Three of Children Of Bodom's surviving members have opened up on the fractured relationship they had with frontman Alexi Laiho as the band began to disintegrate in 2019. In a new interview, bassist Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppala, keyboardist Janne Wirman and drummer Jaska Raatikainen have told their side of the story for the first time since announcing their departure from the band in October of that year.
"Alexi was the only one to do interviews about the band breaking up, and his versions diverged from the truth," the three members told Helsingin Sanomat in an email interview. "We felt bad about that, also for our spouses. They'd always supported our international careers."
Noting that "the fans have a right to know what happened", the band talk at length about how Laiho's growing addiction issues began to affect business dealings within the fold, stating that the singer/guitarist's behaviour became increasingly erratic as the years went on.
"Addiction is an illness, and he destroyed our trust in him with his actions in our business venture," Wirman, Raatikainen and Seppala say. "But he apologized for a lot of things, and we did work together even after the band broke up."
While Laiho had at one point managed to tone down his drinking compared to earlier years in the band, Wirman claims he "went into a tailspin again in 2016", and was drinking heavily again by the time of a 2019 tour in Russia.
"I told Alexi that you don't usually drink starting at breakfast before a gig," Raatikainen states, "and now you don't even warm up with the guitar before going onstage like you always do."
Read the full interview here. It's worth noting that Alexi Laiho's sister Anna has stated that Seppala, Wirman and Raatikainen have "the full support" of the Laiho family.
Though Laiho once again cut down on the drinking for the remainder of the tour - "Moscow and St. Petersburg went pretty well," Wirman states - the band would split by the end of 2019.
Children Of Bodom were formed in 1997 in Espoo, putting out ten studio albums across their career and being widely credited as one of the most important metal bands to emerge from Finland.
Despite seeming to begin a new chapter of his career with Bodom After Midnight in 2020, Laiho died in December that year.