It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Finnish heavy metallers Battle Beast. Since their formation in 2008, they have made quite a few changes, including replacing original vocalist Nitte Valo with Noora Louhimo and the most recent firing of founding guitarist Anton Kabanen. Kabanen was the main songwriter, and after his departure, the band’s future was in question. However, they conquered their battle, so to speak, and released their fourth studio album, Bringer of Pain, last February via Nuclear Blast. It’s the album that brought them to tour North America for the first time. Luckily for us, we were there for their first show in New York City last Friday (21) as they opened the night for Sabaton’s Last Tour. Despite all of the excitement, we were lucky enough to catch up with bassist/vocalist Eero Sipilä discussing their successful run, the new album and hopes for future accomplishments.
I’m very excited for you guys, this is your first time here in New York City and first in the States. How does this journey feel? You’ve had quite an experience since 2008, with lineup changes and firing the founding guitarist, so I know the ride hasn’t been an easy one, how has it been?
Well to put the last five years or so in a sentence, it’s going to be a tough job but it’s been quite a ride, you can say that. Yeah, we are now, here. Honestly, I never knew when we started this band that this would ever happen, that we would actually make the states. It’s been really cool so far, we had two great shows. I’m probably overwhelmed by the audience response so far. Yeah, totally cool so far.
I have to say, a lot of people have been waiting for you guys to come here. It’s, of course, an experience for you but it’s a great experience for the fans as well. It must have been very difficult when you had to let go of Anton, how long did it take you guys to regroup and come together with the solid new album Bringer of Pain?
Well, that’s a hard question to answer. It was definitely hard and I think it took everyone some time with everyone to come up with the new situation and to develop a new confidence. Like we can do this, we can write songs of our own and totally pull it off. Yeah, I can’t really answer the question too particularly. Yeah, it was hard. The assumptions you made are completely correct, once we got the wheels rolling, it just got easier and the confidence kept growing and the songs got better. And here we are now, the new album is the most successful that we had so far.
There’s a lot of classic 80s heavy metal mixed with pop and a few modern to slower elements on the new album and even heard a hint of synthpop the track “The Eclipse” How did you guys come up with these new experiments and arrangements?
I wouldn’t call them like experiments. We all just did songs, everybody wrote songs and then we together we decided on the songs that sounded best and put it on the album. I think at this point it’s become our thing, we can do stuff that people won’t expect. On our last album (2015’s Unholy Savior), we had “Touch In The Night,” that was the first time people heard from that album and everybody else was like, “What the hell? Why throw this out there? They are total shit nowadays.” When they hear the whole album, it’s just a part of a big picture. We wanted to do that, keep the album very diverse. At least to me, it seems like a lot of bands these days, they stick to one formula they make the same kind of song all over. We don’t do that, we do a lot of different stuff and I bet a lot of people hate us for it.
No, I love you guys for it.
I hear 80s pop, I hear classic heavy metal, I just loved the new album. I remember walking my dog while listening to it and it brings such a great optimistic energy. Since you guys are here for the first time, would you consider coming back?
Yes definitely, like I said before, the two first nights have been amazing. Yesterday, we had a lot of technical issues before the show. We all had to use in-ear monitors and all I could hear was the click track, I couldn’t hear Noora and nothing from the guitars. It was like, ‘oh no! It’s going to be terrible.’ But the audience, it was like, I didn’t know it would be like that. They were so into it and full of energy, screaming, jumping and shouting. I was totally positively surprised about the show. I was expecting something so much lamer. We definitely want to come back, it’s all about money. We are 6 people plus crew and flight tickets, and cases to go with us. It’s money that’s keeping us down. We’d love to tour more here with a full production and a full show.
Would you ever consider 70000tons of Metal?
We have! We would love to do it, it’s been in the talks. We are not the biggest band on the planet so far, but it’s a tough competition if we have a deal, you know if we lose $10,000 doing it then it’s not worth it. If we end up breaking even at 70000tons of metal, then we would do it.