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Alexi laihi Children Of Bodom - Interview
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ALEXI LAIHO

CHILDREN OF BODOM




Finland melodic metallers Children Of Bodom have been pretty consistent with quality albums over the years, "Follow The Reaper" and "Blooddrunk" are widely considered some of the best metal albums in history and their last album "Halo Of Blood" drew many praises. The band are back in 2015 with their latest work "I Worship Chaos", a darker and more simplistic set of songs as founding member and frontman Alexi Laiho tells us, but still with the trademark sound that fans know them for. The band were recently announced as supporting act for Megadeth on an Australian tour in October just days after this interview as we discussed the new album and touring as well as some interesting and funny stories on the road.

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Andrew: I had read something about you just recently where you had performed at some festival with about 100 other guitarists. What was that all about?

Alexi: Well basically the whole thing was at the Helsinki City Festival but they came up to me and gave me the idea that they wanted to order a 15 minute guitar piece for 100 guitar players, and I was like, 'Huh?' But then again at the same time there was no way I could say no to that, so I started working on it and actually made it happen and it was pretty fucking rad!

Andrew: Wow 100 guitars! There must have been a huge sound going on there.

Alexi: Yeah it was huge on every level, and obviously it was a lot of hard work and was pretty damn stressful but in the end it paid off. Once we got out there on stage to perform the whole thing, it was just mindblowing, it was great.

Andrew: Yeah well worth it. We should talk about the new album that's coming out in October "I Worship Chaos", we had a preview of this last week and it sounds like another great Children Of Bodom album. What can you tell me about it and what was some of the things you did differently compared to some of your other stuff?

Alexi: I'm quoting a lot of people here but everyone is telling me that it sounds a lot darker than our previous ones which I actually do agree with. And it's just a lot catchier because I think the arrangements and song structures are more simple so they are definitely more approachable I guess, which makes it catchier.

Andrew: You mention the whole thing being more darker, was that something that you were trying to achieve on this album?

Alexi: No it didn't really work that way. I just start writing and usually I go out of my way to try not to think about what people are going to expect or what we should sound like because stuff like that kinda throws me off and I end up writing stuff that is not genuine. So I would rather keep it natural and spontaneous and for me, that's the only way to keep things fresh.

Andrew: So you definitely believe in a somewhat purist element to your music when you sit and write songs?

Alexi: Oh yeah totally.

Andrew: Is that difficult to not listen to a lot of people? Fans expectations and labels and that kind of thing?

Alexi: I usually have been pretty good at that but obviously sometimes it kinda takes effort on my part to really block that out of my mind . But I've been doing this for quite a long time and I know that's the only way I can really make shit happen.




Andrew: In one of the trailers (for "I Worship Chaos") that was put out a while ago you mentioned something about the lyrics and how there was stuff on here that was maybe a little different to what fans may be expecting. Can you elaborate a little on what those lyrics are?

Alexi: It's tracks like "Morrigan" and "Widdershins" which I guess comes from my interest in witchcraft and stuff like that which I've always been intrigued since I was a kid. And recently within the last couple of years I've actually learned a lot about that world which sort of made me automatically incorporate that into the music as well. So that's something new, at least on the lyrical department.

Andrew: OK so what draws you to that whole world of witchcraft and that kind of thing?

Alexi: I don't really know man, it's just kind of always been there. I've just gravitated towards it more and more the older I got and I got to know some people who actually really know about that stuff. Like I said, I've learned more and more about it and it's just something that I find very inspiring and things that inspire me are things that keep me alive.

Andrew: OK cool. Now this album has only 4 of you guys which I guess is the first time that has ever happened in the band?

Alexi: Yeah basically all that meant at that point [is that] I was working double shift because I had to play all the guitars. I mean I didn't really mind, it's just one of those things that I had to do [so] I didn't mind. If anything it made everything sound tighter so at least something good came out of a negative thing.

Andrew: And how is this going to work out on tour? Have you got another guitarist to fill in?

Alexi: Yes Janne's (Wirman, keyboards) brother Antti has been filling in and he's going to be there until the end of the year, which is awesome so we don't need to cancel anything. We're currently working on finding a new member, we have a couple of options right now but unfortunately I can't really give you any names because nothing is 100% sure yet but you will find out soon.

Andrew: OK cool. What have you got planned for touring for this new album?

Alexi: We do some stuff in Asia like Loudpark in Japan and then we do a European run. I think in January we do the U.S. and basically we have shit lined up until the middle of 2017 so there will be a lot of touring. Which is awesome because that is what we are all about, love touring and love playing live.

[editors note: Since this interview, Children Of Bodom have been announced as supporting act for Megadeth's Australia tour in October. See below for more details]




Andrew: You guys were in Australia last year but the last time I saw you was in 2010 in Perth and there was an incident that happened at that show. This was 5 years ago so maybe your memory is a little hazy on this one but something happened where you stopped the show midway through and pointed up to this old lady that was up on the balcony. Do you remember this at all?

Alexi: [laughs] No but it sounds kinda funny. What did this old lady do?

Andrew: Yeah it was funny because she must have been at least 70 years old maybe and she was headbanging to your music and it was one of the best things I had ever seen! And even you guys were cracking up and I just wanted to know if you knew that lady or what was her involvement in the show.

Alexi: [laughs] Honestly it sounds hilarious but unfortunately I can't really...it was a long time ago. But nothing wrong with that, an old lady headbanging, can't get better than that!

Andrew: Exactly yeah! What's the craziest thing you have ever seen at one of your shows?

Alexi: Honestly, we do so many shows and we've been on the road for over 18 years so a lot of crazy shit has happened. But one time, I think, well of course it was in Finland, it was a festival and all of a sudden 10 or so naked dudes just fucking ran on the stage and then stage dived and I had to stop playing because I cracked up saying, 'Did that just really happen? [laughs] Did anybody else see that or did I just go crazy?' And everybody was like, 'Wow!' I didn't know how they made it to the stage but they actually did.

Andrew: [laughs] I guess everyone was too scared to go near them since they were naked!

Alexi: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: You mentioned that you have been doing this for over 18 years and such a great career, what keeps you going? Do you still love music as much now as when you first started?

Alexi: Oh yeah totally! It's just our love for music in general and especially for playing live since we really grew into the whole touring life. We started when we were so young at 17 and 18, so we've spent our whole adult lives on the road really. So it's sort of a natural way of life for all of us and we still enjoy the hell out of it and playing live is still one of the coolest things on the planet if you ask me.

Andrew: Well as a fan myself and I'm sure all the fans agree that it's great to see you guys keep going and putting out quality albums, 'I Worship Chaos' is a great album as well. So thanks for your time today.

Alexi: Yeah no problem dude!


Children Of Bodom supporting Megadeth in Australia:

October 16th - Perth: Metro City
October 18th - Sydney: Horden Pavilion
October 19th - Melbourne: Festival Hall
October 21st - Brisbane: Eatons Hill Hotel

Tickets and tour details can be found at Daintygroup.com


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on August 17th 2015