CHILDREN OF BODOM is one of the bands that keep the awesome flame of metal burning in a musical world dominated more and more by the darkness of softer genres.
Extremely lame metaphors aside, these Finnish superstars are responsible for the survival of headbanging in a time when all youngsters want to do is act cool and be indie.
Their upcoming record, “Halo Of Blood” is one of the most expected metal releases of 2013 and it’s certain to elicit strong reactions, as it is considered a return to the band’s roots.
The Children will also play in Romania, on the 12th of November 2013 (more information HERE), in a concert organized by Promusic Events and Maximum Rock Magazine.
We reached out to the charismatic Henkka Seppälä (bas) and asked him a bunch of questions regarding the new record, the Grim Reaper, blood, aggression and so on, and so forth.
Read the outcome below.
What inspired the title of the album: „Halo Of Blood”?
Alexi has lost a lot of dear friends lately – people he really cared about – so I guess that this suffering was the main inspiration behind the title.
It reminds me a bit of Slayer’s epic song „Raining Blood”. Why do you think there is such a strong bond between metal music and the symbol of blood?
A cultural anthropologist would probably provide you with a very good answer (laughs). I think metal music has always been related to some form of aggression, with the idea of violence. That’s why the imagery usually takes a gory turn. Blood is the ultimate symbol of violence. Image and sound go hand in hand. However, in the case of metal, it’s not about concrete, physical aggression, but by a cathartic means of letting out the steam.
Across the years, the figure of the reaper has become more and more important to you, appearing on every album cover. Would you say that this guy is your version of Maiden’s infamous „Eddie”?
I think it is. When we used him for the first cover, we really liked him, and we knew right away that he’s going to be on the next album as well. We’ve kept him ever since.
Do you think that band mascots are still in fashion nowadays?
I don’t think they are. If you look at other bands’ artwork, you’ll notice that they don’t use so many mascots.
Many people still think that „Hatebreeder” was your ultimate masterpiece. After releasing something so good, is it hard to live up to it? Do you ever feel like your present albums are living in the shadow of a previous successful release?
After releasing a very good album, we sometimes say to ourselves: „How can we possibly top this?”. Eventually, however, we do. We keep making music, and we always make it the same way – we never think about the past, or the future. Even „Hatebreeder” was crticised back in the day. It came after another very acclaimed album, which we felt was hard to top. Across the years, somehow, it became a sort of foundation of our style.
After releasing a record, there’s always this general view of it, exhibited by both critics and fans. What do you think they will say about „Halo Of Blood”?
Actually, I’ve heard people at the record label, and others who have had the occasion to listen to the album, say that it sounds like the „old stuff”. I assume that’s what most of the reviews will say once the record is out. But then again, if the fans hear that people have been saying this, they’ll claim that it has nothing to do with the old stuff, and that it doesn’t sound like it at all. Things are really unpredictable! (laughs)
2013 seems to be the year of Finnish bands. Many acts are releasing or have released new materials: HIM, Lordi, Finntroll, Lovex etc. Are you looking forward to one particular release?
I’m looking forward to the new HIM album. That’s one of the biggest bands in Finland, after Nightwish. It’s always a big deal when they start recording a new album. It’s fascinating to see these kinds of bands where one man does all the songs at work. It’s interesting to see how he pulls it off!
A young musician friend from Finland told me that the worst business you can think of today is either a record company, a recording studio, or a band. Is that true, or is it a bit exaggerated?
I’d say it’s a bit exaggerated. People and industries change all the time. The music business itself is constantly in motion. Nowadays, it’s a question of adapting. I think the music is as strong as always, only it is promoted has changed drastically. If you want to work with a record label the way 80s bands used to do it, then yeah, it probably won’t happen. That time has passed. The labels are more diverse and versatile; they have so many dimensions. You just have to be creative.
You said that HIM and Nightwish are super-stars, but you are too! I remember that at your first concert in Romania, fans climbed on the venue gates to see you, and they’d stay there even when the gates slided to let cars pass. Did that kind of reaction overwhelm you?
Yeah, it’s always overwhelming, and really, really flattering. It was our first ever show in Romania, and to get that sort of reaction when you play somewhere for the very first time feels awesome, exhilarating. It’s a good thing that we don’t get that kind of reaction everywhere we go, otherwise we’d be really stuck-up (laughs).
Speaking of which, are you looking forward to your next concert in Romania (Bucharest, 12.11.12, Arenele Romane)?
Of course we are! The Romanian show was so, so good. Then we did a festival there last summer and that was awesome too. We have a lot of expectations from Romania!
Would you say you have a special bond with Romania?
Yes, definitely. Seeing that kind of devotion had a huge impact on me. It was really special. The memory will stay with me forever.