BEAST IN BLACK INTERVIEW
TM - Hi this is Elizabeth and Amelia from Twinmusix, and we are here with Anton from Beast in Black. Thank you for having this interview with us today we appreciate it.
AN - My pleasure, it is nice to be here, thank you.
TM - So how has everything been going with COVID?
AN - Well it did not really affect me that much or my tasks or projects, at least in a bad way. The making of the album was possible due to COVID. Without the pandemic, our album “Dark Connection” would not have seen the light of day until twenty twenty-three or something like that. We would’ve had so many gigs, which is good of course if we were able to have had all those gigs in twenty-twenty or twenty twenty-one but so much had to be cancelled. We just used the time wisely and worked on the album. There was not a single boring day, at least not in my life during those times.
TM - What can fans expect from your album Dark Connection?
AN - Good music I hope and nice music videos too. Two videos are out and the third one is coming. I hope it is the type of music that gives a lasting experience, so you listen to the songs again and again. They will take you into your own world when you listen to the songs. These songs are a way of escapism, you know many artists made a note about it, about the pandemic, they made it so obvious. They deal with that in their new releases and their new songs and stuff like that, but I wanted to be clear. I think people will get fed up with this pandemic thing fast because I think everyone is making a notion about it, it wears itself out fast and we avoided that. We hope these songs are a great vehicle of escapism when you listen to them, you can forget about things that go on in the world and for that short moment, you can just enjoy the music.
TM - Your new song Dark Connection took six weeks to get two million views, that's awesome congratulations!
AN - Thank you. The first single is wonderful. It was a big project; the music video almost took one and a half years to make. I think it was worth it, it has been getting a growing appreciation from the fans and viewers and so far, it shows that if you are hungry for something and ambitious art-wise, if your artistic vision is something different from the ordinary, just do it and give everything. It is a scary thing, of course, the team, the band, the director, the writer, and everyone who was making it. No one knew how it was going to turn out, but you have to trust that you have a good story that correlates with the lyrics and a good song. You have a good team, and you make the best out of it. If you accomplish something with that, that is the best reward, the response from people when they really enjoy it. That is the best reward you can get, and it is also something that no one has done before. There's been a lot of music videos with stories and stuff like that and it's nothing new in that sense, but, the way that we connected this cyberpunk genre with this human-robot and a human facing each other in this kind of dark love type of relationship is something that I myself haven't come across in any metal, pop or dance music videos so I think we have offered something new even though the topic is inspired by movies and anime’s from the past decades.
TM – Yeah, I was going to say how I love that you put stories in your music videos. It is cool almost like you’re watching a mini-movie, what inspired that?
AN - Well the main inspiration was a cyberpunk anime from nineteen ninety-five called Armitage III and the film Blade Runner from nineteen eighty-two and to some extent Battle Angel Alita. They are dealing with this old topic, the human-robot and human, when they are facing each other in a world where one can tell the difference from them both but at the same time the human robots do not get the same treatment as the humans do and that brings this fascinating aspect and interest to this topic. What is right? What is wrong? What is acceptable? What is taboo? As well as all these types of contrasts and that is what fascinates me in the setting.
TM - You have touched on cyberpunk anime and manga. How did you decide on these themes?
AN - Well actually it was quite natural. Back in twenty eighteen, when I was finishing the album in the studio, the second album ‘From Hell with Love’ I already knew that the next album was going to be cyberpunk because I did that with my previous band Battle Beast. I wrote the first three albums for Battle Beast, the first two were heavily influenced by cyberpunk. For me it was a back to the rules, back to the beginning type of thing, I go somewhere I feel comfortable. The good thing for Beast in Black is that it is a new profile, and we have not done a cyberpunk-themed album or theme songs. It is a genre of its own so to speak. I have been a fan of science fiction and cyberpunk since I was a kid, I was just waiting for the right time, and it happened to be now.
TM - You're still doing the European tour this year, that’s cool.
AN - Fingers crossed, because of this pandemic you do not know what to expect even tomorrow. Whatever happens, even if it doesn’t happen, we have a bigger plan. We want to tour in two years, maybe three or four years with this new album. We will go to every corner of the world that we have never been to before and to the familiar places as well but do a bigger show with a bigger production, and longer tours in Europe, it would be great to do six to seven weeks or eight weeks. Usually, we have been to Europe for five weeks, but we want to do even longer tours in Europe. We are going to tour a lot with this album and come close to where you live and everyone else, where all the Beast in Black fans live. We want to present all three albums we have released; we want to play those songs live at a show and show what we have become here at this time and enjoy the tour life. At the same time obviously, we will be thinking about the fourth album as well the concept for it and anything related to album making, the music videos and the promo pictures. The planning can go years ahead, that is what we always do.
TM – You are also doing a tour with Nightwish in 2022, are you excited for that?
AN - Yeah, I mean we could not get better company than them and we are really grateful for that. It will be our first time in North America, we will be on a North American tour, and we are looking forward to that and I hope we can win over some US fans so we can go on tour in the US more frequently. Europe is more of a comfort zone for the European bands, obviously, but Beast in Black want to be known everywhere in the world. We want to give the same production on stage to everyone that sees us, I know it is impossible for many years in the beginning because the expenses are always so much bigger the further you go from home but that's the long-term plan so we can give everyone the same show, which would be great.
TM - You said you have albums planned years in advance, do you have any albums planned for after this one?
AN – Yeah, the concept I have been brainstorming by myself, the concept for the fourth album, but I always do that. When I have an album in the making, I am always thinking about the next one. It is because writing music is so much fun, in the same way, that imagination is so much fun. You can come up with something interesting and then music serves as the output for that vision, for that image you have. The day when we stop enjoying what we do, and we cannot keep it exciting for ourselves is the end. So far personally, I feel as hungry as ever, there is no stopping from creating new material. A new story and all that stuff, it is rewarding to see those ideas and visions come to real life in the forms of songs, music videos, pictures and even tours. We have all types of plans for the touring and stage production however some things are so costly that we cannot make them happen yet, we have big plans for that as well.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs what band would it be, what song would it be and would it be in your style or their style?
AN - Interesting questions. Let me think, it would be interesting if ABBA played some Beast in Black songs. I admire those songwriters of ABBA and I would want them to do it in their style because I believe a good song is a good song, even when it is stripped down to its basics just a vocal melody and a piano playing the chords, or a guitar playing the chords. I believe our songs have those elements, each song off every album. ABBA is about having those great melodies and perfect chord progressions; the instrumentation is always top-notch. Those guys know what they do, I forgot their names, Benny was one of them, but I forgot the other one. ABBA would be my answer that would be interesting to see.
TM - What was the first-ever concert you saw?
AN - Well I am not sure, I can't really remember one of the first live shows that I saw, must have been a Country Music Festival. There was this Finnish Schlager artist who was known in Finland for being a rock and roll guy, he wants to do hard rock and even metal, but he chose to do Schlager music because he had to do it for the money. He had a family, kids, and a wife and so forth. On that show, I remember he was playing a lot of classic rock covers and he was on fire. I was like ‘Now this is a great artist,’ I love that he showed what he loves to do more than this really soft Schlager music and that was something special. I think that was one of the first shows. But I know no one outside of Finland knows who he is. At that festival, I didn't check out the country bands that much there were some that I didn't know about, but he was the headline in that show. Instead of country music, he played the rock and hard rock covers and some of his songs. It was nice but the first heavy metal concert that I ever saw was in two-thousand and four or two-thousand and five. It was around the time when they were about to release the Angel of Retribution album, which was also super great. I was like ‘Wow my favourite band!’ Overall Judas Priest is one of my favourite heavy metal bands and it was great to experience that. I saw Manowar in two-thousand and nine. That is another favourite band of mine, which was also really great.
TM - And you did a cover of Manowar as well, right?
AN - It was Yannis our singer who suggested it backstage on a European Tour back in twenty nineteen. I instantly thought yes that is a great song. I could imagine it as a Beast in Black version as could he and that it was easy to make that decision. The same thing with the Michael Jackson cover we did, it is a great song, and we could both easily imagine it as a Beast in Black version. I think we succeeded in staying loyal to the originals but still making them sounds like the Beast in Black style but let's see what the truth is. We will know in a few days when the album is out and what the fans will say.
TM - I am sure everyone will love it.
AN – Cool if that is the case that would be nice.
TM - Anything else you want to say to your fans?
AN - Big thanks for the patience and waiting for this album and we hope you enjoy it very much. Stay tuned for Beast in Black news, we will be coming to your neighbourhood hopefully as soon as possible.
TM - Thank you so much for this interview today we appreciate it.
AN - Thank you very much.