Alexi Laiho formed Children of Bodom when he was 14, in Finland in 1993. Since then, the guitarist and vocalist has taken the symphonic, melodic death metal band to do multiple tours of the world, record 10 studio albums, earned millions of fans and harnessed a reputation as being one of the hardest working, and talented bands to explode onto the international metal scene. CoB has toured with everyone from Megadeth and Mastodon to Lamb of God, Fear Factory and In Flames, and everyone in between. Laiho recently took time to speak with the Weekly about the band’s newest album, Worship Chaos, the new music video for “My Bodom( I Am the Only One),” the band’s 2009 cover of the Suicidal Tendencies song ‘War Inside My Head,’ the best places to see mosh pit action and the current tour with black metal icon Abbath, local metal band Exmortus and Canadian band Oni, which stops at the Observatory on Dec. 6th.
OC Weekly(Alex Distefano): Tell us about your current tour with Abbath, Exmortus and Oni
Children of Bodom(Alex Laiho): The shows are going really good so far. This is our first headlining tour for this album. We weren’t sure what to expect, we’ve been out here for two weeks and every show has been amazing so far. We are very excited to have Abbath, he’s a black metal legend it makes the show a little different, we all love Immortal. Exmortus and Oni have also done a great job opening the shows. We are having such a great time.
How long did it take to get all the pictures together for the video “My Bodom(I Am the Only One)?”
That was something we worked on with our management and label, Nuclear Blast. It came out brilliant. I loved it how we included so many pictures with our fans over the years. Over a few weeks we just had so many pictures coming in from our fans all around the world. Back in the day, I could only imagine if I had the chance to do with with Ozzy, it would have been amazing. We got so many pictures we couldn’t include them all the response was insane. We had fun and am glad the fans got to be a part of it.
Where have you witnessed the craziest mosh pits?
There are a lot of cities, and venues, it’s hard to pick just one. Of course big cities like New York, Chicago, LA and places in Texas are always fun. But, then again, usually the best shows and most crazy pits are the ones in the middle of nowhere you expect no one to show up and then next thing you know the club is packed and it goes off. But the mosh pit thing has been more of a thing in North America. They can get crazier than out in Europe. But then again, it is changing. For instance in Japan that is a new thing. 10 years ago they had no such thing as a mosh pit and I think that it’s a very cool thing.
In your 2009 covers album, the band covered Suicidal Tendencies’ song, ‘War Inside My Head,’ and last year Children of Bodom toured with Suicidal and Megadeth. Did they ever hear your cover, and if so did they like it or give you feedback?
You know I am not even sure if they heard it or not. I don’t know. But someone did tell me that some of the Suicidal guys heard it and thought it was cool. I am not sure but I hope that is true; I listen to some punk but not too much. I liked mostly metal growing up, different hair metal then eventually I got into thrash and death metal; I did like bands like the Sex Pistols and Ramones, but other than that not too much punk or or hardcore, except for Suicidal Tendencies, which I got into at a young age.
Do you find it more difficult to play guitar and sing, as opposed to just playing guitar by itself with no vocals?
Children of Bodom(Alex Laiho): Not really. I have been doing this for such a long time now it comes naturally to me. When I first started the band I was only 13 or 14. At that time no one wanted to sing and I was just a guitar player. Eventually I said fuck it and after a few years I was behind the mic, and had developed my own voice and style of singing it just happened without me thinking about it. However, there are definitely a couple of parts on each album, where it can get difficult. I don’t always necessarily think about what it will be like to sing and play, so certain parts I do have to think about it, sit down and practice it slowly.
If you had to chose to play an entire album to play live which would you chose?
Well, actually next year is the 20 year anniversary of our first album and we are talking about that for maybe a European tour, and see how it goes. But I don’t know yet if we’re going to play the whole album or probably just a lot of rare songs from it we never play live. WE might do a mix of our first two albums. It will be weird, it will be a trip but fans will dig it. I am thinking instead of playing a whole album, we will play the most obscure tracks.
Any final comments for fans that will catch Children of Bodom on this tour?
We just want to thank all of our fans, we love playing all these smaller shows, and appreciate everyone showing up these have been such crazy, fun shows and we can’t wait to come to your city to play with the great opening bands we have. Get ready to come, bang your head and jump in the pit!
Children of Bodom perform tomorrow night at the Observatory with Abbath, Exmortus and ONI. For full details and tickets, click here.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.