Fireworks Magazine Online 58 - Interview with Battle Beast

BATTLE BEAST interview with  NOORA LOUHIMO

Battle Beast is a power metal band from Finland that formed in 2008 and quickly released their debut ‘Steel’. Late 2012 established vocalist Nitte Valo left the band and has now been replaced with Noora Louhimo for their new self titled follow up album. Dave Scott had a chat on the phone with the bands new leading lady to find out about the new record.

I have had the chance to listen to your new album and I think it’s an awful lot of fun, but for those who haven’t heard it or the debut, how would you describe Battle Beast to them?

Well...I think it’s a positive way to bring up some issues that we are dealing with in life at the moment. We have these three categories of songs really. There is this fantasy world created by Anton where the beast fights against the machines. There is the second category which is a story about this man called Berserk and there is this war Commander called White Hawk and his army The Band Of The Hawk. In the songs they are trying to conquer the world. The third category is where we are free to do songs about anything in our lives or such like. My point here was that how we deal with these things in our lives we can do it in a way of a story or in a fantasy world.

The new album which is self titled is due out in May. Is there any reason you decided to make it an eponymous title?

Yes because as you can see there has been some big changes happened in a short space of time like the vocalist for example ha-ha. This was like a statement of intent, like a new start. We now are the band we want to be.

As you said, some of the songs are set in a fantasy world and tell a story. Are any of the other songs about a particular subject, event or anything personal?

‘Kingdom’ and ‘Golden Age’ are for example from The Berserker saga whereas ‘Rain Man’ is just from Anton’s own personal life. I love the way Anton writes the songs because he deals with issues we have in our lives in that beautiful way. He’s creating these fantasy worlds and people can live with us in this fantasy world and feel it which is great.

Do you know where he gets his inspiration from for writing?

He goes into this room, his own room, and there he does the songs and we won’t see him for many weeks ha-ha. It’s not until he returns to the studio when we see what he has created.

Musically, what can our readers and fans of the band expect from the new album?

Well, there is a lot of variation in the musical way. There are also a lot of changes in the vocals like high notes, rasping and soft vocals also. Of course there is a lot of power as well which I like.

How did you get that vocal power in ‘Let It Roar’?

I love that song because of that power. It is one of the most powerful songs on the album. As for the performance, I have been singing since I was four years old but that doesn’t really explain how I get this power in my voice. I guess I just have good technique to sing but it’s not all about technique. You have to be in this with your heart and your soul. So every time I start singing those songs, I really just get into this positive rage that is inside of me.

Your obviously a new member in Battle Beast, did you have any input into the writing process or was everything already written by the time you joined?

Actually the songs were already done by the time I joined. In fact the recordings had already started when I got into the band. I literally jumped into the deepest end straight away ha-ha. When I got into the band I had just over a month to get ready, to learn all the songs from ‘Steel’ for the Sonata Arctica tour. Then we also started to record the second album. I also hadn’t sung heavy metal before this band as well ha-ha...so it was a very hectic month.

Will you be more involved in the writing for the next album?

I hope so. We have had this conversation, Anton and I, that I would be probably involved in lyrics and/or melodies. But Anton has hundreds and hundreds of songs already written, he is just this composer machine ha-ha. But I will try to fit some bits in there somewhere. I have told him I would like to bring my words in there too sometime as well. We’ll see...

How does this new album compare to the debut ‘Steel’?

The biggest change in there is obviously the vocal parts. There is more variation in the vocals. As I said before there is soft parts as well as roars and all that kind of thing. I think that is the biggest change. But this album musically, we have taken the same line as we did with ‘Steel’.

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It has a very classic looking album cover. Who did you turn to as a band to help create that?

The album cover was created by Claude Bergamin. He is a really great artist and he is very well know and does a lot of different art. I have seen a lot of his artwork. He is really talented and I am so happy that he liked to do the cover art for us. He told Anton that he won’t do any cover art for bands he doesn’t like. He just picks the best ones and does their artwork. So that was really great to hear. I think he has captured the magic that we have in our music in that cover art. It captures the power, the energy and the fantasy all in one image.

Do you know if you’re planning to release any singles or videos from the album?

‘Into The Heart if Danger’ is coming out as a single in a few days. In fact in Finland it is actually out now.

Are you going to shot a video for it?

Not for that, not just yet as far as I know. But we are doing this music video shoot on Monday for ‘Black Ninja’. I have to say I am looking forward to that.

As a band have you given any thoughts to touring, especially in the UK, once the new album is actually released?

Yes we have actually, I don’t know if your readers know already but we are on tour in the autumn and we are coming to London with Power Wolf. It is on the 27th September. We are very excited because we have this new album out and it will be great to bring myself and the new Battle Beast to the UK.

As you have already mentioned you’re the newest member of the band. How did you come to the attention of Battle Beast?

Actually Anton found me accidentally singing a Janis Joplin song on YouTube when he was trying to find the new lead vocalist. When he saw this link “Noora singing Janis Joplin Piece Of My Heart” he thought that if I could do that with great credibility I should be able to do his songs. So then he went and listened to it and as you can see I did the job well. He called me and asked if I was interested and of course I was. Now here we are ha-ha. I was going through this phase in my life just before Anton called me. I was going through this phase that I was wondering what is missing in my life. I have these rock gigs, these rhythm and blues gigs as well as some jazz ones. I have been singing a lot of different ways and doing different genres. Yet I still felt that there was something missing and I had that feeling in my heart. I needed more and I need to bring myself as an artist and as a singer out more. So when Anton called it was like well fate.

I have read some of the promotional pieces that stated you were already experienced in singing some of the most demanding songs before you joined. Can you give me an insight into your back ground as a vocalist and your influences?

Like I said before I started singing when I was four years old. But my passion for music and singing got confirmed when I was about thirteen years old. When I was sixteen I started listening to heavy metal but back then I started with classical lesson singing classic music for about a year. When I was nineteen I got into a music college and I have been there studying since then ha-ha. Well every time I had chance to go there anyway. When I was about twenty years old I started going to these blues jams where you can improvise singing blues and things like that. There I found my first band called Admiral Octopus. We were playing this sixties/seventies hippie rock and blues. You know the sort of stuff...Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane etc. So when I got Janis Joplin into my life everything changed because I started to find my own voice. It wasn’t just soft ballads and soul things that I had been doing before. I found the rock girl inside of me because of Janis Joplin and because I had to and wanted to learn how she did it and try to be even bigger than she was ha-ha. I then went to this singing competition after Admiral Octopus had broken up and I started doing my own solo thing. I went to this competition and I won singing Janis Joplins ‘Piece Of My Heart’ and as a prize I got my first single ‘The Relax’ done. It’s like this blue’s rockish thing with a Black Velvet sample. Then I just went to do some random gigs acoustically with my musician friends. I am still doing those gigs but I am busy with Battle Beast now of course. That’s pretty much the story, I was doing the gigs and then Anton called then I started this new fantastic life ha-ha.

What do you or maybe the other guys like to do away from the music scene. Is there anything outrageous you guys like to do?

As you maybe have seen the guys like to be naked a lot ha-ha. Finnish people are a little bit like that ha-ha. Obviously we have the sauna’s that people go into naked. It is very common here and nothing weird or unusual to us. It’s a natural way to do things and be naked here.

It certainly must be interesting being the only lady in the band ha-ha.

I think I’m not quite there yet to get naked but for real it’s like our humour in Battle Beast, people getting naked and joking around. But even though we are joking around and such like, it doesn’t mean that we don’t take the music and things seriously. We take our music very serious. For example I have changed my whole life and all my life habits in my whole life because of this band. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me.

Your central focus is obviously on the new album at the moment, but have you or the guys given any thoughts to what you want to do next?

Yes we have. We are going to do as much touring as we can to support the album. But we are going to start doing the EP in the summer. That is already planned, were not going to waste any time. We want the third album out as soon as possible.

Before we go is there anything you like to add or say to your UK fans?

All I have to say is come to our shows and have some fun and to hear the new album. Of course we hope you buy the new album and you like it. Overall just peace and love to you all.

Battle-Beast-Interview

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Comments (2)add comment

steve said:

...
f**k yeah battlebeast
now i know they dont mind i will get naked at the show smilies/smiley.gif
 
July 04, 2013
Votes: +0

N. Louhimo said:

...
Hi! Few corrections: "Berserk" isn't a person it is the title of the manga/anime-series. And the name was Claudio not Claude Bergamin.

Cheers Noora
 
July 18, 2013
Votes: +0

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