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Tarmo Kanerva (Poisonblack)

Interview with Tarmo Kanerva from Poisonblack
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 15 April 2008, 11:20 PM

POISONBLACK is a band that many have loved, while many have accused of being just some SENTENCED copycats. Since the Finnish metallers are preparing their brand new album and they will be playing live here in Athens, Greece in a few days from now, I thought that an interview with the band's drummer Tarmo Kanerva would be nice. Here is what he had to say to me…

Hello and welcome to Metal Temple, since this is the first POISONBLACK interview for our magazine. I know that you are currently preparing your new album that is going to be entitled A Dead Heavy Day. Tell us a few things about it.

The album was recorded here in our hometown Oulu around the turn of the year and it was mixed at Grooveland studios in Lahti, Finland in February. We prefer recording in Oulu, because this way you are able to live as normal life as possible when you’re not working in the studio. We are still working on the cover art, otherwise everything is already finished. A Dead Heavy Day will be released in August.

Are we going to see any surprise stuff in the new album?

In my opinion there’s much wider spectrum of different kind of songs on this one. What I mean is that on one hand there’s some really heavy and aggressive stuff on the album and on the other hand there are some really melancholic and melodic songs, but I don’t think there’s going to be any major surprises. I see A Dead Heavy Day as a natural growth from Lust Stained Despair.

Comparing every POISONBLACK release (including the upcoming album), what differences can you see?

Well, I think there are some really great songs on our first album, but the production is a bit toothless. On Lust Stained Despair our roots started to show more and more. What I mean is that we grew up listening to bands like METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN and if you listen closely you can their influence on the second album. The major difference between the second and the third album is that this time we had a whole band participating in the recording session. When we were recording Lust Stained Despair our ex-bassist Janne Kukkonen had just left the band and Antti Remes and Janne Markus hadn’t joined us yet, so there was only Ville, Marco and me when we started working on Lust Stained Despair. I think you can hear the difference on the third album in a positive way.

Why did Leppaluoto and Kukkoen leave the band and how did you decided to acquire Remes as your new bass player? I am not asking how did Ville get the position behind the microphone because that was obviously something that you didn’t have to think much before deciding what to do.

Leppaluoto left because he wanted to concentrate on his other band CHARON and Janne left for more or less personal reasons. I used to play with Antti in a band called SOLUTION 13 and when Janne left, I suggested Antti to Ville, he said Ok and that was pretty much it. After playing so long together, it’s really easy for Antti and me to work as a rhythm unit.

The producer in both the first and the second POISONBLACK album was Ville. How did you decide to let him do the production instead of giving the job to a well known producer?

As you know, Ville has written the most of our songs, so it was kind of natural choice. The third album is produced pretty much by the whole band and who knows, maybe we will use a professional producer in the future…

Your music is mostly on the Gothic side of music, but it features many heavy elements like the really nice guitar work you have done. Is this something you wanted to do or did it just come up?

I think it’s just natural development. We grew up listening to bands like METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN and I think it’s their influence what you can hear in our music.

Many people have accused you of trying to copy SENTENCED’s sound, as well as trying to claim their glory now that they are gone. What do you have to say about that?

In my opinion it’s quite natural that people compare us to SENTENCED, because Ville is our singer. There are still four totally different individuals in POISONBLACK and I think the chemistry between all five of us gives us our own sound. I won’t deny that having Ville in the band has opened us many doors, but I don’t see us claiming their glory or anything like that. They were a great band and they are good friends of ours, so the whole subject feels kind weird to me…

Which POISONBLACK song is your favorite one and why?

Oh, this is a tough one! There’s so many of them! Let me see… I’ve always loved to play Raivotar live, so guess that’s worth mentioning… One of my favorites is a song called The Days Between from the upcoming album… It’s quite impossible to name just one; it depends so much on what kind of mood I’m in that particular day!

The Finnish Metal scene has become more well known lately mostly due to bands like LORDI and HIM. Do you believe that this can last? What is your opinion about these bands?

Well, LORDI is not really my cup of tea, but I think HIM has many great songs. In my opinion Finnish metal is sort of trendy right now. After this trend is over, I think the best and most original bands will survive and still continue making exciting music.

Which bands influenced your sound?

There’s so many of them. All of us in POISONBLACK have very different music taste, so it’s really hard to name just a few. Let’s say everything from RHAPSODY to MOTORHEAD and everything in-between.

So, let’s move to questions regarding your upcoming live show here in Greece. Is this your first time here or have you visited Greece before?

For me it’s first time, but Ville has been there before with SENTENCED. He has told us only good things about Greek fans, so all the rest of us are really waiting to get there.

How do you feel playing with a band like AMORPHIS?

I think it’s going to be lots of fun! They are an excellent band and they really cool guys, so we don’t mind at all playing with them.

While taking a look at your official website, I didn’t see any other performances except from the two Greek dates and the one in Finland.

Aren’t you going to play any other shows?

Sure we will, but after the new album is released. We are going to take this summer quite easy and load our batteries for the next fall. I think we are going to play quite many shows after the album release.

So, are there any news regarding your other bands? SOLUTION 13 haven’t released an album for 6 years now!

SOLUTION 13 doesn’t exist anymore. That band sort of dried up already a few years ago. Marco is still playing in KALMAH and Antti also plays bass in a band called MARY.

I suppose you don’t live by playing music. What do you do to make a living?

You’re right. None of us makes the living completely out of music. Marco is still studying, but the rest of us have daily jobs.

If you had never followed the path of music, what would you do in your life?

Man, this is another one! Music has been big part of my life since I was a little kid, so it’s really hard to say… I guess I would have tried to find a job with lots of traveling. I have always enjoyed of being on the road and visiting different countries and cities.

What do you expect from your show here in Athens?

Like I mentioned before, Ville has told us that Greek fans are really devoted and enthusiastic. Therefore I’m expecting the crowd to be quite wild there. And who knows, maybe we are going to have a wild party after the show?!

Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best. Looking forward to see you at the show. Would you like to send a message to the Metal Temple readers?

I would like to say thank you to our Greek fans for their interest and support! Keep it heavy!


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