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COB Interviews

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

  1. sleeper666

    sleeper666 MetalMutha

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    http://www.bravewords.com/news/203869

    CHILDREN OF BODOM – Halo Of Blood Listening Session: "There Are No Filler Tracks On This..."

    Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:45:49 EST

    By Carl Begai

    Back in March, BW&BK was invited to attend the listening session for CHILDREN OF BODOM's highly anticipated new album, Halo Of Blood, to be issued through their new label Nuclear Blast on June 7th. The 'net is abuzz with reports that the band have taken a back-to-the-roots approach this time out, and while it may seem that way on the surface, turns out Halo Of Blood is so much more than a rehash of a successful formula. For those that have written off the Hate Crew as having their best years behind them, Halo Of Blood will be a a pleasant surprise for some, a kick in the nuts for others.

    We sat down with keyboardist Janne Wirman and drummer Jaska Raatikainen following the initial run-through of the new album.



    BW&BK: Making the move from Universal to Nuclear Blast seems like a logical step considering you were on Spinefarm/Nuclear Blast at the start of the band’s career. Was moving to a smaller label a case of feeling lost in the shuffle on a big roster of artists?

    Janne: “The first three albums were just licensed to Nuclear Blast, so we didn’t really have that much of a relationship with them, but we’re excited about the move. We had a great relationship with Spinefarm, but Spinefarm got sold to Universal as you know, and when a major label takes control of a smaller label things don’t always go as planned. Little by little it started to be a sucky deal for us, so when our deal ended with them we started shopping around for a new deal. A lot of labels made offers, but in the current market when major labels are going down anyway, it was a good decision to go with an independent metal label that is also the biggest metal label in Europe.”

    Jaska: “Everybody always says we were a Nuclear Blast band because of the licensing deal, and the first tours we did were Nuclear Blast festival tours. Still, we knew the people involved so it was nice to come to this label. As Janne said, it was a logical decision.”

    BW&BK: Alexi (Laiho/vocals, guitars) is and always has been the songwriter in this band, but there has to be more that one guy involved in the creative process for a band to be around for 15+ years. Did the rest of the band have more input on Halo Of Blood compared to the last few records?

    Janne: “Maybe the whole band’s arranging of the songs had even a little bit more to say this time. Alexi is the musical director, he’s composing the music, but we played around with ideas more this time. We tried different things and experimented a lot. I think we spent more time arranging these new songs together than we ever have in the past.”

    Jaska: “I noticed that if someone had an idea, and we tried it out and it didn’t work, someone in the band would still be working with it to see if we could get something out of it after all.”

    Janne: “We spent hours working on changing the drum beat in one part of a song, then we’d play the whole song and listen to how that would change affect the whole thing…”

    Jaska: “… And we found that these little things did change the entire song.”



    BW&BK: Halo Of Blood is loaded with double-take moments, but the title track sits at the top of the heap with the reappearance of blastbeats in the Children Of Bodom arsenal. Completely unexpected…

    Jaska: “I love these kinds of challenges. I was glad that Alexi came up with this idea of using the blastbeats. We had blastbeats on Hatebreeder, but after that, never again. So, that’s over 10 years. One day Alexi came to the rehearsal space and he had this idea for a riff, and I was like ‘Are you kidding me? Blastbeats?’ (laughs). This new album was full of surprises for us while we were making it. There was always something new going on. One day it was blastbeats, the next day it was the slowest song we’ve ever done (‘Dead Man’s Hand On You’). It was good that Alexi could still surprise us.”

    BW&BK: But it was still a group effort, for better or worse.

    Janne: “There were a lot of times when we disagreed on things, a lot of things, and like I said, we’ve never spent so many hours trying so many different things making an album.”

    Jaska: “Once we had a song completely ready, and I suggested we slow the tempo right down and Roope (Latvala/guitars) got pissed. He was like, ‘We finally got the song done and you want to do it over again?!’ (laughs).”

    Janne: “We also made the correct decision on three of the songs to slow the tempos down just a pinch, and it made the songs so much clearer. I’m not saying that we couldn’t have played them live, but when you lower a tempo slightly it makes something like a 16th note guitar riff way more audible and clearer.

    “It’s funny how stubborn Roope can be, because for him, lowering the tempo is like a huge insult or something (laughs). We lowered the beat 2 bpm and he got mad at the rest of the band. It was like, ‘What the fuck…’ (laughs).”

    BW&BK: The first song 'Waste Of Skin' is standard old school Bodom, and might be dismissed as same old same old, but from 'Halo Of Blood' on you can't predict where it's going to go. And the last four songs ('Dead Man's Hand On You', 'Damaged Beyond Repair', 'All Twisted', One Bottle And A Knee Deep')... what a way to go out on an album. It's all over the place dynamically but it works.

    Janne: “That’s something I like about the new album. Even I couldn’t figure out or predict what was coming next during the first listen, and I played on it. After the third time through we were all thinking ‘Fuck yeah, this is killer. There are no filler tracks on this. We made sure that if we were going to have 10 original tracks, the shit was going to be good all the way through.”

    BW&BK: It’s interesting listening to the reactions going around the press room. Everybody’s drawing comparisons to Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper pretty much across the board.

    Janne: “We were just discussing this between interviews, that for me, judging our own music is so difficult sometimes. Now, when we get these opinions from you guys in the media, we can see how things are and start to hear the album with a different set of ears. No matter how subjectively I might try to listen to the album at home, after you’ve worked on it for six months you just can’t do that.”



    BW&BK: But Halo Of Blood isn’t an intentional back-to-the-roots record even though a large portion of your fanbase has been screaming for one for years now.

    Janne: “What’s funny is that people don’t believe that we never sit down and say ‘Hey, let’s go in this musical direction…’ when we start writing new songs. We never say a word about that. We just go to the rehearsal room, Alexi comes in with his riffs and we start working on the songs from there. I think it would be ridiculous for us to discuss going back to our second album. We would never do that.”

    Jaska: “It doesn’t work. I think the only thing we were conscious of is… Henkka (Blacksmith/bass) kept saying ‘Whatever sounds good,’ which is what we were going for. That was like our motto for this album. We never talked about what we should sound like this time out. “

    Janne: “And we cared less about the reactions. Sometimes, back in the day, we were writing new songs worrying about how people were going to react. This time we just didn’t give a fuck. If it felt good, we did it.”

    Jaska: “It was the same way we felt when we were teenagers doing Hatebreeder, so in that way I guess you could compare Halo Of Blood to that album and Follow The Reaper.”

    BW&BK: You had Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) involved in the production, who was involved with Follow The Reaper, but you also went back to producer Mikko Karmila to master Halo Of Blood. Was that another intentional return to familiar territory?

    Janne: “We went back, yeah, and I think it was a great fucking decision to do that. People that work in the trade, when they hear the new album they all say that Mikko has done a fucking great job. “

    Jaska: “On this new album, we interacted more with Mikko than we ever have in the past, and he was more open to our ideas…”

    Janne: “I think he was always open to our ideas, but we were just too drunk to give him any ideas (laughs).”

    Jaska: “He knows how to make the Children Of Bodom sound and we trust him. This time we really wanted to say something with this album and Mikko respected that.”

    BW&BK: And for the first time in Children Of Bodom history, you guys FINALLY have album artwork that’s worth boasting about. It stands out, it’s not as over-the-top busy or straight-up ugly as the last few album covers, which makes for great ads and will translate to album and merchandise sales to some extent.

    Janne: “I would hate to give any credit to our bass player on any level (laughs). I think it was one of Henkka’s ideas to use a winter theme and white with the Reaper and the icy lake. I think it’s great. I love the input the label gave us on it, because when we gave them the first draft of the artwork I thought the Reaper was too small and needed to be the focus. Like you said, the artwork is so recognizable you’ll be able to see it from miles away as a Children Of Bodom record.”
     
  2. children of COB

    children of COB Deadnight Drinker

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    He probably just slipped in an extra "a" he didn't need.
     
  3. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    Exactly, it is supposed to be "It's about him dissolving into a cloud of red smoke"
     
  4. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    What cloud of red smoke...?
     
  5. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    It's a metaphor. When he died, he imagined him turning into a red cloud of smoke - Halo of Blood.

    Like when you say "Everything turns into dust" - "He turns into a red cloud of smoke"
     
  6. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Never heard that. Are you sure?
     
  7. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    Yes. The german interview says "Es geht dabei um einen Freund von mir, der vor einigen Jahren starb. Es geht darum, wie er sich in eine Wolke roten Rauchs auflöst. Daraus wurde Halo Of Blood. Der Song ist ihm gewidmet"

    which is "It's about a friend of mine who died a few years ago. It's about him dissolving into a cloud of red smoke. This turned into Halo Of Blood. The song is dedicated towards him"

    Other german guys can confirm that.
     
  8. baldymort

    baldymort Member

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    that heavymag interview was awesome. really looking forward to hearing BBM now.
     
  9. Rhia

    Rhia Member

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    I'll look into the German one for you guys.
     
  10. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    Translation of the german interview:

    Hello Alexi! Thank you for taking your time! What happened in the two years after realeasing Relentless Reckless Forever?

    We toured nonstop for 1 1/2 years. We roughly had a one month break and then I started writing new material which was around september. We went into the studio at december and were completely finished in late february. We were quite bussy!

    Do you write music while on tour?

    No, I can't. It's way to stressful to write, I can't concentrate. Occasionaly, I have some ideas while on tour but I can't elaborate on the road. I need quiet to write music.

    Halo of Blood is released via Nuclear Blast. How did that happen?

    Our contract with Spinefarm/Universal expired and we felt time was ready for a change. We looked for a new label and Nuclear Blast was on top of that list. They made the best offer but we knew that they were exactly what we needed. They are independent and their are hard-working metalheads who really care about the music. We have a huge priority in Nuclear Blast; with a different major label we simply would have been one of many. Even now I can see the difference - They are doing so much promotion. They let us work very hard - giving interviews one week nonstop - But that's really good.

    How would you compare your new record to the last one?

    At a first glance, the production is way bigger. That was very important. The guitar production is more voluminous which is why everything sounds way more intense. We worked with Peter again which led to that "nordic" sound again that I dig a lot. Concerning the music, everything sounds colder and darker. In addition, I think that Halo of Blood sounds more melodic than the last two albums.

    Would you say that there is some Hatebreeder in Halo of Blood?


    Yes, so many people told me that - it has to be true. It may be the case because of the Black Metal elements that were a huge part in the first records. We went back to that with the title track and a few other songs.

    Songs like Dead Man's Hand focus on completely new elements. What inspired you?

    I don't know. That's exactly the point: I don't think while writing, I wan't to clear my head. I wan't my music to be authentical and fresh. That's why I don't want to think about how something should sound or what direction it should take. I just happened to write the basic melody of Dead Man's Hand and realized that there should be clean guitars. Janne had the idea that there should be a piano and one thing lead to another. It was a huge challenge to write a song like that as it was completely new for us. I think we nailed it, the song is memorable. It's one of my favourite tracks from the new album.

    Could you imagine to dig deeper in that direction?


    I can't anwser that. We don't have any rules in how to write and what to write. Who knows what will happen on the next record?

    How come you produced with Peter again? Were there other options?

    Actually, we talked about that before recording and agreed that we wanted to work with Peter again. Especially my vocal recordings went very well with Peter because he knows how to elaborate his perception towards me (That sounds a little awkard, mainly is: He can work with Peter because Peter can explain Alexi how he wants the vocals to sound). He has lots of good ideas and feels at home in the studio. We know each other for a long time which benefits the working process.

    From which movies did you take the samples that you have integrated between a few songs?


    The first one is from Twin Peaks. We altered the samples a little bit so that you can not find them like that in the original. They serve as intros but don't have a greater meaning. The last sample is from Natural Born Killers and there is one from Children of the Corn.

    Have you recorded any cover songs?

    Yeah, we did and quite the funny ones. We did a Children of Bodom version from Roxettes Sleeping in my Car and a completely own interpretation of Bananaramas Cruel Summer. They are really funny but extremely heavy aswell.

    Will you play them live?

    Probably not but it would be funny playing them live one day. It's really hard to come up with a good setlist that containts every song we would like to play. We have 8 studio albums and it's hard to choose the right songs. There is no space for a cover. Maybe in the future.

    Did you think about a new live CD/DVD?

    Yeah, hopefully we can record one. Maybe allready on the next tour. We really want to do that.

    What does the touring schedule look like?


    We will start with festivals in June and tour for one year. We will start in Japan, followed by a 9week tour through Europe.

    You produced two DVDs with Rock House to teach the new generation of guitarists. How was it?


    It was really cool. I like teaching - I gave lessons when I was 17 or 18 years old to earn some money that prevented starving to death *laugs* It's just great to do it because it is so different from what I do live.

    Did you watch videos like this back in the day?

    Of course! I had Paul Gilberts and a few from Georgy Lynch. Back in the day, they were on VHS.
     
  11. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Still... what cloud of red smoke?
     
  12. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    It still is a metaphor. Alexi had that image of him in his mind and transfered it onto the songs lyrics.

    The body turned into a cloud of red smoke which formed a Halo of Blood - therefore the song title. Is it really that hard to understand?
     
  13. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Now Alexi's saying HoB is their fastest song ever. Wasn't it supposed to be YDaN? Anyway, for me the drum tempo doesn't make a song feel fast.
     
  14. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    But how can a body turn into a cloud of red smoke? Something weird going on.
     
  15. sleeper666

    sleeper666 MetalMutha

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    @ Joonas

    metaphor:

    Noun

    A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

    A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.
     
  16. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I know what a metaphor is, but it makes no sense. Has Alexi really said those words?
     
  17. Exedo

    Exedo Member

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    Why doesn't it make sense? It is his imagination, anything could happen. Logically it is rubbish but we all know that... So, back to the question - Why doesn't it make sense?

    Again for you: It's about a friend of mine who died a few years ago. It's about him dissolving into a cloud of red smoke. This turned into Halo Of Blood. The song is dedicated towards him
     
  18. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Did Alexi really say "dissolving into a cloud of red smoke"? Maybe he thought about exciting metaphors for "dying", and he modeled the album title from that metaphor... But who the fuck made such a stupid metaphor?
     
  19. Inceptionist

    Inceptionist It's Not My Funeral

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    When something wet gets smashed the water flies out around it, making a kind of mist. If his friend or whoever was killed by some force (car accident, falling, or anything that involves blood leaving the body) the blood would fly out and create a "red mist" (cloud of red smoke). I seriously doubt it's a big deal though so I wouldn't think to deeply on it
     

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