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Children Of Bodom: The Hate Crew

Australia, prepare thyself because the hate crew are heading this way in November. The last time these Finns were in this part of town, BLUNT witnessed a super fan snap his wrist in half in a failed attempt to get amongst the mayhem. Heading to Oz with the intention of slaying us with their cracking new album, Relentless Reckless Forever, we tracked down bass man Henkka Seppaelae to find out what’s been going down in the chaotic world of Children Of Bodom.

What have Children Of Bodom been up to lately?
Taking it easy. Finished a North American tour in August, did a couple of festivals in Europe, now we are just enjoying time off in Finland.

The band has had an immensely successful career in Finland. Did you ever find it difficult to crack the global music market and gain attention overseas?
We went abroad so early, so we have been building our international career as slowly as in Finland. Of course, as being one of the biggest bands in Finland, it’s easier to gain exposure here. But we have been working abroad most of the time of course.

Relentless Reckless Forever has gotten rave reviews from critics. How was the recording process different from Blooddrunk?
It was pretty much the same. Little less boozing, and partying, and we had an outside opinion, our producer, Matt Hyde. Otherwise it was exactly the same. And yes, it was beautiful summer time!

You guys are no strangers to cover songs, with your most recent being the ‘80s Eddie Murphy hit, “Party All The Time”. When did you first want to start doing covers?
I think it was very early when our label wanted bonus tracks for some release. And then we’ve been asked to be part of numerous tribute albums. So we kind of kept it as a tradition always to have them. It’s fresh breeze of relaxing time in studio, when we record the covers.

You’re bringing your show down to Australia in November. What can your fans expect from the shows?
Well. We’re COB. We do deliver our music live, and the result is an exciting change of vibes between the crowd and us. So no Rammstein spectacular shows, just sweaty metal shows coming up!

Australian metal band Voyager are joining you on the tour. How did that choice come about?
We’re glad to have them. The local promoters and labels will have to be responsible for that. We are always keen on having openers, and a local band is always good to be there. They are usually very strong also, so they might kick our butts, but who cares!

Are you all still working on the Hate Crew photo book? How’s it all going?
It’s going good. Two weeks ago we had a session of choosing photos. It’s gonna be exciting, yeah!

You guys are renowned as being notorious party animals. Is it starting to wind down now that you’ve been at it for so long?
[Laughs] I hope so! Some of us are, some of us are not. We still do take this seriously, so even if sometimes people think we party more and concentrate on shows less – it’s not true. If there’s a time and place yes, we do party. There’s always party somewhere within our travelling crew.

Century Media recently took down their catalogue from the music cloud program Spotify, saying that it “isn’t the way forward”. What’s your opinion on Spotify and other similar programs?
I haven’t really thought about Spotify. I do use it. I’ve been talking about it with our label people, and I’ve been wondering how come certain artists complain that they don’t get rewards even after they’ve been clicked millions of times. We do get rewarded, and I’m sure we’ve been clicked way less than certain pop artists. But as I said, I’m not expert on it. Spotify is based on very common idea of selling marketing space, and now, of course, the possibility to pay monthly the premium fee also. So it is totally new way of seeing music business and its copyright issues. If it’s the way forward or wrong way I can’t tell. But internet based music listening is today, its not future anymore, it is today. So we should concentrate on that and develop it the way we see fit.

More broadly, do you think these technologies and the power of the Internet are helping the music industry or harming it?
Well, we live a moving and changing world. This is inevitable phenomenon. I’m not saying it bad or good. I love it. As teenager I used to collect all the CDs and vinyls. Before that I had cassettes. Now I have everything digital, and I love it. If it’s not available in digital I’ll go buy it. Music businesses will just have to adapt to this new world, like it has always done. Now it’s just so much more difficult, since the monopoly is being deconstructed by the very democratic internet worldwide. But copyright is the thing we are afraid of. Today, people can make music easier, get lots of exposure on the internet without label, so that’s a good, democratising effect. But how to keep the copyright of your material safe and the copyright law is another thing. Anyway, bottom-line is that music business, and artists and labels should concentrate on harnessing the internet for artists good.

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