Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom interviewed
How did the audience react to your music since the beginning of the US tour?
Well surprisingly, actually, it was really good. 'Cause I thought, you know, when we came down here, it's like, well, it's our first tour in here, so I just figured that nobody was going to know who the fuck we are, so I just figured that it was going to be like twenty people just drinking beers and just not paying attention at all. But it's been really good though, like really. I mean, well thanks to Dimmu Borgir and Nevermore, you know, and all the other bands they pull all the people in here and then we kind of have a chance to show them what we can do. But yeah, I don't know, I mean, I was actually surprised how many people knew who we were and they actually had our albums and everything. So, it was definitely cool.
Out of all the states that you've played in, can you think of one that stands out in particular?
Let me think… Well, L.A. was cool, but the whole place was cool anyway, so I mean it's like a whole different thing. But, it was really good in Chicago, it was good in Detroit and there were some weird places like Atlanta for example that I would have thought that no way are they gonna dig our music, you know but, it was actually really good in there too. So as far as what we were expecting, everything has just been like "ok what the fuck" but, it's been totally different. We did a few shows in Canada and Toronto and they were both really good.
The album "Follow The Reaper" was definitely a masterpiece, especially on stage with songs such as 'Mask Or Sanity', 'Hate Me!' and 'Bodom After Midnight'. How would you compare the songs from "Hate Crew Deathroll"?
I just think they're maybe a little bit more straight forward. Kind of a "into your face" kind of thing. As far as the song structure in most of the songs anyway it's got more like in a clear kind of circle, that there's like the main slash beginning riff and then there's the verse and the course then you know it takes the same kind of round again. I don't know, I think in "Follow the Reaper" structure wise, the songs on there, sometimes they didn't really make any sense and I think that "Hate Crew Deathroll" is just easier to listen to.
Do you have a favorite song to play on stage? Which one and why?
From this set, which is only six songs, I like to play… Ok, 'Every Time I Die' is definitely one of my favorites and I don't know, probably 'Hate Me'.
What are the big differences for you between touring in Europe and touring in the US?
Well, it is totally different because, we were headlining in Europe and we're just opening here so obviously the conditions and everything are totally different. I mean, they're not as good as they are in Europe but we're totally ok with it though because we realize that we're not, you know, as popular or as known or as big here as we are in Europe or Japan for example. Yeah, we're totally good to go with pretty much whatever they tell us to do. It's like we come here and just play thirty minutes per one night and that's all we gotta do and then yeah, sometimes we just go out there and then buy our own booze and then that's it, you know, and then sometimes we have nothing to eat in here so then we just buy something to eat and then that's it. Which, you know, when we do a European tour it's a lot easier in that way, that everything's already provided for us and everything. But, I mean, we are totally willing to start from scratch in here, which we did pretty much. Because I mean that's how the whole thing started in Europe anyway, you know, we were the first band on the bill, you know, and we didn't get shit, but that's alright. And I think crude... I mean, I thought they would be less enthusiastic in here but, it's actually not that way at all. That they've been really good crowds and, ah yeah, I guess as far as the audience it's not that different but...
The tour itself?
Yeah, I mean just, I mean, I'm not like complaining or anything but, just the conditions and everything they're not the same. Because this is like six weeks and it's like sometimes you gotta go forty minutes without showering and everything like that, which kind of sucks, you know, but yeah, you just gotta bite the built and do it.
How do you interact with the guys from Dimmu Borgir and Hypocrisy?
Well, we have toured with Hypocrisy before and, you know, they've always been cool. We've always got along really good because, well, we both party like hell and it just clicks really good. And we've played with Dimmu I think twice before, just single shows and that's it. I don't know, I think everybody gets along really well on this tour and everything so I think... I have nothing but good things to say about them.
You guys play jokes on each other or anything like that?
Well yeah, I mean, there's like a certain point of a tour when everybody kind of gets board, which is like usually in the middle of the tour and then the only way to keep yourself entertained is to pull stupid pranks on other people and that's it, you know. So yeah, that happens sometimes, but especially inside the band, you know, we do that all the time.
You gotta keep it happy, right?
Yeah, exactly, I mean, if it's fucking stupid, I mean, that's the way we are anyway.
You've played in a lot of different countries so far. Which places did you enjoy the most?
This is probably the most obvious answer everybody answers, yeah Japan definitely, that's just the way it is. Yeah Japan, I mean, it's just a whole other world, definitely. Everything is so well organized over there, you know nothing ever like fails, everything just works really good in there, you know, there's no problems or anything. And the people are just so fucking nice, their just so polite, like really! I mean their so polite that you even start feeling bad for yourself, because I mean it's like, "come on just calm down, it's all right". See they're like... if I were to like knock over the fucking mug of red wine in here, I mean, they would be the first ones to be sorry about it. Which you know, it should be me 'cause I knocked it over but I mean, they're like, they're just being sorry about everything. They're like "Aw Sorry Sorry Sorry Aw". You know really it's, they're crazy and the fans are great.
How many people, a thousand?
Okay, the last time we did a Japanese tour it was a headliner thing and it was fifteen hundred, something like that, a per show. Yeah, they were definitely just like... they treat you like... I mean, yeah, like gods. Seriously it's crazy. And we're like, "what the fuck, I mean, this can't be happening, are these guys serious"! I mean they just go crazy but they're still really polite so they're not like going to rip your cloths off or anything like that. Which might happen in like South America...
Which might happen?
Yeah, well pretty much, you know, sometimes it has happened before, yeah. It's more like... Well, I don't know why it is but, I mean, I think the more south you go to, I mean, the crazier the people are in a way. In Mexico and in South America, I mean, they're fucking nuts in there, seriously. Sometimes you might get like, I don't know, intimidated or just like, "do they actually dig us or do they actually want to fucking kill us"! 'Cause I remember this one time we had a... I think it was Chile or Brazil, I don't know which one it was, but anyway we were playing this show and we took this van from the hotel and we just pulled into the parking lot and it was the kind of venue where you could drive the van inside into the venue so we could just, you know, walk to the backstage, but we had to stop for a while anyway and there was a bunch of people just waiting outside in the line and then somebody just noticed it was us in the van and they just all fucking ran, you know, towards the van and just started shacking it, you know, like trying to tip it over or something like that. I was like, "what the fuck, I mean, come on dude, I mean, get us out of here."
So, Japan is definitely the best?
Yeah, Japan, um yeah, a whole bunch of countries. Like in Finland it's always been good for us anyway, but it's our home country. Sweden is really good for us and France, Spain you know, a lot of European countries. Yeah, I mean, I would have to say definitely, you know, considering it's our first tour in here and everything, you know, America's been really good for us too.
Your friend Roope [Latvala] is currently helping you with the tour as a second guitarist since the departure of Alexander [Kuoppala]. Is it a little strange to have him on stage with you like with your other band Sinergy?
Well no, not really, it's not because it's him it's just the fact that Alexander's not there anymore. 'Cause I mean, he was there, you know, since forever, kind of. Yeah, he was my best friend and he was like... he was always there, you know, when there was something happening in the band. And then, you know just, yeah, before you know it he just bailed out and a ... well, it could be a long story but I'll try to make it short anyway, I mean he... yeah, like I said, I mean, he was like the most rock'n roll guy you would ever know, he didn't give a fuck about anything else just playing and getting wasted and that's it and then, yeah, he just hooked up with this chick and then in few months he wanted to be a family man and just quit the band and that's it, and you know, apparently not see his friends anymore as well. So... that's what I have decided. It's kind of weird that he's not around anymore, but I'm used to it anyway. So, I mean, yeah and ah, he's totally cool, I mean he's like, he's a great musician, he's a great guitar player, I mean he's really good on the stage and everything and he's a cool guy so, yeah he has done his job really good.
When do you guys have an idea of who's going to be the next rhythm guitar player of the band? Or maybe Roope is already the answer?
Well I don't even know, we really don't know. 'Cause the thing is, it's probably not going to be him only because, I mean, he already plays in Sinergy anyway and I don't know, I think it would be too much if we had like two of the same guys playing in two different bands. I think that would just... I don't know, I don't know if it would work out. Honestly we have no fucking idea who's going to be the next guitar player anyway, like we haven't even thought about it. We just want to finish all the touring and everything and then after that just, you know, really sit down and think about it, what's gonna happen.
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