Over the past few years BATTLE BEAST have become one of Finland’s rising stars in Heavy Metal. Their powerful music reaching the airwaves and their passionate live performances gaining interest on a worldwide scale. Could they join the list of Finnish Metal legends along the likes of NIGHTWISH, SONATA ARCTICA and CHILDREN OF BODOM? Most definitely. ‘Bringer Of Pain’ is due for release in less than a month via Nuclear Blast Records.
Power Of Metal’s Lotty Whittingham spoke to front woman Noora Louhimo about this new release, her vocal techniques and her work out routine.
How are you doing this morning?
Noora Louhimo: Actually, I woke up an hour and a half ago; this is the life of a musician. Last night I was at a gig with one party band, it was a long night and we did five sets.
Wait five sets in one night?
Noora: Yep [laughs]. I am professional singer so I don’t do just Battle Beast, I do different kinds of stuff. I’ve always wanted to be that kind of singer that does different kinds of music, for most musicians that’s normal as they don’t want to stick to just one style.
What other styles of music do you sing other than Heavy Metal?
Noora: Well Heavy Metal is actually the newest thing for me as a vocalist, I’ve listened to it since I was a teenager but back then I didn’t think I’d be able to be a Heavy Metal vocalist. My history as a vocalist; I’ve been singing since I was a kid; so pop stuff, blues and soul music, a lot of different genres.
At some point, I started singing more blues and rock music then I started singing Janis Joplin and that was where I found the raspiness in my voice. That was when I was about nineteen years old, I’m now 28.
That’s surprising to hear since you are new to metal when I think you are one of the best metal vocalists around.
Noora: It shows that you don’t have to necessarily be a heavy metal singer to start singing heavy metal. For me personally, it’s about using my voice as much as possible in different ways and to use different sounds. That’s an interesting thing about the human voice, there’s such a variety of sounds in your voice alone. So, that is something I am really interested in. I also give vocal and performance coaching because I feel it is very important to pass it on, the knowledge that I have.
I have a question from a fellow vocalist: she wants to know what techniques and strategies you use to get that fire and passion in your voice.
Noora: She can find my contact details on my coaching page Sing Like A Beast by Noora Luhimo, she can actually have some Skype lessons with me if she wants to. In the future I hope to have a Sing Like A Beast clinic for groups of people who want to have a workshop in performing and vocals. My main goal is that I want to go touring with that concept and spread the talent around.
In Finland is quite hard to become a professional musician? In the UK, it is quite hard to become a professional musician.
Noora: It’s not too complicated but you have to have so much passion and determination. You have to be compulsive with it; when I go to sleep, I think about and when I get up I think about it. Music is the most important thing in my life and it has to be if you want to become a professional musician, in a good way it’s a disease. You just have to do it, those people who have that mindset tend to become professional musicians.
People should always think about this perspective; what is success? Is success to do with money, with fame or with being happiest person on the planet? I would pick the last option, it doesn’t come from the money and the fame. When you keep being good to people that are close to you, that is the most important thing. You must remember, even if you get the money or the fame the people are the most important thing. Nobody likes to celebrate alone.
I also think giving people tips helps, people feel so much pressure about getting successful or you know becoming a professional musician. That is something you stress about but I think you shouldn’t stress about it, you just have to do a lot of work; that means you have to sell yourself all the time. There are times and places to do it, just not funerals or weddings. Weddings can be a good place to do it. You always have to sell yourself as you never know where you will find contacts, so always keep your business cards with you, always talk to people about what you are doing and don’t talk down on yourself. Don’t say things like ‘I’m not so good’ or ‘I do a little of this’ because people don’t want to hear that, so always bring up the best qualities about yourself. That is not lying, that is selling yourself and you don’t have to lie if you tell the truth about yourself when you say ‘I am good at this and that’
That’s what I have been doing all my life and that is why I’m here now.
Let’s talk about Battle Beast’s upcoming album ‘Bringer Of Pain’; I read in the press release that your music relates to what you have said so far, about doing your best and not giving up. I take it that’s the message behind ‘Bringer Of Pain’ too.
Noora: Yes, that is true, this is the first album with the latest line up of the band. Before this album, there was only one song writer but we had to go separate ways with him two years ago, due to artistic and personal differences. So, we couldn’t fix the situation but think after the two years it was the best decision we could make because we are now doing the stuff we love to do and in the way we love to do it. So, in the end I think everything went quite right
This album has that touch of Battle Beast and it contains that something for everyone. You don’t necessarily need to be a Heavy Metal fan or a dancing queen to not like this record. I think having different kinds of music on the album is good as you can have it as background music. It’s not just heavy guitars and it’s not just disco music; there’s different elements to the record that is our thing and I think you can hear that signature sound in the album that Battle Beast are known for.
I found that too when I was listening to the album on the way to work; from the first listen I felt that power that Battle Beast are known for.
Noora: Yes, and as a vocalist I felt I could bring all I got on that album, I thought I can show people how many different sounds I have. There are also many kinds of moods in the album and that is something as a vocalist when I interpret the song. That’s the most important thing that I interpret the way the song demands me to do. If the song, for example Beyond The Burning Skies I want to give that feeling of flying over the ocean and being full of hope. That is something that has to reflect from my voice.
People have asked why there isn’t the raspiness in my voice for some of the tracks; if the song doesn’t require it I won’t use it.
Do you have a personal favourite song on the album?
Noora: I really love each song in different ways, they are our little babies. It really depends on the mood; right now, my feeling is the same as Beyond The Burning Skies as it reflects the situation we have right now. We’re going on a new tour in USA and Canada, we’re also going on our second headline tour across Europe. We have so much hope for that. We have a lot of great stuff coming that we’re really excited for. Sometimes I can feel the same mood as Bastard Son Of Odin, it’s a fun song to sing and I can’t wait to perform it with Battle Beast.
What can fans expect from ‘Bringer Of Pain’?
Noora: They can expect ass kicking music, I think this is more powerful than before. When you put the first track on, say on your way to work, you can’t stop smiling and you get this sort of energy punch. Even you get off on the wrong foot this album will give you that energy back.
Finally, a fellow fan wanted to know what your workout plan is?
Noora: Different kinds of exercises and good nutrition always works. I love cycling, that is my favourite thing to do along with other cardio stuff. I also like running and jumping with a rope; that’s particularly important as I jump a lot on the stage. Sometimes I do boxing, I go to the gym. I like to try different stuff. The most important thing is to keep active.
Thank you so much Noora for taking time to talk to the Power Of Metal, good luck with album release and tour.