Children of Bodom recently released their tenth studio album ‘Hexed’ on March 8 via Nuclear Blast and to celebrate, they’re hitting the road on March 13! Getting time to speak with Henkka Blacksmith about the release of ‘Hexed’, he pointed out, “Personally I haven’t really thought about it until today and that’s only because of all the press. Once I finish the press, the album is released and then we go on tour, so I haven’t really had much time,” before delving deeper into what it was like having Daniel Freyberg (rhythm guitarist/backing vocals) joining them in the recording studio for the first time. “It was nice to have Daniel along from the beginning, as Alexi had to do all the guitars for ‘I Worship Chaos’ himself; plus that way all the guys could write the parts for each other. In that phase of songwriting, it’s very important to know which part is yours and which belongs to someone else! It also helps during recording as everything is already split clearly between the guys. Daniel bought along a lot fresh input and opinions on what to do, so all in all it was super nice; it was like a fresh pair of ears for the four of us, who have been doing it together for the last twenty years.”

Touching further on the recording process, Blacksmith was happy to state “It went pretty smoothly, as we went about it in a safe way; we went to the same place we’ve done our later stuff and we had our favourite producer/recorder Mikko Karmila. Only big change was that when we started the songwriting, we went back on the road which broke it up; apart from that, there was no change to the normal procedure.”

Conversation turned to how the time period between ‘I Worship Chaos’ and ‘Hexed’ was the longest time ever between albums for the band and Blacksmith pointed out, “Usually when we’re done with touring, the normal thing for us is to take a couple of months break for everyone to recharge and start writing again; we were supposed to do that, but then we got the opportunity to take the 20th anniversary tour to the States. So we sacrificed the studio time that we had planned, which meant the album got a little bit postponed. Then there was some business/technical stuff that dictated that we had to wait until March 2019.”

Whilst Children of Bodom have been creating music for over 20 years and performed numerous shows around the world, people tend to forget that they live everyday lives like the rest of us! At the start of the interview, Blacksmith let me know that his daughter was home sick from school; at one point, he apologised for “having to wipe her bum…but I have handsfree!” before casually quipping “I really don’t know what keeps us motivated after so long; we just like to make music so we can get on the road, and vice versa. We just love this lifestyle and we get the best kicks out of each other when we’re on stage hitting the notes and seeing the reactions of the fans; that’s the best thing ever.”

Taking time to speak to Blacksmith on a personal level, it was time to find out about his personal favourite song(s) on ‘Hexed’; Blacksmith really opened up as he explained “I think Platitudes and Barren Words is my favourite and it’s been my favourite since we wrote it; it was actually the second song that we actually wrote, so it was quite early in the process. As to why, it’s a very traditional Bodom song with the main melodies being catchy and Bodom-esque, but the main riff and verse is mid-tempo but cool, the chorus is very simple and super cool at the same time. Whilst it’s a very basic Bodom song, it still gives me the goosebumps!”

Blacksmith wanted to close the interview teasing Australian fans by stating “I’ve seen some possible dates circling around for next year, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. As soon as anything becomes certain, we’ll be sure to let you know, so make sure to keep your eyes out!”