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|Children of Bodom
|with Henkka on Dec 20, 2000
Our Finnish friends of Children of Bodom are back, and how!! With "Follow the Reaper" the band will strenghten their position in the worldwide metal-scene. And I know many people are curious to hear what the band will sound like on this release. But you`ll just have to wait for another month cause that`s when "Follow the Reaper" will be available at your local record dealer. At the other side of the line bassplayer Henkka is willing to answer my questions about the new release, the secrets of the Bodom lake, the bands tourplans and lots of other things. Despite of the fact that it was his last interview this night he fortunately took the time to answer my questions.
|First of all, don`t tell me Children of Bodom won`t play at the X-Mass festivals this winter, cause I really looked forward to see you guys live again?
No, that`s because a long time ago we have decided to cancel these giggs. We toured around Europe two times after the release of Hatebreeder and we didn`t thought it would make any sense to do it again. Mainly because Follow the Reaper is due to come out next month. I hope you`re not to dissaponited (Yes, TJ)?
|How are the reactions on "Follow the Reaper" so far? I know I am very enthousiastic.
The responses are both positive and negative, they differ a lot. The negative critics were like we have become more soft compared to Hatebreeder and our music had become a little bit to mainstream and the positive critics were that with Follow the Reaper we have set a large step ahead and that we have become a louder band than before.
|I don`t agree with that at all. I think it has become your best release ever. Especially when I heard the better placed arrangements and the polyrithmic pieces. Have you thought about this or did it happen naturally?
Well, now your mentioning it. We never really have thought about it. I guess that it was something that just happened. And I also think that we have become more experienced lately. I guess we have learned from the past. But I certainly agree on the fact that this release has become less predictable compared to the previous ones.
|Why did Children of Bodom decide to record this release in the Abyss Studio? And did Peter have any influence on the recording proces?
We were afraid that if we recorded the album in the same studio it would sound like our previous albums and that wasn`t what we wanted this time. But besides that we wanted this release to sound heavier than our previous ones, and Peter seemed the best man for the job. And Peter did a great job. Although for the first three weeks he wasn`t even around and we recorded all of the music on our own. But then when we started with the vocals Peter jumped in and gave us lots of advice on how the vocals should be sounding. Cause, as you know, Peter himself also has lots of singing and producing experience. But he also helped us with the keyboards-parts. At one time he just wanted to have the right sound for the keyboard piece and he had the choice out of 500 different keyboard sounds. But he kept on trying till the best sound came out.
|Who was responsible for the writing this time? Cause I know Alexi normally writes all the material. But perhaps the other bandmembers were also involved in the writing-proces this time, like Janne for instance, who also possesses great writing skills?
Alexi still writes most of the material, but it certainly has become more of a band thing actually. What happens is that Alexi comes at the rehearsels with some kind of an idea or some riffs. Then the band jumps in to complete the rest of the song. So everybody can add his own ideas to a song. Janne sometimes has an idea for Bodom but most of is ideas aren`t suitable for Bodom. He has his own style of writing. He uses Warmen (his sideproject, TJ) for all his not Bodom riffs.
|Can you tell me something more about the Bodom trilogy and in what way does this influence your work? The lyrics seem to be based on the Bodom lake. Are they just fiction or mythological stories from the past?
Well I guess you probably won`t know it but `40 years ago in the early `60 there happened something strange at the Lake of Bodom. At one night three teens were brutally murdered by an unknown person. This also was one of the most memorable killings of the past times. But the strange thing was that the murderer had no motive and that nobody knows who he was. He was never caught. We were astonished when we heared it and perhaps that is why we chose to write some songs about it like Bodom after Midnight. But on the other hand, we all live in the surroundings of the bodom lake and it always has some kind of mystic around it which we can`t explain. We definately get lots of inspiration of it. The man on our cover wasn`t chosen for somekind of reason. He just symbolizes death (as I thought, but you never know, TJ)…
|How is Children of Bodom doing in Europe compared to for instance Scandinavia or Japan, where you guys seem very hot at this moment?
Well, in Scandinavia we aren`t selling that well, except for our own country were one of our last singles got platinum. That means we have sold over a 10.000 copies. The rest of Scandinavia is listening to bands as Nightwish. In Europe we are also doing great but in Japan the market is just a lot bigger. We can easily sell many times more compared to Europe for instance. But you obviously didn`t knew that a band as Arch Enemy sold three times more then us in Japan.
|When can we expect the first official live-video of Children of Bodom?
Well, there isn`t one yet but I hope there`s going to be one soon. But there have been any complications you know. We wanted to release a video together with our live-CD Tokyio Warhearts last year but the quality of the live video footage of this gigg wasn`t good enough to use. The problem was that when we used footage for the other Japanese gigg we played we draw the conclusion that music and the video didn`t match. So I don`t know when we`ll be releasing our first video. Probarbly after one of the coming tours.
|Is Alexi still playing in Synergy at this moment and what can we expect from them and Warmen in the near future? Perhaps you are also active in some kind of side-project right now?
Yes, Alexi still is part of Synergy at this moment. He just got back from South-Africa and he did some giggs with them as a support for Nightwish. It is something were he can put in some ideas which he can`t put in Children of Bodom. But C. of B. always will be his number one priority and the same things goes for Janne. He also has C. of B. as his number one band at the moment. I am not involved in any kind of project at this moment. I can put everything I wan`t in this band so I don`t really feel that need. I don`t know waht we can expect to hear from them in the near future, but I kind of heard that Janne was doing some recordings right now…
|Are there any tourplans at this moment? I kind of heard that Children of Bodom might be going on tour with Primal Fear?
We will be coming to Europe for about twenty giggs and we also will be doing Holland for one gigg. This time its going to be a rather challaging package with Primal Fear and Sacred Steel, and I hope the progressive metal fans can appreciate Alexi`s vocals. I think the people should look at us then with a more open-mind then. I`m very excited about it. We`ll be playing in Holland at the 9th of February at de Effenaar in Eindhoven. One thing I hope is that it also will attract two different kind of metal-fans. And i`m anxious to see what will happen. Its an interesting bill, don`t you think.
|Is there a official Children of Bodom website?
Yes there is. The adress is: www.cobhc.com Thats the one and only official Children of Bodom website with some foto and even updated video footage of the band.
|Is there anything left we ought to know?
Check out "Follow the Reaper", and I`ll hope to see you at the Effenaar….