„Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho talked with the winners of the COB competition, Sonja Blanco and Anita Nonnenmacher. Strange phobias, sex in the tour bus, Manowar, heroes and namings such as Monica and Thelma – the Finn didn´t leave out much.
Do you have any phobias? Like some completely irrational fear?
I wouldn´t call it a fear, but stuff that makes me really uncomfortable for example are antiques. I don´t know why, but seriously it just makes me depressed if somebody has antique furniture or something like that. It just freaks me out. It kills me, seriously! I don´t like old buildings neither, don´t know why. I´ve been to Italy and sorry, but I hate Rome. I can´t help it. I love Helsinki and would never move anywhere else in Europe, but maybe to the States for a couple of years, either to Florida or LA.
You wouldn´t have any kind of principal objections against living there because of Bush and all that?
I know it´s totally trendy to hate the US and Bush and I am not a fan of Bush but I ´m not really interested in politics or any of that shit. I am just interested in people and people in the States don´t like Bush either. They are not as informed as people in Europe are about what Bush is doing. I like the people there.
How easy or difficult is it for you to make a living from music?
I don´t want to have a mansion in Beverly Hills, I just want to make a living out of it and that´s always been my goal in life. We manage to do it since 1999 I guess. I don´t know how to do anything else, so it´s not really safe. If all of a sudden people don´t like COB anymore, I´m fucked in a way. The only thing I know how to do is play.
Is that actually something you worry about?
No. I can always become a guitar tech or something for other bands. It doesn´t matter for me, I like guitars, I like to tour, I know how to fix guitars. I´m already satisfied because I got a lot more than I had ever dreamed I would ever get. So if everything gets fucked up right now I would be happy. It wouldn´t be a downer for me if I would be a guitar tech in two years.
So there´s nothing more to accomplish in your life?
Of course, there is. I want to get forward in making music. If we sell just one more copy than we did with the last album, it makes me happy. Something that makes me feel really good is when we play live and you can see that somebody can have lots of fun for 75 minutes and is not worrying about anything else.
Are there any idols in the music world that you haven´t met yet but would like to meet?
Yes, there are. Some of them are dead, so it will never happen. I´ve met Zack Wylde and Steve Vai and it was very cool. But I want to have heroes, for example Ozzy. I don´t want to meet him, I just want him to be my hero. I´m afraid that if I meet somebody I´ve been admiring my whole life and then all of a sudden he is a jerk-off. It ruins everything. I´ve experienced it before and decided I don´t want to meet any of my idols.
So who did that happen with?
Do I have to mention names like fucking Manowar for example? I hate to criticise Manowar but when I saw what the whole thing was about – sorry Manowar, but that´s just the way it is. Those guys were just sick. I want to keep my heroes where they are, I don´t want to get too close.
Do you have any good tour stories to share with us?
There are plenty of those, let me just think of something special. Well, I don´t know if I should…
If you´re not sure, then you probably should because we wanna hear it.
That´s true. During the first US tour we did, over a year ago, there was this crazy chick. She actually came onto the bus and said: “Ok, I´m gonna be here for the rest of the tour.” And I was like: “Ok, whatever, you can be here, it´s cool. This is totally stupid though, but… “ What happened was that I was totally fucked up, I was drunk, out of my mind, and I ended up having sex with this girl on my bunk, I slept on the top bunk of the bus…
I´ve always wondered if that was possible.
It is actually. And afterwards I said to the chick: “I´m gonna go and have a cigarette, so just have fun.” She stayed there and I went into the back lounge and had a cigarette. After that I seriously just wanted to go back there and just go to sleep, but I opened the curtain and our sound guy was fucking that same chick on my bunk. I was like: “Dude, are you gonna take a long time? I wanna go to sleep.” And he was like: “Hold on for ten minutes and we´re gonna be done.” I thought: “Fine, I´ll go to Janne´s bunk right beneath mine.” I went there and me and Janne were lying there listening to them having sex and they just kept going forever. Was that fucked up enough?!
Is there some ritual when you come home after a tour?
Yes! I have to have like one hour when I come home that I need to be by myself. I just wanna be drunk. I put some really chilly music on, drink some white wine or something and lay on my carpet, still shocked that I´m actually home. Then I invite my girlfriend over or my friends and have a party. When I come home after a tour and don´t see any other people it just freaks me out since it´s so different. On tour you see everybody all the time and all of a sudden everyone is gone – that´s kind of depressing. The next day I leave for two weeks and do nothing.
Now a question only really silly chicks would ask: Do you have names for your guitars?
Yeah, in a way, but they change all the time. At the moment the white guitar I play with is called Mike Monroe after the singer of Hanoi Rocks. We were in the studio recording and I saw a magazine with Hanoi Rocks on the cover and I thought Mike Monroe looked so funny on that pic. I cut it out and put it on my guitar. The picture lasted through the whole studio session and it´s actually still there, so that´s why the guitar is called Mike Monroe. I actually like to name my cars after girls. Right now I have two cars and one of them is a ´74 Dodge Monaco – I like American cars, so her name is Monica. And I have a pick-up truck which is called Thelma.
Authors: Sonja Blanco and Anita Nonnenmacher, Photos: Den Nazarenko