Earlier in the year we had the pleasure of seeing a live performance by upcoming band Horizon and we were really blown away by their seemingly endless supply of energy and well-crafted folk-filled songs. Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with the band via email for a chat about their new EP ‘We Are The Callow Ones’, who or what influences them and of course their plans for the future…
Cat On The Wall: Hello Horizon! First up, how and when did the band come about? Why ‘Horizon’?
Horizon: We got together originally around February 2011. It started with Will and Charlie and then we found a violinist a few weeks later. Then in September we stumbled upon Xander who came in to play the bass, and Katherine came in on the violin. We chose Horizon because it’s quite a nice word and seems to fit our sound. (We also couldn’t think of anything else!)
COTW: You’ve just released your latest EP ‘We Are The Callow Ones’ – can you tell us something about each song (any stories behind them)? Did you have a theme in mind for the EP? Where was it recorded?
Horizon: We recorded ‘We Are The Callow Ones’ at the Machine Rooms Studios, it was produced by Skip Curtis and engineered by Josh Tyrrell. There was no general theme, but we wanted to capture the feel of our live shows. With regards to the name, we went for ‘Callow’ because it means being naive and inexperienced. Which seemed to fit because it was our first proper studio recording experience.
Track by Track:
Callow: Callow was one of the songs that helped define our ‘newer’ sound and took it to the extreme. The general theme of the song about being young and people’s perceptions of youth (and our perceptions too).
Not Alone: With this song Xander experimented with how lyrics sound, rather than the meaning. It was pulled into shape through a very long jam session with the rest of the band, and of all of the tracks on the EP it was the most collaborative.
Days On End: One of our ‘folkier’ songs from the EP. The first half of the song is pretty quiet and reflective, however the second of the half of song kicks in with something that we like to call ‘fiddly goodness’. Which is a chance to push ourselves (and our fingers!) and to also give Katherine well deserved time in the spotlight!
Anchor: Written by Charlie, Anchor was a song that was completed in the studio, and recorded live. After Days On End we felt that a quiet and atmospheric song would be a good way to finish the record. This song also features the brilliant cellist Gareth Hansford.
COTW: What is your creative process as a band? Who or what influences you?
Horzion: The majority of the songs are written by Will and then are brought to life by the rest of the band. Xander and Charlie contributed songs that are on the EP. But generally the songs start with an idea, and then each member writes their parts and then it is all brought together in rehearsals with numerous tea breaks. However performing the songs live is the best way of seeing whether or not songs are actually any good.
In terms of influences we are all influenced by a huge range of artists. People like The Smiths, Graham Coxon, Elbow, Fleet Foxes, The Black Keys, Paul Weller and Stevie Wonder. We try not to sound like any particular artists, but we try to make music that we would listen to ourselves.
COTW: You perform live regularly. What do you enjoy most about the live experience?
Horizon: For us the live shows are the most important thing. It’s nice to know when we write songs, people are actively liking them when we play them live. We are sometimes overwhelmed by how people react to the songs. Our favourite shows were when we supported Rachel Sermanni and more recently our EP launch where we were genuinely taken aback by the support.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
Horizon: Now that we have played a lot in Cardiff, it might be nice branch out to play a little further afield. We love gigging and we don’t want it to stop, and hopefully we will be recording more in the near future.
‘We Are The Callow Ones’ is available on Spotify, Amazon and iTunes. If people want a physical copy they can email us at horizonmsc [at] gmail.com so we can post them.
Will Ibbetson – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Xander Ramage – Bass
Charlie Diplock – Percussion and Vocals
Katherine Evans – Violin