Last month, during the reunion concert of Rhapsody in Rome, we also had the chance to exchange a few words with Anton Kabanen, guitar player and mastermind of Finnish Beast In Black. Enjoy!
Hello Anton! First of all, thank you for the time you’re dedicating to us. We know it’s not easy, but can you explain us what happened with your previous band? Of course we are happy you keep making music anyway.
Shortly put, you know, we just had fundamental disagreements about many things. The biggest change was caused by the argument about who was gonna own the band name and logo. So, that’s about it.
How did the fans react to this change?
Well, they were all shocked, surprised. Anyway, they all wished me well and were waiting very long for this album and it’s very good that they seem to like it after a long time. It took almost three years or something like that.
Would you tell us how was “Berzerker” born? I recognize a very strong influence from your last works, about the songwriting. Is there any significant change in the process?
Not really, actually. The songwriting has always been like this… I don’t know, a natural process. Songwriting has many different approaches for me: either I sit down with an instrument or at the desk, writing on a laptop that I use for that. I write constantly, not just for the album, and that’s why there were already hundreds of song from which we chose the ones that ended up on the album. Some songs are from 2009, others from 2016 and between those times. What we want to do is to have an interesting album, so they’re different enough songs, not the same structures.
Besides all the very powerful songs you made, there are also some beautiful ballads. What’s your songwriting approach to these two different kind of songs? And which is the one you prefer writing?
It’s like, you know, all songs represent different feelings. Love songs or ballads represent a certain type of feelings, but there are then battle songs, like “Beast In Black”, which are war-themed songs. Both equally give me much pleasure, as a songwriter, to write: I can’t really answer, they’re both my children, so to speak. The reason why I also like love songs is that when I was a kid, the movie Titanic came out when I was ten years old, and I really loved the melody there. The composer, James Horner, became my favourite, and since then I became a lover of this slower stuff. But the same is for bands like Judas Priest, Manowar and so on… in my personal works I try to combine those two worlds.
If you were asked to choose a single song from “Berzerker” to represent the album, which one would you choose?
It’s hard to say. Let’s put it this way: if I would have to choose one song to represent the album, it would probably be “Blind and Frozen”. It has many elements, it has soft singing, it has the screaming stuff, catchy chorus, two guitar solos, lots of keyboard stuff… so that’s why I would choose that.
How is the tour going? Which is your favourite country among the ones you visited on tour and why?
So far it’s been going very good. Today it’s only the third show, but the response from the audience has been great, all these happy faces that we’ve seen, it’s always a pleasure and makes us smile more also.
I was secretly hoping you would say our country, because that makes us so proud!
(laughs) I don’t really have a favourite country, fans are fans wherever you go. All are equal to us, we love all the fans equally. The good thing about Italy, what I personally love, is like today it was raining and maybe for locals it’s cold, but it felt like Finnish summer! In Finland, it was like -10 degrees when we left and here it’s like summer. I really enjoy that!
After the relase and the tour, what’s next? Have you got any idea of what you’re going to do?
Yeah, we’re working all the time on the future. Even know the second album is in progress, for example last night I was thinking about the lyrics for it, before going on stage, so… it’s simultaneous, tour and albums mixed like this, it’s not tour and then the album. Inside my head, it’s always like that.
Feel free to greet our readers if you want to, and many thanks for your time!
Well, thanks for reading this interview first of all! I hope to see all of you at Beast In Black shows whenever we come back to Italy, hopefully soon!