Hailing from the southern edge of Finland, BATTLE BEAST represents the traditional heavy metal sound. Delivering crunching riffs, high screams, blistering solos and strong choruses – in one word: Power.
Battle Beast was formed in 2008 and the band became quite known in a very short time. If you think that this band is a typical heavy metal band, you are wrong; Battle Beast won competitions like W:O:A Metal Battle and Radio Rock Starba as well as making an appearance in the Finnish Metal Expo. Shortly after the success, the band signed a contract with Hype Records in 2010.
Battle Beast’s first debut album was Steel which was released in April 2011. Although the album was released only in Finland, the awesomeness of the album spread around the globe in a very short time. The following summer, the band toured extensively in their native country, Finland, and also taking a short stint in Germany supporting their fellow metalheads POISONBLACK in November.
2011 welcomed the band with a change of a record label; Battle Beast was signed to Nuclear Blast. The same year, Steel was also released internationally and to celebrate it, the band toured with the mighty NIGHTWISH as a support act for their Imaginaerum tour. Spanning more than 20 gigs in 13 different countries, the tour proved massively successful and won the band new fans by the tons.
In September 2012 the band announced another set of breaking news as Noora Louhimo was introduced as the new lead singer, replacing Nitte Valo. Along with the line-up change came an announcement of new tour. In November 2012 BATTLE BEAST returned to Europe for another 20 shows supporting their label mates SONATA ARCTICA.
With Noora in the band, BATTLE BEAST is now ready to take itself and its music to the next level. The whole band is burning with newly found energy and motivation and hell bent on conquering the entire metal consuming planet. Currently the band is working on their second album, expected to hit the world quite soon!
As a fan of the band and as a person who saw the band on November 2011, I decided to do an interview via e-mail. Eero (bassist) was kind enough to reply to my questions! 😀
Hello! How are you? How are things in the world of BATTLE BEAST?
Hello there! I’d say we’re doing pretty good at the moment. Anton and Janne are adding final touches to the mixing of the album after which it will be sent out to be mastered. The rest of the band is mainly focusing on pulling their personal lives together and preparing for the roller coaster ride the rest of the year is likely to present.
You are getting ready to release your second debut album, which is due spring 2013. What can the fans expect from this record?
Actually, due to some business-related reasons, the album won’t be released until June.
Simply put, people should expect a killer heavy metal record. The release of this second album is really a trial by fire for us, so we’re gonna give it everything we got.
There also has been a change in the band’s line-up last year; the former vocalist Nitte Valo was replaced with Noora Louhimo. How did you pick her as a vocalist?
Finding Noora was really a stroke of luck. Anton accidentally came across a video of her singing on the internet, and sent us the link. We were all sold the moment we heard her sing. Fortunately, she also was interested in doing this kind of music, and a few weeks from the moment we had ever heard of her she was in the band.
Battle Beast with the former vocalist, Nitte Valo
Will the change in the line-up affect the band’s sound in the upcoming album? Normally, some bands change their style if the vocalist is replaced.
Of course the second album is gonna sound different from the first one, but I wouldn’t say switching the singer has anything to do with it. It’s all about the natural progression of the band. After all, we never intended to record Steel 2.0.
When you compare the upcoming album and your previous record, what are the similarities and the differences?
The songwriting on the new album is pretty much in the same vein as on Steel: straightforward, powerful and catchy. But like I said, we’re not planning to repeat ourselves and there will be new elements too. However I don’t feel like spoiling the surprises just yet.
Battle Beast has become quite known over the years since you toured with many bands and surely, the band being Finnish helped that. Do you think that the new album will attract a new audience?
Well we sure the hell hope so! After all, attracting new audiences means more secure position for the band.
Anyway, we don’t intend to ruin a working formula in hopes of attracting a bigger audience – we can live with the fact that this kind of music is not for everyone. We aim to stick to our guns and do the kind of music we want to, and hope people will like it.
As a band, you were formed in 2008. Can you tell me about how you became a band? How did it all start?
Oww, I think I’ve answered this one about a gazillion times…
Basically Anton, Juuso and Pyry were high school buddies who had been playing together for some time before the official formation of the band. In 2008 shit started getting more serious with the band, and Janne and I were added to the boil after auditions. About the stuff with the lead singer you’ve probably read from elsewhere… 😉
From the first moment, the band’s name also caught my attention. What is the idea behind the name “Battle Beast” and who came up with it?
As I understand there’s no real story behind the name. Anton came across the name spontaneously on one night many years ago, and as he found it fitting for the music, christened the band Battle Beast.
What were your inspirations for the new album? What is the band’s biggest inspiration musically?
As a band I think it’s fair to say, that we’re inspired by all kinds of good music, be it metal or not. Since Anton writes pretty much all the music, it’s obvious that his musical inspirations play the biggest role, the most important of which of course are the classic metal bands. However we all think it’s good to draw inspiration from whatever music one finds appealing, and on the new album you’re gonna find some sounds and techniques one might consider pretty unorthodox for this kind of music.
I first saw you guys with Poisonblack in Cologne in 2011 and the audience there was not so lively, mainly because you guys were not so popular back then! When you look at your first concerts and your recent concerts, what were your observations about your fanbase? Is it the same or did it change?
It’s hard to say. As of now, we’ve never toured in Europe as a headline act, so one can’t tell how big a crowd we would attract on our own. Hopefully our fan base has grown bigger – at least we’ve been getting way more publicity than we did back then. And of course I would also like to think that we’re a way better band than we were back in 2011!
You have also toured with some big names like Nightwish and Sonata Arctica. If you could pick a band to tour with, which band would it be?
On the moment’s spur, I’m gonna answer Iron Maiden. You’ve probably heard of them.
You have toured in Europe mainly. If you could pick a country that you would love to tour in, where would it be?
The U.S.A. would be quite an obvious answer, since that’s the place all the European bands head to once they’re big enough. I would also be thrilled to do Japan and South-America as well, since we’ve been quite a lot of fan mail from those places.
The journey for Battle Beast started in 2008 so it’s been 5 years already. When you think about your career, what are your expectations about the next 5 years?
The way I see it, the best thing we can do to improve our career is to make good albums and killer shows. Of course I would like to see us outselling Justin Bieber and being nominated to the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame, but this is a tricky business, and you never know what’s gonna happen. Maybe we’ll all by obliterated by giant robots tomorrow, who knows?
Simply put, we’re gonna do our own thing and we’ll see where it takes us.
Battle Beast is :
Noora Louhimo – vocals
Anton Kabanen – guitar, backing vocals
Pyry Vikki – drums
Juuso Soinio – guıitar
Eero Sipilä – bass guitar, backing vocals, narrator voice
Janne Björkroth – keyboards, orchestrations, backing vocals