Metal fans were shocked when Finnish extreme metal band Children of Bodom announced the departure of their bassist, keyboardist and drummer, who have all be members of the group since the 1990s, earlier this month. Now it appears that the band’s frotnman and only remaining original member Alexi Laiho, will no longer be able to use the band’s name without permission of the other three members.
While the band’s bassist Henri ‘Henkka T. Blacksmith’ Seppala, drummer Jaska W. Raatikainen and keyboardist Janne Wirman will reunite with Laiho for a farewell show on December 15th in Helsinki, the future of the band remains dubious. The band’s name is currently owned by AA & Sewira Consulting Oy, which is owned by the three departing band members, who filed an application with the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland. Their application granted them the rights to the name for over a five-year period, leaving the Children of Bodom name in their hands until 2024.
Raatikainen is the only other founding member of the group alongside Laiho. Seppala joined in 1995, while Wirman became a Bodom member in 1997. Guitarist Daniel Freyburg who joined the band in 2016 is the only member to remain with the band. While the other three members retain the rights of the name, Laiho explained that he is unlikely to seek their permission to continue using its name, and is instead looking forward to working with a new lineup.
“It might not be a good idea,” Laiho stated explained regarding the band’s name. “It may be that the name of our new lineup needs to be tweaked a bit in some direction. Or maybe it could be just Bodom or the name of one of our songs. But it must be a name that suggests that it is the same [group].”
Children of Bodom formed in 1993, and have spent their fair share of touring and recording for the past 25 years, with their most recent album release Hexed debuting earlier this year. Laiho stated that family commitments, along with some group infighting caused the members to leave, although he holds no hard feelings for their departure.
As Laiho explained:
“The original decision came when the other guys said they just couldn’t do it anymore. There were family reasons for it. I respect their decision. I myself have a wife and stepdaughter in Australia, and my wife understands my lifestyle. I’m pretty much gone [most of the time], but always I come back and I give them my all. Nothing is more important to me … We fought a lot within the band, and I can honestly admit that those fights were mainly my fault. They always started with some misunderstanding.”
“I have no bad feelings for any of them, and hopefully they have no respect for anyone else. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to pull a big Christmas rundle together. It also tells us that we are in a good spirit. Let’s make a legendary ending with this lineup,” Laiho concluded.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat