of Bodom Interview
by Mark Hensch
Mark Hensch took a break from his new
duties as editor of Thrashpit.com to speak with Children of Bodom's Keyboardist
Janne Warman about a variety of topics including their new album, cover
tunes and touring.
Mark Hensch: First off, congratulations
on the new album. I must say I find it getting more and more playing time
in my CD player as weeks go by...something about it really grows on ya
dude! I really enjoy how far Bodom continues to progress...in an age when
power/speed metal is really popular all over the world, something always
manages to set you apart.
Janne Warman: Thanks man. Always
great to hear somebody likes the new album.
MH: Alright, we'll start with a crazy
question. Pretend for a moment that a huge tribe of natives has just been
discovered in a remote jungle in the middle of nowhere, and somebody mentions
to them that Children of Bodom is a band they should all listen to....when
they come to you with no prior knowledge or experience with your band,
how would you describe Children of Bodom's sound to them?
JW: Man, I hate this question!!!
Haha, I wouldn't even try to do it. We're just Children of Bodom, ya know?
MH: Now, in my humble opinion, Are
You Dead Yet? is a pretty wicked album. However, metalheads today have
so many great albums to pick up at their record stores, so what would you
say is the best reason to get a copy of your band's new album?
JW: Umm, no f***ing idea!!! I guess
if you're into guitar shredding and soloing I'd say you'll like the new
MH: I'll admit that I wanted to interview
you Janne as your keyboards are so important to Bodom's sound. How did
you become so talented at playing the keyboards, and where did you pick
up the ability to play such awesome, subtle melodies on all the songs (on
any album, including Are You Dead Yet?)?
JW: We try to approach the keyboard
with some thought into it....new and fresh ideas are key. We like to have
me backup the songs with some underlying melody just as you said, and the
leads and solos are just my own little parts I think up myself.
MH: Musicians are often called their
own harshest critics. Going by this theme, what do you think is the worse
song on Are You Dead Yet? and why? How about the best? Any reasons?
JW: In my mind the worse songs are
"Bastards of Bodom" and "Trashed, Lost, and Strung-Out." I just don't like
them because they don't sound good live. It just isn't any good!
MH: Wow, I didn't see that coming. Those
are two of my favorite songs on the whole album!
JW: Sucks for you dude (haha). The
best songs are probably "In Your Face" as that one always gets a great
reaction live and its really fun for us to play..."We Aren't Going to Fall"
has lots of energy so I like that one a lot too.
MH: Your musical output is pretty diverse,
and you have strayed outside of Bodom a bit in the past. Are there any
thoughts you'd like to offer about your solo-project, Warmen? How about
your time in Masterplan or Kotipelto, led by the lead singer of a band
as famous as Stratovirus (Timo Kotipelto)?
JW: Seeing as I was only with Kotipelto
and Masterplan for one album or so, I don't really have any comments on
that. As for Warmen, those three albums are like therapy for me. They are
like my free time activity. I really enjoy being able to studio gadgets
and being able to produce in my own studio as well, and I've done that
with each of the three Warmen albums.
MH: What is your favorite album of all
time and why?
JW: Everytime I give a new interview
I say a new album! I'm going to have to say Alice Cooper's Trash.
It's just such a classic hard rock album ya know? Hell, there's no bad
songs on the whole CD!
MH: I'm going to leave the more musically
focused questions behind for a bit....I'd like to ask you about Bodom's
upcoming involvement with the Unholy Alliance Tour....I know I'm psyched
to see Mastodon, Lamb of God, Bodom, and Slayer all on one bill! How did
all this come together?
JW: This is a dream come true for
us, as you almost have to be a Slayer fan (laughs). We're happy to be on
it this summer as it's a really great line-up and we like Slayer and the
other bands. We're actually doing it instead of Ozzfest, who've been trying
to get us to play for the last three years or so.
MH: Speaking of tours, I'm assuming
you've got some decent downtime in-between shows on the road and such.
What are some of your personal hobbies and interests outside of music?
JW: Well, on tour, all we do is
the waiting between shows! At home meanwhile, I do lots of driving. I belong
to this sports car club with Ferraris and s***, and I just love driving
around in my cars.
MH: You have a rep as being pretty kind
to all the Children of Bodom fans out there. For example, your official
forum has a large thread called "Ask Janne" where fans can ask you pretty
much anything and you'll answer them if you get time....keeping with this
theme, how important are the fans to Bodom in general and you in particular?
JW: The fans are the thing...really
important of course! I always try to meet new people in-between shows and
meeting cool folks is always ok.
MH: The video for "Are You Dead Yet?"
hasn't been out too long here, and before that, "In Your Face" hit American
airwaves. What can you tell us about the filming process for both of these
videos? Where were both put to tape, and who came up with the ideas for
*At this time a massive train goes
by in Wisconsin, the stop on Bodom's tour*
JW: You hear that f***ing train?
Anyways, our videos are mainly about us just playing. That's really all
we like so we generally just leave it to the directors.
MH: Back to more musical questions....Bodom
has this rich history of covering all number of crazy songs. Seriously,
you guys have covered The Ramones, Billy Idol, Britney Spears, Slayer,
Poison, W.A.S.P., Ozzy, and the Scorpions!!! Obviously, those are some
pretty diverse choices. Who decides what to cover, and how do you guys
imprint your sound on something like Britney Spears without making it be
either lame or boring?
JW: Making cover songs is really
fun and it is something all of us in Bodom really enjoy. We just, ya know...(trails
off to word himself)...it is more odd for our fans to hear us cover say
Britney Spears than say Iron Maiden. It is a stranger choice, and that
is why we pick some of the songs we do. As for adding our sound, we just
MH: Children of Bodom's guitarist Alexi
Laiho has a reputation as a pretty wild dude. He recently spoke out in
an interview against the guitarist of Dream Theater, and in a quote that
in my opinion was taken out of context by Dream Theater fans, ignited some
smoldering controversy in some arenas. Personally, I think it is a mark
of courage when someone can freely speak their mind regardless of who it
offends...however, do you guys in Bodom ever get sick of people thinking
you are nothing but party-animals?
JW: Coining us as party animals
is definitely fair! We like to party quite a bit as it passes the time
on tours...if we have to drive everywhere we might as well have fun when
we're not playing right? It is a lot of good times for us. Hell, I slept
off a hangover till 7 in the evening so you know we get pretty crazy! I
was really drunk last night and we had nine naked guys chilling out in
the back lounge (laughs).
MH: Nine naked guys? Why not girls (laughs)?
JW: It has to do with Finnish culture...you'll
grow into it someday (laughs again).
MH: Back to your keyboards again....when
you play, I can hear hints of neo-classical influence in your keys, notes,
and chords. Are you a classical music fan, and if you are, how do you take
those influences and crossover with them into Bodom's sound without betraying
JW: Some of the early albums were
neo-classical...that s*** is so early 1990's! We want to move away from
it somewhat as it's really popular right now and we want to find our own
MH: Many would say Bodom is a band on
the rise in the music world. Is there any one moment for you that sticks
out as a milestone for the band, almost as if you could look back and say
that things got better for the music after just that one single point?
JW: I'm going to have to say our
first show in Tokyo, Japan, back in 1998. It was a really special moment
for me personally. The crowd was just nuts for everything we did. Bands
always love being a big hit in Japan!
MH: You probably get this every interview
haha....but any comments on the Bodom murders that inspired your band's
JW: Hell no! I don't even want to
talk about Bodom, Finland. We get that every f**king interview!
MH: Thanks Janne for your time, I greatly
appreciate it. I hope you guys tear down roof after roof on your current
tour, and maybe I'll see you this summer with Slayer and all those other
great bands. Any last words or closing thoughts for our readers out there
JW: Thanks for your time too. We're
planning on lots of American and Japanese tour dates....next there's a
short break in there...we then have Wacken Open Air Festival and a few
Finnish concerts/festivals...then we have a short break before the Unholy
Alliance Tour with Slayer...after that who knows? Thanks again! Stay metal!
and Purchase Children of Bodom CDs Online
the official homepage
articles for this artist
a friend about this review