Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with bassist Henkka Seppälä (a.k.a. Henkka T. Blacksmith) of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: I was listening to the new album, “Halo Of Blood”, and to me it sounds a lot like the early BODOM albums. I love that sound, and it seems like it’s coming back with this new album. Would you agree that’s the case?
Henkka: Actually, no. [laughs] But it’s hard for me to describe the music. We’ve always done things the same way. I have heard it from many people that this one sounds like the early days of BODOM, which is perfectly fine for me. It’s a nice thing to hear. But if I would have to be the first one to describe the album, I wouldn’t use the same words. I’m really happy though that people find it to be like that.
Metal Assault: Even the cover artwork has the kind of feel that fits the music very well. Do you think it’s a good representation of the sound?
Henkka: Yeah, we composed most of the stuff during the winter and we also recorded the whole album in the middle of the darkest, coldest winter. [laughs] There was lots of snow this winter in Finland too. So, that had an impact on the sound and atmosphere of the album. We agreed to design the cover much before we decided to do the music, so in reality it was already there and we knew that it would have a winter scene, so may be subconsciously that got into the music as well.
Metal Assault: You’ve also worked with Peter Tägtgren, who produced the vocals and keyboards on this album. I have great respect for him for whatever he does. What was it like working with him?
Henkka: We worked with him for “Follow The Reaper”, so we’ve known him from a longtime ago and we’ve also toured with him. So we know him in many, many ways. He is a good friend with Alexi [Laiho, CHILDREN OF BODOM guitarist/vocalist], and somehow he has this really natural feeling when he works with Peter. So it’s always a good choice for us to know that Alexi is working with Peter, because when he does his vocals, nobody else is around. I wasn’t there when Peter was in the studio, as Alexi wanted to do the vocals all by himself, aside from Peter. From what I heard, the result sounds good! Peter himself is a vocalist himself, so it’s really important to have that kind of guy to produce the vocals, in my opinion. When it comes to keyboards, I don’t know how much producing he was doing this time. Janne [Wirman] handled most of it by himself.
Metal Assault: Coming back to the sound on the album, you said it’s hard for you to describe it, but while writing, does everything come naturally to you guys? Some bands have a deliberate plan. Is that the case with you?
Henkka: It’s always very natural. We never plan, we never even talk about the music. [laughs] We just come together at the rehearsal place and then the first riff comes. We write the songs from that. There’s never any direction to what we’re trying to do. It’s always very natural.
Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.