The name of the band indicates, that we’re dealing with one of the very few true metal bands, that are around today. BATTLE BEAST hails from Finland and they really know to rock the world there, that’s for sure. The band released a single earlier this year, called “Show Me How To Die”, but with the release of their debut full-length album “Steel” (this title tells you more about them than a whole book could tell), they gained our interest even more. The band won the Wacken Metal Battle in 2010 and appeared at the Finnish Metal Expo. Need we say more? All of this is only just the beginning of a hopefully prospering career. If you are curious about what six true metal believers have got to say, then this is your chance to grab a chair and enjoy the chat we had over the email with BATTLE BEAST, a true metal band from Finland, who states that ‘the journey has just begun’. The story of their journey starts in the next interview....
When was BATTLE BEAST founded and how did you meet up with eachother?
Anton: ”Officially, BATTLE BEAST was founded in 2008. Pyry, Juuso and I were school friends and we've been playing together for many years before the foundation of the band. Nitte and the rest of the guys were added after auditions later on.”
Did any of the band members play in other bands before BATTLE BEAST? And if
yes, did they record anything with these bands?
Anton: ”I don't think any of us had any serious band things going on before BATTLE BEAST, except for Janne. Janne also plays in BRYMIR, which is signed to Spinefarm Records. They've released one album so far.”
Who actually came up with the band name?
Anton: ”That would be me. I came up with it quite spontaneously, although it was partially influenced by a certain fictional character. The name is easily memorable and I believe it captures the themes and the imagery of the songs.”
Please introduce yourself here and tell us what instrument(s) you play.
Anton: ”The Beast are Pyry Vikki on drums, Juuso Soinio on guitar, Eero Sipilä on bass and backing vocals, Nitte Valo on vocals and Janne Björkroth on keyboards and backing vocals. Then there's me, Anton Kabanen. I do vocals and guitar.”
Who can we see as the biggest influence for BATTLE BEAST, and maybe you can
also point out some of the influences of each band member individually?
Anton: ”I am a firm believer, that there's only good and bad music. Anything that sounds good can be used as an influence. But to point out some of my personal favourite bands I will say W.A.S.P., MANOWAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT and BLACK SABBATH (the Tony Martin era).”
How would you describe your music?
Anton: ”Heavy metal. Simple, effective and catchy.”
In a short period of time, your career has taken quite a boost. Among other highlights, you won the W.O.A. Metal Battle in 2010 in Finland and the accompanied prize to play at the famous Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. When will that take place? And are you looking forward to that?
Anton: ”It was in August. We were really thrilled about it. W:O:A is a great festival and we'd love to play there again.”
After the single release of “Show Me How To Die” back in January, you now released your debut album "Steel". What’s the response been like so far?
Anton: ”Some love it, some hate it. But that's the way it goes. We are a band, that divides opinions strongly. Most of the critics however have been extremely positive.”
Who writes the songs for BATTLE BEAST and how do you people go about, when
writing new songs?
Anton: ”I write all the songs for us. I do the writing process alone and when a song is completed I present it to the band and we start rehearsing it.”
Who writes the lyrics for the band, and can you tell us what they are about?
Anton: ”I write all the lyrics as well. Most of the lyrics are based on a cyberpunk influenced story I've been creating. The story takes place in a futuristic and distant planet, which is dominated by artificial intelligence, in other words, computers and machines. They are so called ’Heavy Metal Gods’. They create their own bizarre minions to help them annihilate the remaining humans. The protagonist is the immortal Beast, who possesses the power to rise against the machines.”
Let's take a close look at your live shows now. What's the metal scene like in Finland? Are there many clubs where you can play live, and maybe you can name us a few bands that come from this area too?
Anton: ”Generally, people listen pretty much different types of heavy rock and metal here in Finland, but when it comes to true heavy metal there's not so much listeners for that. Helsinki has a lots of clubs where to play live, at least compared to the rest of Finland. There's so many bands here, so it's too hard to pick. And I actually don't even listen to Finnish bands that much.”
What will people expect, when they come to see a live show of BATTLE BEAST? Do you use any show effects (pyro, etc.) at all?
Anton: ”Pure heavy metal from beginning to end. We always give it everything we've got.”
Do you play any covers or do you stick to your own penned material only? Which covers do you play during your live sets?
Anton: ”We've played “Wild Child” by WASP on many live shows, but we haven't recorded any covers yet. It would be cool to record a cover of JUDAS PRIEST's “Riding On The Wind”. It's one of my favorites.”
Which song is the most difficult one to play live and why?
Anton: ”I think all the songs are about equally challenging to perform.”
What's the crowd’s favorite song?
Anton: ”It's hard to tell, but I think it's either “Show Me How To Die” or “Enter The Metal World”, since they are our best known songs.”
I bet, you can tell some nice stories about ‘live on the road’ with BATTLE BEAST. I hope, that you want to dig into your memory and come up with some nice stories for our readers?
Nitte: ”Every gig we play is memorable one way or another. Sometimes the car breaks down, sometimes an amp blows up. Of course bigger shows like W:O:A are always something to remember. But all in all, every time we're on the road, it's an adventure.”
What do you think of the metal scene today, are there any bands that you like to hear in particular?
Nitte: ”Nowadays there are thousands of metal bands, who all have their different thing and different audience. Still the scene is missing the real flagbearer, like IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA were in the day. There really is no mainstream of metal nowadays.”
Are you writing for a new album yet, and maybe you can reveal something here?
Anton: ”The material for the next album is already written. The songs continue to focus on that cyberpunk influenced story. So the themes are “Man vs. Machine” kind of a thing. But that's not all.”
How important is the internet for a band like BATTLE BEAST? And where can we find your website?
Nitte: ”For us, internet is everything. That's where all is happening for us. Our official homepage can be found at http://www.battlebeast.fi. We also have a great Facebook community, which is really active.”
Do you have any goals for BATTLE BEAST?
Nitte: ”Superstardom? There really are no limits for us.”
We strongly believe, that the metal scene has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years . Do you agree with that?
Nitte: ”That's a tough one. Metal has been very popular in Finland for long, so it's hard to tell from this perspective.”
On the other hand, we also believe the music scene has changed a lot. It seems to be all about the money nowadays and not if you have any talent or not. What's your opinion here?
Nitte: ”The industry definately has changed with the arrival of the internet and everything and the changes far from simple. The way I see it, tosome extent the music scene has always been about money. But honestly, I really don't think anyone without any talent has ever made any money in this business.”
Any final words?
Anton: ”Thanks to everybody who has supported us so far. Looking forward to see you guys on tour!”
Visit BATTLE BEAST's official website at: www.hypeproductions.fi/battlebeast/
or on My Space: www.myspace.com/battlebeastband