Swedish rockers Horisont are set to unleash their latest opus; ‘Sudden Death’ any day now. Guitarist David Kalin drew the short straw and had to answer our call…
New album ‘Sudden Death’ has an ice hockey theme, what was the thinking behind it?
I don’t know! I don’t know where all these weird ideas come from! It was Axel I think that came up with the idea? The ice hockey meaning, also the other meaning of sudden death, the literal meaning of it, I don’t really know?!
It’s been three years since the last Horisont album, when did you start planning ‘Sudden Death’?
We had actually been recording it for quite a long time, we spent all of 2019 not touring since two of the guys in the band had just had babies, so we spent 2019 writing and recording. So it was a break from touring but not from making music, and the album was recorded at a slow pace.
Did you record it in your own studio?
We did yes, we built a studio before the previous album and recorded it there, we were happy with this way of working so we decided to do the same with ‘Sudden Death’. When you have your own studio you don’t have a timer, or someone saying “this is expensive”, so you can just go in when you feel like it and yeah, that’s what we did.
The album begins with ‘Revolution’, it’s quite an instant start isn’t it? It takes the listener by surprise.
It is instant yeah, that’s also one of the most different songs that we’ve ever done. This time around we wanted to just do whatever we felt like, we just went with what we wanted, we didn’t care if it turned out too poppy or too weird. It’s a very diverse album I think.
It is, ‘Revolution’ has so many changes during it, I was curious if there was any significance, given the title as well as the fact that it is quite different, in choosing the song to open the album?
No not at all, we actually decided the running order when everything was recorded and mixed. We all had our ideas and our opinions about the order, what should open the album, what the singles should be, but I don’t think there was anything specific about ‘Revolution’
There’s also heaps of Roxy Music style saxophone featured on the album, it can be quite a polarising instrument?
It can be yeah. We added some saxophone for the first time, we all love the saxophone but it’s kind of risky for a rock band to use it as sometimes it can be cheesy. It did turn out cheesy though, which we loved!
Was it one of the band playing the sax?
Oh no, no, not at all! It’s crazy hard to get a sound out of a saxophone! It was a guy from Gothenburg that Pontus got in touch with for a Rolling Stones tribute night. A lot of Gothenburg bands played that night and this was a guy who was a guest for a couple of songs.
There’s also a lot more synthesizers on the album and they work really well, but it’s good to see that the guitars weren’t forsaken at the expense of other instruments.
Yeah since we have two guitar players there’s always discussion in the studio and some of the band might not want too much guitar on the album, then myself and Charlie end up having guitars everywhere. You want to hear guitars, if it was all in the background then it would be something totally different.
It’s a total cliched question, but what song on the new album is your favourite?
I’m ridiculously fond of the Swedish one ‘Gråa Dagar’, not just because it’s in Swedish, but because of the whole ‘70’s proggy vibe, I really like that one.
Good choice, I’m leaning towards ‘Standing Here’, it has a slight Motown/Doo-Wop vibe that’s really unusual..
Exactly yes, that’s also another one of my favourites, it’s one of the earlier tracks, one of the few that we tried out live, almost two years ago I think it was? We tried it out under a different name.
Now I’m not even going to try and pronounce the instrumental that ends the album, ‘Archaeopteryx In Flight’…
I don’t even do that! I’m also quite proud of that one as well…the dinosaur one!
And I can understand why you don’t, but it ends the album in a really funky, groovy way, was that the result of an off-the-cuff jam, or was it quite structured?
It was partially structured, we had a bunch of ideas and parts and then it just grew into this ten minute thing made up of different parts that didn’t belong to a song. We thought that it would be cool to have an instrumental on there.
I can imagine that it will sound totally different each time that you play it live, once gigs are a thing again?
On that subject, with the band taking a year out from touring, then lockdown, when was the last time you played live?
We actually spoke about this the other day, it was almost exactly a year ago, we played a festival in Norway. We were all ready to start playing again and now everything is cancelled. It sucks!
‘Sudden Death’ is available May 15th on Century Media.
Interview – Dave