In a new interview with Helsingin Sanomat, Children Of Bodom drummer Jaska Raatikainen, bassist Henkka Seppälä, and keyboardist Janne Wirman opened up about the demise of the band and their relationship with their late frontman Alexi Laiho. The group came forward because they feel “the fans have a right to know what happened.”
The trio said the following:
“Alexi was the only one to do interviews about the band breaking up, and his versions diverged from the truth. The fans have a right to know what happened.”
According to them, the band ultimately broke up due to Laiho‘s battles with substance abuse:
“Addiction is an illness, and he destroyed our trust in him with his actions in our business venture. But he apologized for a lot of things, and we did work together even after the band broke up.”
They went on to say that Laiho was having financial issues in 2017 and that he decided to resign in 2018 after going “bankrupt.” That situation did improve, but other issues arose. Laiho refused to go to rehab and was also dealing with health complications, including diabetes.
The band eventually agreed to do a final album and some farewell tours, but when they were scheduled to meet, Laiho didn’t show up. He then sent various “fuck off” messages following some misunderstandings. He also allegedly tried to take control of the band’s trademark, before the other members served him a “formal legal notice of loss of confidence together with a demand that he sign over the application for registering the rights to the name ‘Children of Bodom’ to the LLC.”
The trio went on to say that Laiho went off the rails during a 2019 tour in Russia. They say he was “hitting the bottle like back in 2008” to deal with sadness brought on by a sickness in his family. However, he did sober up for the closing dates of the trek. Later that year, the band played their final show in Helsinki, Finland and Laiho moved forward with his Bodom After Midnight project.
Notably, Seppälä added that they did reunite to work on a new merch store in 2020 and that they were friendly with one another:
“When we were about to launch our new shop, we asked Alexi to come on board with a one-fourth share in a number of products like before, and he was closely involved right up to the end of his life.”
You can read more over at Helsingin Sanomat.