The Finnish metal invasion continues, spreading to more lands and conquering new cities. Both Children of Bodom and Sinergy are on top of this wave of Finnish acts, and guitarist/singer Alexi Laiho plays in both of them. We believe that Moscow has yet to experience the frenzy of a Children of Bodom gig, but Sinergy has already played here, and we couldn't miss the chance of interviewing Alexi, whom we captured in the hall of his hotel the morning after the show. It was indeed the morning after for the entire band, but Alexi was kind enough to answer a few questions exclusively for MetalKings.com.
MetalKings.com: First, thank you for the concert. It was really great! It really looked like people on stage were doing all they want and all they could. So if we are still talking about the concert, last night I saw you on stage and what I saw is that you are very concentrated on stage. You're headbanging, moving around, but almost always you are looking at your fingers and at your guitar. Why? Is it because your solos are very complicated and you are scared to make a mistake or you are just serious person in life?
Alexi: I'm not a serious person, that's for sure. I don't know… on stage I'm moving around, I'm rocking and there's a lot of complicated things going on out there, but I don't mind. I look at my fingers but I can play without looking at my fingers. Sometimes I look at the crowd, I mean people out there… It depends on the part, and if it's a solo…
MetalKings.com: You have to.
MetalKings.com: Ok, about Children of Bodom. Some time ago you came out with this bombastic combination of dark metal, power metal, classical metal and even classical music. And now some people say that if talking about black metal you are too clean and melodic, and on the other hand, power metal fans say that these vocals and drums spoil the "true power" stuff. What can you say to these "pure style keepers"?
Alexi: All I can say to them is if it's the case then just stop speaking like that and stop listening to our music. They don't have to listen to our music if it's too "black metal" or too "power metal". I don't care. You can't always please everybody, anyway… Of course, there're always gonna be like really "hardcore" people, like really "black-metal-to-the-bone fans" and really "power-metal-to-the-bone fans". They just can't be open-minded at all about the music, and it has to be exactly their way. Like that power metal, they only like fucking Hammerfall and Helloween or whatever, and then again the other extreme is that, you know, you have to be like Darkthrone or some fucking poser. I don't care… Just don't listen to our music - it's all I can say.
MetalKings.com: Good advice. You know, many Finnish bands use folk elements in their music, I mean, traditional music, all that "humppa-black" stuff. Why not Children of Bodom?
Alexi: I think it's pretty fucking stupid, that's why… No, I was pretty rough… I know most of these bands. I just personally think it's kinda silly, you know what I mean. It just sounds like… It's not metal, it's like fucking trolls jumping around… it's fine, but I don't think that's what I'm gonna do in my music. Everybody, you know, have their way.
MetalKings.com: OK. Do you think that the phenomenon of the Finnish metal exists? I mean, no matter what they play, Stratovarius metal, black metal or stuff like you are playing. Do you think that Finnish metal is something special?
Alexi: At the moment, yeah, it is. I mean there're so many bands from Finland right now which are internationally known and selling albums and stuff like that. So, at the moment the Finnish scene seems really strong: Stratovarius, Nightwish, us, Sentenced. I don't know what's gonna go for me around, but I'm sure that there will always be good bands from Finland anyway.
MetalKings.com: What's your opinion about alternative metal, "nu metal", would you ever try to play it?
Alexi: Are you talking about bands like Limp Bizkit and something like that?
Alexi: First, Limp Bizkit, I think it's fucking bullshit, I don't understand why they call it like "nu metal", it's got nothing to do with metal at all. They put the "metal" word because there are guitars in there, but it's bullshit, I think. But I don't know… I think that the "nu metal" scene, they have done some good influence in the metal scene, things like production and sounds. I don't really own any album of that kind of music. But, yeah, talking about fucking Limp Bizkit: it's fucking bullshit!
MetalKings.com: On your official web-site you named Japan and Finland as your favorite places to make tours in. With Finland everything is clear, it's your motherland, but what about Japan, are Japanese people more friendly than the ones in Europe?
Alexi: I don't know why I put Japan… It is different, I mean, they are pretty crazy. Maybe I put Japan because it was the first time we've been on tour in Japan, they were crazy and they were treating us like some fucking big time rock stars, and it was the first time that we were actually playing for more than a thousand people or something like that. I think that's the reason why I put them. Yeah, they can really make you feel like a fucking rock star, which I don't think myself to be.
MetalKings.com: Children of Bodom and Sinergy, if we are talking about them as about members of a family, what are they for you? Two wives, two lovers, a child and a lover..?
Alexi: I've never thought about it that way but, yeah, you can say that. I mean, sometimes when these two clash it's a big mess, if you know what I mean. If you have two lovers it's a big mess if they ever meet (laugh). So, sometimes there are a lot of troubles, but it's worth the troubles 'cause I get to do exactly what I wanna do. You know, I just play and I'm touring all the time constantly. I'm always somewhere and that's all I like to do anyway, I just like to play so much like that and it's worth the troubles that I get sometimes from both bands…
MetalKings.com: Have Children of Bodom ever toured with Sinergy, and is it possible?
Alexi: No, it's not possible 'cause I don't wanna do two shows in a row. I mean, it would be pretty fucking hard. What Children of Bodom do is consuming for me, we usually play like 90 minutes or something, I'm singing, I'm moving around, that's a really physically consuming stuff to do, and I'm totally wiped after the show, and when I'm totally wiped I don't feel like getting up there again, you know… With Sinergy, since I'm not singing, I move around much more and… I could do, I have done it before, I have done two shows in a row. I have done it with Children of Bodom and Sinergy or Children of Bodom and Impaled Nazarene, I know I can do it. It's not the question, but the question is do I actually enjoy doing it. The answer's "No". And then it comes to the point that if I'm doing something and I don't like to do it - then I don't do it, you know. 'Cause I'm doing music because I enjoy it so much and when it comes to the point that it's not fun anymore I just don't do it.
MetalKings.com: On your first album there is a song named "The Nail", which begins with some kind of intro, a man is saying, "Your eyes are full of hate. That's good, hate keeps man alive…" What is it?
Alexi: It's from a movie called "Banhur". It's a sort of old movie about the Romans. I don't exactly remember what is it about…
MetalKings.com: Is it a horror movie?
Alexi: No, it's about the Roman thing, if you know what I mean… It's about those times.
MetalKings.com: Are you happy with your contract with Nuclear Blast?
Alexi: We don't have a contract with Nuclear Blast. We had a three-album deal with Spinefarm (with a license with Nuclear Blast) which is over now. So we are negotiating a new deal which should be done pretty soon. Yeah, I was satisfied, I mean, it was our first contract, we were stupid. I mean they could really fuck us all the time but they didn't. I have no complaints about them at all. They've been good.
MetalKings.com: This tattoo on your hand, is it an Ozzy influence, or..?
Alexi: Yeah… Ozzy's my hero… It's just funny, you know, to get your fingers tattooed just like this old school sailor (laughs)…
MetalKings.com: The last question is the usual one. Your next album, will it be 100% Children of Bodom or will you change something?
Alexi: We have already one new song recorded. It's a new single.
MetalKings.com: "You Better Off Dead"?
Alexi: Yeah, it's gonna be out in July or something. I think it's much… at least this song is much more aggressive. I think it's the heaviest stuff, more angry. I mean, this new song… the music is fucking violent and it is really aggressive.
MetalKings.com: Ok, Alexi, thank you and see you soon.
Alexi: Thank you!
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