Former Dimmu Borgir Keyboardist Finds Happiness as a Teacher, Mom
The 34-year-old ex-wife of Children of Bodom guitar wizard Alexi Laiho, and former touring keyboardist for Bodom, is now a teacher at the School of Rock in Naperville, Ill., while raising her 5-year-old daughter.
Despite her metallic background, she teaches all genres to her charges. Given Goss’ career trajectory, Noisecreep felt compelled to sit down with her to see how she has adjusted since she made the switch, what she hopes to impart on her students and if she will ever pound the keys on stage and in a band again.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at School of Rock?
I love getting the chance to teach different styles of singing. People assume that because I played in metal bands my whole life that I’d be inclined to focus on that one specific genre. In truth, I only have a couple students who are interested in metal and even with them I always make sure we explore other areas of music. I think it’s important to be well-versed. You can definitely apply a little bit of everything you’ve learned into any style of music you ultimately end up playing.
Another thing I love about teaching at the School of Rock is getting to see how far these kids progress from the time they first enter the school for lessons to the moment they hit the stage in one of our concerts. The performances they put on are so much fun and it’s a great source of pride for us teachers to see our students rockin’ out to everything we’ve taught them.
Do you give your daughter lessons? Or will you?
My daughter sings all the time. I haven’t given her formal lessons yet, but she’s definitely obsessed with music and she has a lot of natural ability. She has her own playlist folder on my iPod that she programmed with a mix of Guns N’ Roses, Ramones, Queen, Joan Jett. I haven’t exposed her to likes of Slayer or Iron Maiden yet, but everything in due time!
That’s what we like to hear. What is your current status with bands? Are you in any bands or working in or on any bands?
For me right now, all other things have taken a back seat to motherhood. I didn’t want my daughter to be raised by nannies or babysitters, especially in the very beginning of her life, so I definitely chose to put my career on hold to concentrate on being a parent. Now that she’s getting a little older, I felt good about slowly getting back into music by teaching part time at The School of Rock. I’m also currently writing for a music supervision company, whose job it is to place background music in TV shows. Writing a big, majestic film score has always been a dream of mine, but even getting the chance to write small clips for TV shows has been a great experience and I’m really grateful to still be getting opportunities to make a living solely from doing music.
I would definitely love to start or join another band someday, but for the time being it’s not too practical. My days consist of taking my daughter to school, ballet class, libraries, playgrounds, and of course catching great shows like ‘Disney Princesses on Ice’ or ‘Sesame Street Live’ [laughs]. I do have a feeling that getting back into a band will be somewhere in my future. The urge and desire is definitely still there and I have never stopped writing music. I just have to wait for the time to be right. Stay tuned!
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What is your absolute favorite thing about metal?
Metal music was a form of therapy for me while growing up. All that teenage angst and frustration had to come out in some way, and for me it was through both listening to and creating metal music. And who doesn’t love to bang their head to a great tune?
How has the transition from band life and performing life to teacher at School of Rock been?
The transition from band life to parenthood was much more of an extreme adjustment. I went from staying up all night partying and playing concerts all over the world, to staying up all night changing diapers and soothing a crying baby [laughs]. Now that is a crazy transition. Teaching at the School of Rock however, combines my two greatest loves, which is music and working with kids. This was a transition that definitely made sense for this stage in my life
Can you share your craziest story/memory from life in a band?
I have young students that will be reading this, so I plead the fifth.
Okay, you are well within your rights! So, would you ever do a band with Alexi Laiho again?
Alexi will forever be one of my dearest friends and he is without a doubt the greatest musician I have ever worked with, but we are both at very different places in our lives right now. That’s not to say that some day in the future something like that couldn’t happen, but it’s certainly not in the cards anytime soon. I would actually love to finish the fourth Sinergy album that we started production on many years ago. At this rate we can probably look forward to a release date in June of 2042!
For more information on School of Rock, head over to their official website.