For Ricky Wells, it all started with hearing a Metallica song.
“It was ‘Enter Sandman,’ and it blew my mind that something that heavy could be on the radio,” Wells said.
The 17-year-old Mountain Top musician is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Black Horizon, a three-piece heavy rock outfit that plans to release its first original EP tomorrow and follow it up with a big gig on June 10 in Reading.
The band was started by Wells and Tyler Snipas, of Mountain Top, in 2015, and after playing with a few different bassists, Wells said the duo has found a third in Zach Miller, of Pittston, who wants to pursue a common direction.
“It’s mainly anything hard rock,” Wells said of their sound. “There’s no specific time frame where we start with bands. We like Black Sabbath, Metallica, and we like some newer stuff like Avenged Sevenfold.
“It only matters if the music is good or not.”
Wells said Black Horizon started out playing covers at high schools and house parties and has worked their way up to playing a recent series of shows at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke.
But releasing original music is a new venture for the trio. Wells said Black Horizon has recorded a few demos but nothing that was released.
“This is going to be the first thing we put out into the world,” Wells said. “It’s a three-song EP. It’s inspired by our heroes, and we want to give our fans something to listen to.”
Wells said the intent of the record is to showcase the band’s originality.
“We want to let everybody know that we’re not out to copy anyone else in the Wilkes-Barre music scene,” he said. “We respect the hell out of them, but we’re trying to get our own unique little following going.”
Wells describes the music on the EP as “very ferocious.”
“It’s dirty,” he said. “Even though we’re not a thrash band, there’s a little thrash influence in it. It’s a really aggressive sound.”
When it comes to writing songs, Wells said, each band member contributes.
“I usually comes up with some riffs, and we jam on it and put something together,” he said. “It’s kind of an open thing. There’s not one person running the show.”
The band’s June 10 performance comes at Kohlfest, a day-long heavy music festival at Reading’s Reverb, where Black Horizon will play one of the supporting sets for post-hardcore headliners We Came As Romans and I See Stars.
“We’re one of the opening spots, which is a very big deal for us,” Wells said. “We go on at noon.”
Despite the nationally known acts in attendance, Wells said Black Horizon is proud to be on the bill with a fellow local band.
“We’re really excited to play with another band from Wilkes-Barre, City of Ember.”
For links to Black Horizon’s upcoming original EP, visit the band’s Facebook page at bit.ly/2qxALal.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
Where: Reverb, 1402 N. Ninth St., Reading
When: Noon to 11:30 p.m. June 10. Black Horizon goes on at noon.