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Children Of Bodom (I)
Interview mit Jaska [Children Of Bodom], 24.11.2008, Düsseldorf/Philipshalle



Endlich sind Children Of Bodom auch hierzulande zurück auf der Bühne. Mit Slipknot und Machine Head zogen sie durch die deutschen Städte. Am 24. November 2008 wurde die Düsseldorfer Philipshalle in Beschlag genommen. Vor der Show hatte ich die Gelegenheit mit Jaska, Drummer und Mitbegründer von Children Of Bodom, ein kleines Gespräch zu führen. Darin ging es nicht nur um die Tour und das aktuelle Album der Finnen, „Blooddrunk“. Wir sprachen ebenso über´s Häuserbauen, den Weihnachtsrummel und Partymeilen in Helsinki.

 
Children Of Bodom are back on the road here in Germany and you`ve got a new CD in the baggage. But did you also bring the snow with you from Finland to Germany? It´s snowy here…
 
Jaska: (laughs) I don`t know. I heard that it`s snowing and there was a snowstorm in Finland two days ago and it was really bad. And actually it was raining also which is pretty weird, I guess. But I hope it wasn`t us bringing the snow over here.
 
How easy is it for you to switch between the studio life, the touring life and private life?
 
Jaska: You know, this is what we do and we have been doing this for about 10 years now. At the time when we compose new songs and go to the studio, we concentrate on the album. Then we have a few months off. During that time we do all this promotional stuff and then we go on tour, not composing any songs. It`s just very easy. Touring lasts maybe like six weeks. After that we have around one month off and can be at home. But as we have no kids or anything, it`s quite easy for us. We exactly know when we can be at home. Everything is scheduled quite early.
 
A couple of shows on this tour with Slipknot and Machine Head are already done and this eve you will be on stage here in Düsseldorf`s Philipshalle. But what do you actually know about the city and this place here?
 
Jaska: (grins) I guess, I have been here in Düsseldorf many, many times, but to be honest – without being rude – it`s just another city. I don`t remember anything about this city. (laughs)
 
Every night you enter a stage in another city in Germany, Switzerland, France or wherever. Do you sometimes wake up in the mornings having no idea where you are?
 
Jaska: Yeah, that happens almost every morning. We have this “day sheet” (points at a paper on the wall) which says when we have to be on stage, when it`s time for dinner and everything. It also always says the city and the country. Sometimes I really have no idea where I am if there is nobody telling me the place one day before.
 
But how has been the tour so far? I have heard about some technical problems during the first shows…
 
Jaska: Yes, that`s true. We had some technical problems, because this tour is a pretty big production. We are the first band on stage and we have only 35 minutes to play…
 
…that´s too short…
 
Jaska: (grins) I guess, yeah. And there is this main band Slipknot and they take whatever it takes to build up their stage and do everything right. It`s their tour and we`re just the opening band. That´s the reason why we don´t have that much time and everything is quite limited.
 
As you can´t play so many songs: Isn`t it hard to choose which ones will be performed?
 
Jaska: Yeah, it´s really hard to choose between the songs, because we have six albums out now. We only play 35 minutes, so we have time for maybe seven songs. It might sound a little bit stupid, but we try the show to be very like mainstream. We play all our melodic hit songs, so that people who have never heard of us before get the right kind of image.
 
How much time do you spend with the Slipknot and Machine Head guys? Or is like each band going its own way on this tour?
 
Jaska: I have met two or three Slipknot-guys this far.
 
With mask or without?
 
Jaska: Without. (laughter) Well, we don´t go to their dressing room, I mean, we respect their privacy and they do that also to us. If you want to have a conversation it`s usually after the shows. You know, we have spent some time with the Machine Head-guys, yes…
 
Did you have the chance to borrow one of the Slipknot-masks? Do you have any fave mask?
 
Jaska: Not really, but I guess, I don´t want to test the masks. I`ve heard that they smell really bad. (laughs loudly)
 
On this European trip you also had two headliner shows – one was in Hamburg and the last one in Saarbrücken. Which one was better?
 
Jaska: Yeah, yesterday we were in Saarbrücken and I don`t know what has happened, you know, so much shit happened. I broke my pedal and they started the song without me playing. The setlist was mixed by our keyboard player. There was so much hassle going on during the whole set, but it went that far that it actually was fun. The audience was really great, but we just fucked it up. I don`t know, but in Hamburg it was really hot, really intense. I can`t decide which show was better. Both were really good.
 
How did the fans accept the songs from your new album “Blooddrunk”?
 
Jaska: I think they like them.
 
“Blooddrunk”, your sixth studio album, is already a couple of months old. For the album you had also entered the Petrax studios in Hollola near Lahti, so more in the country side. Is the nature a source of inspiration for your songs?
 
Jaska: The reason why we went to this kind of place is not just the nature itself. We went there, because it`s in the middle of nothing. You are fully concentrated on the thing what you`re doing. If we would do our album in the heart of Helsinki city, I mean, we would go to the bars and it doesn`t feel that we`re much into that studio thing. That`s the reason why we always choose these places where you don`t have anything else to do.
 
“Smile Pretty For The Devil” is going to be released as a next single from the current album. You also shot a video for that song. But how much can you contribute to the content of your videos? Or is it just the director´s ideas that can be found in there?
 
Jaska: Yeah, it`s basically the director who´s vision we`re kind of shooting. We have done quite a few videos with the same director who has done the Rammstein-videos as well. It´s Sandra [Marschner – Ann. of the author] from KATAPULT film production. She has really good visions and we trust her very much. The videos look good, I mean, what can we do? It`s better to have only one person doing that instead of having like five or six persons. It´s not good. It wouldn`t work.
 
What`s the best Children Of Bodom-video so far?
 
Jaska: Mmm, I like “Blooddrunk” very much. It was shot in a cellar somewhere in an industrial area and there were like these ghosts and stuff. Have you seen the video?
 
Yeah.
 
Jaska: I think that`s the best one.
 
The reaper with his scythe can be found on all your album covers. It`s like a key symbol. But is there also some kind of red line on the new album musical or lyrical wise?
 
Jaska: I think “Blooddrunk” is Alexi`s personal album. A few years ago when he felt bad he was cutting his arms and stuff to feel better. He got blooddrunk every time when he cut himself. The lyrics of the title song are about that phase. That`s quite personal and it`s a cool album title I think. (grins)
 
I hope Alexi is not hurting himself anymore…?
 
Jaska: Yeah, he is over it. It was like 10 years ago when he felt really bad.
 
Did you also contribute to the lyrics or is it just Alexi?
 
Jaska: It´s just Alexi.
 
In September and October of this year you have been once again on headliner tour in the USA. Did you also notice something about the elections there? Or are you not that much into politics?
 
Jaska: It was quite interesting to follow that. I mean, people were talking about that, because it was like the first black president maybe coming. It was a really big thing when we were there. But I think an even bigger thing was this financial crisis. It was really sad to read all the newspapers. People are loosing their homes and stuff. It`s sad.
 
What has been your first musical touch back in the years?
 
Jaska: First I heard Guns`n`Roses and Metallica. Then I went to Sepultura and death metal came in. With the time it went deeper and deeper into more aggressive sounds. But still I was listening to every kind of music. You know, I just wanted to hear great drummers. Alexi just didn`t listen to black or death metal. He also listens to great guitar players and got influenced by them. It`s kind of mixed.
 
How would you describe the Finnish music scene within the last 10 years?
 
Jaska: I think bands are more ambitious and they`re taking this whole band thing more seriously. They are ready to put more effort like quitting their jobs to get the band developed and go on tours outside of Finland. That`s a really good thing. And the labels know that metal is a big thing nowadays. The risk level has gone a little bit down and they are ready to put money into the bands and do investments. That´s my opinion how the Finnish music scene has developed.
 
How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?
 
Jaska: …everywhere. (laughs)
 
On your website I read that you like spending your free time with reading books, writing and watching movies as well. What kind of genre do you prefer in there?
 
Jaska: Recently I haven´t read so many books. I`ve been building my own house and that took all my time. But movies…I used to watch some movie every night at home or on tour maybe. Last night we just watched “Death Proof”. It was cool. It was done by Quentin Tarantino, of course. Everybody knows him. But about reading…I don`t know. I read any kind of books, might be philosophical or just a novel of some maniac. (laughs)
 
Soon it`s Christmas. Do you already have some presents in your head that you`d like to buy for your family and friends? Or are you not that much into those traditional things?
 
Jaska: For me the most important thing is to have the family together. I`m not any kind of religious person, but I like that there`s one day in the year when the family gathers together. We just have dinner and then talk. This Christmas I´m gonna buy a coffee making machine as a Christmas present to my girlfriend and me. (laughs) You just have to press the button and then…
 
…you get coffee, cappuchino, whatever you want…that´s good!
 
Jaska: Yeah, that´s what I need.
 
Does your girlfriend already know it?
 
Jaska: (grins) I think she knows. It´s just…I can`t do anything in the morning without having coffee. That´s the first thing I do, otherwise I might me really cranky “Don´t talk to me, I just need a cup of coffee!”
 
What are your plans for New Year`s Eve?
 
Jaska: Well, I have a few plans, but I haven´t decided that yet. Hopefully I have the chance to spend that eve with a lot of friends.
 
What`s going on in Helsinki on New Year`s Eve?
 
Jaska: I think Him is playing in Tavastia. Tavastia is near Kamppi and there is this quite big place in front of Kamppi where I have spent one New Year`s Eve. I think they do some fireworks there. It was a good place, because there were not that many people. You can even breathe. But if you want to have like lots of people, you have to go to Alexanderinkatu. Yeah, that is one place where are people, but I try to avoid those. You can`t even walk there, because there are so many people.
 
Children Of Bodom are coming back to Germany next year for an own headliner tour. There are four gigs confirmed so far. But will there be some more shows added?
 
Jaska: I guess, we already put some dates in our website, but the touring plan is not full yet. It`s developing still. The shows which are on the website they`re already confirmed. But I think there might be even seven or eight shows in Germany. In the end of January we will come here again to headline in Europe. It´s gonna be for around five or six weeks. We`ll basically play in the same cities where we are also playing on this tour.
 
Do you know some German words or sentences?
 
Jaska: (speaks in German) Ich habe Deutsch gelernt in der Schule für zwei Jahre.
 
(speaks in German as well) Du verstehst mich also, wenn ich auf Deutsch rede?
 
Jaska: Not that good. (laughs) We have actually three German speaking technicians, so we hear the German language all the time. I guess, I understand it better than I can speak German.



Interview & Foto 2: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken & (c) by Jeff Zorn / taken from spinefarm.fi/press
Website Band: www.cobhc.com


(c) fhradio, darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de

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