Alexi Laiho Could Be Forced to Re-Name Children of Bodom

  • Axl Rosenberg

It looks like the major line-up change Children of Bodom will undergo at the end of the year could have far greater repercussions than we initially thought.

As you may recall, earlier this month, the band announced the impending departure of drummer Jaska Raatikainen, bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith (né Henri Seppälä), and keyboardist Janne Wirman — all three are original members who have played on every Bodom release to date. This iteration of the group, which of course also features frontman Alexi Laiho along with new-ish guitarist Daniel Freyberg, will play its final show in Helsinki on December 15.

We all assumed, naturally, that Laiho would keep CoB going with a new line-up after that… but he may not be able to. At least, not under the Children of Bodom moniker.

According to Finland’s Soundi, the Bodom brand is owned by a company called AA & Sewira Consulting Oy… and that company is, in turn, owned by Wirman, Raatikainen, and Blacksmith. The trio “applied for the right to the Children of Bodom trademark last summer,” and the trademark was granted in October of this year. In other words, Laiho can’t legally use the Children of Bodom name without the permission of the three musicians who just quit the band.

While Werman declined to comment for Soundi’s piece, Laiho granted an interview to Helsingin Sanomat in which he says that “When I signed out of that company, I knew I was going to lose that name.” He goes on to say that he and Freyberg have already chosen a new drummer and bassist, although the identities of those musicians have not be revealed.

Laiho also admits that the band members have been fighting for quite some time, and almost broke up while playing in Russia earlier this year before deciding to give this version of the group a proper farewell. Laiho also takes responsibility for these disagreements, stating that “I can honestly admit that those fights were mainly my fault.”

Given that Laiho, Wirman, Raatikainen, and Blacksmith have been able to remain amicable enough to play these final shows, I have to imagine they’ll work out some agreement for Alexi to keep using the Bodom name (Laiho “wants to underline that he has no bitterness towards the band members” who are leaving). If not, Laiho “has several name options in mind,” which he tells Soundi “somehow refers to Bodom” even if it’s not ‘Children of Bodom.’ In other words, the band will just be called Bodom, or Bastard of Bodom, or Adults of Bodom, or Adult Children of Divorce of Bodom, or Bodom A.D., or whatever.

We’ll let you know as soon as this is resolved. In the meantime, keep brainstorming names for Children of Bodom 2.0 in the comments section.

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