Germany is one of those countries known for big bands, especially in the heavy metal scene. A relatively young outfit from there that has quickly grown into popularity with their debut album about 5 years ago, is Beyond The Black. In the meantime they are a mainstay in the modern symphonic metal scene and are already at their 4th full-length release with ‘HØRIZØNS‘, coming out via Napalm Records on June 19th. A good time for us to have a chat with frontwoman Jennifer Haben…
At the start of our conversation, Jennifer assured us that she’s doing well and feeling fine, her family is well, the rest of the band is well,… And despite having been on lock-down for quite a while, it seems that she’s been pretty busy after all, doing some acoustic streams, planning things and getting very excited about the approaching release of their new baby: the upcoming album ‘HØRIZØNS’. They’ve been waiting for this since March already now…
Talking about ‘HØRIZØNS’, Jennifer is really looking forward to hear what people think after they’ve heard the full album a couple of times. Hearing certain songs in the scope of the whole release might actually bring the listener to better place them and understand why they did what they did. Because when they released the very first single ‘Misery‘, it was quite the bold statement they made with the very poppy sound of that song. They did make a change in their overall sound somewhat, dialing down the symphonics somewhat and infusing a more updated, modern and at times poppy sound, but we can promise you that there are still properly heavy tracks to be found. There are even symphonic bits floating around throughout the album!
That Beyond The Black made some changes, was kind of a deliberate choice. When they set out to write new music, they agreed that they wanted to do something to continue evolving. And that became what you can hear now on ‘HØRIZØNS‘. We also feel that the more updated sound might bring in quite a few extra fans from for instance the Amaranthe camp, especially with Elize Ryd on guest vocals on ‘Wounded Healer‘ and the planned (now rescheduled) tour with them. Jennifer really hopes that will be the case, because she really admires Amaranthe and Elize and it would be great to have somewhat the same fans. She’s also really looking forward to whenever that tour finally happens, she can’t wait to be able to get to see Amaranthe live night after night, sharing the same stage. Especially since that is the music she listens to most of the time anyway while being on tour.
Back to the album, we made the observation that the title ‘HØRIZØNS’ covers the overall feeling and themes of the album really well. Because most of the songs seem to be about looking towards -possibly better- horizons. Jennifer agreed with that and told us that was actually somewhat how they got to the title. Because all of the songs are meant to be uplifting and empowering to the listener. Especially during these trying times, with both the COVID-19 crisis and all the protests all over the world going on, these songs could bring a much needed positivity into your life. And that’s exactly the reason why Jennifer was adamant that she didn’t want to postpone the release of ‘HØRIZØNS’. She wanted to be able to possibly provide a bright light on the horizon in the (metal) world and thinks it would be really nice if they could actually accomplish this for people all around.
Next week, Beyond The Black have two exclusive drive-in concerts, in their home country Germany, to celebrate the release of ‘HØRIZØNS’ in style. One on June 25th in Stuttgart (for tickets follow this link: https://bit.ly/3dexPIa) and another on June 26th in Oberhausen (for tickets follow this link: https://bit.ly/3evJTVD). Jennifer is really looking forward to those shows because they are something very different for her and the rest of the band. People will be able to enjoy their live music from the comfort of their cars, through their own speaker system. Who knows, maybe it will end up being better than being at a normal concert since you can be as loud as you want and there won’t be anyone bumping into you…
After the focus on those shows are gone, she promised us that they won’t sit still. There might be a live stream concert coming some time during the summer with the whole band. Or maybe some other events still… but something will definitely happen. So keep an eye out for that!
When asking what she would do if it were possible for her to organize a festival around Beyond the Black, Jennifer needed some time to think. She told us that she’d love to bring as much diversity as possible to such an event, doing some crossovers, getting different genres represented, invite a lot of female artists (but guys as well of course) and of course some German bands. Because like she said, German artists and musicians try to support each other a lot. She didn’t want to say any specific bands, because there were just too many roaming around in her head and didn’t want to make a choice on the spot.
Despite being super busy during the lock-down, she still managed to listen to some new music of other artists. One band, and artist, she wanted to bring up, was Ad Infinitum with Melissa Bonny. Jennifer thinks Melissa is amazing, looks amazing, sounds amazing and just nails anything she does. Besides that, she’s been listening to a lot of Disney songs, a good recommendation if you want some positivity in your life for sure.
As a closer to our talk, Jennifer thanked everyone for the interest in what they’re doing with Beyond The Black and of course the support. And told us that she’s really looking forward to hear what the fans think, that they should let her know what song you liked best because that is really interesting to her. She really hopes that you are able to check out their album and new music to at least give it a try.
We at GRIMM want to thank Jennifer for taking the time to have a chat with us and wish her lots of luck with the release of ‘HØRIZØNS’ and any of Beyond The Black‘s future plans. Also thanks to Hard Life Promotion for setting this up.