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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. 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.

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. 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 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 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. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. 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.

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

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. Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. 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. Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior.

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. 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. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years.

There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. 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. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; one which had an interesting story behind it.

The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. 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 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. 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.

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. 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. Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. 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.

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. 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. With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki.

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. 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. 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. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist.

Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist. His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission.

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. The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year. 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 was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD.

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. Waiting, by King Diamond. Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones. Silent Scream, by Slayer.

Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne. K. She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. 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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