Latest: Relentless Reckless Forever (Spinefarm/Universal)

Finnish shredders Children of Bodom are currently on their latest tour of Australia, supporting their seventh album release Relentless Reckless Forever. Ever more popular with each release, COB is now one of the most successful Finnish acts of all time. Just before they headed out on this leg of their current tour, Loud caught up with keyboards wizard Janne Wirman for a brief chat.

Q: We’re expecting you back in our country again very soon. Children of Bodom have been here a few times now. Do you have a favourite memory of touring Australia?
A: On our second trip we actually took some days off – um, was it the first or second? Anyway, we took five days off in Sydney, and that was really great! We got to explore the city and go out to some of those islands and beaches and all that stuff. I really like it down there.

Q: It must be difficult to get that much time off on tour?
A: It is actually. We kind of organised that on purpose.

Q: You won’t be getting that much time on this tour though. It’s pretty much in and straight out.
A: Yeah, we’re in the middle of a tour. We fly in from Israel and continue to Singapore.

Q: Has the setlist changed much since your last Australian visit?
A: Well yeah obviously. We’re gonna play four to five tracks off the new album and probably the old stuff has changed hopefully quite a lot since the last time we were here. So we are hoping to put up a whole fresh setlist.

Q: Have you found that your tours now seem to be getting longer and longer with each album?
A: We have done quite extensive touring with the previous three or four albums, because we included USA into our tour schedules. It’s such a big country, you have to tour a lot to have a presence. We tend to like, after a release, be on tour for like two years after the album release.

Q: You guys tend to pick a really quirky cover to do on every album. What made you pick the Eddie Murphy song this time?
A: Yeah as you probably know we’ve realised all kinds of weird-ass cover songs over the years. And we just wanted to do something different again. And weird and funny, and somebody just came up with the Eddie Murphy track. It’s pretty cool but (ha!) it’s a fun song but Eddie Murphy isn’t really known as a singer! We just thought it would be funny.

Q: What do you look for when you go in to do a bonus track?
A: For us it’s all about fun. It’s so much fun covering different songs and artists and all that. But sometimes we maybe look for a shock factor. Because sometimes people are a little shocked by some of our covers. Because for us it would be retarded doing Iron Maiden covers or some boring heavy metal covers. So that’s why we’ve done weird covers over the years.

Q: It seems to me that lyrically your songs have taken on a more upbeat, party-metal vibe than what you’ve done previously. How did that develop?
A: I don’t know. We didn’t make any choices about going in that kind of direction, but I know what you’re saying. We’ve always been a bit of party animals and maybe you can hear it a bit more on the latest album .
Q: Relentless… made #1 in Finland. How many #1s have you had in Finland now?
A: I can’t remember. The last four have been #1s or something. Of course it’s nice and cool, but it really doesn’t mean anything. You’ve done the best you can on the album and if it goes to #1 on the charts of course it’s nice. But it really doesn’t mean much.

Q: Has downloading made much of an impact on Children of Bodom?
A: I think it’s a pretty big impact on everyone these days. However metal fans are pretty loyal and shit. But obviously it has had an impact on us as well. Our worldwide sales have been going down, but that’s the same for everyone now.

Q: Children of Bodom has had the same line-up now for a long time. It must be very comfortable for you as a band to have the same guys around all the time.
A: It’s very important to us that’s it the same bunch. We’re not the type of band who could change drummer for every album and then still be happy with it. It’s very close family we have going on and we need to and want to keep it that way.

Q: What’s left for CoB to do now? Is there a country or a territory that you still haven’t yet taken the band?
A: Well yeah, with this upcoming tour not only are we coming to Australia but there’s gonna be a bunch of countries that we haven’t been to before. Like we’re gonna start in Israel where we haven’t been before and there’s a couple of other countries too, so that’s always nice to get to see new countries and play to new countries and new cities. It also keeps it fresh and interesting to see new places and stuff.

Q: Have much of Asia have you been to?
A: We’ve done Japan and Taiwan, but this time there’s going to be some places we haven’t done before: Indonesia and Singapore, which will be pretty exciting.

Q: Thanks Janne. Finally, is there a chance we’ll see anything more from Warmen in the future?
A: Yeah, well actually I’ve been working on that just yesterday. Me and my brother were writing songs. But with the CoB touring schedule it’s pretty hectic. We’ll try to put something together.