Dave: Hi Martin! Let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I really dig the album a lot. I want to make the readers of my site more aware of what Lost Horizon is about. We really need a band like Lost Horizon to kick the U.S. scene in the butt and get it recharged!
Martin: Hi Dave! Cool to hear that you like our album! There is an indescribable amount of work behind it And we truly appreciate your efforts to increase people's awareness of us!
Dave: How far back did Lost Horizon begin as a unit??
Martin: It actually dates back to the early nineties, when Wojtek (guitar) and I formed a band called Highlander (with Christian taking command over the drum stool shortly after the start). This band was around on and off throughout the years, but with several breaks for projects, music schools etc, and no effort was really made to get signed at that time. Then in early ´98 Wojtek, Christian and I started up again, this time with a goal to get signed and release all the material we had. We spent a rough year to perfect the material for our debut album, then we found Daniel (vocals) and recorded a demo which we sent out to some labels and the rest is history. We had to change our name though, because there was already an old, unknown German biker-rock band with the name Highlander, who had released like five albums or so. So eventually we came up with Lost Horizon, which actually fits better.
Dave: One thing that is clear is the 'True Metal' feel throughout the album such as Manowar and Iron Maiden. Why this direction??
Martin: When we grew up listening to metal during the eighties when metal was really big we got very taken by that general metal spirit, and it is still with us today, so there really isn't any other way for us. We have never actually thought about that, it is just the natural way. None of us is interested in all this modern power metal hybrid experiments. What we want to do is to develop the classic, old, true heavy metal, and take on where the masters left it and bring it to new elevations.
Dave: The album has some pretty interesting cover art. I have my own ideas, but what is the bands concept behind the art??
Martin: As you insinuate, the cover art quite speaks for itself with all the symbolism. But the basic thought behind it is to wake people up and see what's going on with the World.
Dave: Another interesting point is the bands image. Not necessarily the Manowar type thing, but it seems there is statement being made. Can you explain the whole image thing??
Martin: Having an image, rather than just wearing black t-shirts and pants (like so many bands these days), is something that also comes very natural for us. It is more than just music, it should, as we believe, be interesting for all senses to see and hear us. We are trying to create a timeless feel over Lost Horizon, and not just being the standard swords & dragons type of metal band (which there are hundreds of). The statement being made is to follow the truth, and not falling for all the corruption and bullshit. It is also a statement for believing in yourself, and not trusting in such a tragic lie as fate.
Dave: Wanted to mention that I chose 'The Awakening' as album of the month a couple of months ago. Has the album been doing well so far??
Martin: Glad to hear that! As we have heard so far it has been doing really well, but it is difficult to get an accurate number. We know 20.000 copies were shipped during the first month.
Dave: On that particular note, what do you feel it will take for a band of Lost Horizon calibre to break open in the U.S.?? Do you feel the scene is getting stronger over here??
Martin: Very difficult for me to say, as I haven't been in the States for seven years now. But what I think it would take is a healthy tour state-wide supporting a suitable, well-known (and big) metal band. That way we would get exposed to larger audiences, and I think that is just the hard thing these days, to reach out and get people to know you exist.
Dave: How has touring been going so far??
Martin: There hasn't been any real tour yet, only a few (but pretty big) festival gigs this summer (NTS in Paris, France, Wacken in Germany and EuroRock in Belgium). But if things roll smoothly we will go out on a European tour this fall as a support act.
Dave: Getting back to the album, I hear some pretty obvious influences, some that are mentioned earlier. What kind of influences do you draw from and where does Lost Horizon fit into the big picture of all things Metal.
Martin: Our influences have their roots in the spirit that reigned during the eighties. We grew up with all the great metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio and Manowar (to name a very few). And striving to evolve this, we would "fit into the big picture" as a serious classic true metal band, but with a very special and unique magic in our music. And we have a strong urge to take this several steps further.
Dave: Why do you feel the climate for this style of music has stayed relatively strong with the fans from Europe and Japan? What is the secret to this and why do you feel the U.S. market is different.
Martin: In Europe metal never really died, as maybe it did in other parts of the world, and that's probably why it keeps going and also grows, now turning to a wider audience with a new generation of "metal people". I really don't know so much about Japan, but they seem to always have been very interested in Western music of all kinds. They listen to everything that is good. The market in the U.S. is extremely competitive and the general audience very influenced of what is cool at the moment, leading to the fact that if metal isn't cool at the moment, only REAL metal people are interested.
Dave: What kind of a pattern would Lost Horizon like to take as far as releasing albums. Put time between the albums or release one a year as some do??
Martin: For us I think that one album every eighteen months is good. Not more nor less. That gives us time to play live and to get inspiration for albums to come. It is very important not having to work under constant stress, as it has a very negative impact on the result.
Dave: Looking in the album one will see one of the longest thank you lists ever. From video games to movie actors to personal friends. Why so elaborate?? Some bands will say thanks to a few and just leave it at that. It actually makes for an interesting read on your disc.
Martin: Dealing with pretty much everything important and interesting that has happened throughout our lives is a way for us to "unload the baggage" and to move on with a fresh start. This is very important to us, as are actually all parts in the "package"; we want everything to be interesting, not only the music and the lyrics, but also artwork, photos, layout, personal texts and appearance. Nice to hear you like our idea by the way!
Dave: What would you tell a potential new fan of the band about your music? How would you personally describe and persuade?
Martin: If you are searching for true metal (with all what that means) and for spiritual like-mindedness, we are the band for you!
Dave: Thanks again Martin! It's been interesting and I wish you lot's of success!
Martin: Well, thank YOU! We appreciate your effort in helping us reaching out!