Interview by Kieron Hayes
Interview with Magnus (bass)
Hey and thank you for your time. Please state your name and position in the band.
I’m Magnus the bass player.
When did you first start getting into music and feel the urge to join/form a band?
Music has always been a big part of my life but it was probably around when I was 13 or 14 that me and a couple of friends formed our first band. No one could really play but it was punk so that didn’t matter. Everyone just played as fast as they could and when the singer had finished screaming the lyrics he signalled that the song was over. Great times
And how would you describe Horisont’s music to someone who had never heard it?
Horisont is basically classic rock. A little bit of prog rock, a big chunk of AOR, a pinch of heavy metal with some slices of cheezy 80’s synths on the top. Preferably served with a lukewarm lager.
Your music has a strong retro quality to it, though it always feels wonderfully organic. Was this style something you set out to do right from the start?
The retro sound and feel came pretty natural since all we listened to was old 70’s and 80’s acts.
Are there any particular artists that have inspired you and your sound?
There are hundreds of bands that have influenced us over the years. Thin Lizzy, Rainbow and Scorpions are bands we’ve always been inspired by. Lately we’ve incorporated more of an AOR sound inspired by bands such as Foreigner, Kansas and Survivor. Just the general sound production of the 60’s and 70’s is something we’re all in to. Dry and simple but rich.
Have any of you played in other bands before Horisont (or are playing in other bands now)?
I played drums in a krautrock band called Ikons a few years ago. We released two albums before I quit to focus on Horisont. We’ve all played in many different constellations but nothing that really went anywhere.
Moving on to your new album: to me, Sudden Death feels distinct from About Time, while still very much a Horisont record. It feels a touch more experimental, letting the prog influences shine a bit more. Did you go into Sudden Death wanting to do anything differently, go in any new directions? Or was it more a case of making music and just seeing where it went?
The initial thought was to write songs not based on guitar. We were influenced by 60’s pop music with orchestration that carried the track. Most of the songs were written on piano or synth. The guitars were then added as the icing on the cake.
It was a fun way of getting a different approach on the song writing. And it turned out pretty cool if you ask me.
What was the process for making the album? Does one of you do the bulk of the writing, or is it more of a collaborative effort?
Axel and I write most of the songs. Axel often has a chord structure and an idea on how he wants it to sound. Then we play around with it until he’s happy. I often do a demo version by myself with at least one verse and one chorus. Then we as a band put it together.
We have our own studio now which means we can spend as much time as we want when recording. It can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing being we can spend forever on getting something just right. The curse is that it sometimes actually takes forever.
Does the album title, Sudden Death, have a specific meaning?
We just thought that it was a fitting title along with the cover art. Sudden death being a rule in hockey and also most likely the outcome for the poor guy wearing that helmet.
A press release quote mentioned “a personal tragedy” in connection with one of the new songs, “Free Riding”. Can you elaborate any further on that, if it’s not too private a topic?
I’m not going into that.
Do you have any personal favourite tracks from the album? Any that you’re looking forward to giving a live airing?
I’m singing on both ”Gråa Dagar” and ”Breaking the Chain” which is maybe not something that I look forward to but it’s going to be… interesting.
It varies what songs I favor on the record. I like ”Revolution” a lot.
Göteborg isn’t going through such a strict lockdown as some parts of the world, but I still assume all this COVID-19 business has had an impact on your plans as a band lately?
Yes of course! We had a European tour and a bunch of festival gigs that we had to cancel. Other than the livestream we did, it’s been kind of quiet. We’re still working our regular jobs but the music business is more or less totally dead.
When you do tour, what’s it like with one another? Do you all get on all of the time, or do you have times you need space from each other?
We usually get along fine but there have been some testing times when you feel like killing everyone. Five guys in the same van and sleeping in the same room or bus for a month or so…can’t be good for anyone.
We seem to get a good deal of variety in Sweden’s musical output, everything ranging from vintage rock to extreme metal. What do you make of the local music scene? Are there any other countries’ scenes you particularly identify with?
Horisont would not have got this far if it wasn’t for the music scene in Gothenburg. There are so many places to play and so many dedicated people that pushed us forward. We have really done very little other than show up on time, drink all the beer and have fun on stage.
We owe a great deal to the music scene in Germany as well. Germans seem to be very committed to the music and give the music their full attention. It’s always a pleasure to play in front of an audience like that.
I had the pleasure of catching you guys live at Truckstop Alaska a while back, and your look on stage seemed to capture that classic rock feeling just as vibrantly as the music. Do you think image is important when being in a band?
I don’t know. We haven’t ever talked about having an image. Sometimes it’s kind of cool and other times it feels awkward or cheesy. As long as it feels right I guess. Even the lack of an image can be an image sometimes. If that is true it’s a case of: is less more or is more more? More kind of sounds more like more then less… but what do I know?
Are there any dream artists you’d love to play alongside if you could?
Elo would be cool.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band?
Don’t think about it, just do it.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?
It’s mostly old stuff. I found that I’ve been listening to a lot of softer sounding music recently. Like Jackson Brown and Paul Simon and stuff like that.
Tame Impala is one of the newer bands that I’ve listened to a bit. But they also have sort of a throw back sound but with some new elements in the mix.
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?
Beer drinking, fishing and woodworking. All at the same time if possible. And they are all doable during a pandemic.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Stay cool. See you soon