CHILDREN OF BODOM Members Discuss ALEXI LAIHO Intervention - "He Was In Such Bad Shape That Our Tour Manager Had To Have Every City’s Morgue Number, Just In Case We Woke Up And Found Him Dead In His Bunk"
February 12, 2024, a week ago
In a new feature at Louder Sound - which includes an interview with bassist Henkka Seppälä and keyboard player Janne Wirman - Metal Hammer reporter Rich Hobson details the meteoric rise and tragic end of Children Of Bodom, who played their final show on December 15, 2019. An excerpt follows...
After the release of Hexed was delayed, (late frontman) Alexi (Laiho) departed for Australia to spend time with Kelli Wright-Laiho, a music publicist he had met in 2016 and married in 2017 – controversially, considering he was still legally married to his first wife, Sinergy frontwoman Kimberly Goss. When he returned, his bandmates immediately knew something was wrong.
“He was always a skinny guy, but now he’d lost so much weight he looked like a skeleton,” Janne Wirman says. “He’d attempt to play guitars, but he couldn’t play at all. We didn’t know what the fuck to do.”
“We had a kind of intervention at the end of the [Hexed] tour, and Alexi got so mad at us,” Henkka Seppälä admits. “We told him things couldn’t go on like that. He was in such bad shape that our tour manager had to have every city’s morgue number, just in case we woke up and found him dead in his bunk. 2019 was such a shitshow.”
The band nonetheless managed to complete their touring commitments. Then, in November, came the announcement that (drummer Jaska (Raatikainen), Henkaa and Janne were leaving. “You always wonder if there’s something you could have done to prevent what happened to Alexi,” says Henkaa. “If I had spoken to him more… whatever. But knowing how stubborn Alexi was, I think he wouldn’t have listened to me anyway and probably just kicked me out.”
Read the full report at Louder Sound.
Children Of Bodom released the closing album of their career, A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom (Final Show In Helsinki Ice Hall 2019) back on December 15 via Spinefarm.
"It's great to have that final show transformed into a live album. For those who attended, it's a time travel back to that moment. And for those who didn't, it's an opportunity to experience how the chapter called Children Of Bodom was closed." - Daniel Freyberg
"Needless to say that this night was very special. When 'In Your Face' started, the reality hit me and I had to turn away from the audience cos I actually started crying. But the beauty is that the memories and Alexi’s music will live forever!" - Henkka Seppälä
Released with the blessing of Alexi Laiho's estate, the concert album completes the legendary band's career which began in Espoo, Finland in 1993 as Inearthed. Over their career, Children Of Bodom released ten studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, two compilation albums and one DVD. The final lineup of the group upon their split in 2019 consisted of Alexi Laiho (lead guitar, lead vocals), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass), Janne Wirman (keyboard), and Daniel Freyberg (rhythm guitar).
"It felt surreal to be on that stage in Helsinki Ice Hall as I knew that I was probably not gonna play with the guys ever again nor get to perform for the amazing fans anymore. It felt sad but also somewhat relieving. It is great that the last show and it's emotional rollercoaster can now be enjoyed by everyone who couldn’t make it to the show." - Janne Wirman
"When I got on the stage I felt calm, probably because I no longer felt the need to prove anything but to enjoy the music and the presence of all the fans. I was just so grateful to have been a part of all this, knowing that our music wouldn’t disappear even if we never ever played together again." - Jaska Raatikainen
Children Of Bodom's third studio album, Follow The Reaper, was their first album to receive a gold certification in Finland, and subsequent studio albums acquired the same status with their next four albums debuting at number one on the Finnish album charts and charting on the United States Billboard 200. They remain one of Finland's best selling artists of all time with more than 250,000 records sold there alone.
In 2019, Children Of Bodom held their last concert in Helsinki named, A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom, before dissolving the band. In 2020, Laiho and Freyberg carried on as Bodom After Midnight but, sadly, Laiho, who was one of the founding members of Children Of Bodom, as well as the only songwriter, died on December 29, 2020.
A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom (Final Show In Helsinki Ice Hall 2019) is available in the following formats:
- CD Jewel Case
- Standard 140gm Black Vinyl Double LP
- Ltd Edition 140gm Red Marble Double LP
- Ltd Edition 140gm Red & Black Splatter Double LP
"Under The Grass And Clover"
"Platitudes And Barren Words"
"In Your Face"
"Bodom Beach Terror"
"Everytime I Die"
"Halo Of Blood"
"Are You Dead Yet?"
"I Worship Chaos"
"Angels Don't Kill"
"Follow The Reaper"
"Hate Crew Deathroll"
Children Of Bodom lineup:
Alexi Laiho - Vocal, Guitar
Jaska Raatikainen - Drums
Janne Wirman - Keys
Henkka Seppälä - Bass