AREN’T YOU DEAD YET? ALAIN MILHOUSE, MILAN Alexi Laiho: “Not yet, but pretty soon.”
Spanish Inquisition: Children Of Bodom
Children Of Bodom play at this tear's Bloodstock Festival. So a suitable time to revisit this Metal Hammer inquisition from 2007
Metal Hammer: Why are you clutching your ribs like that?
Alexi: “I've done a lot of stupid shit. I hurt myself pretty bad when our ex-guitar player and me were in the Hard Rock Café. We were totally fucking wasted after slamming loads of Long Island Iced Tea. We went to the dance floor, but I fell down and that bastard fell on me, so I broke two ribs.”
Janne Wirman: “We were in South Korea. I think.”
Alexi: “I was so fucked up that I woke up in the hospital and started demanding a drink from the nurses. I had chronic pain and it comes back every so often. At Wacken last year, I thought I'd be smart and climb up a really tall fence. Of course, I fell down, and I was in agony again. I'm not dead yet, but I am fucked up.”
ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH VILLE VALO? DO ALL FINNISH PEOPLE KNOW EACH OTHER?
Janne: “Not all Finns know each other, but I guess we know a lot of Finnish musicians. It's not like we're all neighbours though.”
Alexi: “We toured with HIM in '98 or '99 so we've known them for a long time. I've shared more than a few drinks with Ville.”
Janne: “Actually, their drummer [Gas] is my neighbour.”
WHY IS YOUR MASCOT CALLED ROY? WHO’S ROY?
Alexi: “In the movie Hot Shots there's a guy called Admiral Benson. He looks into a painting thinking he's looking out of a window, and he says, 'They're out there doing nothing,' and calls out, 'Roy. Roy! The guy's been ignoring me all day...'”
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THE BRITISH PRESS PRINTING A PHOTO OF YOU AND SAYING IT WAS LORDI UNMASKED AROUND THE TIME OF THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST?
Alexi: “I thought it was funny.”
Janne: “I thought, 'I want to sue someone's ass', because I thought it was bullshit.”
Metal Hammer: What exactly happened?
Alexi: “We don't really know. Someone – some fucking professional journalist – did the retarded thing of taking a picture of us and saying it was Lordi unmasked.”
Janne: “It was an old picture of us, and it appeared in the UK and Sweden with the title 'Lordi Unmasked'.”
Metal Hammer: Did you or the journalist get in trouble?
Janne: “I hope someone got in trouble. It was fucking bullshit. If you're printing stuff like that then you better fucking know what you're doing.”
Alexi: “I don't think anyone got in trouble. It was funny.”
ALEXI, HAVE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE UNPARALLELED GREATNESS OF DREAM THEATER CHANGED?
Alexi: “Oh God, that Dream Theater shit again.”
Metal Hammer: What is 'that Dream Theater shit'?
Alexi: “I said some shit about Dream Theater that I probably shouldn't have said. I could have rephrased it. I basically said that some music – like Dream Theater – is just false. One of the main quotes was me saying, 'A lot of bands out there are super fast, play super well but are super lame. Like Dream Theater'. After that everyone started hating me. But hey, I don't give a flying fuck. Obviously I have nothing personal against any of the guys in the band, and John Petrucci is a great guitarist, it's just not my type of thing.”
Janne: “You always seem to get a lot of shit if you're straight with people – honest.”
Alexi: “But I try to be a bit more careful about what I say now. I don't mean to be a dick, but sometimes I come across as being that way.”
HENKKA, IS IT TRUE YOU’RE STILL STUDYING POLITICAL SCIENCE, AND IF SO, HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS
JAMES APPLEBY, SEAPALLING
Alexi: “He'd say nuke 'em all. [laughs]”
Janne: “That's something he definitely wouldn't say. He's a real activist. I don't know what he would do to resolve it, but he'd love to be the guy to do it.”
DO YOU THINK ALL METAL SHREDDERS ARE DESTINED TO BE LUMPED IN WITH PEOPLE LIKE YNGWIE MALMSTEEN AND JOE SATRIANI? ARE YOU FANS?
GRAHAM GOD, PERTH
Alexi: “Probably. If you play a certain way, or your songs have an emphasis on guitar playing, or contain long solos, then people ask, 'Who are your influences?' and suddenly you're in there with those guys. People say I sound like Steve Vai, or Yngwie Malmsteen or Zakk Wylde or Joe Satriani, so yeah, I guess so. If you don't come up with anything of your own you'll be compared to others.”
Janne: “It takes time to develop your own unique style.”
Alexi: “I don't think I sound unique. I just love playing, I'm not a goddamn circus act.”
WHY DOES FINLAND HAVE SUCH A HIGH SUICIDE RATE?
Janne: “Because it's fucking dark and fucking cold.”
Metal Hammer: But you can still smoke indoors in Finland. You can't do that in LA.”
Alexi: “The suicide rate will go through the roof when they ban smoking in Finland. So many people will die: you'll have to go outside in the freezing cold totally wasted to smoke. People will fall over on the ice and pass out and die. I guess that's not suicide.”
Janne: “The winters are long and dark. But I don't really like the sun too much. So I don't mind.”
WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ON PLAYING A STADIUM TOUR IN THE UK NOW THAT YOU’RE FINALLY BEING RECOGNISED OVER HERE? AND HOW ARE FINNISH CROWDS DIFFERENT TO ENGLISH METALHEADS?
Janne: “Same shit, different package. We hate questions comparing places. People ask the difference between America and Europe. The answer is that in America there are Americans and in Europe there aren't. It's easy.”
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ARRESTED?
JIM DOWNING, REEPHAM
Alexi: “Yes. I was arrested for DUI [Driving Under The Influence]. I was fucking wasted. Me and my friend went out, and he got into a fight. I went in to back him up but he'd been up all night just drinking so he just went down. I thought, 'I have to take this guy to the hospital,' so I drove. After about three minutes there were sirens behind me and that was it.”
YOU’VE TOURED WITH THE MIGHTY SLAYER, SO I WANNA KNOW: WHO’S THE BEST BAND YOU’VE EVER PLAYED WITH AND THE NICEST PEOPLE TO TOUR WITH?
JAMIE RUDD, EMAIL
Alexi: “Slayer, Kerry King.”
Janne: “Slayer are one of the greatest bands to tour with because... because they're fucking Slayer.”
Metal Hammer: We hear you guys bonded over a Jägermeister shot or nine.
Alexi: “That's true.” [They look at each other and laugh.]
Metal Hammer: Ever toured with a straight-edge band?
Alexi: “It was fine. I wasn't trying to shove a fucking beer in their face. I don't care.”
MY BOYFRIEND AND I ARE HAVING A DEBATE OVER THE PRONOUNCIATION OF ‘BODOM’, WE’VE HEARD TWO VERSIONS OF IT AND EVEN A HYBRID OF THE TWO. COULD YOU SETTLE THIS DEBATE ONCE AND FOR ALL?
NAOMI L, DEVON
Janne: “In Finland we say 'b'dam'. But in interviews around the world we say 'bow-dm', like Americans. It makes it easier.”
Alexi: “I think Canadians say 'b'darm'.”
Janne: “Swedes say 'bood'm'.”
Alexi: “You're going to have a nightmare trying to write this answer out!”
ARE ANY OF YOU GOOD ENOUGH TO BEAT ME AT PRO EVO SOCCER? OH AND I TRIED THE PEPTO BISMOL COCKTAIL YOU ONCE MENTIONED... FUCKING MAGIC!
TOM C, LONDON
Janne: “Hennka is amazing at that game. His brother actually won the Finnish Championship of Pro Evo Soccer, so Hennka is amazing. He would definitely beat your sorry ass. And Pepto and whiskey...”
Alexi: “...is amazing. It's double action. That shit works man.”
ON YOUR NEXT ALBUM WILL YOU BE PUTTING THE KEYBOARDS BACK TO THE TRADITIONAL CHILDREN OF BODOM STYLE?
Janne: “I'm afraid not, but I hope you like the new shit as well. We're pretty much moving on all the time, and not looking back, and trying to evolve.”
Alexi: “And we don't think about it too much beforehand.”
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE NEXT ALBUM? ARE WE LOOKING AT ANOTHER FOLLOW THE REAPER OR ARE YOU HEADING MORE INTO AN AMERICANISED HEAVY METAL DIRECTION?
Alexi: “More of the American metal?”
Janne: “I think we have found our own sound.”
Alexi: “I think it's more that some American bands that have got big have been inspired by the Scandinavian style.”
Janne: “Yeah, fuck that.”
Alexi: “Anyway, we have so many things in our music from old heavy metal that we had before we even went to the States. What did you call it back then? Fuck that shit man.”
WHAT FILLINGS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND NEXT TIME I GO TO SUBWAY?
Janne: “I'll go for the Club.”
Alexi: “Beef. With shitloads of mustard. No olives.”
WHAT’S THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS THING EACH OF YOU HAVE EVER DONE AND WHY DID YOU DO IT?
ERIC FERENC, LONDON
Alexi: “This is going to take a year. What kind of thing are they looking for?”
Metal Hammer: I suppose they're looking for something like, 'This one time I got drunk and Sellotaped myself to the ceiling.'
Alexi: “I've done a lot of stupid shit. Two years ago we were drunk in the street. I got on top of this car in the street, but because it was winter it was slippery and I fell off. I landed on my face and my wrist. I broke three bones in my wrist and my eye swelled up huge. The next morning I had to go for x-rays and shit. The doctor said that I may need surgery which would mean months of not playing the guitar. I was like, 'Oh my fucking god. Now I've fucked up.' I hated myself at that time. It turned out OK though and I just needed a cast for seven weeks. It healed OK.”
Janne: “Once I woke up in a hotel room totally drunk, I went for a walk and accidentally bought a Rolex. When I eventually sobered up, I was like, 'What the fuck did I just do? I have 5,000 Euros on my wrist!'”
WOULD YOU CLUB A BABY SEAL FOR A MILLION DOLLARS? IF NOT, WHAT OR WHO WOULD YOU CLUB FOR A MILLION DOLLARS?
THE BAVARIAN BITCHGODDESS, EMAIL
Alexi: “A baby seal? I don't need a million dollars that badly.”
Janne: “I wouldn't club a baby seal for anything.”
Alexi: “For a million dollars there are a lot of people I can think of clubbing. Our old front-of-house guy. He fucked us over big time.”
Janne: “We shouldn't be talking about this on record, because he has some serious mental issues.”
Alexi: “Yeah that fucking...”
Janne: “No, no, no, no...”
Alexi: “Oh, OK.”
Readers are advised that mixing medicines – even indigestion remedies – with alcohol is highly dangerous. And so are the Chidlers Of Bodski. Do not try it at home. COB will be carted off to the Hammer cells immediately.
This feature was first published in Metal Hammer issue 162
Children Of Bodom play the Ronnie James Dio Stage at the Bloodstock Open Air Festival on August 9
Get to grips with the band's catalogue here