CHILDREN OF BODOM's ALEXI LAIHO On No Longer Drinking While On Tour: 'I Can't Deal With The Hangovers Anymore'
January 13, 2018
CHILDREN OF BODOM vocalist/guitarist Alexi Laiho recently spoke with "The Wanderers" podcast. The full conversation can be heard below (interview starts at the 3:25 mark). A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the band's recently completed "20 Years Down & Dirty" tour, which saw the group perform older material from its catalog:
Alexi: "First of all, we already did a tour supporting the latest album, 'I Worship Chaos', and we just sort of came up with the idea — or the management did – that it's been 20 years since the first album came out, so this might be something cool to do. We decided to do it in Europe, and it turned out real good, actually, so then we wanted to do it in the U.S. as well. That's about it — it's just something different, and you can tell that the crowd likes it too, because we're playing tunes off the first and second album that we have not played either ever or in 15 years or whatever."
On the origins of the group's guitar- and keyboard-driven sound:
Alexi: "That sort of happened by accident, when we came up with that sound. [We] sort of mixed the '80s-type of keyboard sound with into the metal guitar sound. It just happened. I think that it's because we just had so many influences that are all blended in together."
On the close-knit nature of the Finnish metal scene:
Alexi: "We've toured with a lot of Finnish bands like AMORPHIS and ENSIFERUM. It's a small country, and most of them are from the Helsinki area. There's only, like, five million people living in the country, and metal in general, it's definitely more mainstream [than] it is in any other country that I've actually ever been in."
On whether the group has toned down its partying over the years:
Alexi: "I still drink, but not when I'm on the road. I can have a beer or two every now and then, but I can't deal with the hangovers anymore and, like, hop on stage. When you're getting older, the hangovers get so fucking bad, at least personally. I guess it's different for everybody, but I just want to lie on the couch and do fucking nothing. It really started to suck, and then you had to, like, throw back a couple of shots — not to get drunk, but just to keep an even keel and feel normal. That's just not good. I just decided that I'd rather feel awesome on stage and cut back on the partying. When I put it that way, it's either one or the other. Of course, I choose the music. We had a lot of fun, that's for sure. It's just that when it gets to the point where you hit the stage and you're basically just trying not to die [laughs], it's like, 'Wait a minute — what am I doing here? I'm not really enjoying playing live anymore,' which before that was, like, my favorite thing to do. All of a sudden, it's, like, the last thing I want to do because I'm so hung over. That's when you sort of realize that your priorities are just a little fucked up. It's not a big deal — not for me, anyway. I just cut back on the booze, and you feel better and you've got more energy onstage and you're actually enjoying yourself. When I get off the road, that's when I open a beer and finally get drunk. It's funny, because for a lot of people, it's the other way around – they take it easy when they're back home, and when they hit the road, that's when they go crazy. For me, it's the other way."
On the group's upcoming plans:
Alexi: "We're actually working on a new album as we speak. I actually started writing [last] summer, and started working on a couple of tunes. I think we've got, like, four or five new songs ready. We're going to hit the studio in March. Basically, it's just a ton of touring, start writing again, hit the studio, the road again. That's just what we do."
On the direction of the new album:
Alexi: "None of that is ever planned, or none of that is ever conscious. It just happens. At least for me, the only way to make music is just not to think — just, like, get it out and hope for the best, hope that people like it."
CHILDREN OF BODOM's new disc will once again be recorded at the band's own Danger Johnny Studios in Helsinki, where the group's last two efforts were laid down.
CHILDREN OF BODOM's recently completed U.S. tour kicked off on October 31 in Dallas, Texas and included an appearance at last year's Ozzfest Meets Knotfest.