Less than two months after announcing their departures from CHILDREN OF BODOM, Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä (bass) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) have confirmed that they are still the rightful owners of the CHILDREN OF BODOM brand.
On November 1, Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman issued a statement saying that they would leave CHILDREN OF BODOM after playing the final show of the band's Finnish tour on December 15 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. 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. As a result, 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.
Earlier today, Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman posted an update on social media addressing fan speculation regarding CHILDREN OF BODOM's future and insisting that they would "never do anything to disrespect this brand and the long career we've built together."
Their full statement reads as follows:
"2019 is coming to an end, so it's a good time to take a look back before turning our gaze toward a new year. For us, 2019 was eventful, and a big part of that was playing our last COB gig in December.
"We have received a lot of questions about what we're going to do next and why we quit. Since this decision has sparked up a conversation and false rumors, we want to talk about why we ended up making it, one more time.
"There is no argument behind the band's name trademark or its use. We have a joint agreement. Alexi Laiho sold his share of the company and this meant that the three of us became owners of the COB brand. Although plans for our future are open, what is certain is that we will never do anything to disrespect this brand and the long career we've built together.
"Also, we definitely want to set the record straight with the misconception that we quit because we have families or wanted to retire. Music is our profession and our lives, and all our families know that. They are proud of what we do, and they completely have our back. It should also go without saying that we as individuals are not retiring.
"Success brings with it the responsibility to take a stand on decisions unrelated to music as well. These decisions were very difficult for us. We were five band members, each with their own roles, but we couldn't find a shared viewpoint during these last few years.
"The reason for writing this is not to point fingers but to clear things up. We are and always will be proud of what COB achieved together.
"Happy holidays and best wishes for 2020!
"Henkka, Janne and Jaska"
Last month, 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.
Laiho admitted to Soundi that "it might not be a good idea" legally to continue with the CHILDREN OF BODOM name. "It may be that the name of our new lineup needs to be tweaked a bit in some direction. Or maybe it could be just BODOM or the name of one of our songs. But it must be a name that suggests that it is the same [group]."
A possible loss of the CHILDREN OF BODOM name has not prevented Laiho from putting together a new lineup. He and guitarist Daniel Freyberg have already chosen a new drummer and bassist, whom Laiho described to Soundi as "incredibly talented young guys who look very good on stage." He also said that the new band will likely start gigging next spring. "The new lineup will be a fresher version of the current one," he told Helsingin Sanomat.
Alexi said that he had "quite mixed feelings" about the end of CHILDREN OF BODOM's current lineup. "Of course, there is a bit of sadness, since we've been a band for a really long time," he said. "We have had more good times than bad times. On the other hand, I also feel relieved. I'm pretty fucking excited that I get to play with the new guys. The thrill of playing with a new lineup seems to quell the sadness."
CHILDREN OF BODOM's latest album, "Hexed", came out in March via Nuclear Blast Records.