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Poisonblack (II)
Interview mit Ville Laihiala [Poisonblack], 22.07.2008, phoner



Poisonblack are back! Im Gepäck haben sie ihren dritten Longplayer namens “A Dead Heavy Day” und der lässt es ordentlich Krachen. Natürlich lassen es sich die Finnen um Frontmann und Reibeisenstimme Ville Laihiala (Ex-Sentenced) auch nicht nehmen, mal wieder für eine Tour in Deutschland vorbeizuschneien. Diese ist für November 2008 angesetzt. Über die Tour und das neue Album unterhielt ich mich ausgiebig mit Ville, als er mich am 22. Juli 2008 daheim anrief.


Hei Ville! Where could we have found you during the midsummer celebrations? Are you a person that keeps hold of traditions?

Ville: When I didn´t have any children I usually drank myself to unconsciousness (laughs), but now as I`m a father, the midsummer for me is basically barbecuing and just trying to enjoy upper aspects in life instead of just getting totally drunk. This year it hasn`t really been any kind of celebration for me, but we got holidays from work just to sit down, meet some friends for barbecuing, just relaxing and hoping to have good weather while you`re doing it. (laughter)

Your third album “A Dead Heavy Day” will be released here in Germany in a few weeks. You recorded it in your hometown Oulu and it was mixed in Lahti. Is there any anecdote you can tell us about the recordings?

Ville: The whole recording process in the studio is always pretty much the same. We`re trying to make the equipment work and you`re trying to play the songs as good as you can. But the whole process from the first lyrical idea or from the first song idea was a bit different this time. During the last summer while we were playing a lot of festival shows here in Finland and also a couple in southern Europe, we were talking in the bus that we wanna do a bit more harder and heavier album. We wanted to take the final step away from this gothic label. We all kind of decided to do that, so to us it`s pretty much a band album, meaning music wise and lyric wise. It`s a total break away from anything else that we have done before. The lyrics are a bit more open and aren`t using that much symbolism or painting any landscapes.

So there are less metaphors?

Ville: Yeah, there aren`t so many metaphors anymore. It`s more straight forward, more honest and I guess easier to understand. We also wanted to play a kind of music that we listen to by ourselves, too. So if you want to hear any anecdotes about the album (laughs)…the whole creative process was different, but the studio is as boring as always if you don`t come up with any spirits.

I once read that on the first album “Escapextasy” you wrote about your own fantasies. How is it this time?

Ville: There are no fantasies, (laughs) because this time I really dug deep inside of myself and wrote as honest lyrics as I dare to write about bad things within myself, but not in a way that they`re without hope or I have to end my life. There is also, like I said, hope involved and also a lot of humor in there and self irony. I mean the album is entitled “A Dead Heavy Day”, it´s not really a theme album, but the basic theme is that a person can go through a lot of different emotions during one day if the day just happens to be one of those days.

If you compare all three albums you have produced with Poisonblack so far it seems that “Lust Stained Despair” is heavier than the first album and “A Dead Heavy Day” is again heavier than “Lust Stained Despair”. I am right?

Ville: Ja, I agree. I`ve been thinking about that a lot and I`m not sure if it really needs any explanation or do I really have to start and analyse the little changes in the music to a heavier sound, because it has always been kind of a natural development. So we don`t really think about it that much. (laughs) Maybe the next album will be even more heavier. I already know, it will a bit more faster, because I have a couple of new songs ready there.

You said that there are not so many gothic elements left on the new album. So it`s no gothic metal anymore?

Ville: I have never considered our music to be gothic music.

Yeah, but that´s what you read everywhere.

Ville: Yeah, I know. But I have no idea if it was the label or people or whoever who tried to sell our music as gothic music or present us as a gothic band.

How would you define Poisonblack`s genre by yourself?

Ville: We`re a rock band with metal influences.

If you write a songtext, do you already know then if it`s becoming a ballad or a heavy rock song?

Ville: (thinks about it) It´s a hard question, because sometimes if I do the music first, it happens to come out as a kind of slower ballad. But to me it would give more satisfaction to write kind of lyrics that are not ballad-like lyrics. Music can be really beautiful, you know, and lyrics can totally be taken from another world, but you`re still trying to fit the lyrics within the music. But do I already know if it`s becoming a ballad or a heavy song? No, I don`t.

Do you always have a paper and a pen in your pocket to write thoughts down as soon as they come into your mind?

Ville: I have a little book with a pen attached to it and when I`m travelling around it`s in my car. So usually if something comes up I write it down immediately.

Tarmo told me that the title of the new album in general can be transferred to a day in someone`s life when everything goes totally wrong. But I have heard there is also a deeper meaning behind that title. Where did you take the inspiration from?

Ville: Where did you hear that there is a deeper meaning?

Well, Tarmo said this. (laughs)

Ville: If Tarmo has told you that there is also a deeper meaning behind the title, then Tarmo can explain it. (laughs) But it`s also a kind of playing with the words, because it`s ADHD also. But to me it really gathers the lyrics together and gives the whole idea about just one day that isn´t that lovely day, but not gloomy enough to kill yourself either.

How often do you have such days when everything goes totally wrong?

Ville: (laughs loudly) It depends. As I am growing older I am trying to learn to look at life, you know, in a different way and I really have tried to enjoy the little moments instead of just complaining about everything all the time. Of course there are bad days and good days, but everyone is going through those within their lives.

And what is the best way to relax again if you had “a dead heavy day”?

Ville: (thinks about it a bit longer) Put the kids in the bed, just pray that they start to sleep and just get total silence, maybe go into the sauna, then afterwards eat good food, watch a film…because I´ve been doing too much relaxing with alcohol and I kind of found out that it`s not that relaxing at all. (laughs) It just creates more frustrations. But silence is nice to relax a bit.

Maybe I´m not up to date, but how many children do you have?

Ville: Three! I have three boys.

And are they already stepping into your shoes?

Ville: (amused) No, no, no. They are not old enough yet. Otherwise they don`t have to step into my shoes.

Okay. “Bear The Cross” is the first single extraction from the new album. Is the video for the single already shot and can you give us some hints about it?

Ville: Ja, it`s shot already, but I don´t really like making videos, so I didn´t really take personally that much part on the script. But we worked again with the same director who shot our last video, too. Our hopes were to make a video where the band plays. And we play there in two different locations basically, just presenting the band and trying to give a picture of how we are live perhaps. And there is also a little story behind the video. There is this man who is in his forties or something. He`s dragging a heavy load which is attached to his leg with a chain. But he never gets rid of it, because in life you cannot really escape from anything, because you have to face stuffs sooner or later. But it looks like a rock video and the whole colours and everything are also a step away from the gothic scene. And even though I don`t really like making videos that much, when I saw it I was pretty happy about it, because it was done with not that big budget and there were also people doing stuff for free.

In my opinion you always have to be a little actor if you´re taking part in a music video, for example. Are you a movie fan and is there any good movie you would have loved to take part in by yourself as an actor maybe?

Ville: It varies. It can be like I don´t watch any movies for let`s say several months and then I just start to rent DVDs and there can be like three or four months I´m really doing nothing else, but watching movies. But to take part in some film…”Seven” was great. And also “The Deer Hunter”, I would have loved to be in there.

Which other talents beside musical ones do you bring along with you?

Ville: Talents? I can burp really loudly. I guess that`s it. (laughter)

Nice talent, yeah. Who is “Diane” by the way?

Ville: You`re talking to her!

Ah, alright. And the song “Me Myself And I” sounds like an ego trip or something like that!?

Ville: Yeah, and it`s also a big “fuck you” to those people who are really feeding the ego. I tried to put some self irony in there. I don`t know if I succeed it. I have had a lot of piss in my head. I hope as older as I´m getting the piss will go away. (laughs)

On the first two albums you can find a woman on the cover. This time it`s a scull. Why did you break the line in this case?

Ville: I guess the reason for those first two albums that there is a woman on the cover is, because I wrote a lot of stuff about love and things like that. And to me women are still a bit mystery and I´m kind of trying to understand them. But I know now that`s impossible. With the new album we chose this scull and it`s just about human beings going through whatever, so there is no mystery there. We all suffer, we all laugh.

Who was the first person of your family or of your friend´s circle who was allowed to listen to the finished album “A Dead Heavy Day”?

Ville: My wife.

“Music is…”, how would you continue this sentence?

Ville: (thinks a bit longer) Oh, that`s a hard question, because to me music is a lot of things. Music is like air. (laughs)

Do you believe that dreams can become true?

Ville: Sometimes? Maybe. I guess they can, but it takes a lot of hard work and you have to be lucky. Maybe I´m too cynical to answer that question, but hopefully for some people dreams will become true. For me it has, you know, become true, but it also brought a lot of not that good stuff with it.

Long hairs and rock musicians seem to belong together and you cannot divide them. But in which cases would you let somebody cut off your long hairs?

Ville: I can cut it off like now if you want. It doesn´t really mean that much to me anymore. It used to when I was younger. It was a part of this being an outcast or something like that, because the harder style of music wasn´t really trendy as it is nowadays. But right now the hair doesn`t really mean that much anymore. Either you cut it or you don`t. (laughs) It doesn`t define you as a person.

The most personal thing you`re wearing right now?

Ville: My wedding ring.

Are you an open or a closed book?

Ville: I´m pretty closed.

Do you collect anything?

Ville: Scars. No, I don`t really collect them. That`s just a joke. I don’t really collect anything. But guitars! At the moment I don´t have enough money to buy a lot of guitars. I own five now and I hope that some day there will be 20 or 30, because I love guitars.

You have already worked together with other artists and musicians, for example I remember the song “Until You´re Mine” you recorded together with Negative. Is there any plan to do co-operations with other musicians again?

Ville: Not at the moment. I`m just starting to tour around here in Finland with an old friend of mine. We are doing an acoustic tour, just two guys with acoustic guitars playing cover songs that we like. That`s just to kill time and also to enjoy music in a different way without the distortion.

But you`re also soon coming over for a tour with Dark Tranquillity and Fear My Thoughts. How did those bands find together with Poisonblack?

Ville: I know the Dark Tranquillity-guys personally. We used to tour with them I guess two or three times when I was in Sentenced, so that should be a lot of fun to see those guy again. I haven`t heard any songs from this band Fear My Thoughts. I never met those guys. But hopefully music wise it is a good package for people, so that there are not just three bands playing the same style of music which would be boring. Hopefully people will enjoy it and hopefully these Fear My Thoughts guys are as relaxed as musicians usually are, so it should be a nice tour.

What are your expectations when you´re coming over for this tour presenting the new songs here for the first time? Are you nervous or is it more like being anxious?

Ville: A bit of both, I guess. Obviously we`re pretty proud of this album like every band is when they release something new. We are nervous and anxious and hopefully people will be interested enough to go and get the album and listen to it and hopefully they will enjoy it and come to see us play live and hopefully they will enjoy that, too. We will see what happens.

And do you always prepare yourself a bit for the foreign audience like you try to learn some words or sentences in their languages, so that you can use those on stage?

Ville: Not really, because to me, this is just my opinion, but you don`t really have to go there and kiss asses if you can say “Hello” in Hungarian. Maybe to some people it means a lot, but to me it doesn`t. I don`t really care if I´m going to see one of my favourite bands playing here in Finland and the singer says “Hi” in Finnish. It doesn`t really mean that much to me if the show is just great.

But do you know some German words or sentences?

Ville: „Bier“! (laughs) I heard this from the bass player of Arch Enemy, Sharlee, and he taught me “Eine kleine Vagina bitte!” (loud laughter) I`m old enough to understand that.

Is there anything you miss when you´re on a longer tour sleeping in hotels or the tour bus and not in your own bed?

Ville: I miss my family and sometimes it`s just too much to handle. But that´s the biggest sacrifice you have to make when you`re doing this. But this is not gonna last forever anyway. And you can kind of make plans that you don´t have to be away that much, so I will be there when my kids are growing up. I don´t wanna miss that, but still I have to be away sometimes. That´s the way it is.



Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken & (c) by O.W. Kinnunen / Studio P.S.V.
Website Band: www.poisonblack.com


(c) fhradio, darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de

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