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Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by COBHC Webmaster, Oct 17, 2005.
Make a dark and fast album next time Laiho, stuff's been getting quite chillout for Bodom.
Not many bands could handle losing a guitarist of 12 years three days before recording an album. But then again, as singer/guitarist Alexi Laiho explains, Children Of Bodom aren’t your average band...
Before we get into it, we wanted to ask you about something that happened recently – you were commissioned to compose a piece that you performed with 100 other guitarists in Helsinki’s Senate Square. How did that come about?
Helsinki City Festival that actually approached me about doing100guitarsfromHel. It was a huge honour
“100guitarsfromHel was a very big thing for me! It was the Helsinki City Festival that actually approached me about doing it and not only was it a huge honour, but I was like, ‘What the hell, are you serious?!’ Because it’s a festival known for classical music and more upmarket art culture… and all of a sudden I was involved.
“They would not usually have anything to do with the likes of me, but it became the biggest jam of my life. I collected the core band, guys I wanted to play with, who each became one of the five section leaders. Then there would be 20 random dudes following their part of the song… it’s fucking insane when you think about it.”
What sound did you want to create when you were composing the piece?
All of a sudden there were deadlines for everything… I haven’t slept a lot lately!
“There were parts that were obviously metal, but also others that were maybe a little bit jazzy or bluesy. It definitely didn’t sound like Children Of Bodom. I love to mix it up and do different things.
“As a person, I get bored very easily! Not to say I’ll ever get bored with COB… just listen to our new record! But I was writing for the COB record at the same time as composing this piece. Plus there was another thing I had to do… it’s been a fucking crazy year thinking about it now.
“I have this 80s covers band in Helsinki called The Local Band and we just recorded an EP that’s going to be released in Japan and Finland. All of a sudden there were deadlines for everything… I haven’t slept a lot lately!”
This is the first COB album with just you on guitars. What made you part ways with long-serving guitarist Roope Latvala?
We want to have a stable lineup, we don’t like changing members, that’s just not our style
“Without going into too much detail, we’d just grown apart as people. All four of us were at a place where we wanted to push things harder and put more effort in on anything COB-related. He wasn’t quite there with us in terms of work ethics, so we figured it’d be better for everyone to part ways. So on one hand it was a sudden thing, but also kinda not.
“We want to have a stable lineup, we don’t like changing members, that’s just not our style. Maybe that works for other bands, but not us. Though he’d been with us for 12 years, it was time to move on.”
The announcement came just days before you entered the studio. Was it daunting having to handle all of the guitars at such short notice?
There wasn’t really time for anything to sink in. We just had to turn up and do it!
“Well it didn’t feel as different as people might think. When we parted ways with Roope, there wasn’t really time for anything to sink in. We just had to turn up and do it! Plus I had written all the riffs, so I didn’t have anything extra to learn.
“I was working a double shift… but I think the guitars sound a bit tighter. It makes sense for guitars to sound tighter if there’s just one guy playing all the parts. When I’m in the studio, I like trying out random ideas as I’m recording so it was cool to do that and not have to teach or explain what I’m doing to anyone else!”
You have Antti Wirman filling in as a live guitarist. What are the chances of him becoming a full time member?
“He’s actually our keyboard player’s brother and I think he’s an amazing player. He’s only filling in for the rest of the year so we don’t have to cancel any of our live dates. But he’s not a permanent member or planning to become one, so we’re working on finding a new guy. There are a couple of options we’re considering but nothing’s finalised yet! It’s very exciting though.”
Does it ever get hard to think outside of the box nine albums in? How do you find new sources of inspiration?
The only way to keep things fresh is to do things naturally and hope for the best!
“It seems like the only way for me to do that is to not think about it too much. I block everything out of my mind in terms of how we are supposed to sound, or how people are going to react. I can’t think of any of that stuff because it might throw me off track and I might write something that isn’t genuine or from the heart.
“The only way to keep things fresh is to do things naturally and hope for the best! That’s the only way to keep things fresh. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything drastic or change what you do… Music is about creating something that doesn’t exist. It’s also a bit like playing the lottery, you never know what’s going to happen! You know what you’re doing, but as far as the results – you never know.”
So tell us more about the gear you used to get those heavy tones on I Worship Chaos?
“I wrote and recorded with the same gear – ESP guitars and Marshall amps. I stay with that sound because I know it works for me. But there were a few parts here and there where I used a Strat and Kemper Profiling Amp.
Sometimes I really have to sit down and play the riffs slowly. Then I’ll whisper the vocal line on top
“Dude, those things are amazing, especially for the clean sounds. The first time I tried one out, I couldn’t stop playing with it… it just sounded beautiful. I’m very old school when it comes to amps, but that thing? I see myself buying one for sure.
“I tried the distorted sounds, which I’m usually very picky with and was really impressed, even more so for not being a tube amp!”
Do you ever write parts that seem impossible to sing over at first, ideas that take hours and hours of practice?
“I’m so used to it now, I’ve been doing this since I was 12 and I always wanted to sing and be a guitar player. But sure, sometimes I really have to sit down and play the riffs slowly. Then I’ll whisper the vocal line on top, just to get the rhythms. After a few times, you’ll start getting it down.
“It’s usually pretty easy for me, but then again I don’t know what day it is half the time! You know what, most people think doing the leads and singing is the hardest thing ever. And yeah, it can be tricky. But it’s actually harder to do the rhythm stuff because it’s just as fast and keeps looping round!”
Looking back, as far as the neoclassical side of your lead playing is concerned, how did you master the techniques behind playing fast runs with such precision?
“It takes a lot of practice for sure, but sitting down with a metronome doesn’t kill the rock ’n’ roll vibe like some people think. You have to get the techniques down and then you can actually start playing. It’s a necessity before you do the main thing.
I’ve been on a huge Lindsey Buckingham trip recently and listening to his playing in Fleetwood Mac
“The rest is up to you, the rock ’n’ roll vibe will come from your personality. It can be aggressive or laid back or everything in between rolled into one. There are unlimited possibilities. I’ve always dug the whole 80s guitar vibe, guys like George Lynch… that’s what I grew up with. That’s in my heart and blood, but there’s more to me than just that.”
Being such an accomplished guitar player, what techniques have really challenged you in recent years? Is it hard to find challenges when you get to a certain point?
“This might surprise some people, but I’ve been on a huge Lindsey Buckingham trip recently and listening to his playing in Fleetwood Mac. I always thought there were two guitar players playing together, but it was just him doing all that Travis picking stuff. That’s how good he is! I thought, ‘You fuckin’ asshole, how is that possible?’
“So that’s actually something I’m still working on right now and, dude, it’s hard. Like a whole different sport. In many ways, it was the same drive I felt when I first saw someone sweep picking… I had no choice but to try and master it! If you keep your eyes open and observe, there’s always something out there to learn.”
Ha! So where is the guy who claims to be able to tell a Kemper from the real thing?
What's next, yellow?
Interview with Daniel.
Could anyone translate a bit?
How long have you known about the choice?
Some time. Probably longer than you. Heh. They asked me to make a cover of a song and send it to them, and I did.
Your other bands?
Norther quit in 2012. Naildown is doing a new album.
Naildown is important to you?
Yes. It's been a bit on hold these last years. We're trying to get the album done.
Can you play all COB songs?
Not all, but all they have asked me to learn.
5.2. on 70 000 Tons of Metal, then a USA tour.
You sang in Naildown. How about COB?
Backing vocals. Not likely to do any leads.
I don't know. My dreams change everyday.
Thanks for the translation. So they picked him just as he's trying to relaunch his own band...
Russian magazine Dark City #89
@ESA1996 thank you!
Hey Стас. Pretty long interview. Is there anything of interest/new in there?
No. It's not even an interview. This is an article with clippings from foreign interview with Alexi. I think you know all this. Nothing new in this article, I did not recognize.
Video interview with Alexi, in Finnish. He's talking about the mental health problems he suffered from when he was younger
That's actually something I'd like to know more about. Could someone do a full translation if that's not too much to ask ?
Children of Bodom - Moon tv 2000/2001(Finnish)
In today's interview Alexi states he didn't use anti-depressants.
En halunnut turruttaa itseäni lääkkeillä. Pelkäsin, että mun hulluus, mun "edge" otettaisiin pois. En usko, että pystyisin ilman sitä tekemään näitä hommia. Jos kysytään, olisinko mä mieluummin hullu vai normaali, kyllä mä hullu olisin.
If someone wants to translate go ahead, I've very little free time.
So if someone suspects COB's style change in 2002 could be related to Alexi's mental change back then which would be linked to anti-depressants (known to suppress creativity and flatten emotions), there were no meds involved, so that theory sinks.
Eli siis missä todays interwiewis?
Löyty. Iltasanomissa näköjään. Linkki olis kiva näissä
Alexi Laiho uutuuskirjassa nuoruuden vainoamisestaan: ”Kurkku yritettiin viiltää puukolla auki”
Alexi Laiho kertoo uutuuskirjassa Error – Mielen häiriöitä rankasta nuoruudestaan ja ahdistuneisuushäiriöstään.
Maailman parhaana pidetty metallikitaristi, Children of Bodomin Alexi Laiho kertoo, että nuoruudessa häntä vainottiin: häntä seurattiin ja hänen kimppuunsa käytiin. 16-vuotiaana hänet yritettiin tappaa.
– Ne oli piripäitä, jotka olivat käsittääkseni tappaneet ennenkin, Alexi Laiho muistelee kirjassa Error – Mielen häiriöitä.
Laiho pääsi pakoon, mutta kerta ei jäänyt viimeiseksi. Hän oli matkalla tyttöystävänsä luokse, kun porukka alkoi seurata häntä.
– Mun kurkku yritettiin viiltää puukolla auki. Pääsin irti ja lähdin juoksemaan.
Tapahtumista seurasi ahdistusta, jota Laiho käsitteli juomalla liikaa alkoholia ja viiltelemällä itseään. Alkoholia 17-vuotia Laiho sai pitämällä seuraa itseään vanhemmille naisille baareissa.
18-vuotiaana Laiho sai tappouhkauksia samalta porukalta edelleen.
– Masennus sai yliotteen ja mulle tuli paljon itsemurha-ajatuksia.
Bändikaveri toimitti Laihon lääkäriin ja katsoi, että tämä kävi psykologilla.
1997 Laiho joutui suljetulle osastolle. Sen jälkeen hän päätti kanavoida ahdistuksensa ja itsemurha-ajatuksensa musiikkiin.
– Siinä kesti vuosia, enkä ole koskaan täysin parantunut: ajoittain on sen kaltaisia fiiliksiä. Mutta opin kanavoimaan synkät fiilikseni musiikkiin ja kirjoittamiseen. Ei ole klisee, että nuo kaksi asiaa pelastivat minut, Laiho kertoo kirjassa.