Children Of Bodom

author PP date 22/11/08

After having been a fan of Children Of Bodom for as long as I can remember, they finally came to Denmark for a show and thus an interview was a must for us. Roope Latvala emerged to the backstage area either slightly drunk or extremely hungover from the night before, just the way I had expected a crazy Finn to do, but he was still in a pretty good mood. Turns out he's been to Roskilde Festival several times and has always wanted to play there, but the bookers are, for some reason, ignoring the band, as we find out later on in the interview. Read on to find out about what he thinks about being regarded as one of the best guitarists in the world, about the Bodom lake triple homicide and Alexi's lyrical work!

RF.net: Hi and thanks for doing this interview. Could you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Roope: Okey, my name is Roope Latvala, I play guitar in Children of Bodom.

RF.net: How's the tour going?

Roope: It's quite the beginning right now..

RF.net: Is this the first day, actually?

Roope: No we did a couple of shows in Finland, and then yesterday was Stockholm, oh yeah, and Oslo also. And now we're kind of heading down to Europe.

RF.net: You're supporting Slipknot, isn't that a kind of a weird band to support for you guys? They're kind of different, aren't they?

Roope: Well, in a way yeah, but I don't know. Pretty good crowd turn out anyway, I think the audience is pretty wide and they dig all the bands. Okay, Machine Head dropped out today. They were supposed to play here but I think Rob, the singer, fucked his voice up.

RF.net: Oh, that's a shame..

Roope: Yeah, it is, but I think we will be doing a little bit longer set today.

RF.net: Well that's at least good!

Roope: Yeah, it's also good for us, there wouldn't have been too much space on stage for us!

RF.net: If we go back a little bit on the history of the band, you're name is based on the Bodom lake triple homicide, which was unresolved. Now, first off, I know you weren't in when the band was originaly created but you must know the story as well, so how did the guys get the idea to be called after a triple homicide?
Roope: Actually, they just had to figure out any name and then Ewok, the dude from Spinefarm Records, he just.. the guys were thinking about Children of Something, you know, but then Ewok said "Bodom", and they thought that sounds good and there's kind of a mystery going on. So then the reaper thing kind of came around.

RF.net: Sure. There's a lot of rumours on the internet about you guys either breaking up or changing the name if the murders were ever resolved. Is that true at all?

Roope: [laughs] No.. I think it's still gonna be a pretty open case, because after forty years, they even took the case back, and this Nils Gustafsson dude, he was prosecuted again, but then they still didn't have any proof, so I don't know if it's gonna be solved ever.

RF.net: So IF it was solved, would that affect the band?

Roope: No I don't think so. I'm still dedicated to this band!

RF.net: If we look at your new album "Blooddrunk", how do you feel about overall?
Roope: Overall? Well, I dig it. It was a pretty easy recording session, we had rehearsed so well so it was a pretty easy to come by. The sound went pretty good and.. what can I say, it was a good session.. and as every record is a document about the feeling of that time and stuff like that, it turned out good.

RF.net: So what are some of the themes that you explored on the record overall?

Roope: That's a tough question for me because Alexi's lyrics can be kind of hard and there's swear words so they weren't actually allowed to get printed [laughs], you know, a little I do know, but I go by the music.

RF.net: But even musically, it's a little bit different from the previous albums at least in my opinion? So is that something you did on purpose or did it just...

Roope: No no it just come by accident.

RF.net: I've read in other interviews that Alexi has been through some difficult periods in his life with drugs and depression and things like that, is that a stage that he has left behind now as a person, or?
Roope: Yeah, I don't know how serious that stuff was. Well, sometimes yeah, but everybody goes through difficulties in life for sure, but yeah he's doing allright man, playing and kicking, touring is good because we have a nice little family here.

RF.net: Did those times effect the band at all, I know you said they weren't that big but?

Roope: Those times when he actually injured himself, you know broken bones and shit, sure it affecfs, we can't tour or play music.

RF.net: I know you mentioned that Alexi writes your lyrics, but overall, they are pretty bleak, dark lyrics often. Do you know why exactly you guys only write dark lyrics?
Roope: Our music itself is like pretty dark and you try and get kind of dark vibes in it, so you can't really sing about happy stuff after that [laughs]. Of course there's some personal stuff that comes up, but it's kind of difficult to understand his lyrics, actually. A lot of vibes, pretty hard to translate, man, also I don't understand shit of his lyrics [laughs].

RF.net: How do you feel you've changed instrumentally, or musically, since.. well, either since "Something Wild" or since you came into the band?
Roope: When I came to the band, I did exactly like Alexander had done it, you know, I didn't want to step on anybody's toes since I was the new guy in the band. But then now, because we've played a shitload of gigs and stuff, you get more ideas, you can just squish little funny stuff here and there, you know. Well, it's a life thing, you know, it changes every day. I think everybody's pretty fit to play whatever's fixed up in a song.

RF.net: Both you and Alexi are considered to be some of the best guitar players around these days....
Roope: Man, I'm a humble player dude. Because, you know, that's how I got my kicks, all those guitar players, there's like thousands and thousands man. Every sea shore or lake or island or wherever, dude, there's so many dangerous players, so you can't really rank anybody higher than the other, you know.

RF.net: How are you able to come up with such original and awesome guitar riffs all the time, album on album?

Roope: Just play what you can [laughs], I'm trying to come up with interesting stuff, whatever interests you, you know, try to be as original as you can, just obey your normal taste.

RF.net: So when you're recording your albums, do you go into the studio with all songs fully written, everything's ready, or do you just change things in studio still, how does it work for you guys?

Roope: Well, we try to make them as ready as possible, so we don't have to start wasting expensive studio time. It's also much more relaxing when it's all figured out and done. But then you just go there, get concentrated on getting a good sound, and then just bang bang, get it done, it's a much more disturbing time when you have to start re-doing stuff, you know. Too much happening already, so it's better to have ready both songs and arrangements.

RF.net: If we look aside from the newest album, because every artist is going to answer that their newest album is the best one, what is your favorite Children of Bodom album and why?
Roope: There's different songs. Maybe "Follow The Reaper" has some of the funniest stuff to play, my mind is really fucked because I play those things, I look at certain riffs and stuff like that, and that's how I get my favorites. Every album's got their points, man. "Something Wild" is more like teenage stuff, we were pretty raw still, then the green album, it's got some really killer playing parts also. Of course these two last ones have been good.. when you give it a little time, they start to get a different life and then it kind of sounds better than when they came out. I'm really starting to dig the "Are You Dead Yet?" album even more now that I've got a little distance to it.

RF.net: So when you're in a tour bus, do you guys pop on some Children Of Bodom stuff ever?

Roope: [laughing] On this trip we have listened nothing else but AC/DC, man. It's just good for an evening, with a few beers and pop AC/DC on. It's my favorite, also Amon Amarth's been on the bus right now. So some newer stuff coming, but oldies are goodies.

RF.net: Do you like the new AC/DC album then?

Roope: Yeah man, they're good, I dig it, yeah! They've got a really orginal line up and a very original sound.

RF.net: You guys have been to Wacken Open aire four times in the last six years. Is that like you're favorite festival or something?
Roope: Well, it's a pretty hectic festival, I can tell you that. So many people have friends from other bands and all the guys in the business. Sure, yeah we have a good time there. Last time I think there were like 60,000 at our gig, man, we broke the local crowd surfing record. [laughs]

RF.net: How many crowd surfers?

Roope: You know, those that came over the fence, there was like 6 to 12 per minute! I heard there was someone who could count it, and he said a thousand and two hundred surfers. That was pretty weird looking at from stage, playing your stuff you know, "what the fuck is happening man"

RF.net: So would you say that's the best show you've ever played?

Roope: No I wouldn't say best show, but you know, anyway, each night is different.. it was the biggest show.

RF.net: Have you guys actually played here in Denmark before?

Roope: I don't think so, I don't know why. We've done a lot of touring in Europe and Scandinavia, but somehow I don't know what happened man, we haven't been coming to Denmark, so it's kind of a special evening tonight, because this will be the first time!

RF.net: I've got one more question, which is kind of a strange one. As you know, Lordi won the Eurovision two years ago. Will we ever see Children Of Bodom participating in Eurovision?
Roope: [laughs] No way man, that's definitely not our thing.

RF.net: It couldn't be funny even as a joke?

Roope: No, man, leave it to the... I don't know, it's far out, it's not our thing... and we would lose it anyway! [laughs] We don't have that Euro-pop style!

RF.net: Okay, that was my last question, do you have anything you wanna say to the fans?
Roope: Just that we hope to play more often in Denmark, it has always been one of my favorite places, I've been to Roskilde Festival many times.. and I hope they would also take us some time

RF.net: Maybe this coming year?

Roope: Well, I don't know. Might be some money issue or something, but I've been begging them like "hey come on! why can't we do Roskilde!".. so that's one goal, you know!

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