LAMB OF GOD's Mark Morton has paid tribute former CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Alexi Laiho, calling him "incredibly talented," humble and creative.
Laiho passed away on December 29, 2020 in his home in Helsinki, Finland. The 41-year-old had reportedly suffered from long-term health issues leading up to his death.
Morton, whose band had toured with CHILDREN OF BODOM, discussed Laiho's passing during an appearance on the latest episode of "The MetalSucks Podcast". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The thing with Alexi is, man, he was just such a genuine, sweet dude. He was very much a rock star — he looked cool, and he was the lead singer, and he was a shred guitar player, and he was just this cool European metal rock star, but his personality was so mellow. He was real genuine — just a genuinely nice guy, really easy to talk to, easy to be around."
According to Mark, Alexi once gave him a guitar lesson while LAMB OF GOD and CHILDREN OF BODOM were on the road together. "I was, like, 'Show me how to do some of that stuff,'" Morton recalled. "He was, like, 'What do you wanna know?' I was, like, 'I don't know. Show me something.' And he just sat down with me and showed me a couple of licks. He was just, like, 'It's not as hard as it sounds. You do this.' He was that kind of guy. And he loved American cars, he loved muscle cars — we had that in common. He had a couple of cool cars, and I had a couple at the time — we would talk about that kind of stuff. He was just a real dude, man — just a real genuine dude.
"I hadn't talked to him in — I don't know — two or three years, just 'cause we were doing our own thing or whatever," Mark added. "But I've just got nothing but good things to say about the guy. It was a big loss — a big loss. It was tragic. I hate it. 'Cause he was a good dude. Incredibly talented — incredibly talented and humble and creative. It's just sad. I hate it."
Earlier this month, Alexi's cause of death was revealed to be "alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue." Furthermore, Laiho had a cocktail of painkillers, opioids and insomnia medication in his system at the time of his passing.
Alexi and drummer Jaska Raatikainen founded CHILDREN OF BODOM in 1993, and the band was one of the most internationally acclaimed metal acts in Finland up until their very last farewell concert in December of 2019. Last year, Alexi put together BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, which recorded three songs and shot one music video, to be released in April.
Besides CHILDREN OF BODOM, Laiho had played in such acts as WARMEN, SINERGY, KYLÄHULLUT and THE LOCAL BAND. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden God and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at the Helsinki Festival in 2015 in "100 Guitars From Hel" — a massive concert piece he composed.
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT made its live debut last October at Rytmikorjaamo in Seinäjoki, Finland. The 17-song show consisted entirely of CHILDREN OF BODOM material.