On Saturday, I went and saw a number of bands live. One of them was Children of Bodom. After the show, I had the great fortune of interviewing their bassist and backup vocalist, Henkka Seppälä.
Bröötalisk – You incorporate many different musical styles, which cause many people to label you as melodic death metal, power metal, symphonic metal, etc. How would you label yourself?
Seppälä – I used to just say metal, but it’s a little too wide now. If you had to categorize I would say melodic death metal.
Bröötalisk - Who or what would you say has influenced you from before the band was created to now?
Seppälä - It’s really hard to say. It’s always easiest to tell after the first album, because that’s when you could tell what our biggest influences were. Back then, I’d have to say Darkthrone and thrash bands like Megadeth. That was kind of our thing. But after the first and second album, we started getting more confident and it just kind of snowballed from there.
Bröötalisk – Any particular favorite band, album, song, etc?
Seppälä - Lately I’ve been really impressed by Gojira and Katatonia.
Bröötalisk - I feel like there’s a fine line between having too much synth and not enough, but you guys manage to find a good balance. Is there a certain process to adding it to a song, or do you just stick it in random places?
Seppälä - Everything we do is just about how it feels. But usually we feel that there needs to be keyboards in some parts. Sometimes there’s a really long part where there aren’t any keyboards, and we say to our ourselves, maybe we should put keyboards in there? But then we say no, we don’t have to put keyboards in there.
Bröötalisk – Being a drummer, I believe drums play a vital role in the overall structure of a song. Which instrument do you believe is the most important to the process of writing music, or are they all equally important? Why?
Seppälä – Of course the drums are an important part of the song, but it’s more than just that. It’s a group effort. You need the whole band. But I would agree that the drums play an important role.
Bröötalisk – What’s it like traveling around the world seeing your names and faces on random paraphernalia? Did you envision this happening ten or twenty years ago?
Seppälä – No, of course not. I’d never dreamed of this happening. You get used to it after a while, though.
Bröötalisk – What’s next after touring? And projects or back to the old grind?
Seppälä – Well, we’ve got this tour and maybe a few others lined up. We’re trying to write a few songs in between shows. Maybe rest for a little bit and then back to the old grind.