Children Of Bodom are probably going
through the most intense period in their careers so far, at the moment
they're part of the Unholy Alliance II Tour, together with bands like
Slayer and In Flames. In the midst of all this chaos we sat down with
bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith to talk about
the new DVD, the upcoming album and much more.
Niklas: It feels like you have been
on the road for such a long time, promoting the new album. But now the
touring comes to an end as you're going to start pre-production on another
album. How does it feel to start anew?
Henkka: It kind of feels good to be home for
a while. It feels like we'll be having the whole next year off; but
obviously we'll be working on the new album quite a lot. But I think
it's time, since we've been touring for a whole year. Not that I'm
fed up with it, it's just that it's nice to do something else for
Niklas: How far are you into the production of the new album? Have
you written any songs, do you have any ideas how it will sound?
Niklas: Okay, but the plan is to record
it next summer?
Niklas: How has the Unholy Alliance II tour
worked out for you? Has the other bands been treating you nice?
Henkka: Oh yeah, it's been really good. The
whole organization is very cool; everyone gets treated very well and
equally. I'm a fan of all the bands, and I like them personally. It's
the best tour you could be on as a metal-band, really. It's kind of
a festival tour and the main idea was to make it very smooth for all
the bands so that there is no hierarchy or something like that. Everyone
has dressing rooms next to each other and gets the same food
I just love it.
Niklas: On this tour you can't play nearly
as long as on your regular tours and you only play eight songs, is it
a tough job to compress your set list? You obviously can't play all the
Niklas: You released a live-DVD not long
ago, which was recorded here in Stockholm. Are you pleased with it and
why did you choose to record it here?
Henkka: Yeah, we are very pleased with the
result; the show and the crowd was good and Patric Ullaeus from Revolver
did a really god job editing the whole thing. We chose Stockholm because
we wanted to do it on that particular tour and we needed a big venue
with space for all the cameras, cranes and stuff. And we realized
that if we wanted to bring some equipment and people from Finland
it would be easy because it's so close, and Patric Ullaeus is from
Gothenburg so it was easy to bring him over with his equipment too.
It made sense in many ways.
You've probably been asked this many times, but still, why do you think
that metal is so popular in Finland compared to other countries? When
for example Children Of Bodom releases an album it always has a high entry
on the Finnish charts, but when a Swedish metal-band releases an album
it's rarely on the same level on the Swedish charts.
Niklas: But they are an exception!
- Henkka: (laughs) It's hard to say, but Finland
is a smaller country and there are less people, but I think there's
the same amount of metal-fans as you have here in Sweden. So that's
why the charts might look a bit different. Other than that I don't know,
but I think Finland have more metal-fans per capita than everywhere
else in the world.
Niklas: Finally, I would like to hear your
opinions on all your albums you have released throughout the years. If
we start with your first album Something Wild (1997), are you proud of
that one today?
- Henkka: I'm very
proud of it because it was done in, like, seven days and was very cheap.
It is played well and the sound is pretty good for that time and for
the equipment and small amount of money we had. After all, it is our
first album and where the whole thing began. It gave us our first fans.
Niklas: Hatebreeder (1999)?
Hatebreeder was hard to record because we had
more pressure on us, we were going to a studio for the first time and
Something Wild was doing surprisingly well. But I think Hatebreeder
has some really good songs and is well played, although it sounds a
bit too tight at places where it doesn't feel groovy at all. But I still
think it has many great songs and I know it's very popular among the
Niklas: Follow The Reaper (2000)?
That was the first time we went outside of Finland
to record an album, and we chose Peter Tägtgren's studio in Sweden.
On that album we got a little more depth to our sound, because Peter
helped Alexi to do new things with his vocals and also introduced some
new keyboard sounds. I think that album was a bigger step forward than
the one before.
Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)?
Niklas: And finally, Are You Dead Yet?
Niklas: Is it possible for you to pick
a favourite out of these albums?
Well, of course each of them is important to us,
but the latest album is my favourite because it's the newest and I think
all of us have developed as musicians and songwriters. Obviously the
songs are best to us.
Niklas: Do you have anything to add?
- Henkka: Well,
I'm looking forward to tonight's show. It feels special to all of us
to be back here and play, since we shot our DVD here.