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COB Interviews

Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by COBHC Webmaster, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. tragician

    tragician Hermotriekaleina22/7

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    When my friend sent me the link to this I was just speechless wtf

    Alexi says that after the shoulder injury in 2010 (when he fell out of the bunk and broke his shoulder and ribs), he has had problems with the shoulder and recently in the last couple years the pain has been unbearable. So he went to see a shoulder specialist doctor who said that the bone in the shoulder had healed wrong and also that Alexi's collarbone is broken. So the collarbone has been broken and without proper treatment for years and that has made performing very hard and it has caused Alexi a lot of stress too because he hasn't always been happy with his playing. This summer after the show at the Circus in Helsinki he had a surgery done on the shoulder. He had to recover for six weeks and wear a sling on it.

    He did have to walk off stage with the broken shoulder and ribs on the tour it happened because playing the show just hurt too much. The audience didn't know what was happening so they were booing. So Alexi thanks the guys of Municipal Waste for going up there and explaining the situation.
     
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  2. NewHewkas

    NewHewkas Scheiße Gitarre Spieler

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    That's just fine... how in the hell, he couldn't recognize for 7! years there's something wrong with his arm??
     
  3. mrKRB64

    mrKRB64 Member

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    He probably realised it more after he cut down on drinking
     
  4. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I think that was the gig they were playing Hellhounds around the middle of the set and Alexi was in such pain he could barely talk to the mic. There's a video of the song when he just leaves the stage, don't know where that is in the depths of youtube. It would be the most un-metal thing to do to apologize the audience he can't go on, so I imagine it was a mental breakdown...

    Remember when he fell off that icy car roof in 2004 or 2005 and broke his... left wrist? He wore a casing over the arm, so he used the time he couldn't play, to come up with what he calls his best lyrics, for Living, AYDY and something else on the album.

    I don't think this new album will see the light of day before next spring or summer...

    Jaska went to the back surgery now too?

    I guess with these things in mind it might seem like mount Everest to climb for them to get the point of having a new album done one day.

    I dunno... that guy Daniel should use this time to record his Naildown album or come up with some epic guitar shit for the Bodom album... And Janne has all this time to dig up some epic keyboard sounds. I hope they're not just slagging off with their families or something.
     
    #4484 (__Joonas__), Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  5. tragician

    tragician Hermotriekaleina22/7

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    http://www.riffi.fi/artikkelit/haastattelut/ikimuistoiset-sessiot-anssi-kippo
    this is an interview from two years ago, about Anssi Kippo who has worked with COB in the beginning. Pretty cool stuff about the recording of Hate Crew Deathroll. It's from Riffi magazine 6/2015, I posted it in my blog but I'll post it here too, it has been unfinished in my drafts for a while and I got it done now. Sorry for any mistakes I don't know anything about recording drums. Hope no one has translated this yet lol.

    Unforgettable sessions (Original text by Misha Koivunen)

    Children Of Bodom - Hate Crew Deathroll (Spinefarm 2003)

    Anssi’s work with Children Of Bodom began already in the beginning when making demos, which were followed by producing three albums and a lot of singles and songs.

    Originally started as a duo, Espoo’s Children Of Bodom found their way to Anssi Kippo in Lappeenranta through the drummer Jaska Raatikainen’s grandparents. Jaska, who had been spending his summer break at his grandparents, had opened up about his band project to their neighbor, who then introduced him to a classmate who had recently opened a demo studio.

    -Two long haired teens knock the door of a church’s bomb shelter: “Hi, we’re from Helsinki! We wanna come make a demo! Show us what you’ve done so far!” So I played them an album by Soulset, that I had just made with a 16 track recorder.

    The strong sound impressed the metalheads. Anssi remembers how their skills and good quality songs impressed him too. The next four years Kippo took care of mixing and sometimes he also was a tour manager, a stage tech, lightning technician and a bus driver - naturally the trips were easy to make with his bus. He didn’t have to be the shirt sales guy or a security guard though. Besides touring Kippo also produced the band’s albums that were released during that time. Out of which he mentions especially Hate Crew Deathroll

    -That is an album where the anger and the atmosphere are so perfect that you don’t find that kind of albums very often. We weren’t only trying to be technically right, there had to be the right kind of wrath in every note. It wasn’t overly polished even though we had to work the same parts a lot.

    It took 72 days to get those ten songs recorded. The right kind of moods weren’t always found that easily.

    -Allu would sometimes play something for four hours without getting a note recorded. Then he would get so pissed off at me that he would get it done perfectly on the first try. It’s all psychology. You just have to find those moods somehow. Allu also lost his voice at some point. Well, what can you do. A couple weeks after those sessions the vocals were all recorded in one night.

    The working schedule was very tough, and with one exception you worked 14-16 hour days. How do you get anything out of anyone after eight hours?

    -I had been practicing that a lot, actually. All the tours back then were done with my “Planet” bus, which got it’s name because we are the monkeys living in that planet. After a sleepless night I would drive to Helsinki, get the guys aboard and drive to Oulu for example. After the show, back to Helsinki and then back to Lappeenranta to work in the studio. So I had developed this kind of a routine. I worked 16 hour days for many years, the longest was forty two hours. But you can’t make a musician work for too long so you have to make some sort of shifts so that no one has to work two weeks in a row. That has been tried too and it was proven not to work very well. The shifts make it less stressful for the musicians and no one’s fingers get worn out.

    Anssi recalls that they had planned to record the album in 50-60 days. Spinefarm wasn’t too strict though, Anssi Kippo was a trustworthy man whose calendar was filled with working with the label’s bands.

    -Of course if you’re taking more time, there has to be a good reason. Our reason obviously wasn’t being lazy, we were working very long days and working super hard.

    Anssi says that besides trying to find the right sound and most precise playing it is also important to consider what kind of things you are recording.

    -Earlier the drums had been done really fast. They didn’t even have a clicktrack on the first album. Jaska has always had a very precise plan on what he is going to do. On the demos he would just play it all in one take and then we would discuss what we could do more and I would tell my own ideas.

    Nowadays on metal albums you can’t hear “natural” drums that often anymore. Anssi isn’t sure if there were samples used while mixing Hate Crew Deathroll (which was done by Mikko Karmila), but he says that at least he doesn’t think there would have been the need to. Anssi himself stopped using samples three years ago.

    -I don’t care what kind of album it is, there will not be samples unless they specifically ask. When recording Ensiferum’s newest, I told the guys that if they feel like using samples we can do that. We didn’t. But online the comments were like “Oh this sample shit again.”

    Samples are often used in high tempo double pedal tracks, where the sound of the hit can sometimes sound too quiet. According to Kippo, natural bass drums can be brought up.

    -I gate the bass drum while recording. When recording analogically I also gate the toms. Just like that with good confidence. I use a special “key input” gate opening system and I thought I would start using gate also when recording digitally, at least the toms.

    The idea came from the internet where the big boys from america said they were gating the bass drum.

    -I then thought I would take it a step further and also gate the toms. Not a single hit goes to waste if you do it with the right technique. It’s very precise but not that hard when you know what you’re doing.

    The recording sessions often lasted until 4 am and lunch break was around midnight. The hard work was then rewarded as the nights at the end of the summer kept getting darker and brought the perfect atmosphere for a Bodom -style barbecue.

    -The guys set a bonfire to the empty barrels on the yard behind the studio and it brought this whole gang war feeling to it. Party Hard by Andrew W.K. could be heard from Alexi’s Pontiac car stereo… Barbecue with a cosy feeling. So in these sessions we thought we’d have a theme for each day, and we had a food theme too. That we would eat according to the perfect diet. Tuesday was a fish food day, etc. Everyone had their own turn at cooking. It was pretty rare actually, because in our tour rider -which was inspired by an other band’s list- it had originally said “no junk food, only healthy food” but we had been so smart about it and changed it to “no healthy food, only junk food” so on every gig we got pizza and kebab. By the way, those barrels from the studio back yard are now a part of Bodom’s stage props.

    This almost perfect album is a product of it’s time. This is pretty much how you could summarise Anssi’s feelings about Hate Crew Deathroll. Nothing should be changed in his opinion and he doesn’t think he could even do the exact same thing again.

    -That kind of hard working mentality was brought as far as we could. Everything was made perfect, not by editing, just playing, and I don’t know if I could work that long days as this album took anymore.

    Intensive 72 days. What’s next?

    -After some albums, -HCDR being one of them- I get this feeling that now I can finally die in peace. Now I have done what I am here for. This is one of those things you will never forget. Whether we recorded on an ADAT or a hard drive, near the ending of the sessions I would bring a box of cassettes next to my bed in case the whole place burns down. So I can at least save them.

    How do personal relationships endure such sessions?

    -Of course they can suffer. My record is 138 work days in a row. Four and a half months! It really shows how you can be able to understand each other. But I still have loans left to pay. These things I just have to do.

    Hate Crew Deathroll was the international breakthrough album for Children Of Bodom. After this great success the guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho was voted by the readers of two music magazines to be the best metal guitarist in the world. It sold the gold record in Finland and there has been 24 716 copies sold overall. Globally it has sold about 250 000 copies.

    Anssi Kippo still gets contacted because of this album, to which he comments; “Well I guess we have done a decent job then.”
     
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  6. tragician

    tragician Hermotriekaleina22/7

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    Oh well I translated this too;

    INFERNO 3/2017 original text by AKI NUOPPONEN

    Children Of Bodom is one of the biggest metal bands in Finland. There are stories told of their debut album sending their career into and immediate growth twenty years ago. In reality, before Something Wild there were years of crazily confident hard work. Bodom just refused to give up.

    After finishing the long I Worship Chaos -world tour at the beginning of this year, Children Of Bodom has taken it easy for a little while. Usually this would be followed by starting to record the next album, but now there’s something completely different.

    The vocalist-guitarist Alexi Laiho and the drummer Jaska Raatikainen are immediately forced to face their past as they are shown the 20 year old music video of Deadnight Warrior.

    Alexi: I hardly ever return to these old videos, but my girlfriend had found this and forced me to watch it again…. Fuck, I never realized how we were such little kids back then!

    Jaska: This music video was filmed in like freezing cold winter temperatures in the middle of a blizzard. Nowadays these kinds of things would be filmed in a studio and the snow would be edited in afterwards. It surely looks like video well worked for, but… That was fucking crazy!

    Alexi: Just look at Janne! The guy has been grabbed straight from like, a math class and forced to wear sunglasses and a hoodie because he didn’t have long hair! He looks like some hip hop dude!

    Jaska: My favorite things are the secret messages! We ran out of money during the making of this video, so we wrote messages into the pillars in the background like ”EWO, SEND MONEY!” and we edited them to be there in small microsecond flashes, wishing that the label would get it!

    Children Of Bodom hasn’t really looked in the past. Many years have gone by from the birth of the band and their first album that has been praised as a classic, before the band decided to celebrate these twenty years with a tour this spring.

    Alexi: We have been thinking about it before. It has always come up when a big number of years has gone past. Every time we have come to the conclusion that we are not going to start selling all this anniversary shit too lightly. We have wanted to focus more on moving forward with new tours and new albums.

    Jaska: This 20-years tour seemed like the right thing though. The management and the fans have been asking for such things earlier too, but we have refused. But I think 20 years is something to be celebrated! Now the early days are so far behind we hardly remember anything.

    SOMETHING WILD

    When Children Of Bodom, earlier known as Inearthed was finishing its first album, the times were completely different in finland concerning metal music. At the end of 1990’s bands like Amorphis, Sentenced and Stratovarius were recording a lot, but releasing an album wasn’t a no-brainer for a young barrier-breaking metal band.

    Alexi: We had already been doing this for years when Something Wild came out. Since we were little kids. Our first demos were released when we were 13-14 year olds, and I don’t think any of us were even 18 when the first album came out.

    Jaska: Rarely a band formed of 17 year old kids gets to record in a real studio. Back then we were going forward with such force, that nothing could have stopped us. We were making music that combined whatever we liked back then and just putting songs together.

    Alexi: We really wanted to show everyone what we could do. During the Inearthed times we were already sending demos very actively around, hoping for a record deal. We often even went to the offices to meet the label people, we didn’t want to miss any chances.

    Jaska: The chances to release an album really weren’t something that grew out of trees. We worked for many years, making demos, for this thing, and the deal really didn’t happen very easily in the end.

    The drummer is referring to the situation that led to the change form Inearthed to COB. The band had a deal with a belgian label in 1996, but it turned out to be a complete scam.

    Jaska: The belgian guy was really the first one who showed any interest in what we were doing and wanted to release that album.

    Alexi: We were faced with the same problem as many other young bands. We wanted so badly to get an album out that we were ready to sign whatever deal we could get.

    Jaska: You have to also remember how slow the contact was at the time too. Those kinds of labels didn’t use e-mail. We hardly knew what e-mails were either! We had to send faxes from my parent’s workplaces to Belgium, write handwritten letters and just hope we got some kind of a response.

    Alexi: So basically we had out names in the papers before we even realized what we had agreed to do. Our hands were tied but somehow we had to get out of that shit. If you could see the deal, you would understand this very well. So we decided to tell them that Inearthed broke up and then we renamed it Children Of Bodom. It really was a little shady but what else could we do?

    SOMETHING RISKY

    After solving this problem, Something Wild still wasn’t made easily. Even though the band had managed to get rid of an unfair deal, the album was still unrecorded and finding a new deal wasn’t easy.

    Alexi: at Spinefarm they told us that they can release the album but not really help with the recordings. So then there was this moment when we all just thought: Fuck this, we are going to do this, whether the album gets out or not. We decided to pay the studio with out own little money.

    Jaska: It was one hell of a risk, but also a natural solution for us. We had already made so many demos alone, so a whole album wasn’t that big of a step.

    Alexi: We reserved the Astia-studio and it took us maybe one or one and a half weeks to finish it. We worked 20 hour days. We just worked our asses off even though we weren’t sure if anyone’s going to ever hear it.

    At this time, there weren’t really any metal focused studios in Finland, or even people to record metal. According to Alexi and Jaska this was actually a good thing when the owner of Astia studios, Anssi Kippo brought their own edge to the album.

    Alexi: Astia was not a metal studio. But it suited us very well. It was very much the same kind of atmosphere that we had, the kind of youth center sorta shit… Astia and Anssi started getting recognition at the same time as we did.

    Jaska: At the time Anssi really was a unique guy in the studio scene. He was a very dedicated musician and a perfectionist. He was digging all kinds of music, taking influences from everywhere around him and he was super excited to do the guitar things with Alexi. He understood the meaning of all the instruments.

    SOMETHING INCONTINENT

    Extreme metal influences, classical melodies and almost powermetallic solos. Something Wild was exactly like it was named.

    Alexi: We never really thought what we wanted this music to be or what not. It has always been the heart of Bodom, being natural, doing what you want.

    Jaska: It was already then that we just made an album like we wanted to and then found out from the reviews what we had actually managed to do!

    Alexi: All ouf us had a colorful background that influenced how Something Wild sounded like. We knew a lot about classical music and had played it. At the same time we were completely crazy about black&death metal.

    Jaska: We just did what we wanted to. We didn’t have any barriers. No filters. Even if we still take influences from everywhere nowadays, we won’t be putting all the ideas into the same song.

    Alexi: There are some really fuckin good riffs and melodies, but they may not fit together so well. It’s just this rage and flustering. Every song is just there right at the edge, will it break down or stay in one piece. It sure has it’s own charm, not knowing what will happen next!

    Jaska: The drums were recorded in the studio live, and we had no idea about any protools or anything, so the recipe for a complete mess was right there.

    SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS

    Especially the keyboard sounds and arrangements of Something Wild make people confused. The others welcomed the different sound choices and synth solos with open arms. The others turned their backs to the band because of them.

    Jaska: Some people have thought that the synth things came around because of Janne. Actually people have often blamed him for them. But in reality we had those same kinds of things before too, we just had to play together with Allu, four handed because we were so bad at it!

    Alexi: And people did comment on it! Just because we weren’t afraid of taking any risks. All that we wanted to record on the album was surely going to be there. Especially if it was a weird idea in someone else’s opinion.

    Jaska: I always felt like we stepped on all possible toes because we weren’t avoiding any kind of solutions. That’s why some people liked out synth stuff like crazy, but not so much of the vocals. Someone else then liked the riffs and the vocals but didn’t get the keyboards at all.

    Alexi: You can’t really blame people of being narrow minded though. Those keyboard things there were something completely different than what had been in death/black metal music back then. All kinds of classical references, disco sounds, 80’s sounds and some weird Miami Vice flirting. It was the kind of stuff that was surely easy to love or hate. And both opinions were okay for us!

    Jaska: It would have been much worse to make an album that didn’t provoke any kind of reaction. It was better to get the whole album called fucking shitty and then praised at the same time, both as loud. All attention was good attention.

    The keyboardist Janne Wirman found his way into Children Of Bodom just weeks before the recording sessions of Something Wild. Alexi and Jaska both laugh a little, reminding us that Janne definitely wasn’t a metalhead back then.

    Alexi: It was a miracle we even found someone. Keyboardists for metal bands were hard to find at the time. At least we found this jazz guy, who had a calculator in his back pocket and his hair combed back with gel!!

    Jaska: We had to find someone who could play those things, and we couldn’t pull it off ourselves. Janne was my classmate and he was a virtuoso. We didn’t think he would end up being a permanent member.

    Alexi: A new thing with Janne was that he could play solos. Stratovarius was a big thing at the time and we even had a song that was pretty much copying them, Lake Bodom, of course. Janne gave the song and the whole album the finishing touch by improvising fucking amazing solos there.

    SOMETHING RELENTLESS

    Children Of Bodom’s career left to rise like a rocket after the first albums. Alexi and Jaska still emphasize that they had worked very hard for many years for that before.

    Alexi: You always hear these stories of COB, which was formed in 1997 and made an album and suddenly got to tour the world. There it’s completely forgotten that this band had existed for four years before that. None of those great things after the first albums would have happened without our first demos.

    Jaska: Or course the Spinefarm did a very good job. They had those contacts abroad that many others didn’t have back then. And things really started working out when we got the distribution deal to Europe with Nuclear Blast.

    Alexi: Our principle was to do any tour or gig we could get. We were so eager to show what we got, we weren’t picky about it at all. We would do anything! You could sugar coat it and just say oh we got to tour with Hypocrisy and Dimmu Borgir right away, but in reality we didn’t make any money with those tours.

    Jaska: We were so young that some of us still lived with our parents. That helped us be able to go on any tour. But it also made things difficult. Sometimes Janne couldn’t make it to a show because of secondary school’s final exams. And I was picked up from my graduation party to play a gig at Kauhajoki Casino.

    The reward from years of hard work was an album. The hard work after that was rewarded with European tours. Even though sometimes the band lost more money than it made, COB stubbornly carried on.

    Alexi: It took years before we started making money. I remember this one weekend around the time when the first album came out. We played three gigs in three days in Finland and each of us got 3mk

    Jaska: Many tours we played pretty much for free and for some we even had to pay for, before we got to headline in Europe. It definitely didn’t happen overnight. Not even in five years.

    Alexi: And then when we started making money, it went to organizing the next tours. We payed for the tours with touring. It was crazy, and for years we didn’t even have a manager, but it was investing for the future. And now that I look back, it was all definitely worth it!

    SOMETHING FUN

    The tour that celebrates all things mentioned above, -started in the meginning of March in Germany and ending 6th of April in Helsinki-, isn’t meant to be just a Something Wild tour. Alexi and Jaska admit to going through the old setlists and album very thoroughly.

    Alexi: It wouldn’t really make sense to just play the first album. It’s only seven songs after all so that fun would be over too soon, so we’re mixing in some stuff from Hatebreeder too.

    Jaska: Deadnight Warrior and Lake Bodom have been played recently, but the other songs are pretty weird stuff after all these years, so I really had to learn them all over again.

    Alexi: Sometimes I listen to the old albums anyway, but not so intensively. Now I have been listening to Something Wild a lot and… It’s such fuckin flustering and trampling!

    Jaska: Sometimes when listening to it I had to stop and just go; What the fuck is that thing doing there? Why have I been playing these weird things in here and what the fuck do most of these fills have to do with this song anyway?

    Alexi: Not that it’s shit or anything! It’s real anger and completely unfiltered stuff. It has it’s moments yeah, but it would concern me if I didn’t feel that I had developed in writing at all.

    Jaska: Really I just worry if I can play these things live with a straight face!

    Alexi: Probably can’t, but I think the point of this tour after all is to have even more fun on stage and in the audience!

    Jaska: I think the atmosphere will be a little different to our usual tours. We’ll be less serious, and have fun, as long as the songs sound exactly as the should.

    When a band with over 20 year career starts playing old stuff, it’s expected that even the oldest fans are coming to see the show.

    Alexi: It’s fun to see how the audience changes… If it does at all. These albums are so important to some people that have found them as teenagers back in the day. Their lives have gone forward after that and we’re still the same Bodom.

    Jaska: It would be fun to see these all grown up adult fans with kids come to the show to remember the old times. Leave the partner at home, the briefcase in the coatrack and go see a show!

    Alexi: In the moshpit or front row, full party mode on! Then go to work the next day all bruised up, just like it was 1997 again!
     
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  7. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Nothing really about the band's music or what they're doing now, just random stuff.

     
  8. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Why is Lost Society playing their shit in what was supposed to be a COB video? I really need to contain myself not to say rude things about this. I don't wanna be a dick, I just think these tryhard bands should grow their own wings. These guys need to rethink their musical style, appearance and band name if they wish to ever find a target audience.
     
  9. rj rl

    rj rl multidimensionally dyslexic

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    They're top flight modern thrash band, what are you on about?
     
  10. NewHewkas

    NewHewkas Scheiße Gitarre Spieler

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    Idk if it's their best, but a great '80s style thrash song for sure ;)
     
  11. CharIie

    CharIie Formerly known as Joker and IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    This is my personnal favorite with Toxic Avenger (which sadly is too short). Personnally, I really like this band. I'm actually the one in the CoB video who asked Sami Elbanna if he could make playthrough videos XD
     
  12. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I never liked thrash, I never liked Stone, never liked Slayer, etc. Nothing memorable about it, but just my opinion. I can hear from solos they can play. But besides, it's an attempt to gift someone an audience when waiting for a big band to play but then surprise there's someone else. I think thrash is focused on anger as emotion, but it's not done in songwriting, it's in how hard you can physically hit random notes on your instrument, and in my mind there's no such shortcuts in creating impact.
     
    #4492 (__Joonas__), Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  13. COB-666

    COB-666 Member

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  14. COB-666

    COB-666 Member

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  15. sleeper666

    sleeper666 MetalMutha

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    http://www.billboard.com/articles/c...w-deathroll-anniversary-alexi-laiho-interview

    Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho on Watershed Record 'Hate Crew Deathroll': 'We Nailed It'
    11/15/2017 by Geneva Hallenbach

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    Courtesy Photo
    Children of Bodom
    Finnish metal band's North American tour celebrates its first four albums
    Finnish metal band Children of Bodom embarked on the 20 Years Down N’ Dirty North America Tour on Oct. 31 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut album, Something Wild. The group — which took its name from the 1960 unsolved murders of three teens who were killed while camping at Lake Bodom in Espoo, Finland — is paying homage to Something Wild by playing obscure tracks from the set, as well as rarities from its subsequent albums Hatebreeder, Follow the Reaper and Hate Crew Deathroll. It was the latter album that pushed the group into the mainstream in 2003, due to its positive critical reception, and enabled COB to finally tour the United States.

    “After all those years, we got to tour in the States for the first time,” recalls singer-guitarist Alexi Laiho of the doors that Hate Crew Deathroll opened. “We were young, and we were fucking crazy. Every single day we had a blast on the stage, and after the show, it was a fucking mad party.”

    He fondly recalls how, when hanging with contemporaries like Dimmu Borgir and Nevermore, “it [was] like, if you don't keep up with those guys, you're not fucking rock 'n' roll enough. We didn't have that problem. We were fucking pros already. I remember Nevermore — those fucking guys, holy shit. The way they were drinking vodka, even we were freaked out.”

    Laiho has since tempered his alcohol consumption, especially while touring — “I don't drink on the road anymore because the hangovers are so fucking horrible that I don't want to feel like a fucking roadkill on the stage the day after.” But his appreciation for what the band achieved with Hate Crew Deathroll remains undiminished, and Laiho reflects on that album as well as the rest of their discography with Billboard.

    I was reading, and I don’t know if this is accurate, that you had some misgivings, shall we say, about the first album.

    I wouldn’t say misgivings, but when you think about it, it’s the first album, and it’s far from perfect. But the more I listen to it now — because I had to learn a couple of things here and there — the more I actually like that we were not striving for perfection or any of that. It was just pure teenage fuckin’ rage and rebellion. Things like production, they were completely secondary facts. I kind of dig that. Also, song-wise, it’s very, I don’t know. I guess “juvenile” would be the word. I have improved as a songwriter. I would put 10 different riffs in one song, but they don’t really go together … It was more about showing off and being pissed off.

    What were some of your influences at the time? On the band’s Skeletons in the Closet compilation and some of your B-sides, you draw from a really eclectic musical background. Did you have older siblings who turned you on to some music when you were growing up?

    My older sister, she introduced me to hard-rock ’80s stuff, so I grew up with bands like Motley Crue, WASP, Twisted Sister, and then later on, Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row. She would play the cassette for me, and I was like, ‘Holy fuck, this is awesome.’ The more she grew up, she got more into extreme stuff, and then all of a sudden, there’s Metallica, there’s Sepultura, there’s Slayer. Then I’m like, ‘Holy fuck.’ Then she bumps it up to death metal, and then it’s black metal.

    But the thing is, I never really abandoned any of my first influences or the first bands that I dug. That’s one thing about Children of Bodom’s music: You can hear a lot. For example, in the guitar riffs, there’s an ’80s vibe to them. And the keyboard sounds, there’s a lot of ’80s disco vibe going on in there. It’s a weird mix, but somehow I guess we made it work.




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    Would you say the album after that, Hatebreeder, was the first one that got people paying more attention to the band?

    Yeah, I would say that less than a year-and-a-half between Something Wild and Hatebreeder, the band had taken such a huge leap forward, as far as everything. That’s when we started touring and playing live, and all of us, we were practicing like madmen. It was fuckin’ insane, dude. Every single day, we would practice as a band for hours and hours. And before and after, I would practice my own instrument. Our drummer, he would do the same thing. So Hatebreeder was obviously [better-played], and production-wise, it was a whole different band.

    Also, the songs, they had started making more sense. There was some sort of verse-chorus loop going on. Even though it was pretty progressive, but it wasn’t like one riff after another. The songs were actually a lot better, too.

    Did you categorize the band’s music as death metal? Have you moved beyond that category?

    I never even tried, dude. It’s just impossible. To me, it’s just metal. I just call it metal and that’s it. But some people call it black metal, some people call it death metal, some say it’s thrash, God knows what. There are millions of sub-categories and shit, and I’m not really that keen on labels. So you can call it whatever you want.

    What can you share about your third studio album, Follow the Reaper?

    We recorded that in Sweden, with Peter Tägtgren from Hypocrisy. And I think now, when I look back, maybe the songs, songwriting-wise, they had improved a lot. I do remember a lot of people were upset about the fact that the whole classical music vibe had been dialed back a lot. But a lot of people didn’t mind. I think it had a more rock’n’roll vibe in it. It was the first time we had kind of a slow song on the record, which was “Everytime I Die.” and that was one of those songs we still play live.

    How do you view the self-referential nature of singing about Lake Bodom or Children of Bodom, invoking it in your lyrics?

    It just accidentally became a routine — well, not a routine, but more like a tradition. On the first album, we had “Lake Bodom,” and then I figured, “OK, we're going to use the Reaper on the cover.” Originally, that wasn't planned. It just sort of happened. And then I made a promise to myself that on every single record, there was going to be at least one Bodom-related song. The cool thing about that is that since it is an unsolved crime, you can pretty much write anything you want about it. But they're more harsh to write. It's sort of like B horror movie style. So it's like they're half-comedy and half-horror.




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    That brings us to Hate Crew Deathroll. What did that album do for you?

    That was the album where we'd finally found our own path and our own style. Because up until then, we were kind of like going here and there. Sort of looking for what we're all about. And I think on Hate Crew, we had finally captured it … That's definitely one of not only the most important albums for Children of Bodom, but definitely one of the best. For a lot of people, it’s their favorite record of Children of Bodom — and I don't blame them. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it is pretty fucking badass. When I look back and I listen to it, I'm like, “Shit, man. We nailed it.”

    You have an eclectic body of cover songs. I think the first one I ever heard was the Britney Spears cover, “Ooops!... I Did It Again.” Have you ever gotten feedback from artists that you've covered?

    Britney, no, unfortunately. I've always wanted her to hear it. I would just love to see her face. No, that hasn't happened yet. Through the grapevine, I did hear that Pat Benatar's guitar player, Neil Giraldo, heard the cover we did, "Hell Is for Children," and that he dug it or something. But it might just be a rumor. Same thing with Johnny Ramone. I heard that he heard the cover we did of “Somebody Put Something in My Drink” and he thought it was cool. But none of this was directly from the people, so it could be bullshit. But I choose to believe it because it makes me happy.
     
  16. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    What I find mystifying is since they 'discovered their style' or something with HCDR, why then did they make a totally different album next, if not for Alexi's wrist incident setting limitations to speed. Like suddenly they wanted something very different. Then only Blooddrunk has been sort of similar as in the combination of the intrinsic articulation to anger in the playing with the songwriting itself. I just think the best deal about this music isn't the raw anger, but the mysterious vibes and hideous song ideas, it has more adjectives than just primitive anger, all the parallels of it sort of. I understand what he means, but because HCDR was pretty one-dimensional in terms of vibe, it's not my favourite.
     
  17. sleeper666

    sleeper666 MetalMutha

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    Audio interview with Alexi

     
  18. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Good interview, Alexi in the mood and the interviewer is insightful.

    What I still didn't get tho is why they didn't record the new album this fall like they intended? Did the Something Wild tour pull more people than anticipated, so they decided to continue it? Alexi's already regretting they didn't take it to the US...

    They already have 4-5 new songs done. Going to studio in March. Then it's that agonizing half year wait.
     
  19. CharIie

    CharIie Formerly known as Joker and IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    I think (hope) this "Something Wild Tour" has somehow opened their eyes on the fact that many people, even from the newer generations, still like their old stuff. I gave up hopes for them to go back to their roots, but I think they might have heeded our prayers and decided to maybe take time to "think the songs through" as they write them. Which would explain the huge setback, and also make it worth waiting =)
     
  20. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    I'm fairly sure that nearly the entire forum agrees with you. I certainly do. Even their comments about the old songs seem to have gone from something akin to "They are ridiculous guitar wankery" to "They are actually pretty good and fun to play".
     

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