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Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by COBHC Webmaster, Oct 17, 2005.
"John 5 of Rob Zombie!"
*Misha's song starts playing*
Alexi appears at c. 1:09, 6:51 (speaking), 8:16 and 9:00 in this video from the Revolver Golden Gods Awards Black Carpet
Alexi Laiho will be answering YOUR questions THIS FRIDAY, May 10th at 11am (PST) / 2pm (EST) at www.twitter.com/MayhemFest.
If you'd like to send in your question, tweet them to @MayhemFest using #AskCoB.
Children Of Bodom will be headlining the Musicians Institute stage at this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. For tour dates, visit www.rockstarmayhemfest.com
Children of Bodom to play Mayhem
In a top secret location in Helsinki, Finland, Children of Bodom recorded their latest album at the Danger Johnny Studio with Mikko Karmila and Peter Tagtgren. The new album Halo of Blood will be released in June, and Children of Bodom will be lighting up the DTE Energy Music Theatre on July 28th with the Mayhem Festival. Headlining the Musicians Institute stage, Children of Bodom will be joined at Mayhem by Rob Zombie, Mastadon, Machine Head, Five Finger Death Punch and more, making for an awesome hard core show that is not to be missed.
Author Marisa Williams: What is your home town, and is that where you live now?
Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom: We come from Helsinki. I live half time there and half time in Los Angeles. Basically, most of the time, I'm on the road anyhow. I move around a lot, but I like it better like that, because I get restless.
Marisa: How did you get started in music? Did you come from a musical family? What were your biggest musical influences?
Alexi: My family was very musical. Everyone played an instrument. My dad played the keyboard, and my mom played the keyboard, as well as the flute. My sister played piano, and I started piano at five, but it didn't pan out, so I picked the up violin at seven. I got that down pretty fast, and I played that for four or five years. I got my first guitar at 11. When I got the guitar, I didn't give a shit about violin anymore. I started going to music schools when I picked up violin, so I took musical theatre as a kid. At 13, I got into this music school and went there for five years. When I was super young, my dad was playing either classical or classic rock. That's pretty much what was played in our house, everything from Credence and the Beatles to Mozart and Bach. My sister got into hair metal. She'd play me the tapes, and I got into that at a young age. At seven, I was into WASP, Guns n' Roses, Skid Row, Poison, and I still like those bands; they're awesome.
Marisa: That's so funny you should mention WASP. One of the coolest things I saw was the one drummer from WASP, Stet Howland, playing this small little bar in Fort Myers, Florida. He was playing in a cover band, but he did this 20 minute drum solo using beer bottles. It was amazing and just completely unexpected. When I talked to him, he said he was actually making more money playing covers than he was touring with WASP on the last run he did with them.
Alexi: That's pretty cool. At least he's still playing something. That's what's important.
Marisa: Yea, just had to throw that in there, but I'll get back to business. How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?
Alexi: It changes a lot. How the song comes about, it's usually with a guitar riff or keyboard. Sometimes, I'll get a melody playing in my head, and I'll take a guitar and start playing. I'll figure out the chords, so it changes a lot, but as far as the song writing process, it hasn't changed that much from the first album. I'll read the music, like riffs and stuff, take to the other guys, and we jam on the riffs for a little bit, putting the song together as a group. So, they help with the arrangements and stuff, but I write everything, and it has always been like that.
Marisa: What's the coolest thing about your latest project?
Alexi: That it rocks. This time around, the whole session was pretty smooth. There were no obstacles of any kind. I mean, there's always something going on, but this time around, it was pleasant. It's always stressful, but it was fun anyway. I had fun with the vocals and stuff. Peter was there to produce and record. We'd have a schedule to start around 6 p.m., and we'd wrap up around 8 in the morning. It's a cool thing to do your vocals at night. It feels more natural that way.
Marisa: You sound like a guy after my own heart. I always write at night, so I can feel ya on that. Anyhow, what is the biggest difference between playing in the United States, versus playing Europe?
Alexi: It's really... it's really not that different. The States, in general, it's more about circle pits. In Europe, we have that, too, but they're into singing along, more like waving their fists in the air, being super fucking loud, it's insane. Japan is different. They go crazy during the song, but after the song, it's like dead silence; nobody says a peep. The first couple times we played, it felt kinda awkward. You know, people always yell random stupid things in the middle of the song, so it's never quiet, but it is in Japan. They're so polite, they don't want to say anything in between songs.
Marisa: What is the scariest thing about being on the road?
Alexi: I feel really safe on the road. I feel safer when I'm on the road, versus just being off. I don't know about scary, but annoying... It annoys the shit out of me when you have to fly to places; airports and flying in general is a pain in the ass, everything around it. I hate it, fucking hate it, but then again, most of the tours, we're in the tour bus, so it's all good.
Marisa: Best or worst tour moment?
Alexi: I'm sure there's a bunch of them, but the best stories are the ones you don't remember, because you're too fucked up. That's that. Worst, like I was saying, worst moments happened at the airports. Like you get stuck somewhere after being up for 30 hours, stuck in Mexico or God knows where, and you're so overwhelmingly exhausted, but you have to go straight to the stage. With the music business, you can't just call your boss and say you're sick; you have to get out there and get it done. After being up for 40 hours, it's not exactly good time, but when you hit the stage, you forget for an hour and half. Being on stage is always fun.
Marisa: What's your favorite place to travel to, and is there anywhere you have not been to that you would like to go to?
Alexi: We have covered pretty much the whole world except for Africa, and I would want to play South Africa for something new. Favorite places, of course, there's Japan and certain cities in the States, of course. I measure it by how awesome the crowd is, so a lot of Canadian cities - that's one country that's always good for us. There's a lot of places, and there's a lot to go.
Marisa: What's your biggest musical fantasy?
Alexi: Well, it would've been awesome to tour with Pantera back in the day; it's not going to happen now, but fantasy...
Marisa: If you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and why? Would you have any special powers?
Alexi: Well, I would be black with hot pink stripes, and my special power would be to drink as much as I want and never have hangovers. That'd be one rad unicorn.
Marisa: If you were yogurt, would you be mixed fruit, fruit on the bottom, what flavor and why?
Alexi: I would make a White Russian yogurt, Kahlua on the bottom, fuck yeah.
Marisa: Describe yourself as either a dog, a cat or a cartoon.
Alexi: I guess I'm like partially like a devil duck, because I have a short temper, and I feel it when I'm amped. As far as a cat, they're lazy, and sometimes I love being lazy, so I'd love to just lay on the couch and do nothing; that's an awesome way to spend some free time. The dog, I don't know, I love to run around and other stuff. I like to keep moving.
Marisa: Do you collect anything?
Alexi: No, not really. I'm really into cars. I have five cars all together, but I wouldn't call it collecting, because I do drive them. I've never been into collecting things, but as a teenager, I collected cigarette packs - but I don't do that any more.
Marisa: Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Alexi: Hopefully. I don't know what they are yet, but I guess I'll find out if I do or I don't.
Marisa: What's the most important thing to remember?
Alexi: A year ago, I'd say don't go anywhere without any alcohol, but that's not the case anymore. Let's pretend that it is a year ago though, and we'll use that as an answer.
Marisa: What's your most insightful moment?
Alexi: I guess when I discovered guitar and what it sounds like. I don't remember the exact moment, because I was a kid, but that must be it.
Marisa: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?
Alexi: Probably living in a box somewhere. Most likely.
Marisa: What are three things you must have with you when you are on the road?
Alexi: Music, so iPod, if instruments don't count, because that's way too obvious. A bottle of something, anything, with alcohol in it, and something to wash my hair with. It goes a long way.
Marisa: Any advice for musicians starting out?
Alexi: Keep on practicing and be committed, if you want to make it. You have to be committed. You can't let anyone, or anything, come between you and the music; end of fucking story.
Marisa: Closing thoughts and additional comments?
Alexi: Pretty sure we covered everything and then some, so I think we're good.
Children Of Bodom: "When we make new music, we don't think about the past
CHILDREN OF BODOM is one of the bands that keep the awesome flame of metal burning in a musical world dominated more and more by the darkness of softer genres.
Extremely lame metaphors aside, these Finnish superstars are responsible for the survival of headbanging in a time when all youngsters want to do is act cool and be indie.
Their upcoming record, “Halo Of Blood” is one of the most expected metal releases of 2013 and it’s certain to elicit strong reactions, as it is considered a return to the band’s roots.
The Children will also play in Romania, on the 12th of November 2013 (more information HERE), in a concert organized by Promusic Events and Maximum Rock Magazine.
We reached out to the charismatic Henkka Seppälä (bas) and asked him a bunch of questions regarding the new record, the Grim Reaper, blood, aggression and so on, and so forth.
Read the outcome below.
What inspired the title of the album: "Halo Of Blood"?
Alexi has lost a lot of dear friends lately - people he really cared about - so I guess that this suffering was the main inspiration behind the title.
It reminds me a bit of Slayer's epic song "Raining Blood". Why do you think there is such a strong bond between metal music and the symbol of blood?
A cultural anthropologist would probably provide you with a very good answer (laughs). I think metal music has always been related to some form of aggression, with the idea of violence. That's why the imagery usually takes a gory turn. Blood is the ultimate symbol of violence. Image and sound go hand in hand. However, in the case of metal, it's not about concrete, physical aggression, but by a cathartic means of letting out the steam.
Across the years, the figure of the reaper has become more and more important to you, appearing on every album cover. Would you say that this guy is your version of Maiden's infamous "Eddie"?
I think it is. When we used him for the first cover, we really liked him, and we knew right away that he's going to be on the next album as well. We've kept him ever since.
Do you think that band mascots are still in fashion nowadays?
I don't think they are. If you look at other bands' artwork, you'll notice that they don't use so many mascots.
Many people still think that "Hatebreeder" was your ultimate masterpiece. After releasing something so good, is it hard to live up to it? Do you ever feel like your present albums are living in the shadow of a previous successful release?
After releasing a very good album, we sometimes say to ourselves: "How can we possibly top this?". Eventually, however, we do. We keep making music, and we always make it the same way - we never think about the past, or the future. Even "Hatebreeder" was crticised back in the day. It came after another very acclaimed album, which we felt was hard to top. Across the years, somehow, it became a sort of foundation of our style.
After releasing a record, there's always this general view of it, exhibited by both critics and fans. What do you think they will say about "Halo Of Blood"?
Actually, I've heard people at the record label, and others who have had the occasion to listen to the album, say that it sounds like the "old stuff". I assume that's what most of the reviews will say once the record is out. But then again, if the fans hear that people have been saying this, they'll claim that it has nothing to do with the old stuff, and that it doesn't sound like it at all. Things are really unpredictable! (laughs)
2013 seems to be the year of Finnish bands. Many acts are releasing or have released new materials: HIM, Lordi, Finntroll, Lovex etc. Are you looking forward to one particular release?
I'm looking forward to the new HIM album. That's one of the biggest bands in Finland, after Nightwish. It's always a big deal when they start recording a new album. It's fascinating to see these kinds of bands where one man does all the songs at work. It's interesting to see how he pulls it off!
A young musician friend from Finland told me that the worst business you can think of today is either a record company, a recording studio, or a band. Is that true, or is it a bit exaggerated?
I'd say it's a bit exaggerated. People and industries change all the time. The music business itself is constantly in motion. Nowadays, it's a question of adapting. I think the music is as strong as always, only it is promoted has changed drastically. If you want to work with a record label the way 80s bands used to do it, then yeah, it probably won't happen. That time has passed. The labels are more diverse and versatile; they have so many dimensions. You just have to be creative.
You said that HIM and Nightwish are super-stars, but you are too! I remember that at your first concert in Romania, fans climbed on the venue gates to see you, and they'd stay there even when the gates slided to let cars pass. Did that kind of reaction overwhelm you?
Yeah, it's always overwhelming, and really, really flattering. It was our first ever show in Romania, and to get that sort of reaction when you play somewhere for the very first time feels awesome, exhilarating. It's a good thing that we don't get that kind of reaction everywhere we go, otherwise we'd be really stuck-up (laughs).
Speaking of which, are you looking forward to your next concert in Romania (Bucharest, 12.11.13, Arenele Romane)?
Of course we are! The Romanian show was so, so good. Then we did a festival there last summer and that was awesome too. We have a lot of expectations from Romania!
Would you say you have a special bond with Romania?
Yes, definitely. Seeing that kind of devotion had a huge impact on me. It was really special. The memory will stay with me forever.
What the actual, high flying, dirt kicking fuck is this?
Marisa and Alexi taking some drugs in between the interview
Interview with Henkka about the new album.
Children of Bodoms Alexi Laiho Talks New Album Halo of Blood + 2013 Touring
Children of Bodom are currently enjoying a little bit of a break before their new album drops in June and the call of the road beckons. During some of the time off, frontman Alexi Laiho decided to take in the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods ceremony, serving as a presenter and getting a chance to reconnect with some of his friends. Loudwire spoke with Laiho on the Black Carpet and he specifically laid out the bands pre and post-Mayhem Festival touring plans and gave us some insight on their forthcoming album, Halo of Blood, due out June 11.
Youre heading out this summer as part of the Mayhem Festival, which has a great bill. What are your thoughts on getting a chance to play this major traveling festival this summer?
Its our first time as well and the festival culture is so different in the U.S. than it is in Europe, so first of all, Im really interested to see how that works. I think its going to be a lot of fun because there are a lot of bands that weve tour with before and a lot of bands that Im excited to see. For instance, Rob Zombie, Ive never toured with them and cant wait to see them. I think its going to be cool.
Can you talk about your upcoming disc, Halo of Blood? Where are you guys at at this point with the new record?
Well we just finished recording it and its finally there and now were getting ready to promote it. Its coming out June 11 and you know, its hard for me to analyze my own music, but I can tell you this its going to be a dark hole and heavy as st, you know. Itll sound like Children of Bodom for sure and its definitely worth checking out.
Children of Bodoms style has shifted somewhat over the years and I know youre really close to this album, but can you talk a little more about what direction youre going on this record?
From what a lot of people have told me after hearing it, its got a lot of elements from the first three albums. Its got a lot of old school Bodom in it but with kind of an updated sound if that makes any sense. So it really has that Follow the Reaper kind of vibe in it, I guess, but then again, what the f do I know? [laughs]
Aside from Mayhem, whats on the horizon for Children of Bodom?
Its just nonstop touring, man. Before Mayhem were going to do some festival dates in Europe and after Mayhem were going to do Japan and a full European tour like nine-and-a-half weeks long European tour. And I think weve got a month off and we just keep on going. I think weve got a year-and-a-half planned out already so its just a lot and I cant wait.
Alexi on Jeff death
Another one from the Golden Gods
... and another
Third age of Bodom, third age of Alexi.
Didn't know where to post it but anyway it was an enjoyable video:
Not a direct interview but here is a translation of a few lines of text from the new Nuclear Blast mag.
Joy was huge in the summer of 2012 - the long lost sons, Children Of Bodom, returned to their home Nuclear Blast! The euphory didn't last long though, bandleader Alexi Laiho got admitted into hospital in July, 3 weeks after signing their contract with Nuclear Blast - shows had to be cancelled. Luckily, there was an all-clear after 2 weeks. Still affected by this shock, they managed to pull of their best piece of music since 2003s Hate Crew Deathroll. We talked to Alexi himself about Halo of Blood and its background.
Mister Laiho wasn't lucky. After his hospitalization, 2013 didn't went better. The big listening session in Nuclear Blasts HQ in Donzdorf, which took place in March, wasn't attended by him - the flu managed to hold half of the band back. He still seemed a bit tired and struck at our interview, but he seemed very eager to talk about the last month and the new album. At first, back to the health issue... "It's good-ish right now, I'll try to take a more relaxed approach with everything right now which includes a reduction of alcohol aswell. I don't drink as much as I used to anyways." This seems to mirror in Halo of Blood as it sounds as fresh as if it was back in the old days. A small part may have played the fact that they went into their own studio this time. The real reason was a bit pragmatic "It saves money. We have a huge rehearsal room with a lot of space to chill and a studio. It just makes sense and I'm very satisfied with the result."
An accidental concept album!
He can be satisfied. Halo of Blood orientates oneself towards the first three albums of Children of Bodom and may have the chance to be a classic itself. Designwise, they went back to the old covers too and hired artworker Graham French. "We always want the cover to be as brutal as the music. It's always about brutality and the extreme and this time, we really hit the jackpot. We wanted a white cover with the reaper on the ice, the woods in the background - it transmits pure atmosphere. It definitely is an old-school cover art and my personal favourite besides Something Wild and Blooddrunk." The name of the album turned out to be quite random. "It's the name of one of the new songs. I suggested it and it stayed this way. It's about a friend of mine who died a few years ago. It's about a him who dissolves in a cloud of red smoke. This turned into Halo of Blood. The song is devoted towards him. This lead to writing even more lyrics that honor friends who had an extreme life and got thrown out of it. There are typical songs about horror stories and that stuff, but 50-60% deal with the loss. You could say it is a concept album..." He laughs
No americanization please. Thanks.
The step back to the roots had been advertised by Alexi even before producing of the album. A message that awakened a lot of expectations in fans after the, lets say, "americanized" albums. "We came to a point where I realized we had to show the world that we are a brutal and extreme melodic-death band from finland. We had to show who we are and what we do. I think, I realized that at RRF or even BD. People said that we tried to sound american and did this and that. If we did that, it wasn't intentional. The point is that we would never let these statements interfere with our songwriting. However, we considered this in terms of production. We wanted a straight-forward melodic death album with thrashing and melodic guitars, keyboards etc." Mission accomplished. When listening to Halo of Blood, songs like Deadnight Warrior, Warheart, Everytime I Die or Hate Me come to your mind. On the contrary, Alexi doesn't see a connection. "That's purely random. It may be a subconscious thing. I didn't orientate on former songs."
Awesomenss + reading between the lines
An additional creative head was Peter Tägtgren. The man who is responsible for the unique CoB sound was hired for recording vocals aswell this time. Something which you realize when listening to the semiclean vocals on Scream For Silence. Alexi remembers the reason... "When we developed the vocals, Peter had a whole lot of ideas. That's why we wanted him to be part of it, he is an awesome singer and he knows what he does. He always has great ideas." Alexi himself says that his best ideas were the title track, Dead Mans Hand On You and - choice of the day - Waste Of Skin. The lyrics mean a lot to him. For the first time, he took a different approach for writing lyrics. "Despite the typical horror-stories, all the lyrics are very personal and something special. Despite that they are written in a way that you may not realize that. Just listening or just reading won't get you to anything, it sounds or looks like a bunch of words. You have to do both and maybe then you wil realize. Back in the days, everything was in your face - fuck this, fuck that, fuck you - but I thought it would be cool to do something different. You have to read between the lines."
Breakfast, Banarama & Stalker
Despite every expectation about partyguys Children of Bodom, there was no major event when recording the album. As a special service, Peter cooked Alexi bacon and eggs every morning at 9 o'clock after the 15-hours sessions. And beer. For Halo of Blood, they recorded 3 cover-versions. The immediate choice turned out to be Bananaramas Cruel Summer and Roxettes Sleeping in My Car. The japanese people had the opportunity to choose their own favourite cover song which turned out to be Rock n' Roll Crazy Nights by Loudness.
Whoever is favourite has to deal with the bad effects too. As he was hospitalized, he had an interessting visitor. "That was strange. And fucking creepy to be honest. I woke up and there was this guy that looked like me and started talking without stopping. I was halfnaked and layed in bed and was thinking 'who the fuck are you?' I didn't want to be a dick, so I talked to him but if I'm in a goddamn hospital, I don't want to have anyone around me. Everytime I left the room, he was there. Sick stuff."
Drugs are a bitch.
But really, what the hell.
We wanted a white cover with the reaper on the ice, the woods in the background - it transmits pure atmosphere. It definitely is an old-school cover art and my personal favourite besides Something Wild and Blooddrunk." The name of the album turned out to be quite random. "It's the name of one of the new songs. I suggested it and it stayed this way. It's about a friend of mine who died a few years ago. It's about a him who dissolves in a cloud of red smoke. This turned into Halo of Blood.
This sentence makes no grammatical sense. Can you please elaborate again?
@ Exedo Thank you very much