In June 2017, Finnish progressive fusion quartet Distant Horizon launched their debut EP “Laniakea,” one of the most pleasant / suprising releases of the last year. In a new interview for Rocking Charts, the band tells us more about the EP, their favorite albums, gear, and more.
Hey guys. How are you doing?
Hi, we’re doing great! Studies and work keep us busy and we’re also working on some new mate- rial for the band. Thanks for the great review of our EP on your page!
You released your debut EP “Laniakea” last year. How do you feel about the release?
We’ve been really pleased with the release and for being able to share some of our original music. Also, the reviews have been very positive and that encourages us to keep doing what we do.
How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?
The biggest challenge was to memorize the songs well enough to being able to play them fluidly in the studio. The recording sessions themselves went smoothly.
What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Finland are you friends with?
Timo Rantama Trio is great band to check out!
What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?
It’s doing great and a lot of new ideas and bands are coming up. However, as with any other genre the difficulty is to stand out.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
We are inspired by many artists and musicians. The biggest influences have probably been Pekka Pohjola, Dream Theater, Frank Zappa and Nobuo Uematsu. Of course, there are also numerous others.
What are you listening to these days?
In addition to prog, we listen to a lot of various bands and artists such as Meshuggah, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak, Haken, and music from games.
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
1. In This Life by Virgil Donati
2. Grace Under Pressure by Rush
3. Destroy Erase Improve by Meshuggah
4. MoonBabies by Planet X
5. The Madness of Many by Animals As Leaders.
1. Images & Words by Dream Theater
2. Fairyport by Wigwam
3. Visitation by Pekka Pohjola
4. Moving Pictures by Rush
5. Heavy Weather by Weather Report
1. You Can’t Do That On Stage Vol. II by Frank Zappa
2. Made in Japan by Deep Purple
3. Views by Pekka Pohjola
4. Karn Evil 9 by ELP
5. Original Soundtrack of Final Fantasy X
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Laniakea”?
Matias: All the keyboards I play are KORG instruments. They are budget-friendly and they also sound good for the price. They’re easy to use too.
Jere: I used my Yamaha RBXJM2 6-string bass on all tracks. I had one signal taken straight from my TC Electronics BH500 bass head and the other from my TC BC212 cabinet. That way I got the best of both worlds. We also added some reverb to my sound during the bass solo on “Before Dawn”.
Joona: I used Music Man JPX BFR to record all the guitars. For the amp I used Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 36 head and Hughes & Kettner TM 212 cabinet. I also used BOSS ME-70 for some of the sounds and effects.
Jesse: The drumkit I used on the record is Pearl Export kit from the early 2000’s. The snare is Pearl Masters maple snare which I really love. My cymbals are Sabian HHX and Legacy excluding the hi- hats which are Meinl Byzance. They all blend nicely together though.
Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?
One of our major plans is to do a full-length album this year. Also, touring will be more relevant closer to the release. Another goal of ours is to try to get our music to international stages.