Interview by Ary R.
With an upcoming album that will be released for Nuclear Blast, Finnish metal band Battle Beast is ready to bring its music around Europe. Femme Metal had the honor to exchange some words with front woman Nitte Valo, who revealed to us something about the new album and she also spoke of her own impressions about the amazing tour that will see the Finnish guys with one of the most famous Finnish band around: Nightwish.
Hi Nitte and welcome to Femme Metal.net First of all, let me thank you for having stopped here and giving us a chance to have a chat with us. How are you doing?
Hi! I’m doing great! I’m preparing for Christmas in cold and rainy, but not so snowy Finland.
You’re the lead singer of the Finnish heavy metal band Battle Beast. Would you like to introduce yourself to those people who still don’t know you and/or your band?
Battle Beast are Anton Kabanen (Guitar, lead and backing vocals), Juuso Soinio (Guitar), Pyry Vikki (Drums), Eero Sipilä (Bass and backing vocals), Janne Björkroth (Keyboards and backing vocals) and then there is me, Nitte Valo (Lead vocals) .Recently you’ve signed to one of the biggest companies ever: Nuclear Blast. How did this happen?
Well… It happened so fast.. Nuclear Blast contacted us. Then sooner than we even realized the fact we got signed to them… And that was really good thing.Your debut album is called “Steel” and it will be released on January 27th 2012 for Nuclear Blast but it was previously released in April with another company. Why did you decide to reissue again the album?
Because it wasn’t released anywhere else than in Finland and so many people from around the world was very willing to get that album. So why to make a new one yet, if we can release a good ‘old’ one for Nuclear Blast.
Why have you chosen this title for the album? And what could you tell me about the artwork? It’s a very curious one
We are hard as steel! And of course it’s the one of the songs in the album. Roman Ismailov does our artwork. He is a good friend of Anton and he’s been working with the band since the official foundation which occurred in 2008.
How did the process of the song-writing happen?
Anton does all the songs with every detail in his home alone. And when a song is composed and arranged he’ll presents it to us and then we start rehearsing it.
What is the most beautiful part in recording an album?
Most beautiful part…well.. maybe the most beautiful part is when you get your ‘baby’ in your hands
Let’s talk about lyrics: where does the inspiration to write music and lyrics come from?
Because Anton is the guy wo does all the lyrics and writes music for Battle Beast by himself, he could be the right person to answer this question.. but he gets his ideas from cyberpunk related movies, literature and pictures. Also he get’s inpirations from the Japanese dark fantasy manga and anime series called “Berserk” by Kentarou Miura. Of course some of the older action and sci-fi movies inspires him too. Personally I’m not so huge fan of all those inspirations what Anton has but most important thing is that I can still reveal those feelings and moods what Anton wants to tell to people with his lyrics and songs.And about the arrangement and music?
Again I have to answer that Anton is the guy who does all the magic!How much of yourself do you put in the writing/recording an album?
Even if I’m not participating writing or song making process I put my whole soul in it. I give my everything to album with my voice and my feelings.
Talking about your voice skills, someone has said that you are like the female version of Fabio Lione (with much more vocal extension) which meets a little part of Manowar. Do you agree with this statement?
I don’t feel that it’s necessary to compare my voice with someone else voice(s). Every singer, female or male has their own voice to sing. For me, it’s more important that I have my own sound and style to sing. I can’t, or I don’t even want, to have same kind of singing style or voice than someone else has already. I just want to sing with my own style.
Vocally speaking I’ve also noticed that you use “a little” vibrato. Is that the result of some innate talent or have you done some study to use it?
It has to be somekind of innate talent because I haven’t taken much singing lessons. When did you start to sing?
I’ve started to sing before I started to talk… But first time when I was singing with the band was when I was twelve or thirteen years old. Did you ever think, even when you were a child, that this passion for music would have lead you to these levels? Carrying you with your own band touring Europe with bands that have a great reputation worldwide, like, for example, Nightwish…
Of course it has been my dream for a long time. So I guess that nowadays I have to be careful what I’m dreaming because now I’ve seen that my dreams can really come true! I”ve listened to “Steel” and I”ve noticed that your voice is quite versatile, as I”ve heard for “Savage and Saint” or “Iron Hand”, where there’s also some classical singing (albeit slightly). I like these two songs so much and your voice shows off a great ability in fitting perfectly the songs and the music itself. What could you tell about this?
Like I said before, I just try to reveal those feelings and moods what Anton wants to tell to people with his lyrics and songs. If some part of song needs to be sung with classical or operatic style then I’ll just do it. And of course I have somekind of sense in myself how I should sing in different parts in different songs. As I”ve mentioned, there’s a track, called “Savage and Saint”, that there is a ballad, actually. Why have you decided to put a ballad in this album? Was it previously decided or was it decided randomly?
“Savage and Saint” fits just perfectly in our first album. And I think that “Savage and Saint” is great warrior-ballad. It’s not so soft and cry-baby ballad, it get’s heavier from the middle of that song. Actually I don’t even think that song as a ballad. What kind of music has inspired you and your way of singing? Is there anyone who influenced you, musically speaking?
I’ve always liked and listened the bands like W.A.S.P, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar.. etcetc. I know that I can’t sing like those guys are singing and actually I don’t even want to. I want to be me with my own voice. Strangely I haven’t listen so many female singers. Except Angela from Arch Enemy. But I have to say that Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) inspires me a lot with his style of singing. As I”ve mentioned a few lines above, you’ll join Nightwish in this upcoming tour. What do you think of this great experience you’ll start with these guys?
This was one of the greatest things what has happened! We are waiting eagerly to get on tour with them. This is so great opportunity for us and we are grateful to Nightwish that they wanted to take us with them on tour. How did you react when you discovered that Battle Beast would have toured with Nightwish?
First I thought that somebody is joking with me but then after a while I realized that tour with Nightwish is really true. Maybe I ran around screaming for happiness and excitement for a while but I bet some of you have done the same thing too. What is your own opinion about female fronted metal bands?
Some of female fronted metal bands are so similar with each others… same kind of clothes, same kind of way to sing… I’m not saying that it’s bad thing, but in my opinion you always have to have something how you stand out from the mass. Is there a particular band you would like to cooperate with in future? Maybe for a studio project or why not a tour?
I can’t say any specific band. I think that each band with whom we are cooperating in the future will teach us something. What’s new now for Battle Beast?
To make a killer second album in some point in the future and to get more tours abroad. And all the while having a blast doing it! Ok, thank you so much Nitte for the great chat. Is there something you would like to tell to your own fans and Femme Metal readers?
Thank you very much! Thanks for reading this interview. I hope you guys and girls come to our shows and become Battle Beast fans! Remember to buy our album “Steel” as well if you don’t own it yet! And a big thanks to our fans who listen to our music, come to the shows and keep spreading the word about us.