Ex-CHILDREN OF BODOM guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho says that he will not shy away from performing his former band's songs when he launches his new group, BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, with several festival appearances this summer. Joining him in BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT are guitarist Daniel Freyberg (ex-CHILDREN OF BODOM), drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (PARADISE LOST), bassist Mitja Toivonen (ex-SANTA CRUZ) and touring keyboardist Lauri Salomaa.
Laiho tells Finland's Kaaos TV (translated from Finnish): "We will be playing CHILDREN OF BODOM songs as that is what most of the audience want to hear. Those songs are written by me anyway, so I dont see any reason why not to play them. There will be so-called 'basic' songs, but there are also plans to play one or two songs live which CHILDREN OF BODOM has never played so far and some songs which we haven't played live in ages, so the setlist will be a good mix. We try to play as diverse setlist as possible on each show."
He continued: "I am really looking forward getting up on this stage with this band. For me playing live is so big part of my life. Even though there hasn't been that many months from the last show, it still feels like ages, and I miss playing. If I dont get to play any shows soon, I will go to some bar and play a blues show. [Laughs]"
Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä (bass) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) announced their departures from CHILDREN OF BODOM, last October. Two months later, they confirmed that they were the rightful owners of the CHILDREN OF BODOM brand.
CHILDREN OF BODOM played its final show on December 15, 2019 at the Black Box in Helsinki Ice Hall. A short time later, Finnish music magazine Soundi reported that the rights to the CHILDREN OF BODOM name are held by AA & Sewira Consulting Oy, the company owned by Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman. Last June, 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, 2019. As a result, Laiho, who was 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.
Last November, Laiho admitted to Helsingin Sanomat that there had been tensions in the BODOM camp for quite some time.
"The original decision [to end the band in its current form] came when the other guys said they just couldn't do it anymore," he said. "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."
According to Laiho, things came to a head when CHILDREN OF BODOM performed in Russia in October.
"We fought a lot within the band, and I can honestly admit that those fights were mainly my fault," he said. "They always started with some misunderstanding."
Relations within the band apparently got so bad during the Russian tour that it looked as if CHILDREN OF BODOM would break up right there and then. But cooler heads prevailed, and the group decided that the shows in Finland would be their last with the current formation.
CHILDREN OF BODOM's last album, "Hexed", came out in March 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT tour dates:
June 27 - Tuska Festival - Helsinki, Finland
July 18 - John Smith Rock Festival - Laukaa, Finland
Aug. 15 - Summer Breeze - Dinkelsbühl, Germany