From Hell With Love is the second album from the Finnish heavy/power metal band Beast In Black, formed by guitarist Anton Kabanen in 2015 after his exit from Battle Beast. Kabanen gives us the lowdown on the new album, a lineup change, building a fan base for a new band and other topics.
Chad Bowar: How did your newest member, drummer Atte Palokangas, come to join the band?
Anton Kabanen: After Sami (Hänninen) had left the band we quickly needed a fill-in drummer for the upcoming W.A.S.P. support tour. I contacted a drummer friend of mine who then suggested a few other drummers. Atte was one of those and he was available for the tour. Unfortunately that tour ended sooner that it was supposed to end, but not long after that we had another tour and it went a lot better. By this time we felt like Atte was definitely the right guy for us. So I gave him a call and asked him if he wants to join the band as a full member, and he did. The rest is history.
How did the songwriting process for From Hell With Love compare to your debut?
Music-wise it went pretty much the same way as usual. We select songs for the album from the already existing songs which I’ve written in the past some years ago, except that the title track “From Hell With Love” and “Oceandeep” were born during 2018 some time before the actual recordings. The biggest difference comes lyric-wise because it was the first time for a collaboration between me and a friend of mine, Paolo Ribaldini. We co-wrote lyrics for five songs, one lyric is entirely his and the rest are mine. He is also a fellow fan of the Japanese Berserk manga so it was very helpful.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Not having a social life. (laughs) But it’s true. The final month was like a nightmare because we were running out of time and there was a tremendous amount of work to complete. The album was done barely on time. I think we had the final master of the album just a few days before the tour with Nightwish began.
How has the band’s sound evolved from Berserker?
I think that Yannis (Papadopoulos, vocals) sounds even more versatile on the new album. And many have said that this album sounds more ’80s than Berserker.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We hope the album finds its way to everyone’s home and that we get to play as many sold out shows as possible, make fans happy and of course hope that more and more people will discover Beast In Black through this new album.
Has it been easier, more difficult, or about what you expected when it came to building a fan base for Beast In Black?
It’s never easy because it takes a lot of work to build a functioning band, but we’re all fully motivated. But in the end it is the people who will ultimately decide if they want us or not. So far it looks like many have opened their hearts to Beast In Black so we are very grateful to every soul who has done so!
What has been your most memorable Beast In Black live show?
Impossible to choose one. But for example our first tour in Japan was like a dream come true. We didn’t expect to go there already with the debut album but it happened! Also the tour with Nightwish was more than we could have hoped for. It was the best possible way to end the touring cycle with the debut album.
You have a European tour coming up. Any plans to play North America this album cycle?
We’d love to come to the States! Since Beast In Black has yet to conquer lots of new territories, the correct way in my opinion would be to do a support tour there first with some bigger and more famous band to make our own name more known to a wider audience. But it will happen sooner or later! And hopefully at some point we can do our own headline run in the States as well.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I love older cartoons, movies, animes and books just to name a few things. Also the Japanese Berserk manga is something that I love to read. Cooking is nice, it gets my mind off music related things.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
That’s a tough one. To be honest nowadays I don’t listen to music that much. Though every now and then I put on some old game soundtracks from Nintendo, Sega, PC, etc. Also old and obscure anime soundtracks are nice to listen to. There’s all kinds of cool things I discover there! While driving I mostly listen to classical music and movie soundtracks if I decide to turn on the player.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Thank you to everyone who checked out this interview. Stay tuned for Beast In Black news and when the album is out go get your copy! If you’re hesitating then first check out our single releases on YouTube and hopefully they will make your decision easier! Take care!
(interview published February 7, 2019)
Watch Beast In Black – “Sweet True Lies” Video