“We have cut [the drinking] down a lot”
There's no band on earth quite like Finland's Children Of Bodom. It's not just that they chose their moniker for a particularly gruesome (and still unsolved) multiple homicide that occurred way back in 1960, nor is it that the entire band live their lives like an endless Octoberfest. No, the thing about Children Of Bodom is you never know what to expect. If there's any band that defies the tyranny of genre it's this one. The frosty chill of minor-key black metal insanity with the precise nastiness of thrash metal? Check. The pomp and grandeur of power metal? Check. The virtuoso tendencies of Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple? Check. And it's not just the musical side of things that endears them to fans. These guys are larger than life – they literally don't care what anyone thinks of them, something The Music found out when Seppälä admitted the boys have something of a penchant for hip hop.
Odd listening habits aside, Children Of Bodom really get their devil may care reputation by being some of the biggest drinkers in all of metal. We're talking Lemmy level here, and somehow their performances don't seem to suffer.
“I like VB – that's pretty much my choice always. We've played [in Australia] many times and on some tours we even did Perth. I just loved it there from the first day I stepped on Aussie soil. The people are laidback and friendly, the weather is gorgeous and so on. You know!”
Despite their love of Australia, and Australian beer, Seppälä refuses to spill the beans regarding the setlist beyond helpfully (ahem) noting that the songs will come from albums recorded between 1997 and 2013. He does admit, however, that the band's touring behavior has begun to change because the years have taken their toll – in particular lead guitarist Alexei Laiho, who was hospitalised in 2012 with severe stomach pains that were eventually linked with his epic bouts of binge drinking.
“We have cut [the drinking] down a lot,” Seppälä admits. “When we were young we thought it's funny to have a lots of drinks on the rider, but now we just have what we actually need. But yes, we are far calmer now, everybody knows that the older you get the less you can handle the hangovers. With our schedules [that's a] big thing.”
Unlike Australia, where metal has to struggle to be heard, the genre rules in Finland. And although Seppälä begs us to look out for new Finnish bands such as Swallow the Sun and Lost Society, he isn't sure why his homeland is such a beacon of heaviness. “Well, we are a small market, and yet we have lots of metal bands. Why is that? I think some bands broke through in the 1990s and ever since Finland has this 'magical brand' – which makes more and more new bands come out.”