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Poisonblack (V)
Interview mit Ville Laihiala & Tarmo Kanerva [Poisonblack], 21.02.2014, Helsinki/Tavastia



Seit Herbst 2013 steht das neue Poisonblack-Album "Lyijy" in den Plattenläden – allerdings (noch) nicht in Deutschland. So waren die Finnen bisher auch nur in ihrer Heimat auf Tour, um die frischen Stücke live zu präsentieren. Am 21. Februar 2014 gastierten die Metaller in Finnlands Hauptstadt Helsinki, wo ich Bandfrontmann Ville Laihiala sowie Drummer Tarmo Kanerva vor dem Soundcheck im Tavastia-Club zu einem Interview traf.

Did you have a good start into the New Year 2014?

Ville: Same shit, different year. [grins]

Did you party a lot?

Ville: No, no.

Tarmo: Actually we had a show on New Year's Eve – that was our party. All in all things are pretty good. We have a few shows here in Finland right now as we're on a club tour. And I think we'll take part in several festivals this summer. Unfortunately they are all going to be here in Finland, but still it's good.

This is the second part of your tour referring to the new album "Lyijy". How was the first part which already took place last year?

Tarmo: It was great! There were many people and that was really good.

Ville, did you also enjoy it?

Ville: Ja, because for a couple of let's say "thin" years it felt like our career wasn't going anywhere. But now it's really nice to play live and it's gonna be a surprise for us if there are enough people coming to see the spring tour that we're doing right now. Hopefully!

Your new album was already released in Finland last year and also in Japan recently, but I couldn't find it in Germany…


Tarmo: I don't know why we don't have any distribution in Germany. Actually it's something you should ask from our label, because we have a deal with Warner Music here in Finland. Maybe they haven't found any distribution partners yet. That's definitely something we want to change – that people can buy the CD in Germany, too.

When did you start writing the new material and what was your main focus musical wise?

Ville: I started to put the songs together around a year before we hit the studio. And my focus was to approach every song as the album was going to be our last album. No bullshit and leaving nothing in the pocket.

I hope it's not the last album…

Ville: No, it's not the last album, but that's the way I approached it. I mean, you never know.

Tarmo: Ja, that's the point: You never know if it's going to be – hopefully not. Actually Ville has already written around ten new songs and we'll start to rehearse them right after this spring tour. So it's not going to be the last album.

To what extent do the other band members contribute to the songs?


Tarmo: Basically Ville writes the music and lyrics. Then we just arrange the stuff together.

And what did inspire you for the lyrics this time?

Ville: I haven't written any lyrics yet…

I mean for the current album!

Ville: Oh, the vanity of people, watching TV and just seeing how stupid we are as pieces – that was the main inspiration as well as looking at the mirror every morning.

Where do you usually write new songs: at home or on the road?

Ville: Ideas come from everywhere, but I write the songs at home. I used to do it with just the guitar as I didn't have any recording equipment. So everything was in my head. But now I have kind of a small home studio, so it's easier. And I found out that I'm not as stressed as I used to be, because the music is now on the computer and not in my head. [laughs] So there is room for other shit to fill it with!

Lots of musicians use their smartphones nowadays to record ideas quickly…

Ville: I have a phone, but I'm not smart. [grins]

Tarmo: We use old fashion ways and not that much technology.

Where did you record the new album? In two studios, is that right?

Tarmo: Yeah, we recorded the drums here in Helsinki in a place called "Sonic Pump". Then we moved to the studio "Victory Audio" in Kokkola which is in the northern part of Finland. There we recorded everything else.

Why did you choose Jonas Olsson as a producer?

Ville: We never really discussed it, although he isn't any rock or metal producer. But I was mainly interested in doing the album with him.

Tarmo: We definitely didn't want to produce it with somebody who's focused on doing metal albums. We wanted to have some kind of different perspective.

Did you get along with him?

Tarmo: Yeah, it was a really nice experience.

Have there been any problems to struggle with during the recording sessions?

Ville: Our bad musicianship. It's always that! [laughter] Not really, it went kinda smooth. Obviously it's hard work when you really start to record the guitars, drums etc. You're working eight hours each day then. I'm not sure if people always realise that. But although it was hard work, it went kinda smooth.

When did you usually enter the studio?

Tarmo: Normally at 10 am and then we worked until 6 pm in the evening.

You released two music videos recently. To what extent did you contribute own ideas to those videos? Or was it just the director's ideas?

Ville: I don't really care about making videos, so I don't have any ideas. [laughter]

Tarmo: Actually the only thing that we set, when we started to do the first one, is that it has something to do with the lyrics. I think it's working pretty well.

What are your personal highlights on the new album?


Tarmo: I like "Down The Ashes Rain". It's one of my favorites. But I also like "The Halfway Bar". It was actually the first song we started to work on.

Ville: To me it's the whole album, because in my opinion in our career it's the first album which doesn't contain songs that I hate. On every other album there are songs which I don't like.

Why did you publish them?


Ville: You tell me! When you look back on all the albums – even with Sentenced – there will always be songs that you don't care about that much. But this time it hasn't happened with the new album.

So you're happy with all the songs?

Ville: Yeah, I'm happy with the attitude, the way I wrote the songs as well as the way we rehearsed and recorded them. There is no fake or anything like that.

Tarmo: We also have to thank Jonas Olsson, because I think the production was really great. It worked really well!

Do you have regular rehearsals?

Tarmo: No, not really. When we start a tour, then we come together to rehearse the songs.

Ville: It's also the same thing when we start to record a new album: Then of course we have to rehearse the songs. But we don't meet at the rehearsal place regulary. We have better things to do in our lives.

Families?

Ville: Yeah.

Do you have children?

Tarmo: I don't have any.

Ville: We [pointing at Tarmo] have children together. [laughter] But yes, I have three boys.

How do you decide which songs will be on a tour setlist?

Tarmo: Sometimes it's hard, because we have so many songs.

Ville: We choose songs that we like to play and the songs that people love to hear. Sometimes we fight over some songs, because maybe Tarmo is fed up with playing them or I am or someone else. When you play songs live, you kind of learn which song works and which doesn't… Some songs might really work well on the album, but they are no good live songs. It's the bad musicianship. [laughter]

There's one song on the current album with a Finnish title. Are the lyrics also in Finnish?

Ville: No. It's just a Finnish phrase that you can't really translate into English. In English it's like the scream of life. But you don't feel the sarcasm if it's written in English.

What can we expect from the show tonight?

Tarmo: Hopefully a mixture between old and new stuff. Of course we will concentrate on the new album, but there's still going to be stuff from every album. And actually we will play two songs tonight that we haven't ever played before. So let's see how this will work out…

Which are those songs?

Ville: "Futile Man" and "Them Walls" from the new album. And we just wanna have fun, that's the main thing, because we don't know how long this is going to last. So every time when we go on stage to play, the main focus is to have fun. Well, sometimes we have fun and other times we don't have. Hopefully we will have fun tonight!

One last question: How would you continue the sentence "Music is…"?

Ville: …my life.

Tarmo: Ah, that's a difficult question. But Ville already said it: life.



Interview & Fotos: Lea S.
Website Band: www.poisonblack.com


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