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Eric Horner is pictured outside his workplace at Applied Materials Tuesday morning. (Mackenzie Reiss/Daily Inter Lake)

Name: Eric Horner

Age: 39

City: Marion

Bands: Throne of Malediction, Eric Sartana (solo)

Q: How did you get started playing music, and in the doom/metal genre specifically?

A: Music started as a general obsession as a child — blame it on KISS. Over the years, since the 1990’s, I gradually learned to play guitar, and a little vocals. My first live shows were playing backup guitar for a local rap group, around 2005 or so. [It] was a good learning experience, and I appreciate a lot of music types. From a young age, I’ve always been drawn to heavier and darker music.

Q: Why are you drawn to black metal?

A: I mainly like the vocal and guitar style of black metal. It’s a very atmospheric and surprisingly wide-ranging genre. But, [it’s] not for everyone. The misanthropic overtones are something I can personally appreciate. I have always been a black sheep, of sorts, a bit isolated. The general sound is quite fitting to the long, cold winters of Montana, as well. Looking at the snow and blasting some Darkthrone or Immortal is somehow soothing. Hard to explain in words... As far as playing that style, it was quite by accident. I just started playing, jamming with bandmates, and ended up sounding very black metal influenced. My sometimes very screechy vocals, probably are most of that element.

Q: What inspires your music?

A: I think probably inspiration, its own self. I try not to overthink anything I do. Most of my songs are written very quickly. In addition, music is an obsession to help me cope with a few personal and mental health issues. I am actually a very shy and introverted person. I have terrible social anxiety at times. But when I am playing music, especially onstage, I am fearless. I feel truly alive. I am also a fan of music. To become a little bit respected and maybe even valued among the music scene is a motivator as well.

Q: Why did you decide to release a solo album?

A: The solo music is a lot different sounding than Throne [of Malediction]. Would not fit, musically and often lyrically. I mainly use just acoustic guitars and vocals. Wanting to explore more styles.

Q: What message are you looking to get across?

A: I’m not religious or political. It’s more about creating some art, that has some substance and atmospheric qualities ... I want people who listen, to feel something, an emotion, a memory recall and maybe even comfort. There are a lot of different messages amongst the various songs. Mainly personal issues and emotions. I think one thing I am successful with is making music with a real atmosphere — something that is not easy to do.

Q: Tell me the story behind one of your favorite tracks on the new album.

A: The song “The Way to Be” is my favorite, lyrically. Mainly because I wrote it for my children. It’s basically saying I am there for them and to be strong in life. They mean a lot to me and hopefully it’s a song they can appreciate when [they get] older.

Q: Which groups/artists inspire you?

A: For the music I make, I can blame Danzig, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, Rapture, In the Wood’s, Carpathian Forest, Cradle of Filth and Metallica for the heavier stuff. As for the rest, Chelsea Wolfe, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Merle Haggard are a few favorite’s, as well as Insane Clown Posse.

Q: What are you goals for the future as an individual artist and member of Throne?

A: Mainly, to keep on creating and improving skills along the way. To gain more listeners, and make music that has meaning. I would like to do more shows, as well. A big goal for me is to play a big festival in Europe. Maybe someday...

Q: What keeps you busy when you’re not working on your music?

A: Mainly working a full-time job and spending time with my family. I really would prefer to make music more of a priority, but it’s not a real reliable source of income. It’s not really meant to be, I guess. Autotuning my voice, getting face tattoos and being a DJ would be more lucrative.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: That all Throne of Malediction and my solo releases are available for free (or pay what you want) at Bandcamp at: www.throneofmalediction.bandcamp.com. CD versions of my latest album “Singularity” can be ordered through Rigorism Productions.

I would like to also point out that there is decent music being made in this area by a lot of talented people. The public at large should appreciate the local talent and check out some shows. Much respect to the fellow artists out there.

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