Former CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Alexi Laiho has launched a new band called BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT. Joining him in the group are guitarist Daniel Freyberg (ex-CHILDREN OF BODOM), drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (PARADISE LOST), bassist Mitja Toivonen (ex-SANTA CRUZ) and touring keyboardist Lauri Salomaa.
The blood in most musicians’ veins would curdle if they all of a sudden learned that the perpetually globe-trotting team they have recorded ten albums with is about to implode. This was the fate staring Laiho straight in the face at a band meeting early last year.
As the assembly was completed, the attendees had reached a unanimous decision: The group known as CHILDREN OF BODOM would cease to exist after a concert at the Helsinki Ice Hall in December 2019. The shutdown process went as planned and the members parted as friends. End of a story that had begun in 1993.
The situation was a new kind of challenge. What went through the mind of the guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who had been continually chosen as the best metal guitarist in the world by the readers’ and experts’ polls of various music magazines and web sites? Laiho brushed the dust off his shoulders and revved up the engines. A new lineup or death! Luckily, he wasn’t alone.
Freyberg crawled through the wreckage to join Laiho in his quest. Committing to a hard-working team was never a problem for him either. But two guitar players do not a group make. It was time to start thinking about who could handle the drums, bass and keyboards. There were many options to choose from. But as Laiho had already witnessed people exit less than elegantly, he wanted to get just the right cohorts.
High-level musicianship, a cool stage presence and a fitting personality were the factors put under the microscope. Finally, the pieces to complete the puzzle were found. And the name for the new lineup? It had been right under Alexi‘s nose all along.
Laiho will lead BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT to play selected festival appearances follow after which band will start working on new material.
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT tour dates so far are as follows:
June 27 – Tuska Festival – Helsinki, Finland
July 18 – John Smith Rock Festival – Laukaa, Finland
Aug. 15 – Summer Breeze – Dinkelsbühl, Germany
As previously reported, drummer Jaska Raatikainen, bassist Henri “Henkka T. Blacksmith” Seppälä and keyboardist Janne Wirman have announced departure from CHILDREN OF BODOM.
Finnish music magazine Soundi revealed that the rights to the CHILDREN OF BODOM name are held by AA & Sewira Consulting Oy, the company owned by Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman.
On June 28, the trio filed an application with the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland, and their application was subsequently granted for a five-year period starting on October 1.
That means that Alexi Laiho, who is CHILDREN OF BODOM‘s singer, guitarist and main songwriter, isn’t authorized to use the band’s name without permission from Wirman, Raatikainen and Seppälä.
In an interview with Helsingin Sanomat, Laiho admitted that there have been tensions in the BODOM camp for quite some time.
He said: “The original decision [to end the band in its current form] came when the other guys said they just couldn’t do it anymore. There were family reasons for it. I respect their decision. I myself have a wife and stepdaughter in Australia, and my wife understands my lifestyle. I’m pretty much gone [most of the time], but always I come back and I give them my all. Nothing is more important to me.”
Laiho also noted that things came to a head when the band performed in Russia last month.
“We fought a lot within the band, and I can honestly admit that those fights were mainly my fault. They always started with some misunderstanding.”