Robb Flynn

BIOGRAPHY – Roope Latvala

Roope Latvala was born in the Finnish city of Helsinki in 1970. Latvala started to play the guitar at age 13 and by the age of 15, he had co- founded the band ‘Stone’, together with Janne Joutsenniemi. After a short stint in dabbling with more traditional heavy music, the band progressed to a faster and more aggressive sound, resulting in ‘Stone’ becoming a band synonymous with Finish metal and receiving worldwide recognition. Though the band called it a day in 1991 Latvala remains a main influence of many Finnish guitarists, including Alexi Laiho (from Children of Bodom).

Between the years of ’91 and ’03 Latvala played in several bands including ‘Waltari’ with whom he was a member for six years (1995-2001). Latvala joined the band ‘Sinergy’ after singer Kimberly Goss moved from Sweden to Finland and was forced to reform the band; Latvala took over the position that, prior to the move, was filled by Jesper Strömblad (from In Flames).

Over the distance of his career Latvala has performed alongside several other metal bands including: Warmen, Nomicon, Pornonorsu, Jailbreakers, Gloomy Grim and Soulgrind. He has also composed movie soundtracks.

In the year of 2003 in the middle of their world tour, ‘Children of Bodom’ guiatarist Alexander Kuoppala left the band. This left the remaining members with one month to find a guitarist who could learn twenty songs to be performed live. After one failed applicant and little time to spare Alex Laiho (‘Children of Bodom’) contacted the only guitarist he deemed skilful enough to learn the songs within the required time and have the ability to perform them with the same precision as Kuoppala, who had been in the band for ten years – Latvala was the man for the job and his now a permanent member of the band.

Soon after joining ‘Children of Bodom’, Latvala was offered a deal with ESP Guitars, which already endorsed Alexi and Henkka Seppälä and in 2008 ESP released the LTD Roope Latvala signature guitar. It features an alder, Star shaped body, a neck-through maple neck with an ebony fretboard, cross inlays and reversed headstock. It includes an Original Floyd Rose bridge, Grover Tuners, a single EMG HZ H-2 bridge pickup with a single volume control. (Prior to making the deal with ESP Latvala used Jackson guitars religiously and is still know to play his old one’s live).

Roope Latvala is a legendary guitar player in Finland with his reputation continuously growing stronger and stronger worldwide. Part of the reason for this can be put down to the fact that Latvala has played several mind blowing solos on the past couple of ‘Children of Bodom’ releases (in the past it was widely known and accepted that only Alexi would play the solos).