Alexi Laiho

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Alexi Laiho
20160709 Ballenstedt RockHarz Children of Bodom 0130 Children of Bodom.jpg
Alexi Laiho performing at Rockharz Open Air 2016
Background information
Birth nameMarkku Uula Aleksi Laiho
Also known asWildchild
Born (1979-04-08) 8 April 1979 (age 40)
Espoo, Finland
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
Years active1993–present
Associated acts

Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho (born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho; [1] 8 April 1979) is a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and is also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band and Kylähullut. He has previously played with Thy Serpent and Impaled Nazarene on occasion, as well as Warmen and Hypocrisy.

Melodic death metal is a subgenre of death metal that employs highly melodic guitar riffs, often borrowing from traditional heavy metal. The style originated and developed in Sweden and the United Kingdom around 1993. The Swedish death metal scene did much to popularise the style, soon centering in the "Gothenburg metal” scene.

Children of Bodom Finnish melodic death metal band

Children of Bodom is a Finnish extreme metal band from Espoo. Formed in 1993 as Inearthed, the group consists of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman (keyboards), Henkka T. Blacksmith (bass), Jaska Raatikainen (drums) and Daniel Freyberg. They have released ten studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, two compilation albums and one DVD.

Sinergy Finnish band

Sinergy was a Finnish metal band started in 1997 by American musician Kimberly Goss. The idea for a "balls-out female-fronted metal band" was first formed when Kimberly Goss of Dimmu Borgir met Jesper Strömblad of In Flames whilst on tour in 1997.


Laiho has received widespread acclaim for his guitar work. In 2004 he was ranked #96 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World . [2] Guitar World magazine has also ranked him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists in the world. [3] In addition, Roadrunner Records ranked Laiho at #41 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time. [4] Furthermore, Total Guitar conducted a public voting poll to determine the greatest metal guitarist of all time; Laiho was voted #1 out of 20 metal guitarists, with over 20% of the vote. [5]

<i>Guitar World</i> magazine

Guitar World is a monthly music magazine devoted to guitarists, published since July 1980. It contains original interviews, album and gear reviews, and guitar and bass tablature of approximately five songs each month. The magazine is published 13 times per year. Formerly owned by Harris Publications, Future US bought the magazine in 2003. In 2012, NewBay Media bought the Music division of Future US. The latter company also published a spin-off title, Guitar Legends, each issue of which typically combined past articles from Guitar World under a specific theme. The first Guitar Legends was on Eddie Van Halen. In 2018, Future acquired NewBay Media, returning Guitar World to Future US.

Roadrunner Records is an American major record label that concentrates primarily on heavy metal and hard rock bands. It is a division of Warner Music Group and is based in New York City.


In 2004, Laiho founded a side-project called Kylähullut, which was assembled together with Tonmi Lillman (ex-Sinergy) and Vesa Jokinen 69er (from Klamydia). The band was created merely for the entertainment of the musicians, and takes a carefree approach to their music. The band's discography includes two EP's, and two full-length albums.

Kylähullut is a Finnish hardcore punk band consisting of Alexi Laiho, Tonmi Lillman (ex-To/Die/For), and Vesku Jokinen (Klamydia). The band name means "Village Idiots" in Finnish.

Tonmi Lillman drummer

Tonmi Lillman was a Finnish musician, best known as Otus, the former drummer of the Finnish hard rock band Lordi.

Vesa Jokinen Finnish singer

Vesa 'Vesku' Jokinen is the lead singer in Finnish punk rock bands Klamydia, based in Vaasa on the Finnish west coast, and in Kylähullut.

In February 2002, Laiho married Kim Goss during a private ceremony in Finland. Prior to the marriage, they dated for four years. In 2004 they separated, but still remain close friends. For several years after he was then with Kristen Mulderig, manager of Slayer until mid 2015. Later that same year he began a relationship with Kelli Wright, an Australian Public Relations Manager who he became engaged to September 2016 and the two married December 2017 in a private ceremony in Australia. [6] He has the letters "COBHC" (Children of Bodom Hate Crew) tattooed on his left hand and "HATE" tattooed on his right hand as an homage to Ozzy Osbourne, who has a similar tattoo with the letters O-Z-Z-Y, except that it is on the left hand. Laiho has been featured on the cover of Young Guitar Magazine several times, as well as being on the cover of Guitar World along with master guitarists Steve Vai and Zakk Wylde. The "Wildchild" nickname is derived from the song "Wild Child" by the band W.A.S.P. He also has a clothing line called "wild child industries". His first guitar was a Tokai Stratocaster . [7]

Kimberly Goss American musician

Kimberly Goss is an American singer and keyboardist, best known as frontwoman and co-founder of the Finnish metal band Sinergy.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname "The Prince of Darkness". Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Young Guitar Magazine is a popular Japanese guitar magazine which is respected by musicians from around the world for its seriousness and dedication to cover only music that is considered "pure" metal and rock 'n roll. This magazine has interviewed a lot of Japanese guitarists such as Syu and Leda.

Children of Bodom played at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. There, Laiho also received the Dimebag Award for "Best Shredder," and he performed a track off of Bodom's 2008's album, Blooddrunk.

<i>Blooddrunk</i> 2008 studio album by Children of Bodom

Blooddrunk is the sixth album by Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, released on April 7, 2008, through Spinefarm Records. The album includes a re-recorded version single for "Tie My Rope". Various editions feature one or two cover songs as bonus tracks. The limited edition digipak version of the album includes a bonus DVD with 5.1 surround mixes of all songs and the video and making-of for "Blooddrunk". It sold 20,000 copies during its first week of release.

Laiho appears on Canadian thrash metal outfit Annihilator's 2007 album, Metal, as a guest, performing a guitar solo on the song "Downright Dominate."

Annihilator (band) Canadian metal band

Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by guitarist Jeff Waters and vocalist John Bates. They are the highest-selling thrash metal group from Canada in Canadian history, having sold more than three million albums worldwide, although most of their sales have been generated outside the band's home country. Along with Sacrifice, Voivod and Razor, Annihilator is credited as one of the "Big 4" of Canadian thrash metal.

In spring of 2009, Children of Bodom was forced to drop out of their North American "No Fear Energy Tour" when Laiho broke his wrist after falling out of his bunk, when the tour bus took a sharp turn on April 26, 2009, after the show in Palladium Ballroom, Dallas TX. Laiho originally planned to continue touring despite his injury, but was forced to cancel the last six dates when any efforts to alleviate the pain failed.

On 3 July 2012 Children of Bodom announced on their Facebook page that they had to cancel two European shows because Laiho had been taken to the hospital. The band released this statement: “It is with great regret that we are forced to cancel tonight’s show in Oslo as well as tomorrow night’s show in Malmö. Alexi was rushed to the Oslo hospital earlier this evening with extreme stomach pain. The doctors in the emergency unit checked him and while we are still waiting for a diagnosis, they made clear that he will not be able to perform within the next 48 hours. We apologize to all our fans who have bought tickets to these shows – we will try to reschedule both Oslo and Malmö at the earliest possibility. Keep your fingers crossed with us that Alexi will get well again soon!”

On 5 July 2012 the band followed up with another update from their Facebook page: “This is not an easy letter for us to write. Alexi is suffering from a serious infection. He is still in hospital in Oslo under supervision of the doctors and we don’t know yet when they will release him. We have no choice other than canceling Ruisrock in Turku on Saturday as well. This is a very bitter pill for us to swallow. We had decided to do only two festivals in our homeland this summer to make it real special, and now this. We hope that we will be able to make up for this very soon. To all our fans who had been looking forward to rock with us at Ruisrock this weekend, take our apologies and enjoy the festival. In our spirits, we will be there, too.”

Guitar endorsements

In January 2003 ESP Guitars announced a line of Alexi Laiho Signature Models. The US version guitars are a slightly different shape than what Alexi usually plays, as the SV shape is a copyrighted Jackson shape. So to avoid a lawsuit, ESP made the bottom horn slightly larger and also put in a cut-away to get to the higher frets. Another difference is the use of solid black or yellow pinstripes on the paint finish instead of his traditional pinstriped design which lies on the bevels of the guitar.

The guitar comes in two finishes: black with yellow stripe and white with black stripe. The guitar has a neck-thru 25.5” design, using a 3-pc unfinished maple neck with a 24-fret ebony fingerboard and pearl sawtooth inlays, although Alexi does not actually use these in live shows.

The ESP Alexi includes white binding on neck and head, the ESP custom shop version comes with a natural maple neck while the LTD is painted, and it comes with professional-quality components including a Floyd Rose original tremolo, Gotoh tuners, Schaller straplocks and a single Seymour Duncan AHB-1 in the bridge position, (or an EMG HZ H4 humbucker). Alexi's personal guitars, as well as Custom shop, Standard, and the models made for the US market are equipped with an MM-04 preamp.

As of 2007, a cheaper model (the Alexi- 200) is also available, in either solid black or white finish. It's a bolt on, 25.5" Scale with the body made out of basswood, with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. It features a Floyd Rose Licensed bridge and one EMG-ESP LH-301 bridge pickup. There is also a Limited Edition Alexi signature guitar (the ESP LTD Alexi-600SE) which is black and pink. He also has a Custom Shop and Standard version of the Black and Pink guitar in his traditional pinstriped design that is not available in the United States.

There are seven ESP models that he actually uses (custom shop models are mostly seen in Japan)

1. Scythe (available in Standard version, Custom Shop Version and US version) white with black pinstripes and Scythe inlays, Chrome hardware

2. Arrow Head (Alexi's first ESP signature) (Only available in Custom Shop version) Black with solid yellow pinstripes very much like the US Alexi and the Alexi 600 but with pearl Arrow Head inlays, Gold hardware

3. Sawtooth (Custom Shop Version) Black with luminous pinstripes and luminous sawtooth inlays (Standard Version) Black with white pinstripes and pearl sawtooth inlays both the CS and STD version are available in chrome or gold hardware

4. Katakana (originally there were 10 made for the Finnish market, now available in a STD version) Black with yellow pinstripes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 frets with pearl sawtooth inlays katakana (Japanese letter) inlays in the 12 fret which spelled "Alexi", gold hardware with larger cutaway, frets 21–24 scalloped.

5. Pink Sawtooth (STD&CS) Black with Pink pinstripes pink sawtooth inlays frets 20–24 scalloped, black hardware with larger cutaway

6. Blacky (STD&CS&USA) Matte black with gloss black pinstripes black pearl sawtooth inlays, frets 20–24 scalloped, black nickel hardware with larger cutaway

7. Greeny – Matte black, light green pinstripes and green skeleton.

Note: The 2010 version of Scythe, Sawtooth, and Arrow Head has the larger cutaway like the Pink Sawtooths


Alexi Laiho has used the Lee Jackson GP-1000 preamp since touring and recording Something Wild, where he used a Peavey 5150, and up until his endorsement with ENGL, still always employed it with various other different amps and preamps, creating a stereo of amp sounds. For the first half of his career, he used Marshall 1960A cabinets (with 75-watt Celestion speakers) and various power amps, including Lee Jackson Sp-1000, Rocktron Velocity 300 among others. After Hate Crew Deathroll, he started experimenting with different amp heads including the Krank Revolution, Marshall JCM800 KK (which he used to record Blooddrunk, and which he still uses frequently), and the Engl Special Edition EL34 head (in Sinergy, mainly). In August 2011, Laiho signed with Engl and used the e530 preamp with various power amp and cabinet combinations on Children of Bodom's albums Relentless Reckless Forever and Halo of Blood . On both I Worship Chaos and Children of Bodom's upcoming album Hexed Alexi used a Marshall JVM 410H head with Marshall 1960A cabinets equipped with Celestion speakers. He also uses this rig live. Alexi stated that the Marshall rig gets him closest to the tone he achieved with the Lee Jackson preamps without the reliability issues that led to him retiring them touring. He also uses a Dunlop Kirk Hammett wah pedal, a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus pedal, and a Boss DD-7 digital delay pedal for effects both live and in the studio. Unlike many metal guitarists who cut mid range frequencies out of their tone (commonly known as "scooping"), Alexi emphasizes the mid range frequencies in his tone above all else. [8]

Laiho first used an Ibanez RG 220B (maple fingerboard) along with a Jackson Custom Shop (bought from a member of the Finnish band STONE (Jiri), which Roope Latvala was part of) to record the first Children of Bodom record and eventually switched completely to Jackson Guitars which he used for several years until two of his 3 Jacksons (the one with the WildChild sticker and the one with white pinstripes) were stolen. He asked Jackson to make him another one, but the time-table they gave him for its production was too long (around a year's time). ESP came to him and said that it would take around three months for his new signature model to be up and running, so Laiho took this offer. Thus he switched to ESP guitars. The change occurred shortly after the release of Hate Crew Deathroll. His ESP guitars are based on the Jackson Randy Rhoads, except the body is cut slightly differently on North American models. They all feature a single-bridge pickup and double-locking tremolo. He is known for using a passive EMG ALX pickup with an on-board active preamp circuit to filter and boost the output signal, as opposed to using active pickups. Laiho uses Audiotech Guitar Products Source Selector 1X6 rack-mount audio switchers. [9]

He also uses DR Strings Hi-Beam 11–50 gauge for D standard tuning. For Drop C, he uses DR Jeff Healey Signature 10–56 strings. He has also been given a signature set of DR strings. He uses Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks.



See also

Related Research Articles

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Hate Crew Deathroll is the fourth album by the Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, released in 2003 under the Century Media label. The album is the final one to feature guitarist Alexander Kuoppala. It was successful both in Europe and the USA, which is demonstrated by the appearance of the "Needled 24/7" music video on MTV2's Headbangers Ball. "Needled 24/7" also featured on the heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and the 2012 horror comedy video game Lollipop Chainsaw.

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Warmen is a Finnish metal band assembled by keyboard player Janne Viljami Wirman - also known as Warman. Janne has been playing with Children of Bodom since 1997, and in 2000 created a musical project focused on instrumental work, which would only have guest singers on a few selected songs.

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Janne Wirman Finnish musician

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Henkka Seppälä Finnish musician

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The discography of Children of Bodom, a five-piece melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Throughout their career, the band has been known to incorporate many different musical styles, leading critics and fans to label them as everything from melodic death metal and black metal to thrash metal, progressive metal and even power metal. The current band line-up includes the founders Alexi Laiho and Jaska Raatikainen (drums) along with Henkka Seppälä (bass), Janne Wirman (keyboards) and Daniel Freyberg. Children of Bodom have released nine studio albums, two live albums, one compilation album, seven singles, two EP's and two split singles. Moreover, in the period 1994–1996 they released three demos under their old moniker, "IneartheD". This list includes the material released as IneartheD.

Blooddrunk (song) 2008 single by Children of Bodom

"Blooddrunk" is a 2008 single by Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, taken from their 2008 album Blooddrunk. The lyrics focus upon "self-destructive behaviour", and being addicted to hurting yourself. Written solely by Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho, the song was generally well received by critics.

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<i>Holiday at Lake Bodom (15 Years of Wasted Youth)</i> 2012 compilation album by Children of Bodom

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<i>I Worship Chaos</i> 2015 studio album by Children of Bodom

I Worship Chaos is the ninth studio album by Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom. It was released on October 2, 2015. It is the first album since 2003's Hate Crew Deathroll not to feature guitarist Roope Latvala due to his departure from the band in May 2015, making this the band's first album as a four-piece group with Alexi Laiho handling all guitar duties.


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  8. "Rig Rundown-Children of Bodom". Youtube. Premier Guitar. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  9. "Audiotech Guitar Products Source Selector 1X6 Rack Mount Audio Switchers" (JPG). Retrieved 2015-10-27.[ permanent dead link ]