Sebastiano Mereu of From Hero To Zero recently conducted an interview with bassist Henkka Seppälä (a.k.a. Henkka T. Blacksmith) of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM. You can watch the chat below.
Speaking about how the music industry has changed from when he first joined CHILDREN OF BODOM in the mid-1990s to now, Henkka said: "Well, when we started… I joined the band in '94, and I was in the middle school still. Of course, the situation was different. It was just a hobby. We were playing in a garage and drinking beer and… it was just a hobby. In a way, it's difficult to… I hadn't experienced professional musicianship in the '90s, because… It really became professional for us [in the] early 2000s, so maybe ten, fifteen years ago. But ever since, yeah, it's changed a lot. The whole structure of income is totally different… not totally different, but quite different. I think it's interesting. Of course sometimes it feels a little bit scary that actual physical sales are going down, down, down, down… but then the Internet gives you so many opportunities, and you just have to be really creative to be able to do it. Creative, meaning marketing-wise and stuff. So I think it's very interesting times. And it's a fact that the vinyl sales are higher than ever. I think it's amazing that it's higher than in the '70s or '80s when [vinyl sales] were really big."
Asked if he feels services like YouTube and Spotify are paying labels and artists fairly, Henkka said: "I don't know about YouTube, but I think Spotify… I think we're in a new phase. We're kind of in a transition from the old-style record labels to this new streaming kind of thing, so everything is new for everybody. But I think the problem is still the deals with, for example, the likes of Spotify with the record label. I think those are the ones that have to be worked on. I think there is money, and the money goes… the [streaming music] providers, they pay money [to] whomever owns the rights, but then in the deals between the artist and the record label, there are the problems, I think — the digital stuff is a little bit behind… At least, I remember we always had the digital sales and the [physical] sales, there's a very different payment system. So I think those are the things that have to be worked on. But I think there's a bright future with the new ways of playing music and new ways of buying music and selling music. I think very soon things will be matched and balanced so that it's matching the old way of selling music. I hope at least."
CHILDREN OF BODOM performed most of its debut album, "Something Wild", on a European tour to celebrate the record's twentieth anniversary. The month-long trek, dubbed "20 Years Down & Dirty", kicked off on March 8 in Hanover, Germany and concluded on April 4 in Stockholm, Sweden.