Interview with Patrick Hemer, Horizon (May 13, 2004)

1. Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?

Patrick - Well, I know Krissy (drums) for ages. We had already worked together on several projects and as studio musicians, we were good friends and we both knew that we could make it together. By the end of '98, Krissy had just finished building a recording studio in his house and we thought that this would be the way to produce ourselves as a band in complete freedom. That's when we started working for Horizon. We wrote material and started recording it while we were still looking for the other band members we needed. After being joined by Bruno J. Frank (bass) and Vinnie Angelo (keys) that we both knew for having worked with them in the past, we finally completed “The Sky’s The Limit” that was released on Massacre Records in 2002 and turned out to be pretty successful, especially in Japan.

We’re back today with “Worlds Apart” that Krissy and I produced together just like we did for “The Sky’s The Limit”. We took a little time to write this new album because we felt the pressure of having to deliver a worthy follow-up to “The Sky’s The Limit” and we sure didn’t want to cheese it. Today we’re waiting for the fans to confirm all the great hopes we put in “Worlds Apart”.

2. How has your new album been received by the media?

Patrick -  To be honest, I generally don’t read reviews because the only opinion I’m interested in is the public’s. However I can say that I’ve had a really good feedback from all the interviews that I’ve done, and our Japanese label told us that the Japanese media loved the album.

3. I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?

Patrick -  I can’t answer to that and the reason is included in your question. We’re just trying to be ourselves and we want to feel free to evolve without having to follow any pre-established concept or to be faithful to any kind of model.

4. Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?

Patrick -  As far as the music goes, I just try to combine all the elements I like in various styles of music and mix them up to achieve the powerful music I’d like to hear. Concerning the lyrics, most of them are based on people I observed or situations I have experienced in my everyday life.

5. What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?

Patrick -  I only deal with real life topics such as greed, difference, treason, submission, schizophrenia,... which are always much more interesting to me than sheer fantasy, especially if you take into account the limited space you have to develop within the context of a song.

6. Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?

Patrick -  The album was produced by Krissy Friedrich and me and Krissy mixed it. As far as the result is concerned, I’m very satisfied with everybody’s performance and with the way the instrument sounds. I just wish Krissy had more time for the mix but the album sounds really good anyway.

7. Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?

Patrick -  The cover was done by Mattias Norén. I really like his work and he also turned out to be a great guy so I think we’ll go on working with him in the future.

I think it’s important to have a good cover because people uncousciously associate the quality of a product and the quality of its packaging, and a poor quality cover inevitabely suggests a poor production.

8. Do you have any touring plans?

Patrick -  Not for the moment. We’d really like to go on tour as soon as possible but we’re still stuck in a rut by line-up problems and that’s why nothing’s planned for the time being. We’re still looking for a lead singer because it would be real difficult for me to play guitar and sing at the same time on stage if we want to be able to play any song we like and respect the original versions. Morever, we still don’t know if Bruno’s health problems that prevented him to perform on “Worlds Apart” will let him be back in shape soon or if we’ll have to look for another bass player. So we need to see how things turn out but I sincerely hope we’ll be able to meet our public in the near future. 

9. How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?

Patrick -  Massacre is a very powerful label in Germany and they work great on their territory. The only problem now is that we’re distributed worldwide through numerous distributors or licences to Massacre Records and the support and the promotion in each country mainly depends on the local distributor or licensee. Some of them do a great job on Horizon but, unfortunately it’s not the same everywhere, and there’s still a few countries where the local distributors’ involvement only consists in adding a reference to their catalogue which is not exactly what you would expect from a supportive bussiness partner.

10. The internet is a very important source for many metal fans ? how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?

Patrick -  We have our official website :, where fans can find a lot of info about us, listen to our albums and also easily mailorder the CD’s. I think this is extremely important, especially for fans who live in countries or areas where there’s no big metal media and where it’s sometimes difficult to find the CD’s they want. 

11. How do you see the metal scene at the moment?

Patrick -  Not in top form, actually ! In fact, it seems to me that it’s getting undergound and confidential and that we’re caught in a sort of vicious circle. The metal community is getting more and more divided, split into a great many ultra precise categories with people who refuse to mix with anyone else. But division leads to weakness, and too much weakness – especially in these hard times for the record industry in general – could finally lead to extinction.

More open mindedness from the labels, from the bands and from some „fundamentalist“ fans would do a lot of good. Heavy music must break out of its ghetto.

12. To finish things off - could you pls. make a all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?

Patrick -  If I stick to the Rock/Metal genre to avoid confusing people, I’d say that my 5 favorite albums are :

  • Cacophony -  "Go off !“
  • Queen - "Live killers“
  • Electric Sun - "Earthquake“
  • Judas Priest - "Demolition“
  • Dream Theater - “Images and words“

A bit thanx to Patrick for taking the time to do this interview and do check out their new album: "Worlds Apart". Also a big thanx to Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.

Horizon - Worlds Apart

Album out on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Horizon.