the quality is absolutely amazing. To be really honest (which I always am) I have never been even in the nearness of such quality, when it comes to booklet paper. We pointed out to MFN already in the beginning, that quality is one of our keywords in relation to our personalities and to what the band it self represents.
One more question about the back cover. You appeared to have put chains around the necks of humans with animal heads. Tell us more about the idea behind that.
The back cover is the act II of the front
This is the front cover explanation
Location – the world ruled by corrupted and blinded minds – Earth.
The characters in suits represent the soulinfectors, controlling their victims like marionettes and whipping them with the whips of ruthlessness. Although, the suits are mostly symbolic – this kind comes in many different shapes.
Animal heads are an enhancement and an underline of their refinement. Specific, typical symbols of animals that man uses as symbols of despise, have been used to make the message more clear.
The warp symbolises a dimension of our own common “thought” and awakening, where the rays are the radiating Force.
The snakes symbolise lies that thrive.
The humans symbolise the used and deceived victims, where the blindfold is their blindness.
Us... who brings the new pure
This is the back cover explanation
The ideal order is established. The soulinfectors are defeated and dethroned. The world has been given a new chance. To develop itself the naturally pure way. The fact of enchaining the oppressors is only symbolic. To keep them enchained would make us similar to them. This is the beginning of a new era. The dawn is here. The Metal salvation has come.
I use the term USA epic metal with classic European power ideology to describe your music. How would you describe your music.
Well, Your description is quiet good. Although, only when it comes to the music. Ideologically, we are very alone in Europe, as almost no bands see their Metal with such almost religious eyes as we do. For us this is pure spiritual engagement. Yes, we are definitely very epic (and even more we shall be). We LOVE romanticism and dramaturgy in the music. That’s why we also like Virgin Steele and Rhapsody. We don’t like to be qualified as power Metal band, as this is a new description of the latest fashion which we are not a part of. Our spirit as a band is born for more than ten years ago. But I guess the other musical aspects of our band are just very representative for power metal definition.
Most artists doesn’t really like to categorize their music. What is your opinion about that.
Yes, it’s true. I think in most of the cases it’s because the artist himself doesn’t know exactly how to describe his music the perfect way. And that can be very frustrating. Specially when he gets a sudden question about that. It’s also very pissing off to be classified by other people in a primitive, simple way. Most often nobody asks you. They just put a label on your ass. We have always been a True Metal band, and we still are. With “True” we mean trueness that lights up our and others way of life, always being true, pure and honest. To reach an ultimate trueness within your self is The salvation all religions talk about. But otherwise we despise religions, being even one indoctrinating form of a system, forcing the individual, the “innocent” way, to follow dogmas formed by others in the purpose to control. This is the keyword CONTROL. So, …we have our very own interpretations and general way.
It is obvious that you prefer speedy tracks. However there is one “different” and excellent track named “Welcome back”. What is your favorite style and your favorite tracks from your first album?
I’m not sure I prefer in particular speedy songs any more. Before, the speed was of great importance for me, but now I see many more/other valours needed for making the arrangements really Metal. This album is a collection of songs which original versions was written during a six-year period of time, at different occasions and caused by different musical needs through the years. It became what it became. The structure of the songs, meaning the tempos, spectrum of styles or variety of the riffs are not planned. It’s a collage, a legacy of Highlander, our old shape as band. But on the contrary, the general feeling, sound, lyrical content, the spirit are extremely planned, balanced and very carefully consequently applied.
The second album will not be that extremely technical or that aggressive. It will be much more harmonious and balanced, as our minds are more mature, stabile and purposeful now. Although, it will contain EXTREME dramaturgy, which can be a serious challenge for sensitive minds. I can already now share some emotions with You, telling (in secret) that some of the passages I’ve already written make me feel very, very specifically and strange. The magic is really strong in the arrangements. I really can’t wait until the next album!
Well, it’s strange You don’t include “Welcome Back” in Your fast-songs-list of the album, as it’s a very speedy track indeed (except for the intro of course). The tempo of the songs is not the only speed aspect, it’s the structure of the strokes and beats. The only slow one is indeed “Perfect Warrior” and some parts of “The Kingdome Of My Will”.
Believe me, I really don’t have any favourite tracks. I love all of them the same way. But of the styles, which can be heard on the album, I like most the epic parts.
“Take some under your wings, but she must kiss the ring”, please explain for us a little bit more the lyrics of “Sworn in the metal wind”.
I guess Your girlfriend told You to put this
question in the interview J
Yes, it means just as it suonds, but of course in a fun form. It means, that if you really need a woman, and she is really showing you her interest (only then she’s worthy the attention), then it’s OK to eventually commence a “relationshep”, but she must know who is the warlord J. It is here the “ring” thing comes in. This has nothing to do with women as a slave, house-cleaner, a man’s sex-tool or something like that. I only try to remind about the very basic order of natural behaviours, which are being tried to change so drastically in the moderm society, creating a disturbance in the structure of natural balance. I am definitelly NOT an antifeminist or anything like that. I just observe the situation, which is more and more out of the course. But I must say there are many very positive aspects of the sex-equivalence movement, no do.ubt about it. Finally, “the ring” that has to be kissed, means the one on the finger and not the otherone… J
Basically tell us the bands that you’re inspired from.
I am not inspired by bands that much anymore. I have my own mature magic insight me inspiring me, and all the new impulses are always flowing in from the surrounding nature. I don’t find many emotions of That very special spiritual character in the new heavy metal band’s music. Well, of course, I have not heard that many, that’s for sure. The only ones that I really appreciate, are, like I mentioned before, Virgin Steele and Rhapsody. And then I mean the musical part. The lyrical part I have not entered deeply. Otherwise, the music (and the themes) that inspires me with pure magic, creating cosmic visions and transcendental emotions, are: ambience, film music, trance, Indian and other native music, computer game music and other emotional styles, but only in their mystical form.
“Awakening the world” is categorized by many people as a “true metal” CD. However true metal is, what seems to be, one of the new trends in Metal. What is your opinion about that and about bands that seem to work their appearance more than their music.
I have partially described what I mean with True Metal in one of the previous questions. But, I can develop the theme even here a bit more.
I actually don’t know which bands describe themselves as True Metal. For me such bands are definitely Lost Horizon, Manowar, Virgin Steele to give some examples, but it could also be bands of black, death, ambience, trance and other styles, as many of those are True in the word’s deepest meaning. I guess a lot of bands call themselves True Metal to give themselves better self confidence, toughness and an artificial status. Unfortunately, the most of them can not carry the weight of this title’s content. This theatre of the purest wimps ends up in a ridiculous exodus.
Yes, we are categorized as a True Metal band by other, because we are “marketing” ourselves as that officially. Although, we shall create our very own description in the nearest future, as we want to specify our band exactly. But until we decide such description we will ride under the flag of True Metal, like we always did, as that is still a very good describing status for what we are doing – being true in theory and practice, creating art which is in so true balance with our faith, that it almost borders on madness. This is the only way. The consequence, but also objective judgement. There is absolutely NO compromise virus in our art.
Have you played any gigs? Are there plans for touring? With what band you wish to hit the road?
We had some unofficial warm-up gigs. Then our very first official concert at NTS Festival in France some months ago. We are also booked on EuroRock in Belgium, Wacken in Germany and a minor gig in France. Yes, I know, you probably say – “It’s nothing!”, and that’s true. The above mentioned festivals we are really happy for, but what we need deadly badly is a tour. Although, I’m sure, that in the near future, we will go on tour supporting some great band. All that will be included on our site. The news shall always be there.
What must a fan
expect from you live?
(Your style is great for really heavy gigs)
Await total euphoric energy explosion, endless headbenging and grinding Metal which shall make You levitate. We REALLY appreciate different ways of audiences’ appearance, like: torches, paintings, strange clothes, transparences with quotations, but even other more unusual things. The more you guys support us, the more inspiration and energy we will get to make the concerts unforgettable.
Since the band is definitely aware of what’s going on in this world here follows some questions irrelevant with music. However I found them great since this is a good way to learn opinions about common things. So please tell us your beliefs about the following matters :
|World’s ecological disaster|
Child abuse is really sick. And even as those who commit this kind of crime are victims of their past, that is no vindication for such deeds. We strongly despise such acts of outrage.
I could give some examples for reasons for becoming such a weird individual, relating partially to the previous question about “kiss the ring”. There is a lot of this kind of crimes here in Sweden. As the women here are made of plastic (and it’s getting worse), it’s not strange at all the men be real psychic and emotional wrecks being alone whole live caused by those princess-robot-wax-dolls.
I don’t think I have to develop this subject. Everything is very clear. The most of the materialists are too primitive, irrespectively of all the education and intelligence, to understand what they are doing. Their grief is blinding them. They have no insight at all.
I hate drugs! This fucking artificial solution, that destroys one’s natural consciousness, objectivism and true (!) insight. Metal and drugs are the opposite extremes. All those who associate Metal with the rock’n’roll’s idiotic phrase “Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” can right now hold their dicks in hand, locate themselves in the front of a mirror and scream stating: – I am not Metal!!! I am a just fucking looser!!!
What’s your opinion about fanzines / webzines?
Thanx to them there is an independent and uncensored movement around. That’s great, and the soulinfectors can suck their dicks. The bands get help with advertising of their names by Metal people and not all-glorifying sub humans. The only thing to complain, is the fact, that unfortunately many of the zine owners are self elected “professional critics”, who in fact are just incompetent neanderthals with no objective professional approach. A review, and then especially the negative such, has to be done with no (or not too much or only) personal emotions against the artist of any kind. The critics are not oracles, they are only observers.
How your fans can contact you? Tell us your web address.
We can be contacted at email@example.com or visited on our site www.oncelosthorizon.com It has been a wood of fan mails already. We always appreciate letters. Thanx for all of those great words! It would be cool to hear what other musicians has to say, as NO such has yet written to us. Don’t be such chickens, share your opinions with us.
Metal is for the chosen few. Do you agree with that, or you preferred a much larger audience? What is your opinion about what industry means metal (the crap like Limp Bizkit etc.)
I am totally of the same faith as You here! Metal, in it’s ideal form, is meant for the special. Although, all the non-Metal people who appreciate it deeply, “feeling” it’s content the right way, are of course also welcomed. As Metal is NOT only music! It’s a way of seeing things. There is a lot of Metal spirit everywhere. In all shapes!
It’s impossible to hold Metal free from the trend followers. But what must not be forgotten, is that they are playing a significant role in this machinery, as they are those who “finance” the big part of it, buying the records and other merchandises, visiting gigs etcetera, which does that Metal get more mass-attention, and by that the power to hold it on the level it deserves and not on the garage level, while the commercial rubble dominates the music industry. Still Metal’s meaning will be understood only by the ones with “the eyes”.
Back to what You asked – I say, Limb Bizkit is NOT Metal! So, there is no reason to care or worry actually. In my opinion bands like them or that kind of modern American rock, is not Metal at all! They have long hair, they are head banging, they have guitars with distortion, they have classical rock instruments etcetera, but the spirit is different, mostly negative or rotten. But, I wonder if there is any spirit at all.
Well that’s about it. I hope the best for this great band. Give us your last words.
Thanx a lot for the interview Michael! Metal hails all it’s guardians!
As a conclusion, I would like to announce that Lost Horizon was created to bring back to others, and at the same time to us, the lost meaning and will, which has been lost or covered up during some stage in life for different reasons.
If the bands' name feels controversial in relation to the represented positive values, one should know that it is to be interpreted as "Once Lost Horizon", that is the once lost horizon that we strive to bring back to those who have/are going to/will lose it, and those who are looking for it. "Once" is not written, thus invisible, but it is always there.