Interview by Warren Mayocchi
Horizon’s Edge is a power metal band from Melbourne, Australia. They have been touring the country to promote their second album, “Heavenly Realms”, released in 2015. We had a chance to talk to their vocalist, Kat Sproule on tour and this is what she had to say…
Welcome to Brisbane, first time here?
Thank you. Yes.
This is the first time the band has toured as well?
Yes, this is the first time we have played any shows outside of Victoria.
You had your first album which was self-titled, now you have your second album from 2015. This is the promotional tour for that?
Yes, pretty much and because we wanted to play outside of Melbourne. We thought it’s time, so why not. We thought we’d use the time to promote the album.
Do you have a following around Australia?
Well, I didn’t realize we did actually. The shows have gone really well so far. We’ve had heaps of support, we’ve had a good amount of people come down to each show and people have jumped on board with helping promote it. It’s actually been pretty overwhelming in a good way.
Will you introduce us to the people in the band?
I’m Kat and I sing, we’ve got Eddy Grosso on guitar, we have Josh Ristrom on guitar, Campbell Hill on keyboards, Ryan Koetsveld on bass and Dean Lewer on drums.
That corresponds with the Facebook page actually.
Ah cool, yay! We’re up to date!
But the Bandcamp page has different members on it.
Oh, that’s Ed‘s department, he runs the Bandcamp page, I’ll have words with him.
It’s alright, that’s why I checked.
Ah, that’s why you were asking, yes, yes, we’ve had a few line-up changes over the past couple of years.
You’ve been together for two years now, how did the band form?
Well, Ed and I were in a band called Keys to Perdition and Horizon’s Edge formed off that, we went through a name change and a line-up change, so it became a new band in a sense. It was just before we released the first album and we’d already started writing our current album so our sound was also changing.
Was Campbell in the band then?
Campbell joined about a year after the name change, for ages we wanted to have keyboards and that kind of sound but there was a couple members in the band that didn’t want that. So, as the lineup changed we decided we really wanted to get keyboards.
If someone was listing to your new album what would they hear?
Cheesy, epic, power metal. I love power metal, it started out as really fun and there’s some bands in this genre where it has gone a bit serious now, we just like to keep it fun and silly. We like to muck around on stage, you can’t really do that with serious music.
Yeah, but it’s more fun when the music’s fun and cheesy! I guess you can, for me personally, I like music to be really fun. Actually a lot of the lyrics are quite serious but I kind of put a positive twist to them. I like to make people feel good, and hopefully the music achieves that.
I didn’t know the band before two days ago, I went onto Bandcamp, bought the albums and have listened to them since. The music is definitely power metal, but I thought there was a doom edge to the vocal. Maybe, a bit like Black Sabbath.
I didn’t notice.
There’s a European band called Lucifer, you sound a bit similar to them. They are a bit more in the doom realm and I thought you had a similar sort of sound.
I always thought the melodies I wrote were not doomy.
No, the music’s not doom…
It’s the delivery maybe?
Yeah, it’s not obvious.
Ha, that’s the first time anyone has ever told me I’ve done something subtle.
Let’s talk about the album cover, it is quite interesting, because there is a futuristic city, this cyborg angel, planets and storms.
Well, the title is “Heavenly Realms” and it is about the battles you go through when you’re chasing a dream. It’s been my dream since I was a kid to do music and there are a lot of things that come up in your way to stop you whether its your own inner demons or outside things – people criticizing you or whatever. It’s like a “Heavenly Realms” kind of battle but whatever people take from it for themselves they will, but for me that is what it was. When we approached the cover artist – Aldo Requina – we just said the music’s got a sci-fi kind of feel and it’s like a heavenly battle. That’s what he then came up with.
So is sci-fi a bit of a theme for the band? The first album had a shadowy figure with an axe on it and I saw an album review mention you have a sci-fi thing.
Yeah, we seem to, we didn’t really play on it specifically, but I am a fan of the eighties movies with a sci-fi look to them. I wanted to put a bit of that vibe into the music, so maybe we achieved that.
Anything particular in terms of the movies? “Hot Rod”?
I love “Hot Rod”.
Is that why you covered the song “Head Honcho” on the album?
I do like that movie and we were just looking for a cover to do that was a bit odd but would be a really cool song to do. We thought this song could be really good if we did it.
You’ve given it an epic feel with the vocals particularly. So, “Hot Rod”, anything else?
I like Dragonforce. They’re probably one of my favorite bands.
From the first album to the current album, you are using keyboards, any other big differences?
With the first album the songs we recorded were from Keys to Perdition and all those songs were written before I was in the band. So when I joined the band, they had all these songs and I wrote vocals for the, but the songs were never written with my voice in mind and we didn’t collaborate on them. With this album we had a specific idea in mind with the sound and we collaborated on it, so the songs were written to suit my voice. It’s a lot more together sounding, we still like the first album but it didn’t sound very blended whereas the new album sounds like it fits together.
I agree, the second album sounds a lot more cohesive and I like the addition of the keyboards.
What does Horizon’s Edge mean to you? How did that name come about?
Soon after I joined the band the name changed from Keys to Perdition. Once the band got a singer obviously the sound started to grow and change. Keys to Perdition was a dark sounding name and we weren’t that at all. I guess we parted with a few members, so we were not Keys to Perdition anymore. That name didn’t suit our style, it didn’t reflect our sound. So we wanted to change the name and Ed had written a song years ago called “Horizon’s Edge” and we all really liked the name so we changed to that. We just felt like it captured something about our sound.
That song is on your first album. I’ll have to go back and listen to the song now.
There is a line in that song, which is “Standing on the edge of a dream”. So, that is reflective of it, chasing something you want. We all love music, I guess it just fit.
The albums are currently available at Bandcamp, anywhere else?
iTunes, CDBaby, and at our gigs!
You were also voted into the first round of Swedish Rock.
We are very excited about that! Queen is one of my absolute favorite bands, my top four bands are Judas Priest, Queen, Dragonforce and Anthrax. Two of those bands are playing the festival, so it would be amazing.
Do you have many international fans?
We are definitely reaching overseas fans with the album. There are a couple of power metal Facebook pages that are considered quite popular and have been pushing our stuff. I think one them is based in Holland, so we’ve had a few quite a few overseas sales.
Are there any particular countries where you would like to play?
We all want to go to Europe and play the festivals. Europe, Japan and America – pretty much everywhere.
Japan’s interesting. Do you have any favorite bands from Japan?
No, I just notice that a lot power metal bands do well there, Dragonforce do really well there. It seems like a place where power metal is really loved. And I love anime, I’d like to go there and experience the culture.
So, is Dragonforce a big influence for the band?
In the band everyone’s got different influences, I love Judas Priest, Queen, Dragonforce, I like Europe, I love a lot of the 80’s stuff, whereas Campbell‘s big into Firewind and Dream Theater. Ed loves Sabbaton, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Kamelot. So we’ve all got similar but different influences and I think that’s good for our writing.
You are listed as the lyric writer and Ed is listed as the music writer. How do write songs together?
For this album the other guys weren’t in the band, Ed and I were working on it as we were going through lineup changes. With the next one we’re going to have more input from the other guys. Ed keeps recording a bunch of ideas, it might two minutes long, it might be one riff. Then I’ll just start writing vocals over it and the song will grow from there. We might work out that bit doesn’t actually fit with the vocals I’ve written, so we bounce back and forth from there. He initially comes up with ideas and I’ll be like, that two seconds of riff there is awesome! It grows from that.
To close, do you have any message for the fans?
Thanks! Thank-you for the support. We are really excited about with how this recent album has gone. We would really like to go overseas and play, we are going to keep making music and see where it all goes.