This time, we are introducing a new band that has just emerged on the European metal scene. Horizon is a band that includes musicians from France, Germany and Great Britain and has just released its debut album “The Sky’s The Limit” on Massacre Records. On the record, Horizon stick to the best traditions of prog/power metal, and even though the scene is crowded with bands of that kind, we hope that the release will not pass unnoticed. In our conversation with drummer Krissy Friedrich we tried to find out everything about the band, given that its history is quite short and so far obscure.

MetalKings.com: How did the band start?

Krissy: The band started with Patrick (Hemer) on the guitar and on lead vocals. I know Pat for ages now, we already worked together on several projects and we were and still are good friends. Well, we both knew that we could make it together, put the band together and make it become something serious. And for the start you have to go back to 1998, it's been four and a half years since. That's when the band started. I just finished building a recording studio in my house so we thought it was about time to make something.

MetalKings.com: : And how did it happen that the band has people from Germany, France and Britain?

Krissy: It's just a chance, you know. We were working as studio musicians for a while so we had the opportunity to meet a lot of musicians. And when we started the band me and Patrick were thinking who could join us. We had some phone numbers so we called Bruno (J. Frank, bass) and Vinnie (Angelo, keyboards) and they said, "OK, let's just do it together!" And you know, it's not a problem now with the Internet, phone, fax and other stuff, it's no problem to have people far away from each other.

MetalKings.com: When recording the album did you work together or each one at home?

Krissy: No, we didn't do it together. The album was mostly recorded by Patrick and myself 'cause Bruno and Vinnie joined the band a little bit later so they don't play that much on the album.

MetalKings.com: Does it mean that their parts were recorded by you?

Krissy: Yes, another keyboard player did a few things and then Vinnie came and did them again. But most of the stuff was recorded before and Vinnie just changed a few things while the rest was made by Patrick.

MetalKings.com: Did you have any bands before Horizon?

Krissy: Yes but nothing really serious. We all played in various different bands and projects. I was in another band with Patrick also but it was nothing serious so Horizon is the first real band we have.

MetalKings.com: And how did you get the contract?

Krissy: I called a production company in Germany which is called Bottom Row. I was in contact with the guy called Costa Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69). So he listened to the tapes, the first mixes that we had. He thought it was something good so he called Massacre Records and told them to listen to our music. They did it, made an offer and so here we are! (laughs) So thank you, Kosta!

MetalKings.com: How much time did you spend to record the album?

Krissy: It took about one year and a half because we were playing as studio musicians so we could only record at free time so it took more time than we expected because we could do it only when having a few days off. That is why four or five months ended in a period of 1.5 years.

MetalKings.com: Who influenced you as a drummer and the whole band in general? What bands, musicians?

Krissy: As teenagers we were influenced by the sound of big metal bands like Judas Priest or even Kiss, Accept and all that metal stuff. We have a really big metal background whatever metal you're talking about like nu metal or old metal like Deep Purple and other bands. I mean, Patrick is a big Ritchie Blackmore fan, also Yngwie Malmsteen and stuff like this. And Patrick also went more into classical music. About me, I was influenced by a lot of hard rock and heavy metal bands. We also had some professional studies and it helped us get more open-minded 'cause when you're in a drum school you can learn everything but not heavy metal. (laughs) You learn jazz, Latin music, funky songs, etc. We tried also to introduce this stuff into our techniques, to put them also into our own music.

MetalKings.com: Why did you name the album "The Sky's The Limit"?

Krissy: This is an English expression which means that 'everything is possible'. It means that there's no limits and you can go as high as possible.

MetalKings.com: And how did you write the songs for the album?

Krissy: Well, Pat and I both wrote songs separately and then we put everything together and took the best of all. So Patrick arranged a lot of stuff. Songs tell about facts that can happen in everybody's lives, it's not a concept album, we're not talking about science fiction, no evil wars, dragons, castles but life is still a big concept. (laughs).

MetalKings.com: Tell me a bit more about some particular songs. The first is "Living In Danger".

Krissy: It's about stuff that we're facing in everyday life, diseases like AIDS, cancer, etc. We're all living in danger, we're surrounded by many dangers now. Musically the song demonstrates that it's possible to make classically influenced songs with thrashy riffs and a blues-based solo 'cause when you listen to it carefully the solo is made on blues scale.

MetalKings.com: Another interesting track is "Don't Hide In The Shadow".

Krissy: This one could be a hit single! (laughs) This one is the oldest song we have, originally it was recorded as a normal hard rock ballad with big guitar sounds during the chorus. We like acoustic guitars very much. So one day we were jamming around with Patrick and I said, "Well, let's do "Don't Hide In The Shadow" in just acoustic!" and that was in fact the best way to do it. It's a little bit sentimental and refreshing at the same time. And we wanted to make something different from a traditional hard rock ballad. I guess, the song has got some kind of class 'cause many people say that they like it.

MetalKings.com: What about "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is"? Is about greed?

Krissy: Well, the song seems to be a little bit aggressive in the lyrics. It's another expression which says 'stop talking and act'. Show that you can do something, express yourself! The song is pretty ambitious, it can be defined as a prog-power metal with those clear guitar sounds, heavy riff and a great solo in the middle. It's one of our favorites.

MetalKings.com: : What about instrumental track "Atlantis". Is it just a good title or it has something more?

Krissy: Well, I have to admit that I don't really like instrumental stuff but I have to say that it became one of my favorites because I like heavy riffs, moody passages, a guitar theme in the beginning of the song and other heavy parts. It was written like a song, you can easily put vocals into it. It's originally a song not some instrumental demonstration. Nice melody and a killer solo in the end.

MetalKings.com: Another track is "Hometown Star".

Krissy: It's a song right in the nuts! (laughs) It's a straight heavy metal track with a nice solo in the middle which is influenced a bit by Uli Jon Roth. The lyrics also talk about guys who just fake it, who say, "We are kings of our small kingdom because we're just at home!" They're just dreaming away, "Oh, I would be the best!" but they will never do something. The theme is a little bit the same as in "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is".

MetalKings.com: OK, my next question is about the cover of the album. Who designed it?

Krissy: (laughs) This was a surprise to us! The whole artwork was made by Massacre Records. We gave them some ideas which had nothing to do with this cover, it was with a landscape, a horizon line, you know. But they said, "Hey, that looks too sober! You're not making a country record! You're a heavy metal band!" But we asked them to avoid all those heavy metal cliches like dragons, naked girls and castles. Everybody now has a dragon so you define all bands by the color of the dragon. (laughs) And we didn't want to have this image.

MetalKings.com: The cover and the band's name remind me of Dream Theater and Symphony X. Do you like those bands?

Krissy: Dream Theater is a big influence on us. It's the first band that made progressive rock but they were also influenced by bands like Saga or others who already make such stuff before. Symphony X could be one of my favorite bands. But personally I'm not that much into prog rock, I like it more rough. But I respect this kind of music though we're more into heavy metal.

MetalKings.com: Did you produce the album yourself?

Krissy: Yes. I was working for a long time as a sound engineer, was working with a lot of bands. I have my own studio. Well, I may not be the best but I know enough to do everything by myself. I know how I want the album to sound, how to record it. Maybe there's one or two mistakes but it took a lot of time, a lot of different material. We really know what we want and don't want to have anybody else outside of the band.

MetalKings.com: What about guest musicians? Many people invite them to become more famous...

Krissy: No, will never have them, we're not interested in it. We might ask friends but if we ask anybody else there won't be enough room for us to play. No, we're a real band and don't want to have guests just to get a bigger promotion.

MetalKings.com: Are you going on tour after this album?

Krissy: We didn't discuss it with Massacre Records, maybe it's too early to make it. And right now there are three reasons why we won't tour. First, we didn't discuss it. Second, in 1.5 months we will start to record the second album. And third, we're looking for a lead singer and we will go on tour only as a five-piece band. Patrick recorded all guitars, all bass parts and did all vocals. We didn't want to delay the album just because we didn't have a lead singer. But now Patrick's parts become more complicated so that's impossible for him to sing at the same time. So we hope to finish the second album with a new singer.

MetalKings.com: Is the second album going to be a concept record?

Krissy: No, we will never record a concept album. We don't like it but never say never. And except from "The Wall" by Pink Floyd I find concept albums very boring. So it's not our cup of tea.

MetalKings.com: Well, I wish you good luck and hope you will come to Russia for a gig!

Krissy: Yeah, we hope. We plan to make Horizon as big as possible. We'll be really glad to make it even in Russia! Russia is one of the countries I have wanted to visit since I was a kid.

MetalKings.com: And you're welcome! Thanks for an interview!

Krissy: Thank you! It was a pleasure for me! Bye!

-- Dead Ripper

(June, 2002)

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