CHILDREN OF BODOM bassist Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's new album, "Hexed":
Henkka: "The writing process was pretty much the same as we always do — Alexi [Laiho] prepares the stuff, and then we put the songs together as a five-piece. Of course, we had a new guy this time, Daniel [Freyberg]. That was quite refreshing, actually, to have him. Sometimes we could just ask his opinion about something that, you know, we have been doing the same thing for 20 years, and now we have a new guy with new perspective. It was a good thing to have."
On whether the band found it "daunting" to bring on a new member at this stage in their career:
Henkka: "It's not really daunting for us. It's probably more scary for him than for us. Of course, you're a little bit worried that when you go on the road for six weeks, you really don't want to hang out with any assholes on the bus. But we knew him before, so we knew that he shouldn't be anything like that. It's exciting, and I think it's been really healthy for us to have a new, fresh pair of ears — a new perspective for everybody, to see our life through his eyes. At least for me, I see things in a new light and more enthusiastic, and not all should be taken for granted."
On the diversity of the songs on "Hexed":
Henkka: "We never really talk about what we're going to do — we just start to make the songs, and they come out as they are. We don't really plan ahead — 'Let's do one slow song and one fast song and one middle-tempo song.' They just come as they are, and as long as we are happy with them, then we keep them. We never think if something is not suitable for us. As long as everybody is happy with them, we keep the song."
On the band's decision to re-record the 2004 song "Knuckleduster":
Henkka: "We had been thinking about it for a long time, because all of us really like the song, and it felt that it somehow [was] not getting the attention that it should have because it was the B-side of an EP. We thought about it, and then this time, we somehow decided to do it. I'm really glad – I think it's one of the best songs we've ever done, and now it's part of an actual album. I hope it gets the attention that it should get."
On the process of getting new songs road-ready:
Henkka: "It takes a lot of practice. Of course, we practiced them when we were preparing for the studio, so we actually played a lot, but it's been almost a year since we were preparing for the studio. Everybody has been practicing them on their own, and now this week, we've been gathering at the rehearsal place and practicing as a band. It just takes a lot of practice, and then it will be fine. All of the new songs that we're going to play, they're already sounding in good shape. I'm pretty confident we'll get them quite well."
On choosing which new songs to play live:
Henkka: "That was actually a positive problem we had. We ended up choosing four songs for videos — two proper videos, and two lyric videos. After that decision was made, then it was quite easy — we will at least pick up those songs for rehearsing, and then we will see if we're going to play them live and how they're going to be taken by the crowd."
On the band's longevity:
Henkka: "I don't know what the secret is. I think one of the things is that we started so young, that we went through the most difficult years of the band when we were 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds, so we got over that phase when we were still teenagers. I think that's one of the reasons. If we would have started the band when we were 25 or something, then those years would been hitting when we were, like, late 20s, when it would be very difficult to sacrifice a lot of your time and life, touring without any income. We were lucky we started so young."
CHILDREN OF BODOM's tenth studio album, "Hexed", was released on March 8 via Nuclear Blast. The group is currently touring North America with fellow Finnish groups SWALLOW THE SUN and WOLFHEART.