Tarmo Kanerva (Poisonblack) – A Loyal, Passionate Drummer

Category: ArticlesInterviews

Poisonblack - Promo picture

As a Finnish metal lover I have been a fan of Sentenced since I was in my early teens. Later on, I discovered Poisonblack, back then a project showcasing a more erotic side featuring the same charming Ville Laihiala I have come to love already. But since then many things have changed: the line-up, the message and the style among others. On the 13th of September we will witness the 6th face of Poisonblack, ‘Lyijy’, and because I tend to get curious ahead of time, I found Tarmo Kanerva (drums) and he agreed to reply to my questions. Enjoy!

Alexandra: Hey Tarmo! First of all, for those who don’t know you and the band you’re in could you introduce yourself a bit?

Tarmo: Hi! Well, my name is Tarmo Kanerva and I´m the drummer of Poisonblack. The band was formed back in 2000 and right now we´re about to release our 6th album, “Lyijy”. During our career we have played all over the world including Russia, Japan and Brazil. After this album’s release we will start touring from Finland and we will also play in Brazil once again in November.


As you mentioned before, Poisonblack is now at its 6th album: ‘Lyijy’. What has changed in the sound of the band from the previous records and what is this one’s unique selling point?

I think our sound has changed quite a lot during the years! When the band was started, we played some sort of gothic stuff what was greatly influenced by bands like Paradise Lost and Type O Negative. A little by little we have moved into a more rocking and grooving direction and I think you can hear influences from bands like AC/DC and Danko Jones in our music nowadays.


The name chosen for this particular album is in Finnish and it means ‘Lead’. What was the concept behind it and why did you choose Finnish over English for the title?

The album title was more or less like an inside thing. As you know, lead´s chemical symbol is “pb” and you can also make those letters out of our band´s name. Basically that´s the whole idea behind the album title, there´s not any deeper meaning behind of it.


‘Home is where the sty is’ represents the first single of the record. How did you guys come up with the concept of the video and why was this song chosen first?

First of all, we definitely wanted the video to match with the lyrics this time, because as great as our previous video “Mercury Falling” looks, it doesn´t really have anything to do with the song´s lyrics. The video production team sent us the script and we liked it and decided to do it. “Home Is Where The Sty Is” was chosen to be the first single, because we think it´s a pretty catchy and simple song and therefore a perfect track for the single release!


How long did it take to create and produce ‘Lyijy’?

We started to write, rehearse and record demos of the new material already in the summer 2012. Then there was all kinds of hassles with our record label and management and therefore we weren´t able to start the recording earlier than in the end of that year. We recorded it with our producer Jonas Olsson during the winter 2012-2013 and Jens Bogren mixed it in November at Fascination Street studios in Sweden. Since we already knew that our record label will change to Warner Music we decided that we won´t release the album before this fall, because releasing an album during the summer months is always a bit risky. That´s why it took so long before the album is finally out.


Most people know Poisonblack due to Ville Laihiala. But what could you tell us about yourself? What is your musical background and how did you end up playing with the guys?

I´ve have known Ville (Laihiala, vocalist) before he joined Sentenced and we even played in a same band called Breed before that. When he was planning Poisonblack´s debut album he asked me to play drums on that album as a session musician and maybe to do some shows with them. Shortly after that, Sentenced decided to quit and Poisonblack became Ville´s musical priority and there was more need for a “real” band. There´s been some line-up changes during the years, but our keyboardist Marco and I have been in the band since the beginning.


Are you guys preparing for a tour outside Finland anytime soon?

Like I mentioned previously, we will play in Brazil in November. Unfortunately there aren’t any other dates confirmed outside of Finland right now. We are still looking for a company for distributing our album in other countries than Finland. Hopefully we can find a good one and will tour a lot after that!


Do you have any funny/unusual stories to share from the tours or the gigs?

Yes, there are definitely some, but I don´t think publishing them is a good idea! Hahaha!


Do you have any rituals that you follow before going up on stage?

No, not really. Some practical stuff, perhaps. Like double-checking some stuff, etc.


What is the best advice you have ever received?

Hmm…nothing comes into my mind right now. Maybe that´s yet to come!


Thank you so much for your time! Any last words for our readers?

Support the bands you like by buying the albums and coming to the shows! See you there!

Tarmo Kanerva