Fireworks Magazine Online 68 - Interview with Battle Beast

BATTLE BEAST: An interview with NOORA LOUHIMO

Battle Beast is a six-piece Power Metal band from Finland that first formed in 2008. They released their debut album 'Steel' in 2011 before personal issues led to a vocalist change. Their self-titled follow up album came out in 2013 and the band has now returned with their third album 'Unholy Savior'. Dave Scott gave vocalist Noora Louhimo another call to find out about the latest release.


Battle-Beast Interview



Your last album charted at No5 in your home country and even broke the German Top 100, how did that feel specifically for you, what with it being your first Battle Beast record, and for the rest of your band-mates in general?

Well, of course I am humble and very happy about that, I didn't expect that because it was my first album with Battle Beast and the first album that I ever sang on so it felt very good. But getting into the charts and such like doesn't mean so much for me personally because I am always aiming higher and higher and never pleased or satisfied for myself.

Were there any reactions, be it positive or negative, that really surprised you from elsewhere around the world?

Actually we got a lot of good reviews, a lot of the critics that reviewed the album were very positive, I must admit I don't remember any really negative reviews off hand. Actually I don't want to remember anything like that really, of course there are people that don't like the music that we do and there are some people who do and I think that is a good thing. If you are too main-stream then you are not doing anything original, ha-ha.

You have a new album called 'Unholy Savior'. I know the lyrics were written by Anton Kabanen and many of the themes are very personal to him and his life experiences; but I also know that he has continued with the Berserk storyline from previous albums. Which tracks continue this theme and are there any other songs where you have some insight into their meaning?

Kabanen has talked about the fact that most of the songs on this album are ones that have been influenced by or based around his own life and then there is the odd one for Berserk, so he is obviously the best person to answer this but there are a couple of songs I know about. As far as Berserk goes, there are a couple of songs relating to that including 'Touch In The Night'. I also know that 'Speed And Danger' is about this video game that Kabanen used to play and he decided to write a song about that. Then there is the track 'I Want The World And Everything In It' which came from the movie 'Scarface' starring Al Pacino. Actually the song isn't about the movie but the phrase and title comes from the movie. In the beginning of the song, there is a little excerpt from the movie where he is asked "what do you want" and then he answers with the title.

When we chatted last time I asked if you hoped to be more involved in the writing and construction of songs for the next album, I assume that you weren't able to contribute on that front like you'd hoped?

No unfortunately, I didn't get the chance yet...but I believe there is going to be a change in the future because it is very important as an artist and as a vocalist that I am able to do that.

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Obviously not from a writing or lyrical perspective, but as the vocalist, is there any one or two tracks that you are particularly proud of from the new album?

Well, the new song that has been on the radio, '...Night', is one that I like and that I am proud of because it is different. In many eyes and ears, it doesn't sound like Heavy or Power Metal or something like that. I think if we go and play that song live it will be even better than on the album. There is also one thing, as a vocalist, 'Touch...' lets the softer, more feminine side of me out. It's not all the roaring and the kind of masculine approach, there is a softer side. I like to bring other sides of me to the table and show that I can do different sounds and different things; not just screaming my lungs out, ha-ha.

The production was handled by yourselves again (Kabanen and keyboardist Janne Bjorkroth) but this time there was additional input and the mixing was done by Matias Kupiainen; what was behind this change in direction?

Actually there was a problem with the schedule; we were in a hurry and we needed to get things done properly and quickly and Kupiainen was the best for that job in that moment.

You have another exciting album cover; who did you turn to for the artwork on this occasion and why?

This was another person who we returned to from helping us before and that was Claudio Bergamin, who did the previous cover. As for why, it was because we were more than happy with what he had done for us before.

You went on an extended European tour with Powerwolf following the release of the last album, what are your favourite memories from that tour and those performances?

My favourite memories or moments have to be meeting the lovely people at all the shows and the fact that we actually got to come to the U.K., of course. I really wish I could have been there more than just that one night. Really, when we go on tour one of the highlights for me is always meeting the new people and of course meeting the people that you already know. I think touring is all about the people.

You are set to hit the road again in January with Delain and Sabaton, what are you most looking forward to regarding this tour?

I am looking forward to playing our new songs to people and having new fans there and meeting up with the old fans. I am also looking forward to getting to know the Delain guys and their leading lady Charlotte Wessels. Of course the Sabaton guys we obviously already know because we have done shows with them before. So this is an honour and it will be so much fun to be on board with these groups. Again it will be great to see new places as well which will no doubt bring new faces too.

Speaking of Sabaton, I know they covered 'Out Of Control' from your previous self-titled album on their latest album as a bonus track. Would I be right in assuming you knew about this beforehand and how did it feel for you guys to see someone like Sabaton include a cover of one of your songs?

It was a great honour... We heard about this just before they were about to announce it. We saw Par Sundstrom at a show that we were doing with Finntroll in Sweden. He came to us and said that they were going to do the cover of '...Control' and we thought that was really cool and we were honoured. It is great that an artist likes your music so much that they want to do that sort of thing and cover it.

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