Battle Beast

Interview date

12 Mai 2012


Orion, Evanessa


Interview Anton Kabanen (by mailer)

Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we are the French webzine Aux Portes du Metal. To begin, can you tell us how your band was created?

Anton Kabanen (guitar, vocals): Pyry, Juuso and I were school buddies and we formed the basis for Battle Beast. Years later, in 2008, the first line-up was finally completed and the band was officially founded. Though I already came up with the band name in 2005.

Your second album will be released this month, since your first one there's been a pretty big change in your band: you have a new singer, Noora Louhimo. How did you meet her?

I was checking out some YouTube-videos and found Noora by sheer luck. She was singing a Janis Joplin cover and she totally blew us away. I made a phone call and asked her to join the band. The next morning she calls back and tells me she's willing to join us. The decisions were made very quickly because of the circumstances and we met her face to face only later so it was a pretty interesting situation for both parties.

It looks like it was easy for her to adapt and to fit in with the band, because right after her arrival you played a lot of shows. Was she happy to get quickly into the swing of things?

Yeah, our offer came to her at the right time because she happened to be looking for something new in her musical direction. She used to sing more rock and blues types of songs but after she joined Battle Beast she turned out to be a real metal singing machine!

But what happened with Nitte? Why did she leave the band?

It was solely her decision to leave the band. I had no idea of her intentions of leaving. She just sent me an e-mail out of the blue, in the middle of the album-making process and that was it. After that we never saw her. Basically she just ran away from the band so we don't care what the reason for her departure is - even if there's a super good reason. The point is that if you wanna leave a band you should do it in a respectful manner towards the remaining members of the band. But luckily things turned out to be even better when Noora came in. And the fact is that Battle Beast has existed before Nitte and will continue existing after her as well.

However, your musical style has not changed since your first album: great Heavy Metal with catchy choruses. Did you compose the music before Noora joined the band?

That's true, it hasn't changed. We will always remain a heavy metal band and keep making honest heavy metal music. All the songs on the new album were written before Noora was in the band and some songs were written even before the debut album. For instance "Kingdom" was written in 2009 and "Fight, Kill, Die" in 2007 or 2008. It's hard to remember the correct year because I keep writing new songs for us constantly.

What is different for you, now you are working with Nuclear Blast? Was it easier for you to record this new album?

Nuclear Blast is a super great label. They have helped us a lot and it's a pleasure and priviledge to work with them. This album was harder to make because it was our first self-produced album. On the first album we had an outside producer. This time I was the main producer and Janne was the co-producer. We learned tons of things in the process of making it. And the next album will be easier to make now that we know how to avoid the biggest mistakes.

Your first album was a great one, but in my opinion your second one is really impressive. I think the keyboard sounds are stronger in your music this time, just like it was in songs such as Die-Hard Warrior, Cyberspace or Iron Hand. Do you agree?

Yeah, producing the album ourselves gave us the possibility to concentrate more on things which didn't have much attention on the first album, such as keyboards. We love keyboards so now was the time and chance to do everything our way.

There are strong Celtic sounds in the instrumental track Golden Age, what inspired you to compose it? Is it because of your tour with Nightwish? ;)

The inspiration for that song came from Berserk-anime and manga and from Gary Moore's music. Actually I have already written countless orchestral songs for Battle Beast but we just don't feel like we should start including too many of them on the records because the main thing for us is to have ball-kicking metal songs.

Now I want to talk about your first big tour. You had the opportunity to be on tour with Nightwish last year, as their support band. Did you enjoy the tour? What are the good and bad memories that you will keep from this tour?

It was pure dynamite! Just fantastic. Nightwish are a great bunch of people and I would return on that tour whenever. Luckily we have captured some of those good memories on our tour blogs which I think you might find entertaining. Especially the third part! But here's the first part in case you're interested: 
The only bad thing for me was that I was ill on the tour and it took me months to get well after we returned back home.

I was at one of your shows during this tour and I saw how people liked your music. I think it allowed you to reach an audience who would not have listened to your album if they had not heard you play live. What were the consequences on the sales of Steel?

You're absolutely right, you know. We were happy and surprised to witness that many Nightwish-fans also became Battle Beast-fans during and after the tour. I remember that we sold a lot of our records during that tour. It was great.

This fall you will be on tour with Powerwolf. Are there other shows planned before this tour? When will you be touring as an headline act?

We'll be playing some shows here in Finland before the next tour. We'll be updating our gigs-section on our new homepage which will be launched soon so stay tuned. We're hoping to do a headline tour next year but if we have a chance to be a support act for some other cool band again it's not a problem at all. We love touring!

What band would you love to tour with?

Oh gosh, there are many of them... Iron Maiden, Accept, U.D.O., W.A.S.P., Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Manowar, Judas Priest, Airbourne, Motörhead...

Through your music we can hear that you are strongly influenced by the metal music of the 80s. As I am a huge fan of this genre I would like to have your opinion on some bands I link to yours. Did they really inspire you?


Definitely. Accept is one of the best riff machines in the world! And I have to admit that in my opinion their new singer, Mark Tornillo, kicks some serious heavy metal ass!

Pretty Maids?

To be honest, I'm not so familiar with their music...


One of my definite favorites. Manowar has great melodies and power in their music and lyrics. Manowar has influenced my songwriting a lot. I like their "softer" side as much as their heavier side. A good example of that would be "Master of the Wind". That song truly stole my heart when I heard it.

Bon Jovi?

Not a real fan of them but they sure have some super catchy songs which I like very much indeed.

Finland is a country blessed with a very rich and varied metal scene. What are your favourite Finnish bands? Who inspired you and made you want to start a band?

Actually I'm not that much into Finnish bands but Nightwish is definitely one of my favorites. Not because we toured with them but because Tuomas is a highly talented songwriter. His great sense of melody is what caught my attention to Nightwish in the first place. And the same thing goes with Stratovarius and Timo Tolkki. I don't even know why I wanted to start a band. I guess there is something in my blood that drove me to do that. But when I started to write songs at the age of thirteen I knew I had to find some musicians in the school to play my songs with. Before that I just played acoustic guitar by myself and dreamed of having a rock band.

Let’s talk about your personal tastes and inspirations, what are your five favourite albums?

We sure have varied appetites for music so I can only speak for myself. W.A.S.P. - Unholy Terror ; Judas Priest - Painkiller ; Manowar - Kings of Metal ; Black Sabbath - Headless Cross ; Blackmore's Night - Ghost of a Rose.

It looks like the world is your oyster now. I wish you all the best. Finally, do you want to say something special to our readers?

Many thanks for reading this interview. Hope to see you on tour this autumn and don't forget to buy our new album called "Battle Beast". It's a winner! Believe me. Take care dudes and dudettes!

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