After Bloodstock 2017, I had the pleasure of interviewing BattleBeast from folk metal warriors Atorc. During our chat, we talked about the band’s origins, folk metal, their album Seven Tales of Swords and Ale and the band’s future aspirations.
Jack: Good morning, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
BattleBeast (Bass/Spoken Word): Hello Jack, BattleBeast here going well so far just recovering from the epic adventure we had at Bloodstock!
Jack: How did you all meet?
BattleBeast: Both myself and Scallywag (Guitar) have been raiding for a long time before the rest of our heathen brethren joined Atorc, you could call us the founding members of “Folk Metal Warriors”.
Jack: When you decided to form a band, was playing folk metal the main reason for starting the band?
BattleBeast: I decided to form a folk metal band after seeing Turisas at the Waterfront, Nowrich in 2008. Back then no one wanted to do the project with me so I jumped around bands for a while til in 2011 finally found members to form the folk metal project ( truth be told it wasn’t official Atorc until 2012) Only Scallway and myself have left standing after the horrific battles we endured.
Jack: What bands are your influences?
BattleBeast: Everyone in the band has their different influences but our primary ones that define Atorc is Turisas, Ensiferum, Korppianni, Skyclad, Blind Guardian, and Iron Maiden.
Jack: What makes playing folk metal appealing?
BattleBeast: I think, and say this on behave of the band too that it can sound epic and blood pumping like you’re getting yourself ready for a quest or a gruesome battle which makes you raise your fists in the air and there’s songs about drinking which is always a laugh and that can get people to do a jig and basically have a great time without worrying about looking like a tit [Laughs].
Jack: When people think of folk metal they instantly think of bands like Turisas and Korpiklaani, yet folk metal is such a broad spectrum? Does this annoy you?
BattleBeast: I don’t get upset by this, certainly I can’t talk for other folk metal musicians within the Uk Folk Metal scene but those bands have made it big, so of course they’ll stand out more. If certain people like those bands then they’ll start to want more and do research on more folk metal bands that haven’t been under the radar, which isn’t a bad thing. I do agree though that folk metal is a broad spectrum, but im not affined when people mention those bands.
Jack: Is any of Atorc’s music influenced by Britain’s rich history?
BattleBeast: A lot of our music steams from Britain’s rich history, Boudicca’s Revenge is about the Celtic warrior queen fighting the Romans, “There Will Be Blood” is about pagan Anglo-Saxons reclaiming there heritage from the new religion of “Christianity” in their eyes have taken over there world and of course “Sons Of Ragnar” is telling the story about the Great Heathen Invasion by Ivar, Ubba and Sigurd after the death of their farther. So yes you could say most of our songs are influenced from Britain’s History
Jack: Your new album Seven Tales of Swords and Ale is out next month. What do you hope people take from the album?
BattleBeast: Enjoyment for folk metal, at the end of the day we enjoy making music for our fans so we hope they enjoy listening to some epic Viking folk metal.
Jack: Do you get nervous in regards to the response from the album?
BattleBeast: If its good response or bad response, its cool with me and certainly with the other member because from that we can improve in certain areas if needs be so no I don’t get nervous but interested in what people would say about the EP.
Jack: How long does the writing process for a new album go?
BattleBeast: Not long we had everything down and ready for a while it was just editing and artwork delay from our first artist that took a long time getting where we are today.
Jack: What is the recording process like and how do you prepare for it?
BattleBeast: Well we had everything in stagers we had the guitar and drums tracks to do then the bass, they keyboards ect, ect so it was longer process but mange to do it all in four days, preparing for it was not much really just set up your gear and do a couple takes for on track just to get that perfect sound for that song and once you done I went to Danny B (our recording guy at HVR Recording Studio) Xbox 360 and played Skyrim. [Laughs]
Jack: How frequently do you practice as a band?
BattleBeast: Usually once a week, depending on a gig we had close to our practice day we normally then take the week off, but seeing as we are now already focusing on “new” material we need to get fair few practices in before we return to gig.
Jack: Is the dream to do the band full -ime?
BattleBeast: All of use dream for us to become full-time band and tour, so we all are crossing our fingers and toes for that day.
Jack: How was playing Warhorns festival?
BattleBeast: Amazing, truly and epic experience to play there, hopefully one day we MIGHT return there.
Jack: What do you have coming up?
BattleBeast: We have a gig at the end of August at the Swan in Ipswich, we have our EP Launch gig on the 2nd September the Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds, we got a festival in Pontypool in wales mid September and pretty much busy util the end of December.
Jack: Finally, what is your favourite ale?
BattleBeast: Our Favourite Ale is Hobgoblin ale!
Jack: Thanks for your time Atorc!
BattleBeast: Cheers Jack!