Children of Bodom (part 1): I’m Not Like a Dictator

The Children Of Bodom alighted again from the lake and have published their fifth record „Are you dead yet?“. They will start their European tour in Cologne on the 27th of December. As we don´t want to keep back newsworthy statements mixed with some other answers, here is now an excerpt of an extremely long interview with frontman Alexi „Wildchild“ Laiho. The interview was done by our raffle winners Sina and Anita at this year’s TUSKA festival.

First a few words the Finn says about the band´s current album. What is it that fans can expect?
„It´s not Hate Crew Deathroll part II. There are a lot of differences, people said it sounds a bit more modern but still like Children Of Bodom. There´s still the guitar riffs and the keyboards and the vocals but it´s different. I hate to describe such things because it´s so difficult to verbally explain what the music sounds like”, he almost apologises.

How big is the other one´s influence when it comes to the songwriting process?
Arrangement-wise there is definitely an influence. I totally want to listen to what the other guys have to say. I want to hear their ideas and everything. If they say this piece could be like that then I could say “yeah that´s true”. If they suggest we do it this way and I don´t like it I just say no.

Do you always have the last word?
I´m not like a dictator, that´s for sure. Eventually I am the one who calls the shots, but I want to hear the other guys and usually they come up with good ideas.

By the way, can you sing normal, like clean vocals?
I can keep a note, that´s for sure, but I don´t think I can sing. I´m not a singer, I am a guitar player, so what I do is basically shouting. And I know how to shout. If I would have to sing I guess I could somehow…

The first concert of your European tour is not that far away anymore. Do you see any differences between playing in for instance Germany compared to playing in Finland?
Talking about open airs, the festivals in Finland aren´t usually really metal festivals. There´s lots of rock bands and pop bands and I think it´s kind of cool that their fans get along at those festivals. In Germany many festivals are just metal festivals. In Finland it happens that we play right after some pop band which is kind of weird but cool at the same time.

And are there any differences between the audiences?
Not that much. I think when it comes to festivals the audiences are pretty much the same. There is one difference, though. Usually in Finland people are more drunk and therefore more into it. The same goes for club gigs. People are just more drunk in Finland.

We experienced that people in Finland are friendly even when they are drunk. In Germany it´s that people sometimes get annoying or aggressive when they are drunk.
When people are drunk here they are still nice and totally polite but when they are sober they are so fucking rude and don´t like to talk to people they don´t know.

Will there be a DVD coming out soon?
Yeah, we are working on it. We have so much footage and we want to make a good one, so it will take some time before it comes out. The way I see it from a fan´s point of view, it´s not that interesting to see me sitting and talking in a studio instead of watching us being drunk and stupid, just doing what we do. The only thing I am still pissed off about is that there was no camera when I fell off of the top of a car. I had a cast on my arm for seven weeks. There was blood flowing everywhere and my wrist was just hanging there, it was ugly. Lots of things have happened because I like to get crazy when I am drunk and it leaves scars. My wrist is never gonna be the same again and I have two ribs that will never get better again. I used to skate so that´s why my right foot is fucked up. I am a human wreck, but at least I had fun and that´s what counts.

Drunken people luckily don´t get hurt that easily…
I do crazy stuff when I am sober too, but yes, I usually end up hurting myself a lot more then. When I´m drunk and fall off of the top of a car, nothing happens, just this one time it did. The last time we played in Berlin we were just being totally crazy and running around on the streets. There were all these bushes in the middle of the street and I run and jumped into them. I landed on the ground, which was ok, but then these guys came up to me asking: “Jesus Christ dude, are you ok?” It turned out not half a metre away there was a stick with a really sharp end pointing up. I would have died if I had landed 30 cm more that way. That´s when I decided: “Ok, next time I´m going to check the bushes first.”

Read the rest of the interview in part 2 HERE.

Author: Sonja Blanco; Anita Nonnenmacher, Photos: Dennis Nazarenko, Klaudia Weber

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski