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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Children of Bodom

Children of Bodom from left
Roope, Jaska, Alexi, Henkka, and Janne
Children of Bodom from left

Children of Bodom have lost some of their tenacity. According to the band’s website, they broke into the heavy metal scene with the 1997 hit album, Something Wild. Children of Bodom brought real musical sensibilities to heavy metal. Their albums never plodded through tired routines the way some other bands’ did; they soared. When I saw them last week at Lupo’s in Providence however, it seemed that they didn’t have all their level’s turned up to eleven, and the new songs lacked the spunk of their earlier compositions. Maybe it was the hectic touring schedule, or maybe the fact that rhythm guitarist Alexander Kuoppala left the band. It felt as though something was missing. Perhaps I had too high expectations. It was by no means a bad show, it just wasn’t up to Children of Bodom’s standards.

A lot of really young kids showed up to see Children of Bodom, some so young that a dad or two tagged along as escorts. Besides that, it was the usual gaggle of metal heads, skin heads, and assorted other heads. Everyone was there to see Children of Bodom. Although my eardrums ought to be thanking them, Children of Bodom, just didn’t play loud enough.

Before the show I had the pleasure of speaking with keyboardist, Janne Warman in the back of the tour bus. When I showed up, the galley of the bus was full of five or six people, talking and laughing. I got the impression that everyone on the bus likes to drink vodka. The musicians goofed around with walkie-talkies, quoting The Big Lebowski, “You’re out of your element Donny,” and laughing.

Warman was a really nice guy. Before the interview he warned me, “I’ve only had three hours of sleep, so this is going to be a really good interview.” Warman is from Helsinki, Finland, “the only city in Finland,” he said. He really loves the fans in Japan, “Japan is kind of crazy, the culture and the people. People are so polite.” He explained to me the biggest difference between European fans and American fans, “Euro fans don’t understand that we need to have privacy.”

Warman had some interesting things to say about the copyright laws. Warman wants to look for more progressive solutions. He suggested making cds more affordable, “Of course it sucks ass that people just download and don’t buy cds,” he said, “If we could come up with a new medium, maybe make cds cheaper.” It was apparent that Warman had thought about this before.

To relax, Warman drives sports cars. He said that he owns a Porsche, and he’s a member of a sports car club. When he feels stressed out he sometimes likes to go to the club and take a Ferrari for a spin. His favorite food is Tex Mex, but he said that there is a delicious Finnish creamy salmon soup. I got the distinct impression that Warman and his fellow musicians are just regular guys who know how to play music and have a great creative streak. I also got the impression that maybe they are feeling a bit burnt out. It can’t be easy to tour the country in a bus all day. Warman’s pet peeve is smoking, if you can believe that. His pre-show ritual, “Me and drummer eat a banana befor every show.”