BLOODSTOCK INTERVIEW: Eero Sipilä – Battle Beast

BATTLE BEAST are steadily climbing up the ladder into becoming a well-known and respected power metal band. The Finnish band are taking the hearts of fans of the genre by storm and managed to secure the headlining spot at Bloodstock on Thursday (read our review of them here) and before their performance we caught up with bassist  Eero Sipilä to discuss Bloodstock, Bringer of Pain and the classic metal scene in 2017.

Jess – How are you?

Eero: Alright! Well as alright as I can be, we woke up at 2:30 last night so I’m a bit tired to say the least.

James – So you guys are headlining tonight [Sophie Lancaster Stage, Thursday] – What can people expect from your set?

Eero: Well, a lot of noise and probably some beer drinking in both the crowd and on stage and head banging, Satan worshipping and probably some goat sacrificing, I don’t know [laughs].

James – So you’re standard metal performance?

Eero: Yeah, your standard metal performance.

James – With you guys being the first day headliner is there any pressure that comes into that?

Eero: Not really, I mean when you look outside and everyone is in the party mood so I think everything is going to go good tonight. We’re gonna have a party!

James – And when you guys come off are you going to be shooting off to another festival?

Eero: Yes, unfortunately we have another plane heading out at 6 in the morning so we’ll probably try and catch at least a few hours of sleep before that so it’s going to be a hit and run this time around.

James – Really given BATTLE BEAST’s style of that kind of classic/power metal vibe, that is something that Bloodstock has got in its roots, do you feel like you purposely fit this bill?

Eero: In one way yes and in another way no. This year it looks like it’s not that much traditional metal but I think bands like Saxon play here every other year so, I don’t really know. I don’t really know the festival that good, I mean I know the name and I know that every year I check out the bill so I know this band and that band you know. I think it’s good to have more extreme bands and us to even each other out.

James – I guess it shows aswell that having bands like yourself that is that classic metal but it still going strong in 2017 and it’s still sticking to Bloodstock’s roots.

Eero: It’s really cool!

James – So how do you feel the scene for classic metal so many years on, do you think it is a healthy scene today?

Eero: Well, yes and no. Here in the UK I don’t really know because it seems like all the bands coming from here they are something completely different these days and maybe it looks like the traditional heavy metal that is like just some sort of retro thing about it, there’s a lot of bands that try to sound like they’re from 1979 but then on the other hand there’s really successful power metal bands like SABATON and stuff so yeah, I don’t really know. I think it depends on where you are in the world.

Jess – Do you think with a rise in so many different genres in metal that there’s still a wide accessibility to classic/traditional metal?

Eero: I would hope so, I’m not sure if bands like us are true light for todays kids because you know the new metal bands that are successful like FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and AVENGED SEVENFOLD, they’re something completely else and that’s the way that mainstream metal is going. So the answer is yes.

James – Your performance at Bloodstock comes on the back of Bringer of Pain that was released earlier this year, now that’s been out for a few months how have you found the reception for that?

Eero: Really good, when you do different music and you change up anything there’s going to be some people who don’t like it but in general I would say like 90% of the response we’ve been getting has been very positive. It’s also been our most successful album by far, so far.

James – Earlier this year you did a UK run aswell where you performed some new songs live, how do you fair up compared to say your back catalogue?

Eero: They did really good I think, there’s a lot of people here who didn’t know us before this album and I think the one before that. You’ve got to stay on track about which songs people actually know and we’ve just had an interview with a guy who just thought this was our third album when really it was our fourth album and that usually means people don’t know about our first album and then there’s people who love it and go writing on our Facebook asking can we play this song from the first album and if we play it everyone else is going to think ‘what is this?’ ‘is this some new song?’.

James – So when it comes to making a setlist do you want to focus on the newer material or do you want to have that nice mix?

Eero: For this tour we’re playing a lot of stuff from the new album but that’s mostly because honestly with the previous album a lot of the songs didn’t work that well in a live environment and we didn’t change up the set list too much from the previous tours and I think playing those old songs they got a bit boring so now we’ve changed it up quite a bit, but obviously you’ve got to play some old classics and that’s always fun because those always get the people going.

James – The thing that was interesting with the Bringer of Pain it was the first album you released without Anton who left and he was a very key part in the song-writing process, when he left was it difficult to write a record without him?

Eero: Well yes and no, first we had the pressure and everyone was wondering can we do it without him but then you get a couple of demos out and everyone thinks they’re good so then it gets easier with time, the more you do it the easier it gets. Obviously, there was pressure but once we got over that, it wasn’t that hard.

James – Excellent, just to close off, once you’ve done Bloodstock and the rest of the festivals this summer what’s next for BATTLE BEAST?

Eero: Well we’re doing another European headlining tour run in November I think and before that we’re playing shows every weekend for the rest of the year and hopefully in the beginning of the next year we can work on the next album but after that it’s just a blur.

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Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.