Finnish melodic Metal powerhouse Battle Beast will be back in March with a new album, aptly entitled ‘No More Hollywood Endings.’ This latest release takes a deep dive into the power and passion of the 80s, but is far more than a retro nostalgia trip; it’s a compelling re-imagination of all the things that made the music of that era great, while locating itself firmly in modern-day Metal as well. Bassist Eero Sipila elaborates, “We didn’t plan on doing anything differently. So basically we had all the same elements. We had pretty much the same sort of recording process. We used the same studio, we had the same producer, who was Janne , our keyboard player. But it’s just turned out different. We brought in a live string section, but we didn’t do much different. That’s part of the magic of doing music. Stuff just happens!” he chuckles.
On the topic of Björkroth’s production, Sipila continues, “For us it’s a very nice situation. The studio / rehearsal place is close to where we all live, so it’s no problem to go in there whenever we want. We don’t have to pay any outsider any rent or anything like that. We can spend a lot of time working on it, and it’s also a natural creative space for us because we all hang out there so much. You run into each other there. It allows us to have kind of a more loose way of working. I mean, it’s not loose,” he clarifies, “because we have to work a shit-tonne, especially our producer!”
Reflecting on whether a lack of external feedback proves a challenge, Sipila determines, “Not really. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have it, but on the other hand, we’re a band that does crazy stuff! You know, some big-time producer could say, ‘You can’t put this on the album, and you can’t put this and that song because those don’t mix,’ but still, there are six people in the band. We all have our own musical history and background and expertise, so I think there’s enough feedback you can get from within the band. Of course, there are a lot of other musicians who aren’t in the band at the studio, and they do give us feedback anyway of course when they hear the songs we’re recording. But I don’t think we would need an outside producer in that sense, to tell us what to do. It would probably only hurt us.”
Sipila then turns his attention to the deeper history behind ‘No More Hollywood Endings.’ “Ever since we put out the last album pretty much two years ago, we’ve spent most of the time on the road. And for us at least, we can’t really do song writing while we’re touring, so there was a bit of a worry; do we have adequate time to get the songs together to get to the studio and start recording? But we did it!” he laughs. “It was a bit of a gamble really. We would have liked to have maybe had more time, or have the album sooner, but we just had those offers coming in to do this tour and do that tour, go there and go here. And that’s something you have to do, you have to keep touring, you have to keep yourself relevant. So it’s always a balance, the touring and the recording. But in the end, I’m very happy with how the songs came together. I think we had 15 or 16 songs ready, and out of those songs 11 made it to the album. So that was a good spot for us, not having to use every song if we didn’t think they were as strong as some others.”
The next leg of Battle Beast’s vigorous touring regime will be a European tour with Arion, a local Helsinki band who Sipila expresses his fondness for. “They’re a young band from Helsinki like us, and we’ve always liked them. We’ve actually wanted to have them for a tour for a long time because when we started out, when we did our first tour, we toured in support of Nightwish, and then with Sonata Arctica. We kind of had this thing that back in the day, those bands helped us to get up on our feet, and now we want to help somebody else and keep the good stuff rolling. When somebody helps us, we want to help somebody else. I think in general, that’s a good atmosphere between Finnish bands. They want to help each other. For us, those guys from Arion, they’re insanely talented musicians, and I always feel bad; why haven’t these guys toured Europe before? I’m really anxious to see them on the tour every night, and I’m really happy that we could give them this chance. It’s such a cool thing for them.”
Hot on the heels of the European tour will be a North American run. “Basically it’s a tour in support of Kamelot, like we did a year ago, but we’re also branching out a bit. We’re doing some shows with just Sonata Arctica, who are the other support band; and we’re doing some shows just us as a headliner. So we’re trying to spread our wings over the US, do as much touring there as possible and see how it turns out. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. We’ve toured Europe a lot, so the US – I’m not saying it’s any better, but for us, it feels like a fresh challenge. And we can visit all those places we don’t know that well.”
If you’re in Europe or the US, make sure you catch Battle Beast on tour – their new material will blow you away!
BATTLE BEAST’S ‘NO MORE HOLLYWOOD ENDINGS’ IS OUT MARCH 22ND. PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE!