...was caught after their show in Tuska metal festival in Finland on 13.7.2003 for an interview. Behind the backstage we sat on the grass while bugs kept, well, bugging us. The guys tasted some finnish Sisu-candy and Daniel Heiman, vocals, liked it, even the name of it, which I found a bit strange concidering the finnish taste in food. Even with the long interview Lost Horizon's secret still stayed hidden. It wasn't until two days later that the band announced on their website about Wojtek Lisicki, guitars, leaving the band. We interviewed Daniel and Wojtek and wish all the best for each one of them on their journeys.
FIRST GIG IN FINLAND, THE TOUR
RockUnited - How does it feel to be in Finland after a few attempts, you tried to come over here about two years ago to Tuska festival ?
Daniel - Actually there was a guy asking us if we wanted to play the festival and it was a good gig to do and it was so near to come here, but there was something that didn't work, I can't remember what. But there was no direct reason.
RockUnited - What about now, was it nice to come here ?
Wojtek - We have very good memories from Finland, I like to come here, but we've never played here before.
Daniel - I've never been here before, but I think it's nice.
RockUnited - Have you had any other festival gigs this summer ?
Wojtek - We had two or three festivals, but we've thought we need a vacation, because we've been working so hard. We just took those festivals and that's it. We have to rest. We've been working from '98 until now without vacations. So you understand the situation.
RockUnited - But you had the Spanish tour earlier on spring, why just in Spain ?
Daniel - This guy contacted us from Bilbao and that's the reason we went. He arranged a tour for us in Spain and everything was pre-arranged, that's the reason why we went there. We liked it, it was great.
Wojtek - It's just because that guy proposed strictly Spanish tour, which I thought was very good. It's much better to concentrate on one country if you're a new band, like only Finland, only Spain, only Portugal and then after this, maybe two years after you do big tours, because then you have gained the fans, you know.
RockUnited - You have lots of fans in Spain ?
Wojtek - Actually we had eight or nine gigs, something like that, and we didn't know the situation in Spain with Lost Horizon. I mean, you never know before you are there. We have played one or two festivals in Spain before, but with festivals you never know if the people are there for you or other bands. So you never know. On this tour we filled all the places and this was a very good sign that we have fans in Spain. And just after the first gig we felt that this is it, we knew that this tour would be a success.
RockUnited - Have you noticed where you have the most passionate fans ?
Daniel - No, I think it's almost the same. Maybe after this tour Spain maybe would be a little bit more than Sweden or Finland. We've never been here before, but maybe after this gig we've got some new fans. Hope so. It's hard to see which country or which place the fans are more coming for us, because now we're just playing festivals. There's other bands so it's hard to see that.
Wojtek - I could guess that the part of Europe like Spain and France, the kind of warmhearted people. I think that we'll get most fans from there. Actually we've gotten a very good response from Scotland, which I think is because of the lyrics. I don't mean the scottish elements we have in our music, I don't mean the song called "Highlander (The One)". I mean the meaning of the songs for the people who are living in the countries that are oppressed by other countries. "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE"
RockUnited - About your former name Highlander, what is so fascinating in that movie that you named your band after it at first ?
Wojtek - I will give you some spontanious answer, because I'm not prepared for this question. I can tell you that the movie had some feelings and it concentrates on some emotions and messages that we represent. And you know, when you find some movie where you can find a lot of yourself in just one movie and at the same time the name Highlander is so good for a band, it was like everything together, it just fit. But especially the vibration and the message in the movie of course. We would never take the name just because of the name, it has to be backed up by a spiritual message. By a force like this or otherwise it would be pointless.
RockUnited - It's kind of funny, 'cos in Finland and Sweden for instance we don't have that kind of highland-thing and you've taken that theme into your music. It's like you actually were from the highlands.
Wojtek - We've got highlands in Sweden. I think every country has a kind of highland, very original people. In Sweden there are original people and up in Poland, very original people. Every country has them.
RockUnited - But you always think of it like something coming from for instance Ireland or Scotland. But from Scandinavia, it doesn't sound convincing.
Wojtek - Well, I'm not Swedish, but I've been living there for twenty years and I have both Polish and Swedish origins. But I can say on behalf of the band that we're not typical Swedes. We don't care what people in other bands or the media are directly saying. It's not important, 'cos if you watch what other people are doing you just copy them, their ideas and their thoughts. What the f*ck is the point ?
RockUnited - No one really does what you do. Only the finnish band Thunderstone has some same mentality in their lyrics as you. "Will to power" and everything.
Wojtek - Never heard of Thunderstone. This is not a good occasion to tell you about our stuff, because it's too complicated. But everything is based on psychology and philosophy, so this is not a good time to do it. But there are very deep thoughts behind it. Our lives, I can speak about myself, is not that normal.
RockUnited - Why did you change your name to Lost Horizon and what does that represent you ?
Daniel - The meaning of Lost Horizon is the rising of metal that has been gone quite a while and now it's coming back. The lost horizon is gone and we're bringing it back, you know.
Wojtek - There's two messages in Lost Horizon. This is about metal music and the style with a content inside. Not just music. And that part of Lost Horizon is the lost views of your life. People who don't know what they want and never felt anything in their lives or they are on their way to something very catastrophic. This is the kind of lost horizon in their life or our life as well, because we're not happy people. We're trying to find and give back to people in ourselves at the same time. Like do it together. I think this is the most important message of the name. All the lyrics and everything we do is around this idea, the titles of the songs and the albums.
RockUnited - How do you follow your message, 'cos it's really clear ? Do you stay true to that in your lives ?
Daniel - Of course. If we say something we do it ourselves.
RockUnited - You believe that your music can help depressed people. I agree, because when I'm feeling depressed I don't like to drink by myself like others do. I find that comfort from the music. You've got sense in your message on your website.
Daniel - It's the same thing with me when I'm feeling depressed. I'd rather put the music on and listen to "Awakening" or "A Flame", because it gives me strength. It's the things we sing about and we live by those rules. It gives us strength and it's the message we want to give to you too.
Wojtek - The most important thing is that if you're not living by the rules yourself it's ridiculous.
RockUnited - Have you experienced cruelty or injustice yourselves ?
Daniel - I work with young people. I'm a free-time leader (youth leader) you could say. For my part in the band I directly thought that this is something I want to do and sing about. So you could say so, yeah.
Wojtek - You know this band is quite strange, because there's very different people in this band. We are six persons and all of us are totally different. But at the same time we are very similar. We have some thoughts that bring us together and at the same time we all have a totally different past. Attila (Publik, synthesizers) is from Hungary, I'm from Poland, Daniel's from a different city and Martin's (Furängen, bass) half Norwegian and Christian (Nyqvist, drums) is also half something. So the past and most importantly your childhood how it has been (effects on you)...I'm from Poland, which has been oppressed by communism. I went to Sweden when I was fifteen and of course I was just a child so I cannot say that I was oppressed. I wasn't oppressed, because I didn't have a work or family to be oppressed. The children see more than one could think. They don't understand when they take inside everything they see. Then they grow up and they don't know why they are the way they are. It's because of the happenings in your childhood. I cannot tell that we've experienced that much cruelty in the world, but we're observing the world and it's enough. You don't have to be in that cruelty.
Daniel - As I said I work with children. Lots of youngsters, who've been oppressed with cruelty and stuff, so I can see its effects on other people.
RockUnited - What about the Indian message about nature you also have, do you all follow it ?
Wojtek - Yeah, of course, one hundred percent. If you don't respect nature and the world surrounding you, it's ridiculous. It's like you don't respect yourself.
RockUnited - It's so awful that people don't understand the meaning of nature and that everything is connected to each other. I love to watch National Geographic and the Discovery channel and I noticed you have one thing taken from there, an old Cree Indian prophecy actually; "Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that Money Cannot be Eaten".
Wojtek - Those are the only channels we watch. But have you read the first albums stuff ? Because we have said a lot of stuff there that we don't say again. The people who buy only this one (A Flame..) totally miss some stuff. Like me, I didn't say anything on this album, just a little bit.
RockUnited - I noticed in your "A Flame To.." sheet that you're against narcotics, alcohol and such (Wojtek). So do you drink yourself at all ?
Wojtek - Well, we drink, but we just drink some beers. I don't drink strong alcohol and Daniel neither. Some wine maybe. And it's ONLY because of lack of other things to do. Not because I like it, I don't like it. I cannot just sit there you know. I think it's the time to make this kind of heavy metal movement including that much young people and not just young people, to evolve them in the right way. You can see in other kinds of music it's much more intellectual and much more healthier. Heavy metal is just drinking and drugs and looking like f*cking neanderthals. It's pathetic. We would like to start some wave of intellegent development in this kind of music.
Daniel - I like water. But we don't do drugs. We focus mainly on the music and not on drugs or anything else that's sh*t.
Wojtek - This (Scandinavia) is the depressing part of the world (the darkness and all).
MAKING THE SONGS, "A FLAME TO THE GROUND BENEATH"
RockUnited - How do you make a song, do you need a certain feeling to write a song, how do you get that force into your music ?
Wojtek - It's natural, I'm boiling inside. Always. I'm really energetic, I don't know what to do with this energy. Maybe I was understimulated in my life.
Daniel - You still are...
RockUnited - But you've got the melody in you head ?
Wojtek - It's difficult from time to time, because with the first Luciferion album I did the album while on the train. And with the next Lost Horizon it was like I was working with the midi and the computer and the old stuff we had. The last Lost Horizon was done only in my place, in my home and it's different from time to time. But to this new album called "A Flame To The Ground Beneath" there were no songs done, nothing. The company said well, this is the deadline, we have to do the songs and I just closed the door and closed windows and everything and total focusing, like no other thoughts.
Daniel - And here comes the movie part scene. I think you got input from different movies or if you went to a special place and see the nature and stuff. I think it's the inspiration.
RockUnited - Why there are only six songs on your new album ?
Wojtek - This is not a hard question to answer, because as you maybe have noticed our music is very complicated and it's not complicated only instrumentally or lyrically. The whole thing is like a mathematic work. I think only composers or the people who are working with that can understand. If you write the songs like pictures you can see direct patterns in the songs. But this is a quite different way of doing songs definately. But we felt that these six songs were enough, because it's so much material, so much stuff. People want many songs, but instead of doing quite ok songs we wanted to concentrate on doing very good songs and we had very limited time, so we couldn't do more anyway. So it doesn't matter.
RockUnited - What kind of reactions have you gotten from the album, have you read any reviews ?
Wojtek - I have been doing the new Luciferion album now, so I was totally gone from the world.
Daniel - Very good response. It's been overwhelming I think.
RockUnited - Better reactions than with the first album ?
Daniel - Not better, but just as well.
RockUnited - For me it was more difficult to open in a way. The first album just blew up my mind, so now I had to listen to it many times before I could get in.
Daniel - I think the new album is more complex, yeah.
Wojtek - We have gotten some critics from people who normally listen to classical music and they said "well, this is classical music, but we can't listen to it", you know, because they don't like the distorted guitars and screaming. They cannot listen to it. But they hear that it's complicated music and it's not that easy to just take inside. People are used to standard heavy metal, which is quite easy to melt. And the first album we did was quite classical metal, like eightees metal with a little bit of this modern thinking, but the second album is more complicated.
Daniel - The music style and everything is more focused on the truth and the will.
RockUnited - Like your song "Highlander", it must be a very difficult song for the normal listener, it's long and has a lot of changes.
Wojtek - That's the best thing in making music, because people are asking why are you writing like this or why did you do it like this. Maybe it sounds quite strange to people's ears, 'cos people think that all the people and all the heavy metal bands are thinking just the same, we are doing an album, we are selling it and we hope that fans will like it and very soon we're writing new songs for next album and next and next...this is bullshit, it's not interesting. We have to do something more, you only live once. Maybe you're immortal, you never know. So to develop the music and yourself, while you're giving the people whatever you can, you have to do your art in the first place. And don't care anything about the media and what people and the music papers say. It doesn't matter. You will get critics anyway. So you have to do exactly what your mind and your heart is telling you, otherwise there's no point. Everybody would sound the same.
BEING A FAN
RockUnited - Do you like progressive music, like Dream Theater ?
Daniel - I like it, I listen to it. It's great music. Sometimes it doesn't reach my heart actually, but they're very good musicians. That's fun to listen to. It's like trance or something, very patterned music. It's good.
Wojtek - Our drummer Christian was listening to Dream Theater before a lot. Actually only Christian and Daniel a little bit. There's many progressive bands and it depends what you mean with progressive, like trying to do something new all the time. We are a progressive band, but we don't want to jump in styles like "this album is this style and the next album is another style", because you cannot do it. It's not good for the fans and such. We are very progressive people and in our lives everything is like doing better and every day you are awakening, you are different. And if you did something bad maybe you can do it better. And it's the same thing with the music. We are progressing all the time. I cannot tell what kind of direction we will take because you don't know. It's not good to plan anything, it's better to be spontanious, just for a while. Otherwise if you decide you will do a trash metal album next time and tell about it, I'm just speculating, if you say that to many magazines then you have to do it. Otherwise you're just talking bullshit. So it's not good to say anything before, just wait and see.
RockUnited - What bands have given you the spark and still do ?
Daniel - I listen to every kind of music you can think of, but mainly I listen to metal. But I think that most of the bands that once were great, like Helloween, Queensr˙che, I think they're doing something else now. It's not the stuff they started with, so I don't listen to them anymore. Only the earlier Queensr˙che and Helloween.
RockUnited - I can tell from your voice you've been listening to Queensr˙che. What about you, Wojtek ?
Wojtek - You know, I don't listen to much bands anymore, I don't. I don't listen to metal that much, I mean like Daniel I listen to all kinds of music. And metal is just a little part of it. And of course we are metal people from the beginning so we will always listen to metal, but if you think what really gives you something that you are now as a person, then it's different kind of music definately. And it's not that popular.
Daniel - When it comes to metal it's what I said before of those bands. I listen to Iron Maiden and other bands too, but I can listen to every music style that has a little touch of metal in it. I can find metal in classic music and different kind of styles.
RockUnited - What about music that hasn't been sung in english ?
Wojtek - There is this popular French girl. It's about the ability to see and hear metal in other music styles than just metal, because people think metal is distorted guitars and drums and yelling in the microphone, but it's not. A lot of people will never tell other people or the press that they listen to this or this, they will never say it. But they do. Because metal as arrangement of music and the tones and beats and rhythms, you can find it everywhere in different kind of music. I listen to a lot of trance music to which every heavy metal fan says I'm f*king poser or stupid, I don't f*king care. I like it and classic and film music and computer game music.
Daniel - You could say from some of the trance music it's metal. It's metal with different instruments. It's the same arrangements in the songs, but other instruments.
Wojtek - You just take the guitars and drums and a metal singer, take these songs and transcript them to metal instruments and they would be metal. It's just the difference between the instruments, nothing else. And message of course.
RockUnited - Why or how did you decide to have this kind of image, the warrior paintings and such ?
Daniel - It's something we want to do for ourselves. The music, the lyrics, the content of the songs, it feels better to transform into these things that we sing about and what we do. It feels good to do the thing with the whole content.
RockUnited - You also have the role names, do they tell something about you as a person and how did you decide on the names ?
Wojtek - I think it was very natural for us to do it. I didn't like to have a hero or something with normal name like Sven Svensson, who f*cking cares. If you are doing something like building a concept with a message and everything, you have to do it all the way. You cannot just hear music and the message and then you go "hello, I am..", you know. You have to do everything, because otherwise there's a lot of holes in your concept. My title is Transcendental Protagonist, I love it everytime I say it and I see it, because it's exactly what I think of myself.
Daniel - My name (Ethereal Magnanimus) is more what they think of me, so that's the way it came.
RockUnited - Are there easy translations to your names ?
Daniel - Translations ? It's too complex.
RockUnited - But did you decide on the names yourself ?
Daniel - No, it was a thing we discussed in the band. Everything is discussed first. As I said my name is more what they think of me, Wojtek's name is what he thinks of himself. So it can be different for each person.
RockUnited - I was wondering how do you pronounce Perspicacious (Protector, synths) ?
Wojtek - (says the word as it goes and this is quite near to the truth: first part "perspi" going almost as written, "cacious" as in "occasion", just take the "casio" and add "s") It means someone who is very analyzing and who is between the lines. He's not just taking the information and doing it, he analyzes it in deep level. You know everything is based on philosophy so it may sound ridiculous in this interview. This is what I mean it's not a good idea we talk about this kind of stuff, because if you write it people will think we are f*cking idiots, you know. Just because they don't understand, of course.
RockUnited - Martin said in an interview earlier that you don't like to be called power metal. Why is that ? Your music is very powerful and you sing in the same style.
Daniel - Our music sounds different to the typical power metal. Bands like Hammerfall.
Wojtek - Hammerfall is not power metal, Hammerfall is Hammerfall.
Daniel - Yeah, but they call it power metal. And I don't think our music is like those bands. It's true metal and nothing else.
Wojtek - It depends what you want to call your music after. After the lyrics, after the message, personalities, whatever. We don't call it after our music. Of course musically we can be measured as power metal, because it sounds like power metal and it is. But that's the only part we've got to do with power metal, the name.
RockUnited - But you have to label the bands so you will find the right audience.
Wojtek - We use the name true metal, because I have noticed that people know what true metal means. You know bands like old Manowar or Virgin Steele, these epic bands who really mean what they do, this is true metal. Living by more higher thoughts and being totally true to your art and your life.
RockUnited - Have you thought about having a special stage set someday ? If you were given lots of money for it, what would we see there ?
Wojtek - There's a lot of thinking in this band, but in practise..hah. But all the problems would be solved (with money). But I understand, 'cos we know that the gigs we are doing except for our playing and Daniel singing, I know they are ok but it's quite boring after a while. I would think so if I was you. You know, we don't have effects, bombs and stuff and everything like that. I mean it's only because of money. We don't have the sponsors and our company doesn't care and we have lots of things to do so we don't even have the time to arrange it. Of course it's always about money.
RockUnited - What would be the dream for you to do on stage ?
Daniel - I've got lots of dreams of course, but I think this is the thing we would have to sit down and discuss about. And take it slowly, because otherwise it would be a disaster on stage. I think I can't answer right now what we're gonna do.
Wojtek - Dragonwings ! But first we have to learn to execute our songs well. You were watching our gig here and you said we had problems with our first song and then I had a problem again and this is what I mean. It's not a good idea to start with lots of dragons flying and fire, when you can't execute your songs in the right way. And about money again, we take our stuff by ourselves on the airplane, so we cannot take our own equipment. We have to borrow everything and it's bullshit. And we have like a ten minute soundcheck. So this is once again about money.
RIGHT CANDY TO FIT THE BANDS IMAGE
Wojtek - When you said it (the name of the candy) now, "we would never give up", I saw it in your eyes. You know, this is what's good about finnish people. I remember that from the war between Russia. I've read a lot about history. This is what I meant with Scotland, some countries are asking different questions than other countries. And some of these questions you did today are not normal you know. Horrible (candy).
Daniel - Excellent.
RockUnited - Will there be a song of water and a song of fire on your next two albums ?
Daniel - As we said before, you never know. Just wait and see.
RockUnited - As for Luciferion, how did you, Wojtek, end up putting it together again, have you missed those brutal elements ?
Wojtek - Exactly. I really miss the brutality in music, it's not only because of playing, it's the whole thing. I really need a more aggressive form, because Lost Horizon is so strongly polished. It's so nicely done. All of us have different personalities and aggressiveness is one of them. I'm not an aggressive person like beating up people or something, but I'm aggressive in another way and I really need it. Also the message in Luciferion is not the message like in 1995 anymore, nothing to do with Satan. It's Lost Horizon in the brutal form, lyrically.
RockUnited - Martin is also in the band.
Wojtek - Yeah, but the guys on the album are only session musicians. It's the guys from the old Luciferion, but they're not playing with us if we play live. They will not, I will have totally new people.
RockUnited - I was wondering about Martin mentioning X-Yachts in the album's sheet. Is he a sailer ? Just wondering, 'cos I'm a diver and everything to do with the sea catches my eye...
Wojtek - He owns a boat and he's a diver too. (Satu: WHOAA ! Good for him..damn I love this band !)
Daniel - I will become one someday too. I love it.
Wojtek - Martin is one hundred percent diver and I am just semi-diving.
RockUnited - Great ! I have to talk with Martin then..heh..
Wojtek - I'm not sure if that's a good idea, because he's close to marriage. HAH HAH !
Well, I wasn't aiming for that of course, but after some huge laughs we ended up discussing about diving and found out the guys were actually going to Egypt to try it out. So all you fans, take the next flight to Egypt and slip into that comfy divesuite and try to find the Lost Horizon from the world of true freedom, among the creatures of the sea. Good luck hunting ! And good "will hunting"...
Interview by Satu Reunanen,
by Kari Helenius,