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Anton Kabanen (Battle Beast)

Interview with Anton Kabanen from Battle Beast
by Angela "The Hunter" at 28 May 2013, 9:38 PM

Since the band’s debut album, the Finnish BATTLE BEAST underwent slight changes, especially with the replacement of their lead vocalist. Recently the band released its second album, a bit darker the previous, under a self-titled name, once again via Nuclear Blast Records. Angela “The Hunter” talked with the band’s leader, Anton Kabanen, regarding the new album, his personal history and perceptions and more…

Hails and cheers from Metal Temple! Thank you so much for answering our questions; your time is greatly appreciated. Where did the name Battle Beast come from?

Hello! Nice to be here. Well, first of all, I came up with the name already in 2005 or 2006, not sure which year. We weren't a full band back then and I had already written a lot of songs basically just for myself at that point. I wanted a name that would describe my music – strong and powerful. The name was partially inspired by an 80's cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe but in the end it came up quite spontaneously as I just found the right words. The funny thing is that Battle Beast also appears to be a cartoon series, action figures and a video game but I wasn't aware of that until after the band was named!

Battle Beast has an amazing release coming out; can you tell us about the album? Is it a concept album?

This album represents a new beginning in our career. Major changes took place in the course of making this record. The biggest one was the replacement of the lead singer. Our singer left the band in the middle of the process without any warning so we were in big trouble! Luckily we found Noora, our new lead singer, quite fast and got back on the saddle and continued the journey with a fresh breeze.

It's not really a concept album but you could say that it's divided into three different concepts or categories. The main story is about the adventures of the Beast and other characters in the machine dominated world and universe. The story doesn't proceed in a chronological order though. It's more like a cartoon series where each song represents an individual episode. The songs are heavily inspired by science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy. Most of them tend to focus on strong characters who live on the edge, who are on the brink of survival, who look danger and death in the eye and say ”Come get some!” That's the philosophy and the nature of Battle Beast.

The second category is based on the Berserk-anime and manga. I'm a huge fan of this particular series. You might wanna check it out. You won't regret! In the matter of fact the story reaches amazing heights and the characters in it are very strong personas. The album has four songs based on Berserk. Out Of Control, Golden Age, Kingdom and Fight, Kill, Die.

The last category is open. It's about everything else that's not directly related to either of the stories mentioned earlier. For instance, the song Rain Man is based on my personal experiences but Neuromancer on the other hand is a song inspired by a novel of the same name.

Where was it recorded? Who produced it?

It was recorded in JKB Studios, Helsinki. It's the studio of our keyboardist, Janne, and it's our rehearsal place, as well. Unlike on the first record where we had an outside producer, this time we did everything ourselves. I was the main producer and Janne was the co-producer. We have never produced an album before so this was a challenge. We wanted to have total control of the production and this gave us the possibility to concentrate more on the details and create a sound that's closer to what were hoping to  get already on the first album.

Is there an upcoming tour?

We are heading on a European tour starting September 26th. This time we'll be supporting Powerwolf. It's gonna be a killer tour! But we're hoping to finally do a headline tour after that one.

What are a few memorable experiences you have had on the road, good or bad?

Oh gosh, hard to choose. When the atmosphere on a tour is great you're in a kind of a flow and fun and good things happen all the time. I'd say that the tour with Nightwish and then with Sonata Arctica were both unforgettable.

To me the worst thing was that I was ill on both of those tours. My throat was killing me and that sucked big time because I also had to sing.

Who has been the most fun to tour with so far?

Nightwish and Sonata Arctica. But it's the whole experience that counts, so in this case I will have to go with Nightwish. And you can witness some of that craziness on our tour blogs.

Here's the part one.:

It gets only better and better when you get to the third part! Don't say I didn't warn you…

Who would you say has had the greatest impact on you as a musician?

Impossible to name just one. Uhmm, well, Jason Becker is one of my heroes. You should read his story. The guy's a miracle and an unbelievable composer. Michael Angelo Batio is my favorite guitarist when it comes to guitar playing techniques. Blackie Lawless has also had a great impact on me. His songs are killers!

Where do you seek inspiration from to write songs?

Movies, books, cartoons, visual art, people, fictional characters, myself, life, nature, the world, the universe and etc. The seeds of music can be found in anything that gives birth to a feeling or thought. I try to express myself through my songwriting as honestly as possible. Every song on the album was written with all my heart and soul poured into it. A Battle Beast song can be naïve or serious but it's always done with integrity.

Where would you say your most passionate fans live?

Let me put it this way, I think that a Battle Beast-fan is a Battle Beast-fan no matter where he or she comes from and that's all that matters to us.

Has the band’s sound changed at all from your previous release Steel, to Battle Beast?

Definitely. Steel wasn't heavy enough and it lacked a lot of concentration on the details. It doesn't sound like a Battle Beast-album to me. Hence we took care of the production duties on this new album and the result is very Battle Beast-ish. Our future albums will be self-produced, as well.

And finally, where can fans find all they want to know about Battle Beast?

Join our official facebook-site and you'll find all the important information about us! Battle Beast | Facebook

Once again, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer our questions. We at Metal Temple wish you nothing but the best of luck on the road ahead. Cheers!

Thank you! Take care, dudes and dudettes!


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