We recently chatted with the London-based rock-pop outfit The Horn who recently released their great new single, 'Passion'.
OSM: How did The Horn get together and who is in the band?
Nick: I was the bass player in a band called Friends of Gavin in the 1980’s, we toured as support to many huge bands like R.E.M. It was a fun time, sadly we were too stoned so I ended up working, but missing my music and many years later I met Danny through a mate and it all started from there. Danny introduced Jonny, Alex and Ed to the band and during lockdown we recorded dozens of songs, some we really love.
Danny: Nick came to me to help realise a few tunes he had knocking around and we just got carried away...
Jonny: Danny and Nick started working on a project together in Baker St underground around the first lockdown and I was asked to do some session singing. We recorded various songs solely as a studio project, but it soon became clear that Nick wanted to push this into greener pastures.
Alex: I got invited to do a drum session for a new project, at the time called Little Big Horn. I had a blast recording the parts and really liked the music, then a few drum sessions later and after meeting the lovely Nick True, he asked me if I'd like to join the project full time. Without hesitation I said yes!
Ed: The Horn started as a recording project and I was invited in as a session keyboard player by Danny. After a few sessions I became part of the band alongside Nick, Jonny, Danny and Alex.
OSM: Your debut single ‘Passion’, is out now. What was the songwriting and recording process of the track?
Danny: It’s from Nick’s 80s brain, with NYC 70s production and a rather wonderfully monotonous guitar part.
Nick: I wrote this in the 80’s and bought it in to the studio, the three of us then (me, Jonny & Danny) create magic which is impossible to explain - it just happens. Jonny added his magic, Danny added his and the song is what we came up with, I’m super proud of it.
Alex: The track is written by Nick I believe with co-production by Jonny and Danny. Danny came to me with a drum idea which I then made my own and recorded in the studio in Baker Street.
Jonny: So this one was interesting - Nick played it to me on acoustic guitar down in the studio in Baker St. I immediately loved the chorus. He said: “I wrote it in the 80s. Roughly 1986 I think.” I said: “that’s when I was born.” Me, Danny and Nick put down a spontaneous, Strokesy guide recording for it, but we afterwards realised that was it.
OSM: What is the general theme of ‘Passion’, is there an overall message?
Danny: Don’t pretend to be something you’re not - it’s boring.
Jonny: You’d have to ask Nick. To me it represents a frustration in people not believing enough.
Nick: The theme is what most 20 year olds go through, the first taste of doing most things for the first time. It’s a new and exciting buzz as well as the many dangers and creeps, with the frustrations stopping you from doing your thing. The huge passion I had in me for everything really and the feeling inside.
OSM: Do The Horn have any live appearances scheduled?
Nick: Yes, Paper Dress in Hackney this week and the Hollywood Bowl summer 2024 and the many shows we haven’t booked yet between the two!
Alex: Yes 14th July at Paper dress vintage!
OSM: Bassist Nick True toured with REM in former band Friends Of Gavin - how was that experience?
Nick: I was sadly too young to really appreciate how lucky I was. Our manager got us so many amazing gigs, we headlined many all over the UK including the legendary Marquee Club in Soho as well as so many supports, including The Alarm, Boomtown Rats, Bo Diddly but for R.E.M. we did a bunch of shows, Edinburgh, Manchester and a few others, we came out to many thousands, a carpet of heads in front of us, we did great and had a huge laugh, Michael Stipe was nuts but very nice to us, we watched their shows in the front as we loved them at the time, my favourite song at that time was ‘Radio Free Europe’ which was great live, have a listen. Amazingly, The Smiths supported us at their first ever London show at the Rock Garden in Covent Garden, I had a nice chat with their guitarist who was also called Jonny!
OSM: What challenges has the band faced since launching your career?
Jonny: The first time the whole label and team were supposed to meet (a big, celebratory milestone) I got Covid and spent four days in a bedsit writing by myself. Nick works hard at his other business, so time is really precious and we try to maximise the time we have together as best we can.
Nick: Choosing which songs to put out as we have recorded so many! Watch this space (well Spotify!) for many more.
Danny: Yeah, trying to pick the first song to release.
Alex: All being in the same country at the same time to do rehearsals together.
OSM: What are the plans for the year ahead for yourselves?
Alex: Release an EP and keep writing great music!
Jonny: Seems to be talk of playing some big shows…
Danny: A few more gigs would be nice...
Nick: More gigs, more recording, more content but more fun as we really do enjoy our time together
Ed: I think we all want to be out playing more shows and getting the live performance nailed down, having released an EP.
OSM: If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
Nick: Have bigger and better platforms for great songs so more people can listen to them and be curated for them and less for the few big and to me mostly boring mainstream artists.
Alex: Stop pushing unoriginal, uninspiring music to the forefront of the music scene. (Not mentioning any names…)
Jonny: Avoid signing bands with forgettable songs who are just Instagram famous. Work on real music.
Danny: Spread the wealth.
OSM: If you could share the stage with another band or performer who would it be?
Ed: The Killers would be pretty sick.
Alex: Freddie Mercury.
Jonny: Creedence Clearwater, The Band, Janis Joplin.
Nick: Velvet Underground, The Stones, The Clash, Burt Bacharach, Miles Kane and hundreds more.
Danny: I just saw Little Simz at Primavera and her band was so tight.
OSM: What songs are on your playlist right now, which songs are you into at the moment?
Alex: Dr hook - ‘When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman’
Ed: Film music and Randy Newman.
Jonny: Artist called Goodwill - the song is called ‘Clinging Onto You’. It’s a stone cold break up song delivered with heart.
Danny: I’ve just got into a garage punk band called Bad Nerves. I have quite specific requirements when it comes to that genre and they hit all of them for me.
Nick: I have a playlist I keep adding to its 78 hours long! I'm into everything from Miles Davis to The Ramones and all in between, old and new. I scrolled to the bottom and the last song I added is ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ by Bauhaus.