POISONBLACK is a Finnish metal/hard rock band led by singer/guitarist Ville Laihiala. POISONBLACK are *Ville Laihiala – Vocals, Lead Guitars * Antti Remes – Bass * Marco Sneck – Keyboards * Tarmo Kanerva – Drums. On band’s Facebook Ville states: “This is not a project band! I have my heart and soul in Poisonblack!” But let’s hear what else he told me the other day…
Hi Ville, I’m Tarja. welcome to Metal Shock! How are you doing today?
- I am alright. Thanks for asking.
Firstly, your newest… you’ve been recently confirmed for Sonisphere Finland 2011 which will take place on July 2 in Helsinki. What kind of set you’re gonna play? and do you know already the other bands you’re gonna play with?
- I know that the band line-up is pretty impressive there. Slipknot is headlining the event. There will be 3 stages and we`ll be playing the second stage. I do not know what time or how long we will play but our set is going to be concentrating more on energetic stuff. We`re gonna go and rock`n`roll.
Let’s take some steps into the past… Poisonblack was formed in 2000. Please tell me about those first years, and was it difficult to get into a Finnish metal /hardrock scenes?
- Actually I formed the band at the end of -99 so I`ve been here from the start. The reason to form the band was that I wrote songs that didn’t fit for the style that we were doing with Sentenced and I also wanted to play the guitar which I`ve been playing for over 20 years now. I did not think about getting into any scenes then and I do not do it now either. Every band I`ve ever played in were and are always about music. About the love for it.
Tell me about your band mates…
- Old friends. Me and our drummer are childhood buddies. Each one of us have been playing music in different bands throughout our lives. Other than that they are womanizing ignorant rednecks with no dreams or hopes for the future. Like all we northern men are. Aren’t we?
hahah I guess so But tell me, is there any story behind your band’s name Poisonblack?
- I had a song title called Poisonblack.The song was about the duality of things. For example the booze is the poison and the morning after is the black and so on. We never finished the song but instead we took the name for the band.
- Today I would call our music bluesy rock with a twist of metal. It took us a couple of albums to find our strengths and to melt our personalities into our music. It also took some line-up changes to find the right chemistry within the band but nowadays we`re as solid as we can possibly be.
What bands have influenced you personally the most?
-Metallica, AC/DC, KISS, ACCEPT…to name a few. I like the older stuff more than this Pro tools shit which a lot of bands are doing these days. I like to hear the people behind the instruments instead of just these computer-exact-dead-sounds.
Since the release of Lust Stained Despair (2006), you’ve toured widely in Europe and shared the stage with several bands. Which act has been, so far, the most memorable one? Any details you’d like to share with us?
- We`ve toured with a bunch of cool bands and made friends with some great people. Moonspell guys are really nice people and also everyone in Lacuna coil and Dark Tranquillity. There are also many, many great people we`ve met in crews and promoters too and it is always nice to see them after a long time.
Last year came out your 5th “Of Rust And Bones” while you were still on Century Media, but in November you signed with Hype Records. Why this change if I may ask?
- We felt that we needed to change everything in order to keep this band still going on and keep this thing interesting for us. It was also the last album in our contract with Century and we did not want to continue it anymore. I have nothing but respect towards Century and I am grateful for the job they did throughout the years. We also wanted to have a finnish label and management this time around ‘cos it is easier to find and beat the shit out of them if they fuck us over.
In generally, how you see the role of a label for a band? Some bands prefers a management agency… but what’s your opinion?
- We have both. It is the way I am used to do this shit. Old dog does not learn new tricks easily. For the beginners it is good to have someone to look over the contracts so you do not marry yourself for life with a piece of shit paper.
And now, let’s talk about your newest release “Drive”, released only couple of weeks ago in Scandinavia. It was recorded in Denmark producer Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Sick Of It All), how was it to work with him?
- Tue is a really laid back kind of person and really easy to work with. He`s done pretty much everything from reggae to death metal. We kinda knew him already ‘cos he mixed our second album so his name came up when we were talking about producers. We told him what we wanted sound and recording wise and he totally understood. The result we came up in those three weeks is this kind of a live in studio sound without overdubbed guitars, computer corrected drums or vocals…basically he recorded us as the band that we are.
Tell me about its songwriting process and topics…
- Songwriting is always the same. I am sitting on my couch playing my old crappy acoustic guitar and somehow the songs come out. This time it differ from the past in a way that the songs came out more energetic and not so despair-driven like before. I guess it is because I stopped drinking over an year ago so there wasn`t this alcohol-made depression present. Themes of the songs venture with tongue-in-cheek black humour, funeral waltz and live-in-the-moment kind of topics. Basically quit whining and take life with a hard-on.
By the way, from where you take the ideas for the songs?
-I write about how I feel about life, people, myself… whatever comes to mind. Sometimes the music grows from the feeling the lyrics give and sometimes it all starts from a riff.
What are the main differences from your last album?
- I don`t know…don`t really think about that kind of stuff. I guess this new one is more solid musically and also the playing is tighter and yet more loose in a way. All the friction and shit is out of the band so you can really hear that on the album.
What has been the reaction of your fans, audience and critics?
- Fans have loved it which is really great. So far we`ve only played a couple of shows but the reaction has been killer and we hope that it will continue that way ‘cos it means that we`ll get to play more shows and tour more. Critics have hated and loved it but to me it is like a fart in the wind. I do not understand how one puts him or herself in a tower where they spit out so called criticism towards whatever art. I think it is retarded.
I guess, soon you’ll hit the road, have you already some details for your tour?
- We`ll play some club shows in Finland first then festivals during the summer, Bloodstock, Sonisphere and a show in Brasil for example then a club tour in Finland and then start to tour the rest of the Europe.
Do you have already some new plans for next year?
- I am already writing new stuff so we`ll see what happens…
Ok Ville, now the last question… what are your regards to your fans and to our readers?
- Thank you all for the support through thick and thin and I hope you`ll enjoy the new album. See you all at the shows.
Interview by Tarja Virmakari – Photos: Poisonblack Facebook
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