Addiction is one hell of a disease and sadly, it’s claimed a lot of prominent and influential figures in the metal world. One such individual whose loss we’re still reeling from is the late, great Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho, whose alcohol abuse led to his death at 41 years old back in December 2020.
While his struggles were well known within the band, a new interview with ex-keyboardist Janne Wirman reveals that Laiho knew his drinking would lead to his demise. While speaking with Blabbermouth to promote his band Warmen’s upcoming album Here For None, Wirman opened up about how Children of Bodom ended and how Laiho’s declining health affected those around him.
“Alexi’s downfall started in 2016. I don’t know what caused him to do that. He told me but didn’t tell anyone else in the band — he made sure no one else was in the room — and told me, ‘Dude, from now on, I’m going to drink until I die.’ I said, ‘Fuck, man. You can’t say that to me.’ He said it another time in 2018. I knew that was what he was doing — he said he wouldn’t take any help for his medical issues. He was going to keep drinking. That’s what he did, which is fucking crazy.
“A lot of people who haven’t had a family friend or work buddy or someone who is sick with alcoholism, a lot of people don’t understand you cannot help the person who doesn’t want help. He had decided he didn’t want help and would keep drinking until he died. That’s what he did.”
According to the World Health Organization, roughly three million deaths worldwide can be directly attributed to alcohol abuse, representing 5.3% of all total deaths. It should be noted that alcohol abuse can be caused by a number of mental and emotional issues and that addiction in general is a terrible disease that requires treatment by professionals to overcome.
When speaking about the tail end of Bodom’s career, Wirmen said Laiho’s alcoholism led to terrible infighting within the band. That ultimately led to their dissolution in 2019.
“The last years were pretty bad. There was a lot of bullshit. It’s so crazy because he was in such a good place a couple of years before. He was happy about being sober and on tour, and the shows were good. I don’t know what happened to him. Something pushed him over the edge where he decided, ‘Fuck it. I’m going to keep drinking.’”
Hearing this is so sad, honestly. Laiho was an inspirational guitar player and a hell of a frontman. To see such a great act like Children of Bodom fall apart because of Laiho’s alcoholism really is massive shame. All that’s left is to honor his life and music by blasting the tunes as loud as we can.
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