Dave Mustaine has paid tribute to former CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Alexi Laiho, who died last month at the age of only 41.
During the January 7 episode of his Gimme Radio program “The Dave Mustaine Show”, the MEGADETH leader said (hear audio below): “We had a tragic loss last week with my friend, and I’m sure a lot of your friend loss also. I’m sure a lot of you were friends with this gentleman too — Alexi Laiho from CHILDREN OF BODOM passed away. They didn’t really have anything to say about how he passed away other than he’d been battling some long-term illnesses. I knew him as a very gentle spirit with an amazing talent. In fact, when I was doing the ‘Symphony Interrupted’ performance [with the San Diego Symphony in April 2014], I watched he and his other guitar player — I can’t remember the guitar player’s name — but they did the Vivaldi part. It was one of the two Vivaldi pieces that I did; I can’t remember their names right now off the top of my head.
“Rest in peace, my friend,” Mustaine added. “You are sadly missed by so many people. We love you. I guess now the heaven heavy metal band has its lead guitar player.”
Laiho died in his home in Helsinki. He had suffered from long-term health issues leading up to his death.
Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen founded CHILDREN OF BODOM in 1993, and the band was one of the most internationally acclaimed metal acts in Finland up until their very last farewell concert in December of 2019. Last year, Alexi put together BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, which recorded three songs and shot one music video, to be released posthumously.
Besides CHILDREN OF BODOM, Laiho had played in such acts as WARMEN, SINERGY, KYLÄHULLUT and THE LOCAL BAND. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden God and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at the Helsinki Festival in 2015 in “100 Guitars From Hel” — a massive concert piece he composed.
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT made its live debut last October at Rytmikorjaamo in Seinäjoki, Finland. The 17-song show consisted entirely of CHILDREN OF BODOM material.