Alexi Laiho

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Alexi Laiho
Alexi Laiho performing at Provinssirock 2013
Alexi Laiho performing at Provinssirock 2013
Background information
Birth nameMarkku Uula Aleksi Laiho
Also known asWildchild[1]
Born(1979-04-08)8 April 1979
Espoo, Finland
DiedDecember 2020(2020-12-00) (aged 41)[when?][2]
Helsinki, Finland
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
Years active1993–2020
Associated acts

Alexi Laiho (born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho;[1] 8 April 1979 – late[when?] December 2020)[3][2] was a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He was best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and was also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band, Kylähullut, and Bodom After Midnight, which formed just prior to his death. Laiho had previously played with Thy Serpent and Impaled Nazarene on occasion, as well as Warmen and Hypocrisy.

Laiho 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.[4] Guitar World magazine has also ranked him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists in the world.[5] In addition, Roadrunner Records ranked Laiho at #41 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time.[6] 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.[7]

Career[edit source | edit]

Laiho started playing violin at the age of seven and guitar at the age of 11. His first guitar was a "Tokai Stratocaster".[8]

In 1993, Laiho formed Children of Bodom together with drummer Jaska Raatikainen, under the name of IneartheD.[9][10]

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.

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.

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

On 15 December 2019 Children of Bodom played their last show at the Icehall in Helsinki, dubbed "A Chapter Called Children of Bodom"; in November it was announced that after this show, all members of the band except Laiho and guitarist Daniel Freyberg had quit. Due to legal reasons, Laiho would need permission from his former band mates to continue using the Children of Bodom name.[citation needed] In March 2020, Laiho and Freyberg officially announced their new band, Bodom After Midnight, named after the second track from the album Follow the Reaper.[citation needed]

Laiho died between 28 December 2020 and 3 January 2021 of long-term health complications, leaving behind a few songs recorded with Bodom After Midnight to be published posthumously.[11][12]

Guitar endorsements[edit source | edit]

In January 2003 ESP Guitars announced a line of Alexi Laiho Signature Models.[citation needed]

Prizes and awards[edit source | edit]

Laiho received a Metal Hammer Golden Gods prize in the category of Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award in 2008.[13]

Personal life and death[edit source | edit]

In February 2002, Laiho married Kimberly Goss during a private ceremony in Finland, after dating for four years. In 2004 they separated, but still remained 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.[14]

Laiho had a long history of alcoholism; in an interview in 2019 he talked about how the pressures of life on the road affected him; he mentioned the song "This Road" from 2019's Hexed and said, "A lot of people thought it was about alcoholism, but it’s more about being addicted to being on the road. Sometimes it feels like after 20 years of being on the road, everything just becomes kind of a blur and you don’t know what the hell’s going on." He explained how he used to drink heavily but cut back in 2013, not drinking while on tour anymore, and mentioned that Hexed's first single, "Under Grass and Clover", documented the pain of withdrawal.[15]

On January 4, 2021, a post on his official Facebook page stated Laiho had died the previous week. No official cause of death was given, only stating he succumbed at his Helsinki home to "long-term health issues during his last years".[16]

Discography[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Vedenpää, Ville; Rissanen, Juha; Väänänen, Marja; Hurtta, Anna (August 8, 2015). "Henkilökuva: Miten Alexi Laihosta tuli maailman paras hevikitaristi?". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Yleisradio Oy. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mankkinen, Jussi; Kiviranta, Varpu (January 4, 2021). "Children of Bodomin perustanut Alexi Laiho on kuollut: kitaristi arvosti suomalaista itsepäisyyttä ja sisua". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Helsinki: Yleisradio. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  3. "Children of Bodom founding guitarist Laiho dies at 41". Yle Uutiset. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  4. "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time. Much as Guitar World is the worlds' bestselling guitar magazine. A lot of controversy has been raised over this vote, because of guitarists who play much mellower genres such as Jimmy Page and John Mayer being included in it". Roadrunner Records. January 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  5. 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time. November 20, 2008
  6. Records, Roadrunner. (July 12, 2011) THE 50 GREATEST METAL FRONT-MEN OF ALL TIME!. Roadrunner Records. Retrieved on April 11, 2012.
  7. "The 20 Greatest Metal Guitarists Ever". MusicRadar. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  9. Amy Woodyatt. "Alexi Laiho, front man for Finnish metal band Children of Bodom, dies suddenly at 41". CNN. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  10. "Metal Archives". Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  11. "Kitaristi Alexi Laiho, 41, on kuollut". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  12. brownypaul (January 4, 2021). "Children of Bodom Vocalist/Guitarist Alexi Laiho Passed Away, Aged 41". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  13. Blabbermouth (June 17, 2008). "METAL HAMMER GOLDEN GODS AWARDS: Complete List Of Winners". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  14. Kent, Sara-Aisha (January 4, 2021). "Alexi Laiho and wife marked 3rd wedding anniversary just weeks before his death". mirror. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  15. Johnny Papan (October 1, 2019). "Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho Opens Up About Dangerous Past Relationship with Alcohol". Retrieved January 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit source | edit]

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