Something Wild 20 years later
Since 1997 Children of Bodom have been a big presence in the extreme metal scene, amassing fans around the world while touring non-stop and releasing nine albums. What makes these Finnish metal titans one of the biggest and acclaimed international metal acts is the combination of Alexi’s ferocious vocals, brutality and sheer aggression mixed with harmonic melodies. Children of Bodom are planning a new album for 2018 and they are currently dominating stages playing the celebration tour for the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed first album “Something Wild”. We sat down with the guys to talk about the band’s past 20 years and what is in store for the future.
HMA: You are now doing your 20 years anniversary tour, how does it feel and did you ever think you would get this far?
Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho: Well that feels weird that I made it for 20 years. Nobody expected that, right? Now it feels good, and it’s good to do this tour. I think a lot of fans have been waiting for us to play the really old stuff, so yeah.
HMA: In this 20 year, which you consider being a very important iconic moment for the band?
AL: A very fond memories were when we went to Japan for the first time, that was huge for us. I think one of the important moments for the band was when we started touring the US because it’s a huge market. That was after the fourth album, and that’s when things really started happening when you add the USA to the thing.
HMA: What inspires you and keeps you together? Is there a strong element of friendship and how important do you think that is for a successful band?
AL: When we started, we were friends even at home, outside of the band; we hung out together all the time, so we were really close friends. But when you get older, some people have kids, some people have other problems, so you kind of get less close, but I think it’s only natural when you get older and we’re almost 40, so we’re not that tight, but obviously still together, doing this.
HMA: How did you get into metal and what made you decide to be a musician?
AL: Well when I was a kid before I joined the band, I was a big Metallica fan, but that was about the heaviest I was listening too. Then when I joined a band I started listening to more of the heavier, heavier metal stuff. But already at the time years before the band, I was studying music for years and then I kind of wanted to be a musician for a long time.
HMA: As opposed to many metal bands that take the whole satanic thing really seriously, you are always full of humor, how important is that for you?
AL: Yes, well you have to be able to you know make fun of yourself a little bit because if you are too serious about everything it just kills it. So, it shows if you’re like, but yes I don’t know, different things work for different people, but for me, you have to be able to have a little fun with yourself, with your image and all of that otherwise it’s not.
HMA: You have recorded covers in your album ‘Skeleton in the Closet’ (Spinefarm Records, 2009) which was your favourite to play, and which song would you like to cover next?
AL: I know there are so many pretty good ones; I can’t pick out a favourite. Well now that we are doing the 20th anniversary, one that’s really old and really good is the Alice Cooper ‘Bed of Nails’. For the next one…. oh, it’s getting pretty tricky. We’ve done so many different crazy ones; I think Madonna! Any Madonna song, yes the whole works. They’re all good. Yes, fuck yes.
HMA: Can you walk me through your album artworks?
AL: It’s changed over the years, the first album cover, we just found in like an art catalogue, where you can buy off the images and then we got that from there. And then the same artist did design the second and third cover I think, but then I think that said artist all of a sudden got very expensive, and we went somewhere else. I can’t remember the full story but yeah. The first three covers that are kind of very similar to the Reaper are all done by the same artist.
HMA: You have played with many great bands (Slipknot, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Slayer, In Flames) which is the band you would like to tour with, your dream band?
HMA: Another tour with Slayer?
AL: Yes! When we tour with them, it was so professionally run, the organization. Also, the way they are and how well they treat theirs like opening bands. You know that you have amazing resources at your disposal.
HMA: What can we expect from Children of Bodom in the next year? Do you have new material and is there a new album coming?
AL: We are planning, we are doing this 20 years tour and then we are going to start writing and we are writing and recording this year. So I think our new album release will be next year. We are doing some summer shows, some summer festivals, but a little bit limited due to the fact that we are writing new music.
Interview by Manuela Mattera – Copyright 2017 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.