In the latest issue of Metal Hammer (opens in new tab), Nightwish mainman Holopainen reminiscences about his and Laiho's love of music and "child-like things", including Donald Duck and board games.
Questioned as to whether he knew the guitarist well, Holopainen tells Hammer’s Dave Everley, “Yeah, we were really close about 10 of 15 years ago. We hung out a lot. I went to his place, he came to my place in Kitee.
“We shared a love of music, and also Donald Duck and board games – innocent, child-like things.”
Explaining how the news of Laiho's death hit him hard, he continues, “We knew he was going through some troubles with his physical health, but when I got the phone call, I remember falling on my knees – like, 'no way'.
“It punched me big time. I really miss him. He was a wonderful personality. There was an innocence in him, a naivety when it came to music that I really respected.”
Alexi Laiho passed unexpectedly on December 29, 2020 at his home in Helsinki at the age of 41 of “Alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue.”
Earlier this year, the guitarist’s last ever recordings, as Bodom After Midnight, were released. The EP, titled Paint The Sky With Blood, was described by Metal Hammer as “instantly recognisable as the great man’s work, from the guitar work’s effortless virtuosity to the incisive gleam of every melodic hook.”
The latest issue of Metal Hammer is available now (opens in new tab), and celebrates 20 years of System Of A Down's seminal album Toxicity, and features At The Gates, Twin Temple, Arch Enemy and more.