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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. A partial list of films featuring songs by the band.. 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.
. This formation was introduced in Moscow on the 16th of August.
. 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. Some material has been re-issued on other labels in the US.).

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. (Original releases dates and labels given. 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. The longtime members are:. 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. The band membership has varied over the years. 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.
.

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. According to Chumbawamba's official FAQ [1] (http://www.chumba.com/_faquestions2.htm):. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs. While there are many speculations, the band generally answers that it's a gibberish word, meaning nothing. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. Over the years, the band has been asked many times what "Chumbawamba" really means. 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 2004 they released an album of 'world music' influenced songs entitled Un, which addressed such current concerns as eBay and Buy Nothing Day.

The band showcased the song Towards Dead End for the first time during this tour. Chumbawamba gave the money to the anti-corporate activist groups Indymedia and CorpWatch. Alexi's then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and ex-Dimmu Borgir and Therion) played with them this time around. General Motors paid Chumbawamba $100,000 to use their song "Pass it Along" for a Pontiac Vibe television advertisement in 2002. Their second tour happened in September of the same year, but once more Janne was not able to play with them. Under MUTT, Chumbawamba released their eleventh official album, Readymades, as well as Sic- Adventures In Anti-capitalism, a paperback book of political and musical writings by friends and acquaintances of the band. 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. In 2002, Chumbawamba formed their own record label, MUTT, for UK releases.

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. Chumbawamba parted from EMI in 2001. Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. It was also during this period that Chumbawamba gained some notoriety when male vocalist Danbert Nobacon poured a jug of water over the UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at the 1998 Brit Awards. 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. However, the band argued that this move brought with it the opportunity to communicate their message to a far wider audience and make some money, although ironically their biggest chart hit, "Tubthumping", features what are probably the most apolitical of any of their lyrics. Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior. Chumbawamba drew criticism from their original following in 1997 when they signed to the major label EMI, particularly as much of their earlier output had explicitly attacked this corporation and they had even been involved with a compilation LP called Fuck EMI in 1989.

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. Moving away from their original anarcho-punk roots and evolving a pop sensibility, releases such as Slap (1990), the sample-heavy Shhh! (1992) (originally intended to be released as Jesus H Christ!, this album had to be withdrawn and re-recorded because of copyright problems) and Anarchy! (1994) lyrically remained as politically uncompromising as ever, continuing to address issues such as homophobia (see song "Homophobia", the music video of which features The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence), the Criminal Justice Act and the rise of fascism in the UK following the election of a British National Party candidate in south-east London in 1993. 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. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Chumbawamba (now signed to the larger but still independent One Little Indian record label) had begun to absorb influences from techno music and dance culture. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime. Their first LP, Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records (1986) was a scathing and articulate critique of the then current Live Aid concert organised by Bob Geldof, which they argued was primarily a cosmetic spectacle designed to draw attention away from the real political causes of world hunger. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years. By the mid-1980s Chumbawamba had progressed to releasing their material using vinyl format on their own Agit-Prop record label, which had evolved from an earlier project, Sky and Trees Records.

There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. Stalwarts of the cassette culture scene, Chumbawamba were at the forefront of the 1980s anarcho-punk movement, frequently playing benefit gigs in squats and small halls for causes such as animal rights, the anti-war movement, and community groups. 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. Inspired musically by The Fall and the anarchist politics of Crass, Chumbawamba's activities in their early years were based around a communal house in Armley, Leeds. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom. Originally called The Mirror Boys, Chumbawamba were formed in 1982 from two other bands based in Yorkshire in the North of England, The Passion Killers and Chimp Eats Banana. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; one which had an interesting story behind it. Chumbawamba are a band from the UK who use their music to promote anarchist ideas.

The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. Footnote* - Boff Whaley (Pomona Books, 2003) (Boff's autobiographical account of the band's history) ISBN 1904590004. 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. Revengers Tragedy (2002) - "Revengers Tragedy: Soundtrack". 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. Joe Somebody (2001) - "Tubthumping". 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. Stigmata (1999) - "Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)".

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. Mystery Alaska (1999) - "Amnesia". 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. Soft Fruit (1998) - "Tubthumping". Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. The James Gang (1998) - "Outsider". 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. Varsity Blues (1998) - "Tubthumping".

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. Air Bud 2 (1998) - "Tubthumping". 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. In God's Hands (1997) - "Tubthumping". With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. Senseless (1997) - "Tubthumping". The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki. Dirty Work (1997) - "Tubthumping", "Amnesia".

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. Home Alone 3 (1997) - "Tubthumping". 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. "On eBay", single, MUTT, 2004. 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. Un, MUTT, 2004. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist. English Rebel Songs 1381-1984, MUTT, 2003.

Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. "Salt Fare North Sea", single, MUTT, 2003. In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. "Home With Me", single, MUTT, 2003. Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist. Revengers Tragedy, MUTT, 2003. His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission. Shhhlap!, double cd of Shhh and Slap!, MUTT, 2003.

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. "Jacob's Ladder (Not In My Name)", Limited Edition anti-war single, MUTT, 2003. The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year. Readymades, MUTT, 2002. 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. WYSIWYG, Universal, 2000. The band was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD. The ABCs of Anarchism, Seeland Records, 1999 (Collaboration with Negativland).

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. "Amnesia", single, EMI, 1997. Waiting, by King Diamond. "Tubthumping", single, EMI, 1997. Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones. Tubthumper, EMI, 1997. Silent Scream, by Slayer. Portraits of Anarchists (Book and CD collaboration with photographer Casey Orr), AK Press/One Little Indian 1996.

Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne. Swingin' with Raymond, One Little Indian, 1995. K. Showbusiness, One Little Indian, 1995 (A live album). She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. "Homophobia", single, One Little Indian, 1994. Rebell Yell, by Billy Idol. Anarchy, One Little Indian, 1994.

No Commands, by Stone. Live In Armley, independently produced live album, 1993. Mass Hypnosis, by Sepultura. "Timebomb", single, One Little Indian, 1993. Latomeri, by Klamydia. "Enough is Enough", single, One Little Indian, 1993. Hellion, by W.A.S.P. First Two, re-releases of Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records and Never Mind the Ballots, Agit Prop, 1990.

Don't Stop at the Top, by Scorpions. "Behave", single, Agit Prop, 1992. Bed of Nails, by Alice Cooper. Shhh, Agit Prop, 1992. Aces High, by Iron Maiden. "I Never Gave Up", Agit Prop, 1990. Trashed, Lost & Strungout (2004). Bootleg copies are in circulation however).

You're Better Off Dead! (2002). Jesus H Christ (unreleased due to legal issues (see above). Hate Me! (2000). "Whoopee, We're All Gonna Die", EP, Rugger Bugger records, 1991 (3 members of Chumbawamba recording under the name 'Passion Killers'). Downfall (1998). Slap!, Agit Prop, 1990. Children of Bodom (1997). Sportchestra: 101 Songs About Sport, Agit Prop (Chumbawamba collaborations with various other musicians recording under the name 'Sportchestra').

Shining (Demo, 1996). English Rebel Songs, Agit Prop, 1988; re-recorded 1998. Ubiquitous Absence of Remission (Demo, 1995). "Smash Clause 28!Fight the Alton Bill!", single, Agit Prop, 1988. Implosion of Heaven (Demo, 1994). "Let It Be" single, no label stated apart from Anti-copyright, 1987, (Released under the name 'Scab Aid' following the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster). Hate Crew Deathroll (2003). Never Mind the Ballots, Agit Prop, 1987.

Follow the Reaper (2001). "Destroy Fascism!", Loony Tunes, 1986 (Collaboration with Dutch band The Ex under the name 'Antidote'). Tokyo Warhearts (Live CD, 1999). Know Your Enemy, Doomsday Tapes, 1986 (Cassette only release, live material recorded at the Bull and Gate, London). Hatebreeder (1999). Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, Agit Prop, 1986. Something Wild (1997). "We Are The World", single, Agit Prop, 1986 (Joint release with US band A State of Mind).

Samuli Miettinen - Bass. "Revolution", single, Agit Prop, 1985. Jani Pirisjoki - Keyboards. The Unfairy Tale, Sky and Trees, 1985 (Danbert Nobacon solo release). Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm guitar. The Unfairy Tale/The War Inside Our Heads, Sky and Trees, 1984 (Cassette only release, Danbert Nobacon solo material, much was re-recorded for release on vinyl the following year). Jaska Raatikainen - Drums. To Thine Own Self Be True, Sky and Trees, 1984 (Cassette only release).

Henkka Seppälä - 5-string bass. "Common Ground", Sky and Trees, 1984 (A benefit 'cassette single' for striking miners). Janne Viljami Wirman - Keyboards. History Luddite, Homebrew Tapes, 1984 (Cassette only release, live at Luton Library, May 1985). Roope Latvala - Rhythm guitar. Another Year of the Same Old Shit, Sky and Trees, 1984 (Cassette only release). Alexi Laiho - Vocals, lead guitar. Let Us Show Them Our Hearts, Sky and Trees, 1984 (Cassette only release, joint with The Passion Killers).

It Could Be So Much More, Acid Rain Products, 1984 (Cassette only release, joint with Flux Of Pink Indians, recorded live at the Conway Hall, London). Raising Heck with Chumbawamba, Peaceville records, 1983 (Cassette only release, live material plus songs by Simon Lanzon). Be Happy Despite It All, Sky and Trees, 1983 (Cassette only release, joint with The Passion Killers, featuring hand coloured cover). "I'm Thick" - track on "Back on the Streets" compilation EP Secret, 1982 (Chumbawamba recording as 'Skin Disease', a mock skinhead/Oi! band).

"Three Years Later" - track on Bullshit Detector Volume 2 compilation LP, Crass Records, 1982 (Nb, Chumbawamba guitarist Boff Whaley (Boffo) also has a solo track, "Garageland" on this LP). Jude Abbot (1996-) - vocals and trumpet. Neil Ferguson - bass. Mave Dillon (left 1995).

Dunst Bruce - vocals. Harry Hamer - drums. Boff Whalley - vocals and guitar. Danbert Nobacon - vocals and keyboard.

Lou Watts - vocals and keyboard. Alice Nutter - vocals and percussion.

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