Battle Beast


14 Janvier 2015


Blaster Of Muppets

Interview Noora & Anton (face to face)

Hi, Thanks for answering these questions for our webzine. How’s this tour with Sabaton and Delain going so far?

Noora : Very well! There’s been a very good response from the audience so far.

Do you find it more difficult to start a tour with a new album that people don’t really know because it’s just been released or are you comfortable with that?

Anton : I don’t know if it’s hard, it’s just music, songs… we just play the way we can. What can you do about it? It doesn’t help if you wonder about how people will react to the new songs. When you’re on stage, you just don’t think about it, you play and you give your best.

Noora : Yeah and there are many fans just like today in Paris who come to me at the merch desk and tell us “Wow, I loved your show, I’m gonna buy your records!” and that’s the reaction we’re looking for of course… My point is that, in every show, there are always new people hearing you for the first time. Of course, it’s very exciting and nerve breaking to see how the old fans react to the new material but you just have to give your all and let it go the way it goes!

Let’s talk about “Unholy Savior” now. It is an album of contrasts. Some songs are really heavy, maybe the heaviest of your career, and some others are the softest you’ve ever written.

Anton : From my perspective, as a songwriter, I’ve always wanted to show the ballads I had written and Noora also wanted to sing ballads. So we discussed about putting ballads on this album. We agreed on that. And then, there are other songs like “Touch in the Night” which is pure 80’s synth-pop… and I’m to blame for that because I just love 80’s pop music, even disco or stuff like that, you know. And eventually, all your influences come out naturally one way or the other when you write music. I think it would be boring if Battle Beast only played typical classic heavy metal. A lot of bands already do that and they stay true to that. I prefer to spice things up a bit.

Noora : Yeah, I do love 80’s pop music too and I like songs like “Touch in the Night’ because it’s nice to bring various things out my voice. It’s also nice to try and bring strong emotions in a soft way, it’s challenging.

Talking about “Touch in the Night”, I think it was a very bold move to release this song first to promote your new album. What reaction did you expect? You surely knew that, given the pop aspect of the song, some metalheads would be slightly disappointed, right?

Noora : That wasn’t our decision, actually. Our record label wanted to do it so we thought “Well, ok, they must know what they’re doing”. The rumors I’ve heard say that they did this because they wanted to bring our music to bigger audience and it doesn’t mean that we’re going to turn into a pop band. It’s just nice to mix things and bring different things into heavy metal. Who says what kind of heavy metal you should do?

Anton : We’re not becoming less metal. We’re just adding layers on the top of the previous layers. We’re making a bigger cake all the time. And ultimately, I think it’s a good choice because we’ve never had as many views on youtube, just for a lyric video, as we’ve had with “Touch in the Night”. So, there must be something right about it.

Talking about videos, I’ve just watched the “Madness” music video which I find a bit strange, I have to say, because it doesn’t really reflect the mood and the lyrics of the song. What was the idea behind it?

Anton : Well, yes, there was no idea behind it actually.

Noora : Yeah, this video is not really what we wanted to do… But we just did it because there was no other choice at that point when we it was time to do this video. When we get more budget and time to plan how we want to make music videos, we’ll be able to bring in the videos what the music is really about.

Would you like to shoot another video in the near future?

Anton : There’s no plans right now. The next will have to be better suited to the song. You know, when I explained to the director what I had in mind for “Madness”, he just stopped me after not even one minute and told me “Anton, we have no budget for that, that’s it”.

Noora : Yes but I would like to say that it’s not always about the budget. I’ve seen very good videos from bands that didn’t have a lot of money. What we need is someone who is creative and has a lot of ideas for small budget videos.

Anton, you compose the music alone. What do the other members bring to the table? What makes Battle Beast a band rather than a solo project?

Anton : Well you know, we’re a live band. When you come to the show, you see six people on stage but to me, it has always been better to write the songs alone. Since the beginning, it has been like that. When I write a song, everything comes to my mind, all the details, the chorus, the structure of the song… So when we hit the studio, the songs are usually 95% done. I write all the details, all the ideas I have for a song everytime I write. I know that, sometimes, people would like to bring their own characteristics to the songs but it’s true that I usually write the complete song. It’s the way I work. Now, sometimes, minor changes might come up…

Isn’t it a bit frustrating for the other members (to Noora)?

Noora : Yes it is, actually… I think we should use our band’s whole potential in the future so… we’ll see what happens.

The song “I Want the World… and Everything in it” starts with a quote from the film Scarface with Al Pacino. Are you a fan? Did you write this song with this movie in mind?

Anton : Yeah, it’s a great film. I like the line from Al Pacino “The world, Chico… and everything in it”. I just changed it a bit and turned it into “I want the world and everything in it”. The melody came very clearly to my head and started ringing, I just wrote it down. It

Noora : That song could be for anyone in the world as it is a kind of song that gives you power… but it is also a kind of “go for your goals” song and that’s why I like it… and also because I like Scarface, of course.

Have you ever considered recording covers? Which ones?

Noora : Well, we did two bonus tracks for this new album. We recorded W.A.S.P.’s “Wild Child” and “Push It To The Limit” from the film Scarface. It’s always fun to change the game a little bit and play these songs our way.

Anton : “Push It To The Limit” is a cool song, the original is great… If you don’t know it, check it out, it’s really great. Our version of it is on the limited digipack edition of “Unholy Savior”.

Most of the bands that have had a strong influence on you have male singers. Was Battle Beast designed to be a female fronted band right from the start?

Anton : It’s just pure luck, you know. When we started this band, we were looking for a singer who could sing heavy metal and that was our only demand. And it happened that the best of the candidates was Nitte, our first singer. And then, when she left, the search began in the same way, it didn’t really matter whether the singer was a man or a woman… and fate decided for us to have a female singer once again. I think it’s a good thing because it makes us a bit different from other bands that play this kind of traditional heavy metal.

In your opinion, who are the best metal singers today?

Noora : Bruce Dickinson… and well, he’s not with us anymore but I would say Ronnie James Dio. These two are my favourites.

Anton : Well it always depends on the style and the song you listen to but let’s say that if you go for traditional metal, a great singer for that is Carlos Zema. He sang in the band Outworld which does not exist anymore and he’s great.

Metal music is made to be played and enjoyed on stage where it can become so intense… do you think about releasing a live album after this tour?

Noora : Sure, why not?

Anton : Yeah, who knows…

Noora : Actually, Janne (the keyboard player) has been taking videos on our tour and different shows, he’s been filming a lot of stuff so we now need to take the time to put all that stuff together. In the near future, I hope we’re gonna have some kind of DVD…

You’re touring with Sabaton and Delain to promote your new album. As it is your third one and things seem to work quite well for you, is a headlining tour a possibility in the near future? 

Noora : Well, we have lots of shows coming up for this year, it looks very good and I have heard some rumours that we’re gonna have our headliner tour this year as well.

What was your first concert as a spectator?

Noora : I think it was a Finnish rock band called Negative. Have you ever heard of them?

Absolutely not.

Noora : Ha ha ha ha!! Well, they’re good. I don’t know what they’re up to now but they’ve been around for quite some time…

What about you, Anton?

Anton : I think my first experience was a Country festival. My whole family was there, my parents took us and there was this singer called Kirka. He is a rock and metal singer but he chose to make a career out of schlager music because there’s more money involved… but on that particular night, he played a lot of rock’n’roll songs and I still remember that… it was great.

The last word is for you:

Anton : Peace and love to all our fans!

Noora : Yes! Please, help us keep touring. Buy our new album. We love you.