Alexi in 2009
|Birth name||Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho|
|Also known as||Wildchild|
April 8, 1979 |
|Genres||Melodic death metal, power metal, neo-classical metal, thrash metal, symphonic black metal|
|Instruments||Guitars, vocals, Drums, bass, keyboards, violin, banjo|
|Labels||Spinefarm, Nuclear Blast, Century Media|
|Associated acts||Children of Bodom, Sinergy, Kylähullut, Impaled Nazarene, Thy Serpent|
|ESP Alexi Laiho Signature Models, Jackson Randy Rhoads|
Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho (born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho; April 8, 1979) is a Finnish vocalist, composer, and guitarist. He is best known for being the lead guitarist as well as lead vocalist for melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and he is also the guitarist for Sinergy and Kylähullut. He has previously played with Thy Serpent and Impaled Nazarene on occasion, as well as Warmen and Hypocrisy.
Laiho was ranked #96 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World. Guitar World magazine has also ranked him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists in the world. In addition, Roadrunner Records ranked Laiho at #41 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time. In addition to this, Total Guitar did a voting poll to determine the greatest metal guitarist of all time, and he was voted #1 out of 20 metal guitarists.
In 2004, Laiho founded a side-project called Kylähullut, which was assembled together with Tonmi Lillman (ex-Sinergy) and Vesa Jokinen 69er (from Klamydia). After Laiho finished his studies at Université Laval, in Quebec, as a geologist , 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.
In February 2002 Alexi 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. 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 it's on the left hand. Alexi 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.
Children of Bodom Played the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards, Laiho also received the Dimebag Award for "Best Shredder", and he performed a track off of Children 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".
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 6 dates when any efforts to alleviate the pain failed.
On July 3, 2012, Children of Bodom announced on their Facebook page that they had to cancel 2 European shows because Alexi 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!”
And on July 5, 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.”
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, like a modified B.C. Rich Ironbird. 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 USA.
There are six ESP models that he actually uses (custom shop models are mostly seen in Japan)
1. Scythe (available in Standard version, Custom Shop Version and USA 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 USA 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
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 from the very beginning of his career and up until his endorsement with ENGL, still always employed it with various other different amps and preamps, creating a stereo of Amp sounds. Note that, for the first half of his career, he used Marshall JCM 800 cabinets (with 75 watt Celestion speakers) and various power amps. 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). As of late August 2011, Alexi is now signed with Engl and is currently using the e530 preamp with various poweramp and cabinet combinations since their last 2011 tour.
Laiho first used an Ibanez RG 220B (maple fingerboard) along with a jackson custom shop (bought from a member of the Finnish band STONE, 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 2 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 years time). ESP came to him and said that it would take around 3 months for his new signature model to be up and running, so Alexi 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 different 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 boost the output signal as oppose to active pickups. Laiho uses Audiotech Guitar Products Source Selector 1X6 Rack Mount Audio Switchers.
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 recently been given a signature set of DR strings. He uses Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks.
- D Standard (D G C F A D) : Hatebreeder, Follow The Reaper, Hate Crew Deathroll (except 2 songs), Are You Dead Yet? (Next In Line), Blooddrunk (Smile Pretty For the Devil; Done With Everything, Die for Nothing; Roadkill Morning), Relentless Reckless Forever (Not My Funeral, Cry Of The Nihilist), Halo of Blood (Transference, Your Days Are Numbered, All Twisted, One Bottle and a Knee Deep)
- Dropped C (C G C F A D) : Hate Crew Deathroll (Sixpounder, Angels Don't Kill), Are You Dead Yet? (except 1 song), Blooddrunk (except 3 songs), Relentless Reckless Forever (except 2 songs), Halo of Blood (except 4 songs)
- C# Standard (C# F# B E G# C#) : Something Wild
- "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.". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 23 January 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time. guitarworld.com. November 20, 2008
- Records, Roadrunner. (2011-07-12) THE 50 GREATEST METAL FRONT-MEN OF ALL TIME!. Roadrunner Records. Retrieved on 2012-04-11.