Children Of Bodom (03 août 2006)

Entrevue de Melissa Hetu avec Henkka Blacksmith

Le groupe finlandais CHILDREN OF BODOM réalise un rêve cet été en faisant une tournée avec SLAYER. Le quintet était de passage à Montréal le 3 juillet dernier dans le cadre de la tournée Unholy Alliance Tour. PunkMeUp a eu la chance de s’entretenir avec le bassiste du groupe, Henkka Blacksmith, pour discuter de cette tournée et de la vie en générale sur la route.

[MELISSA] How does it feel to be touring with SLAYER?

[HENKKA] The SLAYER tour, is a dream come true but it’s soo long especially here in America. It’s six and a half weeks. It’s really cool to be playing big venues but it’s very difficult to be away from home, my family, my girlfriend and my friends. It’s funny because when I knew this tour was going to happen, I was really really happy about it but on the other hand, I was really sad to be leaving home.

[MELISSA] How long are your tours usually?

[HENKKA] Normal tours are usually four weeks and I’d say that’s the best length for a tour.

[MELISSA] But now with all the technology that’s available you can definitely still keep in touch while you are gone…

[HENKKA] Yeah, you can definitely keep in touch but for example I have a Finnish telephone, so it’s very expensive to call. So my phone bill gets really big. Yeah, of course you can email people but I send postcards to people back home. I promised my girlfriend that I’d send a postcard from every city I’d travel too…well in the States from every state I’m in.

[MELISSA] Have you been keeping up so far?

[HENKKA] Yeah but sometimes the arena’s are so far from the downtown area that it’s hard to find a place where you can get a postcard. So now I’m missing Georgia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

[MELISSA] How do you guys keep yourselves busy on the road and avoid feeling homesick?

[HENKKA] There’s so much free time so it’s not that easy to not be home sick and not think about back home. On this tour, it’s been good because I’m a huge soccer fan and the World Cup is going on and because of the time difference, they start at ten o’clock in the morning and when the last game is done, it’s almost show time. So, so far on this tour I’ve been really busy watching soccer, so it’s been good.

[MELISSA] Normally though, what would you guys do?

[HENKKA] Usual way to spend time is just hanging out in the venue with your laptop or if there’s a cool town where we are playing, we’re going to try to visit the town.

[MELISSA] Do you guys usually have time to go around and visit the towns because some tours don’t allow for that?

[HENKKA] We play at six or seven o’clock in the evening so it’s up to you and if you want to wake up, then you have the whole day to walk around.

[MELISSA] Does the band write at all on the road?

[HENKKA] We don’t write that much. We usually write the music together, five guys sitting in one room. So on tour, there’s no time for that especially on this tour because the shows are so early. Many of the guys are sleeping until four in the afternoon. We have always done it back home. We’d rather just focus on the tour.

[MELISSA] Do you find you are more inspired back home in Finland?

[HENKKA] When we’re writing the music, Alexi for example writes most of the riffs, he gets inspired in the middle of the night. He usually writes the music when there’s nothing else going on but on tour it’s a little different because there’s always somebody, somewhere.

[MELISSA] What role do you think you have as the bassist as far as songwriting goes?

[HENKKA] Alexi comes up with the riffs, all five of us put the riffs together to compose the song, so it’s a real democratic process.

[MELISSA] How important is that for CHILDREN OF BODOM?

[HENKKA] It’s really important. Everyone can say what they want, what they feel and what they like. There’s no tyranny.

[MELISSA] What have you learned from being on the road for so long and being far away from home?

[HENKKA] You know the guys really well but you also learn a lot about the music business, about how tours work and a lot about the money aspect.

[MELISSA] Your last record Are You Dead Yet was pretty sucessful, are you guys feeling any pressure to produce something that will top that?

[HENKKA] We don’t feel any pressure but this record is definitely getting old so we just want to go back home and start fresh.

[MELISSA] Would you say that over the years, you guys have always stayed true to yourselves and done what you guys wanted to do?

[HENKKA] We’ve never made any compromises, even though we’ve felt it’s somewhat hurt us at times and we’d lost a lot of financial opportunities because we have always followed what we believed. In the end though, I think it pays off, people see that we are CHILDREN OF BODOM and nothing else.

[MELISSA] Did you ever encounter people that tried to change your sound or change who you were?

[HENKKA] Well, what happened to us a while ago was that many people wanted us to change our style of singing and they were trying to convince us by telling us we’d sell like ten times more records. But there was no way, this has always been our way of doing it. I think that this experience just gave us more strength to keep doing what we were doing. Staying true to yourself is the most important thing.

Un gros merci à Henkka d’avoir parler avec nous ainsi qu’à Christine Montreuil de GEG et Brian Rocha de Adrenaline PR, sans qui cet entrevue n’aurait pas été possible.

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