Noora Louhimo – Battle Beast

Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi

What a great year for Battle Beast! After a great tour that has seen them supporting Nightwish and a huge change in the lineup, where the singer Nitte Valo decided in parting ways, this band from Helsinki comes back with a super news. Having announced the new vocalist Noora Louhimo, these guys embarked on a new European tour, supporting Sonata Arctica, and they focused themselves on the second (and of the same name of the band) record, already acclaimed by the press as a new masterpiece, so we’ve got the chance to exchange some words with the beautiful Noora, for a very simple chat.
 
Hi Noora and welcome to Femme Metal. Let’s start our chat with the very first question: would you mind to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello dear readers, I’m Noora Louhimo. I’m a singer from Finland and been singing since I was 4 years old. My passion has always been music and different ways of expressing myself as an artist. I do many things in music including heavy metal, soul, rock and blues and everything between heaven and hell. Different influences keeps me in balance and inspires as a singer.

As everybody knows, you’re the new lead singer for Battle Beast and you’ve replaced the former one, Nitte Valo, who parted ways with the band for personal reasons last year. How did it happen in being chosen as the singer for this band?

Last year’s September(2012) I got a call from Anton that they wanted me to join Battle Beast. I had heard their music and loved the sound and the vocals so the next day I called Anton and said I’m in. Anton found me by accident on YouTube when he was searching for the new vocalist. He had been looking for a vocalist, male or female no matter, only thing mattered was that one sing his songs without compromises

As the new band member, have you got the chance to bring some new element in the band sound? Have you also got the chance to bring your cooperation for this second album?

I brought my voice, that’s one thing 🙂 We’ve been talking with Anton about me being also involved doing some songs but in “Battle Beast” the songs were already written and recording had already started when I joined the band.

Let’s talk about the record: I’ve noticed that there are a few slight influence in the sound, there’s a new singer, the band itself has produced and mixed the record. What are the other main differences compared to the first record?

As you said the main differences are that there’s a new vocalist and our band produced and mixed the album for the first time ever. Also the keyboards are playing a bigger role in “Battle Beast”. Now we got the chance to do the album as the way we wanted but of course we are going to do our best to do the 3rd album even better.

Have you seen and read the reviews about this record? Have you got some nice feedbacks from the media and fans as well?

Yes, there has been lot of good feedbacks from the media and the fans. So thank you. Couldn’t be happier!

Is there any particular song that you like the most in this record?

I love the whole album because it’s my first album and we did really hard work as soon as possible. But if I have to name one song it would be “Let it roar”: just the energy, the message and the feeling.

The single “Black Ninja” has been chosen as the official videoclip for this record. Would you mind to tell us something more about this video? If I’m not wrong, it took something like 5 hours for the shooting…

It was an awesome experience! It took maybe about five hours with the band and couple of hours with “Ninja”. Had a blast just banging heads and having lot of laughs.

And what about the song, instead? From a very first listening, I’ve seen that your voice is very versatile. It starts with a very melodic and “soft” tone / melody, ending with a very “scratched” voice by way of Judas Priest or Ronnie James Dio

I loooove to do as many things with my voice as possible. There’s nothing better than trying different things and finding new ways of using your voice. In “Black Ninja” the greatest thing was bringing the feminine AND the masculine side out.

Let’s talk about your voice. What could you tell us about your music education? What are the artists or bands that has influenced you the most in your way of singing?

I’ve been singing since I was 4 years old. While being a huge fan of heavy metal of 80’s and a teenager  I had some classical singing lessons when I was 16 years old. Then at the age of 19 I started studying music in pop/jazz-line. At the same time I started going some jam sessions at bars. There I found my first band(Admiral Octopus) in “Bluesbar”. We used to play rock and blues music from 60’s-70’s and Janis Joplin was the reason I got the rasp in my voice. After Admiral Octopus 2011 I took part in singing competition (“Wanna Be a Rock n’ Roll Star”) at Henry’s Pub of Tampere and won it with Janis Joplin‘s “Piece of My Heart”. That’s how my single “Relax” was born. Ann Wilson is the biggest idol for me after Janis Joplin. I got influences from many singers: for example Whitney Houston, Bonnie Tyler, Tina Turner, Ann Wilson, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Blackie Lawless, Robert Halford etc. The list is endless.

Talking about tour, we can say that last year Battle Beast’s fans got the chance to see you twice on tour, first with Nightwish and then with Sonata Arctica, both great Finnish metal bands. We know that you joined the band later and you got the opportunity to tour with Sonata Arctica only. What could you say about this great experience?

Sonata Arctica with their crew were great people and friendly so we were really lucky to get on tour with them. As a first ever-tour for me it was a life changing experience and made me absolutely sure that I’m born to be on the road. Everything felt so natural for me and with the guys in Battle Beast.

How do you feel in sharing this experience you’re living with such a great band as yours, primarily formed by boys?

As I have told anyone who’s asked that question: I love it. Always been working mostly with guys in music business so it’s very natural for me. Actually I don’t feel like being in a men’s band: it’s Battle Beast!

Which is the song you prefer to sing live on stage? What could you say about singing the evergreen classics like “Enter the Metal World”, “Steel” or “Show Me How to Die”? I’ve once listened to your own version of “Iron Hand” and you totally blown me away… Congratulations!

I prefer every song Anton wrote. No favorites, just doing the best as possible on stage with every song. Those songs you mentioned are part of the reason I wanted to join the band and the way I sing in Battle Beast. As long as the music is straight forward, 80’s kind, with modern twist of a heavy metal I’m very pleased.

What could we expect by the new Battle Beast? An headliner tour, perhaps? Do you have something new in mind?

You can expect anything from us and of course we’re hoping to get our own headliner-tour as soon as possible. Meanwhile we’re going to concentrate on doing more music for you guys !

Thanks for your own time Noora. Final words to your for our readers and your fans out there!

Dear readers and old&new fans, go and get your own “Battle Beast” if you don’t have it yet and join the Battle Beast -army. See you on tours! Let’s shake the roof off together 😉 Release the beast!!!!!

 

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