"When people say that they are a Children of Bodom fan and still downloaded our album, they don't understand if they keep doing that we don't get any money and the record company doesn't get any money so we can't continue to keep putting out new albums, that should be illegal or something like that..."
Frontman for Children of Bodom, Alexi Laiho, is one hell of a guy! Laiho is very much respected amongst his peers as a musician and artist. He proudly wears his badge for partying, however the ones who care to get to know him understand his inherent goodness. Join me in my conversation with Alexi as he answers his fans questions and talks about his life: raw, rough, & real!
Karma: Alexi, thank you so much for doing the interview. Are you feeling any better today?
Alexi: No problem. I was sick yesterday but I am feeling better now.
Karma: I heard that you injured your leg; are you okay now?
Alexi: Yeah, I'm okay now yeah. It was fucked up for about 3 days or something like that but it was no big deal. It's okay now.
Karma: Well that's good to hear! How did you injure it?
Alexi: Ha, ha, ha! [in a mischievous tone] I was drunk, on my ass of course and in the back lounge on the bus, the window was open, and I decide to jump out of it.
Alexi: [snickers] Yeah, well it was kind of a…long drop…so that's how it happened!
Karma: Well as long as you're okay!
Alexi: Yeah, well shit like that happens! [laughs]
Karma: What do you think needs to change in the Industry?
Alexi: Well the main thing that I'm thinking about is the MP3 thing and that people are downloading stuff and everything. They don't get that they're killing the band and the whole music industry. When people say that they are a Children of Bodom fan and still downloaded our album, they don't understand if they keep doing that we don't get any money and the record company doesn't get any money so we can't continue to keep putting out new albums, that should be illegal or something like that, you know what I mean!
Karma: I do!! At the moment, who are some of your biggest influences?
Alexi: I don't know, there are a lot of different guitar players…all of the Ozzy guys: Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde and Steve Vai.
Karma: Are there any current bands you listen to since you are known to be a big fan of the 80’s?
Alexi: Yes definitely! There are some new bands that I dig for example: Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage. I just got the new Lamb of God CD right before we went on tour; I just wanted to check them out and I like that a lot.
Alexi: There are a lot of new bands I like, like In Flames and stuff like that
Karma: How has your song writing changed since the days of Something Wild?
Alexi: Well I think that I can see more clearly, what the songs should sound like. You know like I just want to come up with cool riffs and put them together one after another. so the whole song will make more sense. Most of the earlier, songs were actually okay riffs, but as far as structure, they just really didn't make that much sense. Now it's more like I just don't think about one riff I try to see the whole song. If there's a memory for whatever verse, chorus that loops over. That's what people hear and it's easier to remember if you get 20 different riffs, one after another, you're not really going to remember anything from the song. But if stuff repeats a few times like melodies or anything like that it gives people something to remember of the song so that's the main point.
Karma: Where do you see CoB 5 years from now?
Alexi: [laughs] I don't know, 6 feet under! [laughs]
Karma: What? [said in pure amazement with mouth left agape staring at the phone] Oh god, I hope not!
Alexi: I don't know. I don't really want to think about it because… I try not to think about the future too much. I just really want to think about what we're doing right now. All's I know is that when we go back home from the tour, we're just going to start working on new stuff. And we're going to go back in the studio in March I guess. So I think the new album will come out in August and I have no idea after that really!
Alexi: You can't tell really ever what's going to happen 5 years for now. I mean you might get bigger but what also might happen when the album doesn't sell anymore. You can either bite the bullet and just quit or keep trying. I'm just saying that if we start selling less albums than we used to we're just gonna quit.
Karma: Hmm… well the next 7-8 questions were questions from your fans. I polled the fans on your message board and this is what they have to ask you…
Karma: Will any wild and crazy bus antics make the cut for the Trashed, Lost & Strung Out DVD?
Alexi: Well there's going to be a bunch of stuff on there are going to be at least 2 videos of "Sixpounder" and one from "Trashed, Lost & Strungout". It's going to be us being stupid, fucking around, and drunk in Helsinki. Kind of funny stuff and 2 live videos from Helsinki as well.
Karma: They also wanted to know "when are you in the best mood to talk to fans, for example, not in a hurry/tired?"
Alexi: For me it doesn't really make a difference as long as it's not right before the show or right after the show. Because right before the show you just want to concentrate and just get into the mood to just get on the stage and rock! And after the show you're just so…in a totally different state of mind, so you need time to cool down for a little bit. Other than that, it doesn't really matter.
Karma: Will you do songs with blast-beats again?
Alexi: Yeah, probably yeah. I never decide what we're going to do and not going to do so I mean probably yeah!
Karma: They also wanted to know if you had any plans to cover some classic Metal songs again like Priest's "Touch Of Evil" or Megadeth's "Holy Wars" or anything like that.
Alexi: Uhh, I don’t know, we might! Usually unless it’s for a tribute CD; we like to pick something that would be more of a shock, something more surprising like Andrew W.K. or with Billy Idol or the Ramones. But yeah we might do some death metal covers, you never know!
Karma: I understand you guys covered a Sentenced song 1997 in Finland. Do you know for sure which song it was?
Alexi: Well we never recorded it; this was like when we were 15-years old or something we did play one of their songs. I think… Fuck, I can't remember what it was called…I think it was called "My Sky Is Darker Than Thine"
Karma: It is being said that that COB is playing modern Nu Metal now and should write songs like on the Hatebreeder album again, what's your thought on this?
Alexi: [clears throat] You know, that's kind of a tricky thing because the thing is that there are always going to be people no matter will say things like that. 'The older one is always better' you know. People that are saying you should just do stuff like Hatebreeder but we don't want to get stuck, you know! We don't just want to get stuck in one style of music and plus that's just not what we're about right now. Whatever we do its not consciously decided that we want to sell more modern or sell more old school. Some of that comes naturally and that's it. So I mean, in a way I understand if the new stuff doesn't appeal to people who were more into Something Wild or Hatebreeder but still it what we do. If you don't dig it, that's totally fine with me!
Karma: Considering you don't perform a lot of tunes from Something Wild, the fans would like to know if you would ever consider performing a Something Wild medley?
Alexi: We do play and will play songs from Something Wild if we get to play a set that's longer than 30 minutes. Whenever we play in the States it’s always no longer than 30-40 minutes. So that's only like 6-8 songs so of course we're gonna want to put some new stuff in there instead of old stuff. But of course if we were to headline here someday, we would actually play something from Something Wild.
Karma: Here's a quick round of Speed Round Questions.
Karma: What's your mantra or rule of thumb that you live your life by?
Alexi: Umm, let me think. I don't really think about stuff, I just do it. And I guess that's what it is. I don't want to think to much, I'd just rather act.
Karma: Are you spiritual or religious?
Alexi: No, I'd don't have a religion at all. I don't believe in spirituality and that shit.
Karma: You have been dubbed captain of the drinking team and it's your mission to assemble a new drinking event for the Olympics, who would choose to be on your team & who would you oppose?
Alexi: A drinking team?
Alexi: I would pick our sound guy, Hooch. I would also pick…so it could be anybody?
Karma: You got it, anybody you want!
Alexi: It would probably be Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell…I don't know, who else drinks a lot? Let's just say there's only going to be 5 and let's get our other guitar player, Roope.
Karma: Who would you go up against?
Alexi: Probably some band that doesn't really drink! [we both laugh hysterically] I don't know, some straight edge, hardcore band! That would not be fair, but still…if I could pick… [we laugh]
Karma: Top 5 favorite movies?
Alexi: Oh man…top 5. Hmmm, Amadeus, it's not like in any order…
Alexi: Blues Brothers, I need movies…fuck! [laughs] Sidd & Nancy and let em think, The Shining and…fuck… Oh, I just saw this movie the other week and it was the funniest thing I had seen in years, Bad Santa, so I'm going to have to say that one!
Karma: Oh that is a funny movie!
Alexi: Yeah, definitely!
Karma: What's your favorite time of the year?
Alexi: I mean it's hard because in Finland we get really, really cold winters and in the summers are nice, their like 70° and spring and autumn and the whole thing. It changes all the times but it's just hard to pick one. During summertime I start missing winter and wintertime I'm like, 'Shit, it should be summer!' But right now I will say summer.
Karma: Okay, what's you favorite color?
Alexi: Well I'm not going to say black because it's so obvious, you know but it's one of them. It is such a basic color though...uhhh, it changes all of the time but I would say dark blue right now.
Karma: What's underneath your bed?
Alexi: At home or on the tour bus? [laughs]
Karma: Let's go with home. [we both laugh]
Alexi: A bunch of stuff, maybe an occasional pizza box that I forgot…
Karma: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
Alexi: A lot of bad things has happened to me so it's hard to pick one. Hold on, this requires some thinking definitely. Okay, I would have to say the worst feeling I ever had was when…well I used to be completely fucked in the head and I had a complete nervous breakdown. And I was in the hospital for like 5 days or whatever. So that was like the worst feeling I ever had.
Karma: Sorry to hear that!
Alexi: Yeah, but this was like 5 years ago or whatever but I'm okay now but I used to be really fucked in the head, it happens.
Karma: What's your best memory?
Alexi: Oh man, that's a tough one as well. I guess maybe it could be when we first got signed. And that was the first time I really got something out of something that I had been working on for years and years. It's kind of hard to explain but it was a special feeling in a way.
Karma: Do you play another instrument?
Alexi: Uhh, yeah, I like to play drums, well I play bass and guitar of course and I like to play keyboards but I'm really, really bad at it!
Karma: What’s your favorite smell?
Alexi: Let me think, it all depends if I was hung over or not but I love the smell of beer but I also love the smell of coffee too. So it could be either one.
Karma: Live or dead: If you could host a dinner party of 5, whom would you invite?
Alexi: Probably everybody on my drinking team and that's about it! It would be a drinking party.
Karma: What pisses you off?
Alexi: A lot of things actually, people judging people on the basis of what they look like and by what they wear.
Karma: If not music, then what?
Alexi: Nothing! I honestly don't know what I would do because there's nothing else I can do and there's nothing else I want to do. And you know I dropped out of school when I was 16 and I don't know shit this is the only thing I know how to do. If not music, then I'd just have to be a bum.
Karma: If you could travel the spans of time, which era would you visit?
Alexi: I would buy a ticket to LA and visit the early 80's
Karma: What is your favorite day of the week?
Alexi: I don't know, Friday maybe Saturday.
Karma: If you could commission a band to do a cover song of yours, which song would it be?
Alexi: It could be any band, and they could be broken up, right?
Alexi: Maybe Pantera doing "Needled 24/7"
Karma: If stranded on a Desert Island, whom would like to be marooned with?
Alexi: How many people?
Karma: As many as you wanted!
Alexi: Okay…a bunch of friends back home and of course; one of them has to be a female. [we both laugh] My best friends and stuff like that.
Karma: Thank you Alexi, I really appreciate it!
Alexi: You're welcome!
I'd like to thank George from Century Media, Neubi, the band's tour manager and Alexi for this interview. Check out Henkka's interview here
Looking for pix from the Chicago show? Click here!
Click here for new interview with Alexi