Finish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom cannot be stopped. Formed in 1993, and releasing their first album in 1997, Children of Bodom has been going strong since their inception. Recently, some may have been concerned about the departure of long time rhythm guitarist Roope Latvala, but not to worry, their ninth studio record I Worship Chaos is just as brutal, fast, and heavy as anything else they have ever done. In a recent conversation with lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and founding member Alexi Laiho he discusses the musical direction of the new album and future of the band.
When it comes to the band’s music, Leiho is the foremost authority. When asked if the writing and/or recording process was any different because of the departure of Roope Latvala, Leiho made it clear, “That didn’t change at all. I write all the riffs so it didn’t make a difference.” He went on further to describe some of the recording process, “I’d double or triple the vocal tracks in certain parts. Whenever you feel that the part needs an extra boost, that’s what you do to make it sound bigger. Same goes for the rhythm guitars.”Asked to describe the band’s overall sound, Leiho explained, “as far as genres go, I honestly don’t know what the hell we are. I guess we mostly are called melodic death metal which I suppose is pretty close. I just call us a metal band. We call some of Janne’s solos ‘Slayer solos,’ which is kinda funny and quite a unique thing to do.” However, as far as the new album is concerned Leiho described it this way: “The overall mood is just very dark, which I think comes from the melodies, vocals and the production being super heavy and kinda echo-y. We tuned the guitars down a step which made it a lot heavier.” In previous interviews Leiho had mentioned a Type O Negative influence when it came to some of the keyboards on the new album. Although, one may not think of them as an influence of the band right off, Leiho elaborated, “I just heard Type O Negative in the keyboards, especially on the song Prayer for the Afflicted, which makes sense I suppose because I’ve been a Type O fan since I was 15.”
When it comes to the meaning of the album title itself, I Worship Chaos, Leiho explains “I’m just a very restless person and really don’t do well with silence. Dead silence freaks me the fuck out so I do need chaos around me to feel comfortable. But of course sometimes it just means that I have to have a TV on when I go to sleep. Sometimes it’s a bit more than that.” As for the lyrical themes Leiho describes it as a cathartic experience: “I just get inspired by any kind of negative feelings, which is a pretty good source of inspiration because you’re never going to run out of bullshit in life. It can be extreme, psychotic anger, but it also can be sadness or just the feeling of being hurt. Instead of reacting to those feelings violently and impulsively which I have been known to do sometimes, I try to savor those feelings and put them in to the music. Might as well at least try to turn negative shit into something positive. So it’s not a cliché when I say that music is the best form of therapy for me.” For anyone who wants to learn more about each song on the new album, Children of Bodom have posted two track-by-track videos on YouTube offering insight and information on I Worship Chaos. The video features a sample of each song and a brief interview discussing it. The first video in the series focuses on the tracks I Hurt, My Bodom (I Am The Only One), and Morrigan, The second video covers Horns, Prayer For The Afflicted, I Worship Chaos, and Hold Your Tongue.
The band has been consistently releasing albums and touring for quite a few years now. Leiho illuminates the secret of their longevity: “Yeah its 18 years since the first album now, and 21 years since the first demo we made. So yep, we’ve been around the block more than a few times. I think the fact that we started so young and have essentially lived on the road since we were 17, 18-year-old kids, and the fact that we still have that drive, love and burn for music and playing live has a lot to do with it. We’re childhood friends and know each other so well on both a personal and musical level that it’s pretty insane how we communicate sometimes even without saying a goddamn word. As for the music, I think the only way to keep things fresh is to not think about it at all. I myself always go out of my way to try not to think about stuff like, how the fans are going to react to this or that song or what do people want to hear. It’s not that I don’t care. Fuck, of course I do! But It’s just going to throw me off the track and that’s not going to serve anyone. We just write whatever comes out naturally and spontaneously and just fuckin hope for the best. That’s all you really can do at the end of the day if you want to keep the music fresh and genuine.”
The band is embarking on a European tour starting October 10th and plans to come to the states in February/March of next year. They do a kick ass live show that is not to be missed. As far as the new second guitarist goes Leiho will only say that “Janne’s brother is going to fill in for the rest of the year and we will announce who the new member is going to be then.” As far as what the future holds Leiho simply says that, “The future is just going to be non-stop touring all around the globe for the next year and a half.” He also adds, “A huge thank you to all the COB fans out there, we will see you soon!”