“It’s super important to stay positive” – exclusive interview with Jennifer Haben about Beyond the Black’s new album, Hørizøns

Beyond the Black’s modern blend of melodic rock and metal emerges from the cocoon and reaches the next level with the brand new album, Hørizøns, which was released via Napalm Records on June 19th. Led by vocalist Jennifer Haben, the band unbolts their unequaled, differentiated spectra of melodic rock spiced with sonorous melodious metal soundscapes in 13 manifold songs. Hørizøns‘ atmospherically dark harshness creates the stylistic bow over the distinctive melodic rock meets pop sound in symbiosis with fragile yet strong fragments. The charismatic outfit persuades with rousing, emotional clout, and strong, confident message off self-assertion!

Three days before the album’s official release we had the opportunity to do an interview with Jennifer Haben – I have to add despite that she was super busy she was also extremely nice and it was such a joy to talk to her. “I’m good, everything’s fine, I’m super excited but also of course super busy doing interviews, as you saw” – she said with a laugh.

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-Only 3 days left until the release of your new album. I’m sure you’re excited!

-I’m super excited, I cannot tell how much I am because we are waiting for this release since March, it was finished in March, so some months ago, and we finally release it and we cannot wait till all of the people can listen to it, and can tell us what they liked the most. (smiles)

-Do you have any personal favorites from the album?

-Um, I cannot choose very easily from all of these babies that I have now. (laughs) It feels like having 13 babies now with all of the songs, but of course, some songs are… well, bit more surprising for me, a bit special. One of those songs was ‘I Won’t Surrender’ because actually, I wanted to write an atremble song. I wrote a lot of ballads before and I wanted to make something different, but then it turned out that I wrote again something that is so deep and I was just telling a lot about the saddest moments in my life. This was something that I didn’t want to write about anymore because I thought it passed, but it did surprise me that I had to write about it again, about another moment, and about other emotion. That’s the reason why it’s a special one for me. And also ‘Human’… I felt like in the very beginning, when it was just a demo with guitar and vocals… It felt like such a deepness into the song that I normally cannot feel in other songs as much as I did with this one. So this is also special for me.

BTB_Pressefoto_Jennifer Haben_(C) Chris Heidrich
Photo: Chris Heidrich

-‘Wounded Healer’ is actually one of my favorites. How did you come up with the idea to make a duet with Elize Ryd?

-The idea came up when we did like four shows in Finland with Amaranthe. So yeah, we got to know each other and we had it in the bag of our head. We wanted to do a tour together but also wanted to get to know each other first, because it’s super important that bands like each other when they tour together especially when it’s a co-headline tour, so that was really good to see that they are all nice people, that we are all nice people – they had to know that as well, so… (laughs) But yeah, also it was super fun to work Elize, she’s really funny and a bit chaotic and I loved that because I’m like that as well. (laughs) I really loved to work with her and I think she does such an amazing job in doing that vocal on ‘Wounded Healer’.

-What are the main differences between “Heart of the Hurricane” and “Hørizøns” albums?

-I think the main differences are that we changed in the sound and the lyrics, so… We changed in the sound like we do a bit more melodic, modern, and electronic stuff as well, and a bit more of symphonic metal, so this is a change that we wanted to do and what we actually did as well. And the lyrics, I think they are a lot more positive than everything that we have done before, but this was something important to me as well, because I also changed a lot during the last two years. After all, a lot of things happened and I think a lot of things are deeper than it was before and I think it’s… especially when you have like such a time like right now, it’s super important to stay positive, so it was important for me too to tell a bit more positive stuff even if we always told sad stories but… Also, have some kind of hope somewhere, but I wanted to make it a bit more…official. (smiles) That there’s positivity.

Photo: Péter Tepliczky / MyTouche Blog

-Which do you write first: lyrics or music?

-The music! Most of all I write the music first, but I also have to say that this was always the more important thing for me in the past, but it’s getting more and more to the lyrics. Maybe it’s a normal kind of thing but for me, it feels like… Yeah, I focus a lot more on the music, it’s still like I’m doing the music first and I get inspired by this to how and what to talk about.

-How long have you been working on that album?

-We began to write in summer last year, so six months just writing songs and trying things out. That was super important, because we wanted to change a bit and then you have to try things out and then maybe skip something, so you need to have that time, and we had it. Then at the beginning of this year we just showed our label that these are the songs that we want to put on our album, then and they said okay, we love it! So, we recorded everything and then everything was finished in the middle of March.

Photo: Péter Tepliczky / MyTouche Blog

-Beyond the Black supported Within Temptation on their “The Resist Tour 2018”. Did this tour influence your music?

-Ah, I think… I think everything that we did is inspired us and doing this album right now, so playing all these festivals where we ever wanted to play in Germany, and the German tv show that I did that was something that definitely inspired me, and also touring with Within Temptation inspired us. I think everything of that inspired us and it is now what we will release.

-Within Temptation likes pushing their boundaries within the metal genre, and – for me at least – it seems that you are following their path.

-I think yeah, you can see it like that, but I think it feels normal for us to do what we do. I never followed somebody else’s path, I never did that before and I think I will never read like how did this band do this and how this band did this, so I try to do that with my band as well because I want to be unique, so I don’t follow somebody else’s path, I do my own path. So yeah, you can see it like this but I think it feels definitely more natural to do it like what we’re doing.

And here’s Jennifer’s message to you!

“I just want to say thank you so much for being open enough to follow our journey during this change and help to be able to tour soon again, hopefully in April. And first of all, we hope that you’ll like the album (smiles) and we are so excited to read all the comments and opinions all the people have, because this is the most interesting thing for me and yeah, thank you so much for your interest!”

HØRIZØNS release date: 19 June 2020.

Click on the logo below to order your copy:

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Interview by Afrodite Szeleczky & Péter Tepliczky
Written by Afrodite Szeleczky
Photos: Napalm Records, Chris Heidrich, Péter Tepliczky

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"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers." - Christopher Lee

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