keskiviikko 24. helmikuuta 2010

Alexi @ FME

It's just a short walk from the metro station to the Cable Factory in Helsinki, the venue for the 2010 Finnish Metal Expo, but in a snowstorm and with the temperature around -20, plus windchill making it feel closer to -30, the distance seems to take on rather more epic proportions. Happily, the temperature inside the cavernous Cable Factory is a great deal more user-friendly. We wander around, checking out the various stands, including Spinefarm Records, ESP Guitars (where we spot two of Alexi Laiho's signature models on display), Levykauppa Äx and the Hellsinki Rock Shop.

On the live stage, the day's performances include sets by Sonata Arctica and Apocalyptica. Later, after sampling a plate of stir fry in the food area, it's time to head over to the Musamaailma stage, where the focus of attention tonight is an interview with Alexi Laiho. The event is eagerly awaited and the room is packed, all the way from the stage to the back ...

After an introduction from Jone Nikula, Alexi appears, stumbling a little as he climbs the stairs leading onto the stage. Hunched on a stool, head down, his trademark peaked cap (this time worn the right way round) casting a shadow over his face, he looks at times a little shy, and even vulnerable as he sits listening to the often protracted and rambling questions being put to him; indeed, at one point he smilingly requests that Nikula repeat the question, and make it shorter, as by the time it had been delivered, Alexi wasn't even sure what he was being asked!

As it is, the themes are fairly familiar, including the band's various cover songs: Alexi humorously describes the reaction of some fans who were mightily pissed off by the choice of a Britney song, and he also mentions the Creedence cover; he reveals too that, even after all these years, he loves touring more and more.

Nikula cites how Bodom's success has meant that, in their home country, they have become a band that cannot be ignored by the media, even though their music can hardly be considered mainstream; to underline the point, he refers to an article in Finland's largest-circulation newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, which reported on one of Bodom's shows on the band's North American tour last year.

Of course, everyone's focus is now very much on the next Bodom album, which the band is currently working on, and Alexi reveals that it's 95% certain that they will again record in Petrax Studios, in Hollola, Finland (their current bestselling album, Blooddrunk, was also recorded there), and that there will be a producer - just who, he's not telling yet!

Many thanks to COB Forum member Celeb for her invaluable help with translation of the questions and answers

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