Alexi Laiho

Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho (born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho[citation needed]; April 8, 1979) is a Finnish singer, 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.

Guitar World magazine has ranked him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists in the world.[1]

Roadrunner Recordsranked him #41 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time.




Place of birth:

Espoo, Finland


Musical influences and favourites:

Nine Inch Nails, Mötley Crüe, Stone, Obituary, System Of A Down, Shadows Fall, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Label Society All the Ozzy guitar dudes (Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde), Steve Vai, Slash, Jeff Waters, Tommy Lee, Twist Twist Erkinharju


Favourite albums of all time:

W.A.S.P – W.A.S.P

Steve Vai – Passion And Warfare
Ozzy Osbourne – Tribute To Randy Rhoads
Stone – No Anasthesia!
System Of A Down – Mesmerize


Favourite drink:

Jameson, Jack Daniel´s, White Russians


Freetime back home:

Party hard, play video games, fuck around with cars, sleep



ESP guitars, EMG Pickups, Lee Jackson pre amps, VHT power amps, DR strings, Dunlop picks.


In 2004, Laiho founded a side-project called Kylähullut, which was assembled together with Tommi 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.

Laiho’s life is dedicated almost entirely to music, and whenever he is not on tour with one of his bands, he is playing video games, drinking, or practicing. His main hobby is cars; he was taught how to drive by his father at the age of 10. Alexi owns a Pontiac Trans Am, a 1974 Dodge Monaco (license plate COB-79) and a Buick. In February 2002 Alexi married Kimberly Goss, the front-woman of the band Sinergy, during a private ceremony in Finland. Prior to the marriage, they dated for four years. In 2004 they separated, but still remain close friends and band mates in Sinergy. He has the letters “COBHC” (Children of Bodom Hate Crew) tattooed on his left hand and “HATE” tattooed on his right hand as a 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.[citation needed]

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. According to Laiho, “I wanted to try to keep going but after seeing a second doctor in Philadelphia, I was basically told that I could fuck myself up for life if I don’t stop playing. Against all recommendation, I have played and sang for the last 10 days in violent pain which has only made my condition worsen. So, I decided to listen to everyone around me, who were telling me the best thing to do would be to go home and get some proper rest and give my wrist some time to heal”.

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 RV 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 w/yellow stripe, white w/black stripe. The guitar has a neck-thru 25.5” design, using a 3-pc maple neck with a 24-fret ebony fingerboard and pearl saw-tooth 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, and a single Seymour Duncan AHB-1 in the bridge position, (or an EMG HZ H4 humbucker).

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 (Only available in Custom Shop version) Black with solid yellow pinstripes very much like the USA 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 (only in Standard 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

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

6. Blacky (STD&CS&USA) Matte black with gloss black pinstripes black pearl sawtooth inlays, frets 20 to 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 and Marshall JCM 800 cabinets (with 75 watt Celestion speakers) and various power amps for most of his career. Recently he started experimenting with different amp heads including the Krank Revolution, Marshall JCM800 KK (which he used to record Blooddrunk with), and the Engl Special Edition EL34 head. However, his guitar tech recently noted in a Premier Guitar interview that he has gone back to using the Lee Jackson Preamp and VHT Poweramp rack. He first used an Ibanez KZ 220B to record the first Children of Bodom record and eventually switched to Jackson Guitars and used them for several years until both (the one with the WildChild sticker and the one with white pinstripes) of his guitars 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.

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. This creates his unique, active-sounding guitar tone.

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.

In February of 2011, one Purehmv (Canada) member redeemed a Children of Bodom Alexi Laiho Signature ESP Flying V guitar for 1,100,000 points, the highest point total redeemed to date.

Alexi Laiho

Alexi Laiho at the 2009 Ilosaarirock festival
Background information
Birth name Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho
Also known as Wildchild,
Born April 8, 1979 (age 32)
Espoo, Finland
Genres Melodic death metal, power metal, neo-classical metal, avant-garde metal, speed metal, progressive metal, thrash metal, black metal, heavy metal, punk rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards, violin, banjo
Years active 1993–present
Labels Spinefarm, Nuclear Blast, Century Media
Associated acts Children of Bodom, Sinergy, Kylähullut, Impaled Nazarene, Thy Serpent
Notable instruments
ESP Alexi Laiho Signature Models, Jackson Randy Rhoads
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