Metal Divas recently conducted an interview with vocalist Noora Louhimo of Finnish metallers BATTLE BEAST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Divas: I had a blast listening to the [new self-titled] album [from BATTLE BEAST] and reviewing it. Was it fun to record? Can you share any details about the process?
Noora: It was really hard work in short amount of time. Took about two weeks all together to record the vocals. It was very stressful and "painful" time for everyone and especially for [guitarist] Anton [Kabanen]. But when we got the album done, all we had to do was wait the album to come out. This was the first time BATTLE BEAST had done [an] album all by itself.
Metal Divas: You are BATTLE BEAST's new lead singer and it seems that it all happened pretty quick. How did you end up in the band and what did you do before?
Noora: Last September (2012), I got a call from Anton that they want 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. [The] only thing [that] mattered was can that one sing his songs without compromises. I've been singing since I was 4 years old. While being a huge fan of heavy metal of '80s 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 doing some jam sessions at bars. There I found my first band (ADMIRAL OCTOPUS) in the blues bar. We used to play rock and blues music from '60s-'70s and Janis Joplin was the reason I got the rasp in my voice. After ADMIRAL OCTOPUS, in 2011 I took part in a 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. So that's about it with my history before BATTLE BEAST.
Metal Divas: You have a powerful, characteristic voice that fits the music very well. In fact, it's a perfect match if you ask me. What do you do to keep it in shape?
Noora: I do different exercises with my voice and rest it when needed and a lot more. Working out is very important part of keeping the instrument in a good shape.
Metal Divas: Your sound and the way you sing is very classic heavy metal. What are your influences and was this done on purpose on the record?
Noora: Everything that's done in the record is done by purpose. My influences: 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, Rob Halford, etc. The list is endless.
Metal Divas: Back to the album, there are many futuristic/cyber hints in the music but also on the cover. Please tell us more about the artwork.
Noora: The artwork was done by Claudio Bergamin from Chile; he is one of the most talented artists I've ever known. Actually, he sent a message to Anton and asked if he could do the artwork for our next album. We are definitely going to use him in the future too. The artwork, as you can see, is based on the world where the beast fights against the machine. The lioness in the picture is Claudio's idea. Perhaps we're gonna use it some day in our lyrics; you never know.
Metal Divas: Where and how did you learn to do these unearthly high screams? Is there something in the water in Finland?
Noora: Haha! We just tried different things in the studio and found different screams and sounds. You know, this was my first [time] ever singing heavy metal even though I've been listening to it since I was 16 years old. Maybe Ronnie James Dio and Blackie Lawless and Rob Halford have something to do with it.
Read the entire interview from Metal Divas.
"Black Ninja" video: