Battle Beast’s new album No More Hollywood Endings shows the group’s new direction as each song represents a unique experiment for the group. The overall style is a mix showing the softer side of these Finnish heavy metallers as well as their love for the 80s hair metal days, to adding more orchestrations. For those who’ve already listened to this album, we suggest you listen to it at least five times. It’s not something that you would instantly fall in love with such as 2017’s Bringer of Pain but, once you give it an extended listen, you may find it even more enjoyable. We spoke about this change with singer Noora Louhimo as she went into great detail including the softest song on the record, “Endless Summer.” Check out the conversation below and order the album here.
Before I get into No More Hollywood Endings, you guys have two albums out since Anton Kabanen left and I was curious on how your creative direction changed since?
Well of course now that we have more than one songwriter for our music it’s more diverse and there are more ideas and are now exploring and trying different things. Doing things the way that feels good, and yeah, so it’s very different of course nowadays. Since we had to fire Anton, it’s been already four years since that, so it’s been a kind of long time already. It’s been kind of a very hectic time.
Now about the new album, I did hear a lot of different experimentations, there’s a lot of changes in terms of style especially comparing it to 2017’s Bringer of Pain, was this overall style and experiments intentional?
Yeah. Kind of 50/50 because of course we, as musicians we want to develop ourselves all the time, and try different things. I think that people would complain if, okay some people are complaining now because you know “Oh why are you doing this so different music?” Then if we would have done the similar kind of album than the previous ones, then people would have complained about that. I think there is no way to please anyone. It’s better to just do things that make you happy and what you feel is right. Some people will like it, some people hate it, but I really like that, there are these strong emotions and not just something in between.
I completely agree with you, and no matter what we do one way or the next, there’s always going to be somebody out there saying “Why did you do that?”
Yeah. If we would follow that kind of guidance all the time just listen to other people saying and opinions, we would just blend in to some average stuff, it wouldn’t be Battle Beast, it would be something else.
How long ago did you guys start writing No More Hollywood Endings?
The earliest versions of some songs already were happening when we were touring in support of the Bringer of Pain album. It’s been a long process. Kind of the main songwriting period of time happened in the beginning of 2018, and the, half of the year it was a hectic songwriting process for the songwriters. Yeah. It’s kind of, I can’t say that it took exactly this time because for example, you’re not just music all the time, so sometimes you have some stuff in the drawer that you can actually use in the future.
How would you compare it to Bringer of Pain?
I think it’s a development. It’s more of a developed version of Bringer of Pain, what we started doing with Bringer of Pain, we wanted to develop that path in this new album and do more orchestral stuff, more emotional and kind of show this emotional and softer side of Battle Beast also, and show people that Battle Beast is not only just one kind of heavy metal music. We have so much to give and we will give that. People can always count on that, our goal is to with every album it’s a different development and of course, some people can say that this is the shittiest album of Battle Beast but, I don’t care because I think that every album is one piece of art and you know, it’s always a new thing born there. It’s like I always think about our albums separately. Also this series of different artwork that’s developed with the band.
Got you. I definitely do hear softer elements, which reminds me, the song “Endless Summer” is one that sounds the most different compared to any Battle Beast song. Can you talk to me more about the writing for that one song?
Well actually, when Joona [Björkroth] wrote that song it’s about, well he take any hint of when I said to him like, a year ago or something I told him that “I would really love to have a song from, a Battle Beast song which has this influence from Whitesnake and Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row kind of stuff,” and then he came up with the song, which is kind of memorizing, living in nostalgic feelings about some kind of summer of love, you know, that something great’s been happening. It’s kind of the “Endless Summer.” I think that song brings up this kind of memories from cool summer festivals and happy thoughts. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the album.
Awesome. I did hear a lot of 80s influence in that particular track. I see the huge change with the addition of orchestrations. Can you share more lyrical themes?
Most of the songs are actually very deep, deep stuff like, for example there is “Unbroken,” which is a song about being bullied. How the person who is bullied is going to survive and remind this person that you are not alone, that other people have been there too. Kind of tell a story about this and also empower those people who are being bullied. Also tell a message to the people who do bully that maybe you could do another, different choice because that will affect the other person’s life for the rest of their lives in a traumatic way. It’s got many different sides.
“I Wish” is about losing someone very dear to you, but you never had the chance to say the goodbye’s and you are very sad about it. This is very much dedicated to the people who have lost someone very close to you and never got to say their goodbye’s. Yeah. There’s a lot of emotional stuff.
They are also, for example, “The Hero” song, which is about, it’s an empowerment song. It’s written by our bass player Eero [Sipilä], and it’s a really fun song. I think it’s also one of the best songs on the album. I get so excited when we have rehearsals and every time we play that song I’m always just chomping, and feeling really great. It’s about you can find the super hero within yourself and conquer all of the obstacles. It’s really fun too.
There’s the “Raise Your Fists,” which is about some video game that Joona is playing. Then “The Golden Horde” is historical, this army and this division called The Golden Horde. So there are a lot of different themes and stories in the album. I think the main themes is actually empowerment and also dealing with painful stuff.
With the music, the changed direction, with the orchestral arrangements, and now a video game as an influence, has this writing developed while Joona played video games during your tour or were you inspired during your time touring with Kamelot?
Well, of course everything is influence. Kamelot has a really great light and great show I think overall. Of course that also gives us a good example that, what is a good show and which direction we want to go, but of course we want to do things in our own way. It’s always good to work with professional people and see how things are done in different ways, so that you can actually learn from that. Also develop your own things. I think every tour with different bands that we’ve been touring has been very thoughtful for us.
You guys are really great live. You’re performance during 70,000 Tons of Metal was one of the best shows from last year, your energy is amazing, would you guys ever consider booking your own headlining tour in the United States?
Of course, but we really need to do work. We need to tour a lot there before we get our own tour because it’s not cheap to tour in States and also because nowadays the records are not selling so much. You do all the incoming with your shows. I think the very, the best way to go on is that we keep on doing these tours as a warm up band for the bands who have already a good fan base in the States, and also that way get for us new fans from there, and then someday in few years I hope, we have enough audience that we can actually have our own headlining tour. Definitely that is always in the future, and in our goals. To have our own headlining tours anywhere in the world.
How do you personally think that you’ve evolved as a singer since you’ve joined Battle Beast back years ago?
Well, it’s been already seven years, and I think it’s been a crazy ride. Very hectic all the time, but I think I, it’s been the best school for me as a performer and a vocalist, and also as a person because it’s very tough. Music business is very tough and you have to have a thick skin and kind of healthy self-esteem that you can actually do this job. So it’s been very developing in so many ways. I’m so grateful every day that I can do this work, and I can tour around the world and actually, when I was a kid, since I was four years old I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to perform. Now I’m doing it and it’s like I’m just, I’m living my dream so I’m very grateful.
Is there anything else that you want to say or add about the album?
Well, I want to say No More Hollywood Endings is something that will show the direction that Battle Beast is going, but it’s also not showing the way because it’s like we always want to surprise our fans and our new listeners. I really hope that people in States like our music and we get to do more tours there, because I really like it there when, I like the culture when we come there and tour. People actually come, this small talk culture that you have, I really like it because I’m very talkative and I really like to talk with people. People are so welcoming there. I wish that we can get there many, many times again.
Awesome. I have to say album, it does take a few extra listens, more than Bringer of Pain, but once you warm up to it, you end up loving it as much as that album, if not more. I think it’s a great album, and I like how you guys start with “Unbroken” and it ends up with “The Golden Horde” because they’re probably the two heaviest tracks, so it opens and ends on a similar note.
Thank you very much.