Michael Deeds of Macon.com recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Janne Wirman of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Macon.com: Extreme metal bands from Scandinavia often sound much more melodic than U.S. bands. Why do you think that is?
Janne: I seriously don’t know. That’s something that I get asked a lot in interviews. We were trying to think about it, and then we come up with funny answers like, you know, it’s so cold and dark.
Macon.com: You started playing piano when you were 5 and played a lot of jazz before you joined BODOM. Your frontman, singer-guitarist Alexi Laiho, took violin lessons as a kid. Is Finland a musical place for children?
Janne: I think it is. Or just who I grew up with. All my friends played something, and already when we were 15, we were playing in bands and all that kind of stuff. I think Finland, they put a lot of (importance) into the whole musical education thing. I think even the government somehow is endorsing the whole thing. When I joined BODOM, I was still sure that I was going to become an architect. But then after a few years, I became a rock star. (Laughs) When we started, obviously, we didn’t know what was going to happen. The music was very extreme. But nowadays, we are really happy and really fortunate to have been able to do this for 15 years.
Macon.com: You guys are still young, in your early 30s. But you probably don’t party quite as hard as you did a few years ago, do you?
Janne: (Chuckles) No, which is a good thing, because we partied pretty (expletive) hard for some time. I’m just glad nobody got hurt or killed. Yeah. Somehow for me, it’s funny but when you turn 30, somehow, like, I started taking a little bit more responsibility about things I do. We still party, but not that hard.
Macon.com: Did playing in BODOM force you to develop a different skill set? There’s the pitch-bend wheel you use a lot.
Janne: Definitely, I had to learn, like, (a) whole new way of playing, basically. Because classical or whatever piano you studied — even keyboards and piano are different instruments even though they kind of look the same. And then the whole, like you said, the whole metal way of that thingy. So you pretty much have to learn a whole new thing.
Read the entire interview from Macon.com.