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Children of Bodom

The band Children of Bodom: Alexander, Jaska, Janne, Henkka and Alexi

Children of Bodom is a Finnish band from the small town of Espoo which is one of the precursors of the melodic death metal style.

Biography

The band was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD. Having known each other since childhood and sharing the same interest for heavy/death metal bands such as Stone, Entombed and Obituary, they formed the original line-up of the band that would later become Children of Bodom together with bassist Samuli Miettinen. The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year.

Samuli was the main composer of the band's lyrics for the two years he took part of IneartheD, but in 1995 his family moved to the USA and there was no way for him to continue in the band. His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission. Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist.

In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist.

Jaska played a French horn in a local big band at the time, and one day - during rehearsal - he met Alexander Kuoppala, who was a trumpet player and also a good guitarist. When the band was about to record their second demo, Alexander was invited to join them and soon became an active member of the band.

For some time, Alexi and Jaska played and recorded the keyboard sections of IneartheD's songs separately and later mixed the keyboard track with the other instruments, but in 1996 they felt the need of adding a musician to specialize in keyboards. The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki.

With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. This new demo didn't impress record labels much more than the previous ones had, and no label took interest in the young Finnish band. It was a harsh time, in which - despite all of their efforts - their music got no exposure and they only managed to play at small events.

As a last resort, the band decided to record an independent album, funding all of the production costs themselves, a daring move considering that none of them had much money to begin with.

Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. So he was fired from the band - albeit not in a hostile manner - and a friend of Jaska's, a talented pianist called Janne "Warman" Wirman, assumed the position of keyboard player.

Janne was the component that was missing for IneartheD to assume the style that would later characterize Children of Bodom. With him, the band successfully recorded their first album in the year of 1997 and got a professional deal from it. Their debut - Something Wild - was supposed to be released by a small Belgian label, but Sami Tenetz (from Thy Serpent) got hold of a copy of their album through the hands of Alexander shortly after IneartheD signed this contract, and sent it to Spinefarm Records' boss, who immediately got interested in signing them for a country-wide release. The later deal was much more interesting for the band, since the Belgian label was offering them close to no help, to the point where they would have to distribute and sell the album themselves.

For the band to be able to sign with Spinefarm Records, they were forced to change their name, since the contract with the Belgian label had already been signed under the name of IneartheD. The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; one which had an interesting story behind it. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom.

The story of the Lake Bodom murders goes as follows: on the night of June the 4th of 1960, three teenagers were murdered while on a camping trip to the lake. There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime.

With the intention of promoting the upcoming release of Something Wild, the band opened one of the shows from the black metal band Dimmu Borgir. However, their success was such that the Nuclear Blast label approached them with a contract for an European release; the deal started in the following year.

Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior. The video directed by Mika Lindberg had a slim budget of €1000, but managed to convey the band's style well through the use of simple scenery, in which they play at night, in the cold.

Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. They played together with Hypocrisy and a few other bands such as Covenant and Agathodaimon, but suffered from the absence of Janne, who was busy finishing his studies. He was replaced by Erna Siikavirta - a female pianist who is a friend of the band's and who curently plays with the teatrical band Lordi - for the duration of the tour.

Their second tour happened in September of the same year, but once more Janne was not able to play with them. Alexi's then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and ex-Dimmu Borgir and Therion) played with them this time around. The band showcased the song Towards Dead End for the first time during this tour.

In late 1999, Children of Bodom was finally able to tour with Janne on the keyboards. The success of the Downfall single and of the Hatebreeder album allowed them to make three shows in Japan with the veterans from In Flames and with Sinergy. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs.

For their next release, the band decided to make use of Peter Tägtgren's Abyss studio in Sweden, instead of the Finnish ASTIA studio from Anssi Kippo, in which they had recorded all of their previous releases, including the demos from IneartheD. The band wrote eight new songs for the album, and while on the studio, decided to add an extra track, which was hastly composed and whose lyrics were improvised by Alexi; that track would eventually receive the name of Kissing the Shadows. The band gave this album the name of Follow the Reaper and recording sessions took place between August and September of 2000; the album saw a worldwide release in early 2001.

With their rapidly increasing success, Children of Bodom recorded another album, and their first complete world tour began in 2003 and lasted until late 2004. This tour had many sold-out concerts and was a defining point in their career, but it was also accompanied by an unexpected annoucement: Alexander decided to quit the band for personal reasons, giving no warning and right in the middle of the tour. Alexi's bandmate from Sinergy, Roope Latvala (founding member of Stone, one of the bands which started the heavy metal movement in Finland) then replaced him as a session player, until a more permanent solution could be found. This formation was introduced in Moscow on the 16th of August.

Roope successfully finished the world tour and took part in the recording of the Trashed, Lost & Strungout single. Ever since then, he has been playing regularly with Children of Bodom and seems to have assumed a permanent position in the line-up that will record the band's upcoming album.

Children of Bodom's symbol is the Grim Reaper, and they often refer to themselves as the Hate Crew.

Current line-up

  • Alexi Laiho - Vocals, lead guitar
  • Roope Latvala - Rhythm guitar
  • Janne Viljami Wirman - Keyboards
  • Henkka Seppälä - 5-string bass
  • Jaska Raatikainen - Drums

Former members

  • Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm guitar
  • Jani Pirisjoki - Keyboards
  • Samuli Miettinen - Bass

Discography

Albums

  • Something Wild (1997)
  • Hatebreeder (1999)
  • Tokyo Warhearts (Live CD, 1999)
  • Follow the Reaper (2001)
  • Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)

Singles

  • Implosion of Heaven (Demo, 1994)
  • Ubiquitous Absence of Remission (Demo, 1995)
  • Shining (Demo, 1996)
  • Children of Bodom (1997)
  • Downfall (1998)
  • Hate Me! (2000)
  • You're Better Off Dead! (2002)
  • Trashed, Lost & Strungout (2004)

Cover songs

  • Aces High, by Iron Maiden
  • Bed of Nails, by Alice Cooper
  • Don't Stop at the Top, by Scorpions
  • Hellion, by W.A.S.P.
  • Latomeri, by Klamydia
  • Mass Hypnosis, by Sepultura
  • No Commands, by Stone
  • Rebell Yell, by Billy Idol
  • She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. K.
  • Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne
  • Silent Scream, by Slayer
  • Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones
  • Waiting, by King Diamond
Despite popular belief, Children of Bodom have never covered the song The Final Countdown by Europe.

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Children of Bodom's symbol is the Grim Reaper, and they often refer to themselves as the Hate Crew. Novoselic made an unsuccessful band called Sweet 75, then formed an equally unsuccessful supergroup with ex-members of The Meat Puppets and Sublime by the name of Eyes Adrift, but Grohl went on to form the hugely successful Foo Fighters. Roope successfully finished the world tour and took part in the recording of the Trashed, Lost & Strungout single. Ever since then, he has been playing regularly with Children of Bodom and seems to have assumed a permanent position in the line-up that will record the band's upcoming album. Kurt's bandmates went on to form new bands. This formation was introduced in Moscow on the 16th of August. After legal battles a Nirvana Box Set, "With The Lights Out" was released in 2004 including previously unreleased material. Alexi's bandmate from Sinergy, Roope Latvala (founding member of Stone, one of the bands which started the heavy metal movement in Finland) then replaced him as a session player, until a more permanent solution could be found. The release of both had been held up by legal wrangling between Love, who didn't want the album to be released, and the remaining members of the band.

This tour had many sold-out concerts and was a defining point in their career, but it was also accompanied by an unexpected annoucement: Alexander decided to quit the band for personal reasons, giving no warning and right in the middle of the tour. Years after his passing, the musician continues to intrigue and inspire fans, most recently with the release of a new track "You Know You're Right" in the fall of 2002, along with a greatest hits album, called simply, Nirvana. With their rapidly increasing success, Children of Bodom recorded another album, and their first complete world tour began in 2003 and lasted until late 2004. A year later, a collection of Cobain's journal excerpts was released. The band gave this album the name of Follow the Reaper and recording sessions took place between August and September of 2000; the album saw a worldwide release in early 2001. Cross published a biography of Cobain titled Heavier Than Heaven in 2001. The band wrote eight new songs for the album, and while on the studio, decided to add an extra track, which was hastly composed and whose lyrics were improvised by Alexi; that track would eventually receive the name of Kissing the Shadows. Writer Charles R.

For their next release, the band decided to make use of Peter Tägtgren's Abyss studio in Sweden, instead of the Finnish ASTIA studio from Anssi Kippo, in which they had recorded all of their previous releases, including the demos from IneartheD. Many attribute some of Cobain's extraordinary abilities (and his suicide) to his being affected by bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs. Kurt Cobain was cremated, with one third of his ashes scattered in a Buddhist temple in New York, another third in the Wishkah River, Washington State, and the rest in the possession of Courtney Love. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. Kurt didn't buy it and thought he heard Boddah speaking to him through a tape recorder. In late 1999, Children of Bodom was finally able to tour with Janne on the keyboards. The success of the Downfall single and of the Hatebreeder album allowed them to make three shows in Japan with the veterans from In Flames and with Sinergy. Kurt also wrote another suicide note for his fans and his imaginary friend from childhood, "Boddah". His mother told Kurt that Boddah was drafted to Vietnam along with Kurt's uncle in order to help Kurt's imagination.

The band showcased the song Towards Dead End for the first time during this tour. Ironically, Kurt made a film entitled Kurt Commits Bloody Suicide at age 15. Alexi's then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and ex-Dimmu Borgir and Therion) played with them this time around. The conspiracy theories allege that the suicide note was actually a letter he was writing about his intent to leave Nirvana, and the authenticity of the last four lines has been questioned by many handwriting experts. Their second tour happened in September of the same year, but once more Janne was not able to play with them. In his suicide note, Cobain quoted a lyric from Neil Young's song "My My, Hey Hey": "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Cobain's use of the lyric had a profound impact on Young, who recorded portions of the Sleeps With Angels album in Cobain's memory. He was replaced by Erna Siikavirta - a female pianist who is a friend of the band's and who curently plays with the teatrical band Lordi - for the duration of the tour. Filmmaker Nick Broomfield made a documentary film on this theory entitled Kurt & Courtney.

They played together with Hypocrisy and a few other bands such as Covenant and Agathodaimon, but suffered from the absence of Janne, who was busy finishing his studies. Grant was hired by Courtney Love following Cobain's disappearance from a hospital in which he was recovering from an apparent suicide attempt, and is now certain Cobain was murdered by Love. Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. His death triggered several copycat suicides, and the unclear circumstances surrounding it inspired a multitude of conspiracy theories stemming from the investigations of detective Tom Grant. The video directed by Mika Lindberg had a slim budget of €1000, but managed to convey the band's style well through the use of simple scenery, in which they play at night, in the cold. Toxicology experts have stated that even though Cobain's tolerance level was extremely high, the amount of heroin injected into his body would have been enough to kill him (225 mg, three times the lethal dosage for an addict, 75 times the lethal dosage for a non-user). Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior. His body was discovered three days later in his home by an electrician who he had commissioned to install security lighting.

However, their success was such that the Nuclear Blast label approached them with a contract for an European release; the deal started in the following year. Dylan Carlson was rumored to be the inspiration for the song "In Bloom". With the intention of promoting the upcoming release of Something Wild, the band opened one of the shows from the black metal band Dimmu Borgir. Cobain used a shotgun his best friend Dylan Carlson bought for him. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime. This use developed into an addiction, which he battled until he committed suicide on April 5, 1994 at the age of 27. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years. Because of stomach problems he blamed on the stresses of performing, he self-medicated by use of heroin.

There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. Throughout most of his adolescent life, Cobain had battled depression and pain due to a chronic stomach condition. The story of the Lake Bodom murders goes as follows: on the night of June the 4th of 1960, three teenagers were murdered while on a camping trip to the lake. The set also featured cover versions of the aforementioned Vaselines as well as legendary bluesman Leadbelly. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom. Both The Raincoats and The Vaselines records were reissued by Nirvana's record company Geffen Records and Curt and Kris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets appeared with Nirvana on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged special, playing on three Meat Puppets covers. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; one which had an interesting story behind it. Making references to obscure performers like The Vaselines, Daniel Johnston, The Meat Puppets, Young Marble Giants and The Raincoats as well as sharing a split single with American rockers The Jesus Lizard, proved beneficial to both parties in that the bands found a larger audience and Cobain cemented his indie rock credibility.

The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. He would often make reference to his favourite bands in interviews, more often than not placing a greater importance on the bands that influenced him than on his own music. For the band to be able to sign with Spinefarm Records, they were forced to change their name, since the contract with the Belgian label had already been signed under the name of IneartheD. Cobain was also a devoted champion of alternative rock acts. The later deal was much more interesting for the band, since the Belgian label was offering them close to no help, to the point where they would have to distribute and sell the album themselves. Her namesake is Frances McKee of The Vaselines, of whom Cobain was a big fan. Their debut - Something Wild - was supposed to be released by a small Belgian label, but Sami Tenetz (from Thy Serpent) got hold of a copy of their album through the hands of Alexander shortly after IneartheD signed this contract, and sent it to Spinefarm Records' boss, who immediately got interested in signing them for a country-wide release. The unusual middle name was given to her because Cobain thought she looked like a bean on the first sonogram he saw of her.

Janne was the component that was missing for IneartheD to assume the style that would later characterize Children of Bodom. With him, the band successfully recorded their first album in the year of 1997 and got a professional deal from it. Later that year the two had a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, born on 18 August. So he was fired from the band - albeit not in a hostile manner - and a friend of Jaska's, a talented pianist called Janne "Warman" Wirman, assumed the position of keyboard player. On Monday 24 February 1992 at a ceremony on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, Cobain married Courtney Love, lead singer of the band Hole. Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. He also felt persecuted by people, especially the media, comparing himself to Frances Farmer, and harbored no small amount of resentment for people who claimed to be fans of the band but believed in nothing that Nirvana stood for or what it came from. As a last resort, the band decided to record an independent album, funding all of the production costs themselves, a daring move considering that none of them had much money to begin with. Cobain struggled to reconcile the success of his band with his underground roots.

It was a harsh time, in which - despite all of their efforts - their music got no exposure and they only managed to play at small events. After 4 years of playing in the band, Nirvana exploded into the mainstream, seemingly changing the music industry overnight. This new demo didn't impress record labels much more than the previous ones had, and no label took interest in the young Finnish band. Before dropping out of high school Cobain met fellow punk rock devotee Krist Novoselic, with whom he would later form what would become Nirvana. With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. Other literary works which provide illumination on Cobain's philosophy also include Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, and the SCUM Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas. The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki. Cobain also later recorded with Burroughs a spoken word/guitar improvisation piece called The Priest They Called Him, whose words were originally one of Burroughs' short stories out of The Exterminator.

For some time, Alexi and Jaska played and recorded the keyboard sections of IneartheD's songs separately and later mixed the keyboard track with the other instruments, but in 1996 they felt the need of adding a musician to specialize in keyboards. Burroughs, whose cut-up technique Cobain later utilised to write lyrics for some of Nirvana's songs. When the band was about to record their second demo, Alexander was invited to join them and soon became an active member of the band. In his youth, Cobain spent a lot of time reading in the local library, discovering such literary figures as William S. Jaska played a French horn in a local big band at the time, and one day - during rehearsal - he met Alexander Kuoppala, who was a trumpet player and also a good guitarist. The video was cut from the show in syndication and never aired again. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist. At the end of the show when actors and guests thank the crowd and close the show, Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic french kissed as the credits rolled.

Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. Riding on the success of the recently released video to "Teen Spirit" Nirvana appeared on Saturday Night Live in February 1992. In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. If I wouldn't have found Courtney, I probably would have carried on with a bisexual lifestyle." In his journals he wrote that he was heterosexual, but wished he was gay just "to piss off homophobes". Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist. In a February, 1992, interview with gay magazine The Advocate, Cobain admitted that he thought he was gay while in high school and stated, "I could be bisexual.. His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission. It has been rumored that Cobain was gay or bisexual; however, Cobain himself said numerous times that he was heterosexual.

Samuli was the main composer of the band's lyrics for the two years he took part of IneartheD, but in 1995 his family moved to the USA and there was no way for him to continue in the band. (Although he once claimed in an interview with The Advocate that he was arrested for spray-painting a pro-gay slogan on a bank, Aberdeen police records show the phrase he was arrested for in 1985 was actually "Ain't got no how watchamacallit."). The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year. He was an outspoken supporter of gay students at his school, sometimes suffering physically at the hands of homophobic students for his beliefs. Having known each other since childhood and sharing the same interest for heavy/death metal bands such as Stone, Entombed and Obituary, they formed the original line-up of the band that would later become Children of Bodom together with bassist Samuli Miettinen. At school Cobain didn't take much interest in academics or sports, mostly focusing on his art courses. The band was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD. He had a small "K" inside a shield tattooed on his forearm, the insignia of Olympia, Washington, label K Records, largely chosen for the coincidental ellipsis of his name.

Children of Bodom is a Finnish band from the small town of Espoo which is one of the precursors of the melodic death metal style. As a teenager with a chaotic home life growing up in small town Washington, Cobain took part in the thriving Pacific Northwest alternative culture, going to punk rock shows in Seattle and forming a lifelong friendship with fellow Montesano musicians The Melvins, whose music heavily influenced Nirvana's sound. Waiting, by King Diamond. He moved to the Seattle area in 1985. Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones. Cobain was born in Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Aberdeen, Washington, USA and spent his early years in Hoquiam, Washington and Montesano, Washington, after his parents, Wendy and Donald, divorced. Silent Scream, by Slayer. Among other well known Cobain songs are "Lithium", "In Bloom", "Come As You Are", "Heart Shaped Box", "All Apologies", and the highly controversial "Rape Me".

Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne. His best known song is "Smells Like Teen Spirit", which was often referred to by the media as an anthem for Generation X. K. Cobain was highly influential, popularizing what came to be known as grunge music - a style that evolved in part as a reaction against the perceived superficiality of 1980s stadium rock and over-the-top metal bands (Hair Metal) with preened images and elaborate stage shows. She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 - April 5, 1994) was the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana, which also included bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl. Rebell Yell, by Billy Idol.

No Commands, by Stone. Mass Hypnosis, by Sepultura. Latomeri, by Klamydia. Hellion, by W.A.S.P.

Don't Stop at the Top, by Scorpions. Bed of Nails, by Alice Cooper. Aces High, by Iron Maiden. Trashed, Lost & Strungout (2004).

You're Better Off Dead! (2002). Hate Me! (2000). Downfall (1998). Children of Bodom (1997).

Shining (Demo, 1996). Ubiquitous Absence of Remission (Demo, 1995). Implosion of Heaven (Demo, 1994). Hate Crew Deathroll (2003).

Follow the Reaper (2001). Tokyo Warhearts (Live CD, 1999). Hatebreeder (1999). Something Wild (1997).

Samuli Miettinen - Bass. Jani Pirisjoki - Keyboards. Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm guitar. Jaska Raatikainen - Drums.

Henkka Seppälä - 5-string bass. Janne Viljami Wirman - Keyboards. Roope Latvala - Rhythm guitar. Alexi Laiho - Vocals, lead guitar.

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