Jaska Raatikainen

Jaska Ilmari Raatikainen or Jaska W. Raatikainen (born July 18, 1979) is the drummer of the band Children of Bodom.

Place of birth:

Lappeenranta, Finland

Musical favourites and influences:

Kai Hahto, Sami Kuoppamäki, Sean Reinert, Gene Hoglan, Paul Bostaph, Tomas Haake, Bobby Jarzombek, Mikkey Dee, Scott Travis, Gary Novak, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Virgil Donati

Favourite track on Relentless Reckless Forever:

Shovel Knockout

Favourite solo on Relentless Reckless Forever:

Janne’s solo on Shovel Knockout

Favourite albums of all time:

Death – From Spritual Healing to Individual Thought Patterns
All Rotten Sound albums
Entombed – Clandestine
Chick Corea – Paint the World

Favourite drink:

When partying, wine, Long Island Ice Tea or vodka cranberry, but usually mineral water

Freetime back home:

Play drums, do some exercise, read, write, watch movies, play games, have fun with friends


Drums: Pearl Reference
Colour: Limited Edition Piano Black w/Red Gaskets
Sizes: 22x18Bx2, 8x7T, 10x7T, 10x8T, 12x8T, 15x14T, 14x14F, 16x16F
Snares: Pearl Reference Limited Edition Piano Black w/Red Gaskets & UltraCast UCA1450.


Jaska Raatikainen was born in the town of Lappeenranta, in Finland. His first instrument was the piano, and during most of his childhood also played the French horn in a big band – a fact which later led him to be introduced to Alexander Kuoppala. It was only at the age of 12 that he began playing drums, he had his first double bass pedals before he owned a drum kit. He was inspired by musicians such as Scott Travis (from Judas Priest) and Mikkey Dee (from Motörhead).

When Jaska met Alexi Laiho at school in the year of 1993, they realised that they had similar ideas and musical taste. Thus, they began playing together and idealizing the band which would one day become Children of Bodom. Jaska played a vital role in the formation of the band, since he was the one who brought both Alexander Kuoppala and Janne Wirman to their line-up. He also contributed some keyboards to their first demo, Ubiquitous Absence of Remission.

He is a quiet and reserved person who spends a lot of time by himself. Most of the time, he stays in single rooms in hotels and generally picks the beds on upper corners while travelling on tour buses. Interviews with him are rare, and despite being one of the founding members, he lets Alexi and Henkka Seppälä do most of the talking.

Up to the recording of the album Hatebreeder, Jaska was endorsed by Sonor drums and by Sabian cymbals. He eventually lost the deal with Sonor and for some time played with different drumsets, until settling with Pearl drums in 2003. His drumsticks are custom Millennium II sticks from Pro Mark with his name engraved on them.

Jaska has had some side projects, some of them unrelated to music. In the year of 2000 he was asked by the director of a popular Finnish soap opera (Siamin Tytöt) to play a special part on it. He played a character named Rauli for three episodes, until the character’s death. He did have the chance to show some of his drumwork before that happened, though. According to Jaska, he had always dreamed of acting, but does not plan to take his career further.

He has also helped quite a few bands when they needed a competent drummer. During Sinergy’s 2000 European tour, he replaced Tommi Lillman, who had injured his leg. The problem, however, was that this happened three days before the start of the tour, which meant that Jaska had to quickly learn how to play ten of Sinergy’s songs. Despite the high degree of difficulty, he managed to perform very well, and fans of both bands enjoyed seeing both Jaska and Alexi on stage together with Sinergy. On the Suicide By My Side album’s booklet, the band wrote a dedicatory to Jaska for, on to their own words: “saving our tour“.

Jaska has also played in Virtuocity and Evemaster albums, but since those are both studio bands, he does not have to worry greatly about Children of Bodom’s tour schedule, which already has to be calculated ahead to some extent, due to Alexi’s active participation in Sinergy.

On the 2002 tribute to Chuck Schuldiner – mastermind of one of the most notable death metal bands of all time, Death – Jaska, who is a fan of the band, played a couple of cover songs with Norther.

Since 2003 Jaska has a side project with Norther guitarist Kristian Ranta entitled Gashouse Garden, which has not yet been signed to any recording label.

In early 2010 Jaska became the father of a baby girl.


Pearl Reference Redline – Piano Black with Black Chrome Hardware
8″x8″ Tom Tom
10″x8″ Tom Tom
12″x9″ Tom Tom
14″x12″ Floor Tom
16″x16″ Floor Tom
22″x18″ Bass Drum x 2
14″x5″ Snare

14″ Meinl Byzance Traditional Heavy Hi-Hat x2 (both sides)
20″ Meinl Mb20 Heavy Ride (left)
8″ Meinl Byzance Traditional Splash x2
18″ Byzance Brilliant Medium Thin Crash x2
20″ Meinl Byzance Traditional Heavy Ride (right)
20″ Byzance Brilliant Medium Crash
18″ Byzance Brilliant China
Pearl Hardware
DR-503 Icon Rack + PCX-100 and PCX-200 Rack Clamps
H-2000 Eliminator Hi-hat Stand
P-2002B Eliminator Double Pedal
CLH-1000 Closed Hat
S-2000 Snare drum stand
CH-1000 Cymbal Holders
TH-100S Tom Holders
D-220 Roadster Throne

Jaska W. Raatikainen

Jaska Raatikainen at the Ilosaarirock 2009 festival
Background information
Birth name Jaska Ilmari Raatikainen
Born July 18, 1979 (age 31)
Espoo, Finland
Genres Melodic death metal, thrash metal, power metal, progressive metal
Occupations Musician
Instruments Drums
French Horn
Years active 1993–present
Labels Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm, Century Media
Associated acts Children of Bodom
Website http://www.COBHC.com/

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