John Lennon once said; “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.”, and boy was he right –  Where does one even begin trying to pay homage to a man such as him? In the fifties, I guess. While in Chicago in May 1955, a young Berry met blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters who suggested Berry to get in touch with Leonard Chess of Chess Records, which led to Berry later that month recording his own adaption of ‘Ida Red’ under the name ‘Maybellene’ selling over a million copies worldwide – and the rest is, as they say, history. With hits such as ‘You Never Can Tell’, ‘Johnny B Goode’ and ‘Rock and Roll Music’, Berry redefined rhythm and blues and added guitar solos, creating what we all know as rock ’n’ roll.

“[My mama] said, ‘You and Elvis are pretty good, but you’re no Chuck Berry.’”
— Jerry Lee Lewis

“Chuck Berry is a musical scientist who discovered a cure for the blues.”
— Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Of all the early breakthrough rock and roll artists, none is more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He is its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of its greatest guitarists, and one of its greatest performers.”
— Cub Koda

With a career expanding over six decades, Berry inspired generations of musicians and not just opened doors for a new era of music, but kicked the whole god damn door down. The list of bands that wouldn’t be here today without Chuck Berry is absolutely endless – The Beatles? No way. Stones? Absolutely not, Keith Richards even said; «To me, Chuck Berry always was the epitome of rhythm and blues playing, rock and roll playing. It was beautiful, effortless, and his timing was perfection. He is rhythm supreme.»

Although we were all incredibly saddened to hear that Chuck left us last night, we are so grateful for everything he left us with – his legacy of rock ‘n’ roll and music that will live on forever – even in space. Rest in peace Berry, and thank you for the tunes!

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While at London’s Live Evil Festival earlier this month I caught up with Horisont’s Charles, Magnus and David, which consisted mostly of backstage beers and burgers, and the occasional bearded stranger in denim high fiving them post performance.

Horisont for Dummies – can you tell us a bit about how it all started?
Charles: Horisont for Dummies – We’ve been together for a bit more than ten years. Magnus, Pontus and I go way back, we all met in school.
Magnus: That’s not true, but ok…
Charles: Well yeah, we originally had a band prior to this, which is where we met Axel, and then Horisont was formed in 2005. We’ve been playing together ever since and have released four albums. We’re releasing our fifth album next February, which will be David’s first record with us as he only joined us six months ago.
How has that been?
David: *Sighs….* (while looking incredibly sad, worn down and broken)
Kidding, it’s been really good! They’re great guys, and we play great music.

It’s clear that you’re influenced by 70’s rock, and I’ve noticed there’s a massive scene for that sort of music in Gothenburg, why do you think that is?
Charles: I’m not sure if it was like that when we started out, but then bands like ours and Graveyard were formed and did really well, and maybe that created a the scene for new bands like that.

Although most of your songs have English lyrics, you’ve got some Swedish ones in there as well – will the Swedish tunes be making an appearance on this next record?

Magnus: It’ll have one Swedish song on it which I’ll be singing, I’m doing my singing debut.

Did you guys decide primarily on English as that’ll reach a wider audience?
Charlie: We dont really make a decision of writing an English or Swedish song, we’ll kind of just make the song and then we’ll see what sort of vibe it gives us and the lyrics just happens. It’s much harder to write in your native tongue though because it easily sounds cheesy if it’s too simple. You can get away with simple lyrics in English, but not in Swedish.

So you’ve all got great taste and use Orange Amps, does any of you remember first ever encounter with the brand?
Charlie: When I was younger I was a massive Hellacopters fan and they always used Orange amps, which I guess kind of triggered this urge to get my own.
Magnus: The band we had prior to Horisont had very much like a Hellacopters-y vibe to it.
Charlie: Yeah, action rock ’n’ roll, we were very into that sort of music.

You guys are off to North America with Electric Citizen next month, what will your set up be for that tour?
Charlie
: We wont be bringing our actual own amps, as that’s too much of a hassle, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be OR50’s.

What do you look for when deciding on an amp?
Charlie:
Something that brings out the character of the instrument, but also makes it sound better. You dont want to lose your own sound, you need something that enhances it.

As mentioned earlier, I know you’re influenced by classic rock and the 70s, but was there any bands or artists you grew up listening to which is completely different from the music you’re playing now?
Charlie: Well, I went to a Backstreet Boys concert… I think I was twelve. But that’s pretty much it, after that it’s been mostly 60s and 70s music.
David: But that’s still quite a vide specter of music though, as it’s everything from rock and funk to RnB.
Charlie: Yeah, I just really like the sound of the recordings from the sixties and seventies.
Magnus: We’re all very into the production of that era.
David: The quality was a lot higher back then.

So no guilty pleasures then?
Magnus:
What’s the name of that song Axel always plays…?

Here all I could hear was a lot of whispering which ended in a ‘dont tell her!’, so I guess we’ll never know.