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Dark City
11-12 2002

It’s interesting to know what actually happened to that TV, on which the future Finnish superstar Ville Valo saw Gene Simmons for the first time? Ville claims, that he brought that TV-talisman, which changed his whole life, to the loft. He doesn’t dare to throw it away, he says. But actually the destiny of this stone aged TV doesn’t interest us in this case. The better question is: Why did this beardless little boy think, that he could become a great KISS musician? Also this question stays without a concrete answer, therefore we should let this to the Psychiatrists, who apathetically watched during all this time how he puts some teenagers into frenzy, and lets some others loose their interest in taking music lessons and persuades them that these amazing sounds are not really right to hear even in the room, which the French call with the beautiful word “sortir” (WC).

Little Ville was walking in the Sex Shop…

However, one can swear on Ville for amateurishness, but the hot Finnish boy can really outplay the old Simmons in love themes. Thanks to the dear daddy, the owner of the biggest sex shop of Helsinki, who was educating Ville to love his work and forced him spend the best years of his youth between gum dolls, dildos, impressive textbooks about practical sex and jewellery for masochists.

In six years the young and brutal heartbreaker and his band mates have done pretty much for the public and their own wealth. And the main thing: they didn’t give a their fans a minute of relaxing, making them beg their parents for the next HIM disks. After the release of the next album the guys soon released a single and in the same time promise a next “soap” album.

So, in the beginning of this year under the control of T.T Oksala and Kevin Shirley right to the orthodox Christmas the single “Heartache Every Moment/Close To The Flame” was released, right before it a little present “In Joy And Sorrow”, and two month before that a whole album “Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights”. And so it goes until the year 1998, when little Ville sang the foreign hit “Wicked Game” for the first time. From this time on the songs about love, tears and unfaithfulness of the opposite sex, because of which one has to break its little hands and smut a masculine tear on its shaved, redden cheeks nearly everyday on stage, together with poppy gothic rock turned to the main purpose of the life of young female collectors.

Was there a boy?

If I was a surgeon, I could tell you scientifically what transsexuality is. But, sorry I didn’t study this subject so I just say it in three words: change of sex. Exactly that told the guys themselves. The were forced to explanations to the fans, after their hit “Join Me” was played by an US radio station not under the name HIM but HER. Who that “her” was, wasn’t said for sure. But, a new thought was born “Ville Valo – a girl” But the ones who don’t speak English might have understood it differently.

This strange metamorphosis with Ville’s sex happened immediately when the band touched American shores. But strangely the Americans didn’t welcome the love-rockers and send them back home. Sorry, we have enough of our own HIMs.

The strange behaviour from the side of the inhospitable Yankees soon found its explanation: Some guys from Chicago had also the idea to form a band some years ago. But different from their Finnish brother and legally registered their, as came out later, precious name.

“What else could we do?” Valo justifies, “We had no choice. With the same name we would have no chance. And this dumbass Doug Sharin took it all too serious.”

Sharin’s, far not friendly emotions could be understood. The discovery is really unpleasant, and in addition to that the Chicago HIMs have still not reached the popularity of the Finnish one. “Just imagine, we were visiting London, and there everything including the Big Ben was full of posters, which announced a band with our name!”, the American side argues, “I found out, that some dumbasses from Finland perform under the same name and that they are very popular in Europe, especially in Germany. But their HIM stands for “His Infernal Majesty”. But it doesn’t change anything, because we had the name first and we’re not gonna change anything.”

“It doesn’t matter”, the naïve Ville becalms himself, “A real talent will find its way anyway”

“The name HER even fits better, because basically this band it totally dedicated to girls. So the new name even came right, it has the taste of female emancipation in rock.”

But isn’t Ville afraid that the change of the name can also easily change their position in the popular rock business? [note: hello?? They changed the name only in the US!] HIM is already now a symbol for success and its known that every name has a certain destiny. “I can say only one thing: I always wished to reach such a success, from moment I found this band on. At that time my nickname – His infernal Majesty - was kinda joke and who could think that things would turn like this! In These days we were blamed not in plagiarism, but just in Satanism. Why ever, people think that all the Scandinavians are true Satanists. But basically we stayed the same and the change of the name won’t bother us that much.”

Of course, a lot of the female fans of the great Valo ask: ”Who is she, this “her”? “ We won’t torment for long and give the word to Ville himself: “Unfortunately a concrete person does not exist”, he is cunning, “I absolutely don’t have the time for women. I want serious relationships, and at the moment I am a slave of my status. And actually, all the guys from the band are my platonic lovers, ha ha!”
For information: in the antique times “platonic love” was not only a love in distance, but also the physical love of homosexuals.

What does HER prepare for us in future?

An answer without any doubts: a new album! “We have already recorded some demos. It is possible that the music will be more lyrical, dramatic and romantic. But this is just an idea. At the moment we are sitting in studio and collecting songs for the album, like a puzzle or something.” Now we are sure only about the name “Love Metal”. Of course we do have some concrete ideas for the CD. Me, for example, I am trying to put all ideas of modern music together in our band, from the 70s on. We recorded our first album with the influences of the 90s, the second one was dedicated to the glamorous 80s, and returned to the revolutionary 70s with the third.”

Does it mean, that we’re gonna to hear songs à la 60s? “Don’t even think of it,” Ville shakes his head, “I just want to make a more rhythmic album, such things always hustle to active doings. Such music, in my opinion, always hustles to improvisation, and that’s great! And even more, if you’re doing rock music, you have nothing left but improvisations. You always have to perform in a different way than the day before. And therefore you have to feel the movement of music. And its not important, if you call this music commercial or underground. We are supporters of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but who says, that this music has to be played with fucked up trousers and dirty dicks? This is not Rock ‘n’ Roll, this is a dumb. And I want to live in more sterile conditions, sing beautiful songs to beautiful women and try not to remember about all that shit, the so called True Metalists like to sing about. In this case I am from another sandbox. And we found our realization in Gothic Rock , which we all like very much.

Actually, the success is pretty natural. The female like Ville, slightly reminding sometimes of Jim Morrison and sometimes of the young David Bowie of the “Ziggy Stardust” times, always in black, always with melancholic, languishing eyes, incomprehensibly babbling about love’s terrorizations on the school yard, will stay a sexsymbol for underage ladies for a long time. And hardly anything can disturb him to write his tear jerking songs again and again in the silence of the night under the light of the moon.

But on the next album he wants more. By calling it “Love Metal” he has all chances to create a new music style and call himself its founder. “We are still seen as a Gothic band. In many aspects its right, and in other not. We are sound softer and more tender than the other bands. We are a bit different. Also we don’t have very complicated themes. It’s all about love and about lovers. And there is nothing bad about it. In my opinion, love is the greatest friendship which exists on earth. And, when you look at the people who are near you and see, which joy and faith you’re giving to them by your songs, then you’re ready to sing about it at the North pole and in South Africa! Without any difference! Love is one of the main parts of the music philosophy, because it’s close to everybody. As we have just started, we already knew about what we’re going to sing. For example the lyrics of “Join Me In Death” are very symbolic and it doesn’t mean, that we are about to move everybody to suicide. No Shakespeare’s tragedies. You just describe what is going on in your soul at the moment, because life always gives you a theme to think about. So our music can be really called love-rock. A bit melancholic, dramatic, with a gloomy undertone. And this is exactly it what girls like the most. And the ones who look at our music critical, they should look. You know, when a human is young or old, but very lonely he looks at friendship and love like on a fiction, but when people gather together they automatically start to show interest in each other. Just because this world is like this. Elvis Presley always seemed to me as such a light messenger. Presley, who had such beautiful and good songs. It’s a shame that I was born too late and wasn’t able to visit his concert. But actually the first gig I visited was with Elvis Presley, who was great imitated by one of my parent’s friends. It was cool! Back these days I liked it more than Heavy Metal. The same friend of my parents had a son, who was a hardcore fan of Iron Maiden. That was my first teenage nightmare and from these days on I don’t like such bands that much. I listen to my parent’s records of the Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, a bit of reggae, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley. And, of course, Kiss, who have changed my whole life. Personally for me all the HIM records are dedicated to this band. And the forth one will not be an exception. And in all it is going to be traditional for us in many cases. We will record the album in same Finnvox studio in Helsinki and it will be produced by the same Hiili who worked with us on Greatest Lovesongs Vol.666. Migé and Linde have already recorded practically all their parts and very soon I go at work. Some of the tracks are already mixed with the help of Tim Palmer in London and soon they will be heard in Los Angeles, and in spring of the next year the album will be in stores. Don’t wait for big surprises. We’re still the same HIM, just under another tag.”

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!

 

Soundi

(11/2002)

"There’s this guy in a German record company called Wolfgang Funk wich we look up to mainly because of his name.His idea was to collect the money off and release a sinlges collection for christmas market.
We heard about that just while we were rehearsing for the new record and having some gigs so in that rush we thought that yeah,whatever..Then it was released.Its funny why it isnt "The singles collection" but instead "The single collection".Because of that spelling mistake the "gunthers" once again showed their way how to market something.This is the way how to make money with poor musicians like us.
Lets say its not fun for me to be involved in a project where there are some spelling mistakes.It could not intrest me less.Its dedicated to the long time fans who is still missing some single or something.They are all in that box.Its not in that way very special for us,I mean we are making a whole new album now.The mind is in the future,not in the past.Now when the book is finally finished,we dont have to wonder anymore that what did happen in Leipzig 1998."
Ville tells that with this new album they want to find the joy again making music as they had before while they were hanging in Miges apartment in Tuusula,where they played without any breaks for 7 hours terrible shit music and still enjoyed it.But its still not meant to be like garagerock.Led Zeppelin is always the goal and dream.HIM has once again promised to play at Tavastia on new years eve and there are also package trips sold in foreign countries.There are no plans for a real tour at this point.If the album comes out in April,there will be festivals in the summer and meanwhile they are doing them,they will plan for the upcoming tour in the fall.
-Lets see what people thinks about the new album,that will they move us from the main stage in Ilosaarirock to smaller once.Before next fall there will at least not be any club gigs.


Heres a short translation from what Juho Juntunen says about working with the guys & the book,taken from Soundi magazine 11/02.

"Ville Valo called me last february and asked me out for a beer.I was at that time in another city and had some vodka so I couldnt go but we met the next night when I was in Helsinki again.So we went for a beer to different bars and Ville showed me his cosmic pope tattoo on his leg.At some point we were both getting sentimental and Ville asked me if I wanted to make this book about HIM.Some other people had also asked Ville if they could write a book but the guys had say no at that time.I thinked about it over the night and the next evening we were having a night out again with Ville and then I told him yes,I wanna write the book.Ive been asked before to write some books about bands but they didnt intrest me.HIM in the other hand did intrest.I wasnt a fan directly but I had always liked the attitude the guys has and their records and also that everything has happened so fast.In the upcoming book you wouldnt have to write about the boring years when nothing did happen.
Now someone may think that well this is a dream job.Spend nights with the guys having a few beers,talking & make some money.Sure I did all that but everything wasnt still like a dream.Even if HIM was basically on a break at that time,they still did the Finnish tour and a couple of gigs in UK so it was pretty hard to put up a schedule to meet up,especially when Ville never answers your phonecalls.Also you would have to write and sit at nights in front of the computer.Then you had to go through the material with the band,listen to lots of tapes full of interviews and also try to reach the former members of the band.Theres nothing bad to tell about the HIM guys.I got probably through this pretty easily when Mige and Linde had decided to spend a complete sober period so they didnt drink any alcohol,both can be pretty unpredictable when they are drunk.Ville didnt do that and he also tought me in the first place that you should always try to urinate beside the toilet.That gives a freedom,theres a message in that.We met many times at my place and I always checked out the toilet in the morning and was pretty careful.
Ofcourse we did also fight with Ville a few times but it wasnt that bad.He told me a couple of times to go to hell but I didnt.At times we also spent the night out in bars when we didnt work on the book.I also fought with the publisher Kaisa cause she did have an unplesent way to tell that you also have to work at some point.With Kaasu I didnt fight.We listened to Matti Nykänen when we were drunk and he tought me Swedish and talked about hc-punk.There wasnt much sencured in the book.One part was left out,the one that was supposed to start the book out but mayby it was good it didnt make it after all.
The first thing that came out in public before the book was released was the headline " Ville Valo tried to kill himself",front page in Ilta Sanomat.That headline didnt thrill Ville or his parents.But the release party was fun.Burton celebrated at the same day his birthday and he got a cake formed like an ass.Me and Ville told in the ATV interview that we have moved together and we sit naked at home with only a hood over our heads.Mige then again told STT that I had moved with him and we sit and watch tv together at nights. Ilta Lehti wrote that Ville doesnt wanna see me for one year. Well tonight I will meet him again. But I wont sit naked with him cause Im busy getting to watch tv with Mige.

 

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!

 

Ville Valo: I tried to commit suicide
(Ilta Sanomat 15.10.2002)

HIM’s frontman Ville Valo confess that he paid big price for success.

HIM's music maker’s and worshipped front man Ville Valo's pressure is sometimes huge.

-Pressure comes out in different ways: Sometimes I'm giving dismissals the whole band, sometimes I'm getting completely drunk and sometimes I'm hitting my fist to the wall, Confess singer.

Couple years ago in Germany-tour Ville tried to jump hotel room's balcony in 13th floor.

-That was one of these crises. Months touring pressure is getting harder. In few seconds I’d been on the ground, but friends rip me off from the railing. I was completely drunk and didn't think anymore than "I will jump out of everything" . In that moment it seemed to be good solution, remembers Ville.

- Time to time this business can be so annoying that interest to everything disappears. It can be also seen in a way, that always when someone tries to jump from balcony, it’s asking for help. I have good friends and they came to help me, so that’s it.


There is stormy in HIM from time to time.

-Incredible fights come completely stupid reasons, when we are sitting in smelling tour bus with the same group couple of months. There seems to be crisis also with every record. And it has always to do something with me. I have bad nerves. Perhaps there is more pressure coming to me than the rest…

Front man gives dismissals easily to his band mates when situations are getting worse, but Ville can also put things back to right.

-I have learnt to say sorry and we all have learnt to talk to each other. You get far away with talking.
Ville sees also good sides of strict situations.

-You remember again, why you have started the whole thing. In that way crisis are welcome, even therapeutic, even though also very uncomfortable. Last year’s tour they had really problems with each other.

-I felt that I was doing too much work and the rest didn’t respect that. Probably I was wrong, but we talked and make everything right. We realised that we want to continue together, because we are having nice time. But of course we have still time to fight a lot more :P

He (Ville) has always spoken in public really open mouth about things in their real names. So it’s no surprise that Juho Juntunen’s book “Synnin Viemää” has told to have really clear talking (things are told with their real names) and not blablaing about some things, which aren’t even true.

-We don’t have anything to hide or anything to lose. We tell things the way they happened. ‘Our thing’ has always been to be what we are. We have never tried to live fantasy figures life. There are many stories in this book, which haven’t been ever told. You find out for that how hard young band can have in record-company, when million people are tearing you everywhere.

There are still problems coming up, few months ago it came out that HIM have to change their name in the USA. USA is already band called HIM.

-Religious band, which think we are worshipping Satan. So that’s why we registered HIM name in Europe so they can’t make gigs here (in Europe) with HIM name. They can give up or keep on making things hard, which is really silly in my opinion. Cause both bands are playing totally different music.

Ville seems to be completely bored for this name fight. His thoughts of American name holder aren’t special.

-Napoleon complex: small penis & glasses, Ville says.

-I’m Finnish, not American. I don’t want big court thing cause of 3 letters. Let’s see what happens, but HER is actually pretty funny possibility for a name.

At this moment HIM are making their 4th album (comes out in Spring), which will get a name “LOVE METAL”

-We made this whole music genre (Love metal) so now we have to make also album for this genre. It’s going to be the hardest album of our career, even though the music will be still melodic & melancholic.

At this time they didn’t go to make record outside Finland.

-It would be stupid for example to go to Los Angels and pay everything 4 times bigger price. We are trying to keep costs at least bit ok. It’s not easy to record but preferably we spend couple of months with the same money in Finnish record studio than one week in some foreign studio.

After record comes out HIM will be back to road. First they will do some festivals in summer and in fall they will go to clubs. Band aren’t playing always even with big prices.

-Last summer we got an offer to play one gig for 100 000 Euros, but we said no cause that place didn’t seem nice.

He’s now rich man. That is not easy to realise. Sometimes it’s hard even himself.

- I don’t want to make music for money. When there is money in accounts, even my own head can get messy, but especially the others heads get messy for what’s the motive of making music. It’s love against to music and not money!

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!

 

Image 2002

It starts out that the man who interviews Ville is inside the studio, watching everything the guys done in a corner,quiet cause thats what he had promised...not to disturb them in any way. Its the first real working day at the Finnvox studio. First 2 days we just got our things here and decorated this place, producer Hiili Hiilesmaa says. There are things that belongs to the band members but also lot of cigarettes, Dr.Pepper bottles, coffee that reminds of an oil catastrophe ..Jallu magazines (Finnish pornmags..) etc.
Here the guys will spend at least the next 2 months. There’s not only cigarette smoke in the air,when a band who has sold over 1 million records are in the studio, there’s a lot of pressure in the air also and anyone can feel it.
"Yes its very stressing, says Ville but actually pretty easy to write the lyrics cause there’s no deadline."
At least this time the idea to the record is very clear. HIMs last record was a little artistic and also commercial disappointment. Here’s the total record sell so far:GLV666 300 000, Razorblade Romance 930 000,DS&BH 450 000.
To wake up the fans again we need something new and so often in music business that means to go back to the roots.The last record was kinda poppy like Bon Jovi but with this new one it will be different, harder and darker HIM. The title should tell a lot, Love Metal.
"The world is full of dark music but nobody else can get it sound like Slavic melancholic."
This time the band wont either let some foreign people come and ruin that sound. The experiences with the last record co- working with German and UK BMG wasn’t the best, at their demand they had to bring the Aerosmith producer Kevin Shirley to "rescue" the process and in the end that meant only to make it become very expensive for the guys. The UK BMG wanted and also got the famous photographer Rankin to take a new picture to the album cover which cost 30 000 Euros. The video to Pretending was also done in UK, expensive and not very well..
The foreign record companies has this attitude: We tell the orders, you obey.

Lost & Found, Annankatu… almost midnight on a Monday evening. We sit in the non smoker area but Ville kindly asks if he can smoke and its no problem and he has a ashtray in front of him in one second. We drink beer but that’s not all. Ville has decided to pay for all of us. "When I happen to have some money in my pocket" he says. Its a kind of payback thing, some years ago it was me who bought him a few beers in a bar when Ville was giving one of his first interviews. "I remember how impressed I was, that some one really buys me a few beers that cost 27 Finnish Marks at that point.
After that Ville has been given thousands of interviews. Its a lot of talk, many tapes…We can for sure say that before HIM Finland hadn’t seen anything like this before…Suddenly we had this charismatic, polite and a very pretty boy among us. Ville Valo was born to this, nothing needed to be changed. He was every photographers, every reporters dream, also in that case that they were men .No wonder that when HIM got big in Germany they had to have a press conference just to resure he is not gay!
And he hasn’t changed at all. 5 years and the millions haven’t made any difference to this man.
"At first all the interviews made me so nervous. When I drank a lot of red wine and smoked a lot I got the time between the questions and answers to think about what I will say.
When you tell your answers you are not in front of the court so there’s no need to always tell the whole truth."
He surely had something else to charm the people around him. With his music he had created something new, Love Metal. It was hard rock but with big romantic words-Love…Death...In English of course.
"Would be impossible to write such good songs like Reino Helismaa did in Finnish. How could ever something beat Päivänsäde ja Menninkäinen?"(One of Reino H. songs)
"Even if I love Bruce Springsteen & Nick Cave, I could never write about things like they do. I could also never use words like Phone, Street, Cigarette...Much rather words like Veins ,Soul and Heart".

Ville Valo’s first words in the music business were: Can I smoke here? The place is BMG record companies, manager Asko Kallonens office, year 1996. The 19 years old Valo sits in the chair like he doesn’t seem to move anywhere in a long time, takes the cigarettes from the pocket and then first asks for permission to smoke. The manager says yes, you can smoke here.
The story is simple but still like a myth. It just tells, how ready Ville was for this business.
"All rock star bios tells almost the same, we are the guys from no where, we are doing fine etc. Its funny to see how much is written in the stars, so many idols has gone through the same things like me."
The last years rock n roll culture has changed a lot .From Elvis to Beatles, Rolling Stones to Nirvana it was myth industry. The stars were available to the fans only to some point, only because of the music.
The Osbournes tells it all now…where the bad guy now is shown at his home walking around in his robe and to open a can of food to his dog is almost to much of a job nowadays.
All this Ville dislikes.
"Ozzy is an icon for me just like Jesus, Lemmy from Motorhead or Tapio Rautavaara. Sure The Osbournes is fun to watch but it seems very hard for me to take it seriously when he’s doing his next solo album. Music is mystical and magic and nowadays they try to kill that in everyway. I wanna fight against that ‘til the end."
Ville also doesn’t like his other big idol Gene Simmons biography "Kiss and make up”. The book took all the faith of Genes real passion for rock n roll away, he doesn’t even believe the tongue is real anymore. Even that is probably made by money.
HIM doesn’t need to tell about their financial thing, it comes out in public anyway. They don’t like it but what can they do, every firms things are open to public here. In rock n roll business a lot of things stinks but nothing more than money. They noticed that they need someone to take care of the financial things and soon they got Hanoi Rocks former manager to help them out. He became the one who actually takes care of lots of things.." Sometimes I hope he (Seppo) would do something behind our back but he is just to loyal and honest" laughs Ville. I mean every real rock star has at some point somebody who are stabbing them at their back.

The 4th beer…god knows how many cigarettes...Ville isn’t tired. He has woke up late that day, posed for 4 hours for the magazine and now he talks about.. what else than music?
He doesn’t watch TV at home but he says he does pay for the licence though. He doesn’t buy any newspapers, all he reads in the tour bus especially is pornmags, crimemags & musicmags. Before HIM he hadn’t been to any other countries than to Stockholm or Tallin on a cruise. Nowdays he is spending his free time in Helsinki, between his home and a few bars, like a Bermuda triangle. At home he plays guitar, watches his little brothers anime-videos and reads books, usually biographies. When he wakes up, he drinks coffee and Red bull, thinking with whom he will go out that night.
"I don’t like watching the news cause they only tells the bad things. I’m waiting for a newspaper who tells also about the good things happening like how many healthy children was born that day. I’m not an expert in history or geography, when I’m on tour I don’t know that much about the countries or their situation. But I meet a lot of people and talk to them about lots of things and learn new stuff. We were in Mexico and I talked with this local guy and he told me that before the movie Amores Perro dog fighting wasn’t that popular there but it all changed after that movie."
Even if Ville didn’t finish high school (or upper secondary school) and he doesn’t seem himself anymore clever than any other, you can hear of his talk that this young man truly is intelligent.
He doesn’t believe that someone lives their life the way they don’t wanna live it. "I beliEve that secretaries likes what they are doing ,at least most of the time. I don’t like my job everyday either. I think that every job and every destiny are important."
Lost & Found starts to get crowdy. The tape is full, Ville’s friends are waiting for him to join them. Today he is going to get real drunk, that’s what he says. He still has a few days off before they need his effort at the studio so he takes this time to relax and celebrate while he still can.
Soon its time to go back to Finnvox and start the real work. The studio looks like anyone could walk in there, no fences around or anything. Just like there would be nothing to hide. Just like anyone could walk in there and make an album of Love Metal. Just like that.

 

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!



 


 

Interview with Ville & Mige at
Tammerfest 2002

 

The interview was taken at Tammerfest on July 19, 2002. A week before that day I already met Mige also for interview. That's why all the time I asked the same questions (just because I wanted to know Ville's opinion also), he asked me what he had answered already. Two polish girls (sorry girls, I don't remember your names, shame on me) made interview at the same time and place with me. The most important note is that Ville and Mige had just a few minutes for the interview, so we were in a hurry. The last one moment which is worth to mention: Timo Rautiainen and Trio Niskalaukaus, - even though we were sitting in the tour-bus (right behind the stage), Timo and Trio were heard much lauder that Ville and Mige.

Melamory: So, first of all - about HER. As I know - it's true.

Ville: Her Evil Royalty.

M: Do you like the name?

Ville: It's like a circle full. We have a muscular name HIM in Europe and now we have HER in America. So, it's like Ying and Yang are complete.

M: So, you like it.

Ville: Yes.

M: And you don't have anything against it.

Ville: Nope. Name HIM was registered in America and we had to imagine something new. It can be funny, actually.

M: You mentioned Her Evil Royalty. Did you see that site?

Ville: What site?

M: About Her Evil Royalty. All guys are girls and so on. (Ville and Mige blabling something:)

M: Well, ok. I have a special question. During last German tour you, Ville, played every gig different acoustic covers. Do you remember the song - there were lines something like "fade away"? What was the song?

Ville: It's from Mazzy Star, a song called "Fade Into You" from an album called "Among My Swan". (Song "Fade Into You" is from an album called "So Tonight That I Might See". - M.)

M: It's not "Fade Into You".

Ville: It was "Fade Into You".

M: It's not "Fade Into You", it's "Fade Away".

Mige: I guess too much paying attention…

Ville: Oh, whatever, I'm not sure.

M: I have a cd-player with me… If you want, you can listen to it.

Ville: No, I don't want it *laughs*, definitely I don't wanna hear it.

M: But I really would like to know the name of the song.

Ville: I played "Solitary Man", I played "Old Man" by Neil Young.

M: "Lonely Road", "Frozen".

Ville: Yeah, "Frozen", that from Mazzy Stay "Fade Into You", from Screaming Trees "More or Less".

M: "Some Kinda Hate".

Ville: Yeah, "Some Kinda Love".

M: "Poison Heart".

Ville: "Poison Heart".

M: So, you don't remember "Fade Away".

Ville: Oh, it might be a special occasion when I improvised.

M: Wow, it was very beautiful!

Ville: Ah. *laughs*

M: Once you said if, for example, Rammstein did something special at one gig, they should repeat it every time for all the fans.

Ville: I was meaning the thing that you can't check out Kiss playing "Detroit Rock City" without *** (Sorry, I can't get the word Ville said. - M.).

M: So, don't you think that if you play acoustic covers during German gigs, you have to play it in different countries?

Ville: No. German people like acoustic songs.

M: But we also want to hear them.

Ville: No. Never again.

M: Why?

Ville: Well, it's not nice anymore. It was the idea for the German tour to play different acoustic number every night.

M: And how do you chose what will you play and how long will you play. For example, last Finnish tour you played almost two hours every gig.

Ville: Yeah, we had megalomania. How do we decide? Normally, you know, the organizers of gigs want us to play a certain amount of minutes. So, we have to play certain amount of minutes. Normally, it's around 60 minutes. Today (19.07.2002, Tampere. - M.) we're not allowed to play after 10 o'clock.

M: So, you have 1,5 hour.

Ville: About. Depending on if they (Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus. - M.) are late.

M: Ok. You just recorded a new demo. What can you say about it?

Mige: Ah… we said something. What did I say?

M: You said you like it.

Mige: Quite smart. I'm original.

M: And you said something about pizza.

Mige: Pizzas? It must be redline, you know.

Ville: Yes, working title for a one track is "Pizza Horror".

Mige: Ah, "Pizza Horror". Yes, that's good.

M: What is this song about?

Ville: It's not about pizzas. *laughs* It's just a working title. Actually it was negar valssi (If you know what it is, tell me:))). - M.).

Mige: It's come up to the working title. You asked us about title, that's why I was talking about pizzas. Now I remember. He wasn't there…

Ville: Imagine that, I wasn't even there and I knew what you were talking about. Horrible!

Mige: Yeah, exactly.

M: Do you, Ville, personally like the new demo?

Ville: No.

M: Why?

Ville: Too many compromises. What do you think? Why should we going to the studio to make the album if we don't enjoy the album?

M: Well, you can be satisfied or not satisfied.

Ville: Well, you know, if you're not satisfied, you don't go to the studio to make an album and you wait until everybody's satisfied.

M: But if you're not satisfied, you can go to the studio again and to make something new.

Mige: It's too philosophical. You shouldn't be optimist in a studio if the satisfaction isn't there.

Ville: We can, but we shouldn't.

Mige: Well, it's possible, but might be not the wisest thing.

Ville: It's not recommended.

M: And I've heard that you, Ville, said a couple of weeks ago, that "Deep Shadows" was an album for girls and now you're going to record an album for boys.

Ville: Yeah, too many groupies around. We're gonna change the atmosphere… totally. It'll be more like a mumbling.

M: And are you happy with "Deep Shadows"?

Ville: Happy? Yeah…

M: And you like the style?

Ville: Yes, sort of…

M: And do you know that your old fans don't really like the album.

Ville: They all can fuck off. I really don't care. We're making music which we love. If somebody doesn't like it they should be playing themselves.

M: So, you don't really care about other's opinion.

Ville: No, because we have to write music for ourselves. Performing assholes we have to enjoy it. And the last album has more sentimental parts. It's just an album. It's not like great monster or large than life album. No albums like that.

M: And what style will have the new album? Will the style be changed from "Deep Shadows"?

Ville: Yes, it's gonna be totally different.

M: And if you can give any examples…

Ville: It'll be more lightning. The songs are gonna be longer and faster. The mood is gonna be the same like from "Our Diabolikal Rapture". Very gloomy and it's gonna be faster.

M: And when can we wait for new single?

Ville: Early next year. We're going to the studio in September. It'll take a long time until it's gonna be remastered. So, early next year. And the album should be our before summer.

M: And soon the book about you should be published. Do you take part in it?

Ville: Well, sort of.

Mige: He's very famous writer.

Ville: He's the most famous Finnish rock journalist - Juho Juntunen. He's pretty cool fellow.

Mige: He likes to suck people hard.

Ville: He did it last night.

Mige: Yes, I know. It's pretty scary.

Ville: And he's got a band called "Satana and the God Fuckers".

M: And can you tell me about your relationships with other Finnish bands? For example, Jussi69 just told me he's a huge fan of you.

Ville: Jussi is a fan of everything.

M: And your relationships?

Ville: They are very bar-orientated.

Mige: We see each other most in natural way.

 

Being in the bus, we saw Ike right near it. He waved to us and I noticed his hand was broken. Ville and Mige said the accident had happened in Bulgaria. They were trying to convince me that Ville broke Ike's hand in armwrestling game:). "Very popping sound came from it and then it was broken". Then we continued the interview.

 

M: How happened you, Ville, appeared on The 69 Eyes album "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" for the first time? It was long time before your first album. You even haven't recorded that time.

Ville: No, we have recorded our first album. It was in 1997.

M: Were you popular those days?

Ville: No, I wasn't. No, we weren't.

M: And how happened you recorded those songs with The Agents?

Ville: It was a TV show.

M: But all the people there were quite old and you were so young.

Ville: Yeah. That fellow, that dad guy (Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki. - M.), is not very popular among the young people. And I always like his songs.

M: Sure, the songs are great. But you weren't well-known that time.

Ville: No, I wasn't. Somebody asked me and I said "Yes, why not". vM: So, you were invited?

Ville: Yes.

 

Then the Polish girls asked Ville and Mige some questions. Answering a question about current summer festival season, the guys said they liked Roskilde most of all, because it was "very well organized". About plans for the nearest future they said they would go to studio right after the festivals till early November, and they probably would go to America for mixing. The girls also asked why HIM didn't stay with "His Infernal Majesty" for America, why they chose HER. Ville said there's Canadian band called "Infernal Majesty" and HIM didn't want to have any problems and misunderstandings with them also. On the question if HIM are satisfied of work of BMG company Ville said that he likes BMG-Finland, but the companies are very different from country to country. The last question from the girls was about rumour that the 4th HIM album can be the last one and that HIM was finishing their carrier after that. Ville and Mige said it's not true and the new album is not gonna be their swan song.

 

M: The girls mentioned BMG. I asked Mige already, and now you, Ville. Do they influence on your music?

Ville: Influence?

M: Well, there's a rumour that your made "Deep Shadows" in this style, because BMG needed more poppy music, they wanted it. Is it true?

Mige: I've explained it? What did I say?

M: You said they don't influence.

Mige: It wouldn't be nice. They don't need it.

 

While Mige was saying the last phrase, HIM manager came to us and said our time is over. When I switched off the recorded, Ville said that they (BMG, I suppose. - M.) influence.

 

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!

 

 

 

 H.I.M.

Concert hall “Friendship”

 

(New Musical Express 15.01.2002)

People like to talk that HIM plays lyric metal, which has grown from Ozzy Osborn and Kiss music. Also definitions “love metal” and “Scandinavian metal” are in use. Or “gothic rock” which of course sounds stronger and musicians like it better. At least the real “gothic rock” is quite different music.

People like to talk about HIM especially nowadays. They say that guys are secret Satanists.

That HIM frontman Ville Valo is Russian fellow Voldemar Valov, that he is trying to look like Jim Morrison. But everybody without exceptions say that they are “hot Finnish guys”.

The concert of Finnish band HIM has coincided with the concert of Russian band “King and jester”. They were passing in neighborhood: HIM in “Druzhba” in the sport complex Lyzniki and “King and jester” also in Lyzniki but in the main concert hall. At the subway station “Sportivnaya” police pursued both shouting fans of “King and jester” and silent intelligent people who has come to listen to HIM with the same zeal. After the escaping from subway station little thin stream had been separated from large crowd and moved to the left. Near “Druzhba” that stream flowed into impressive crowd. The were a lot of people on the concert. There were about one third of the crowd in the pit and almost full stands. But when the light was turned off and the music started to play it was a filling that there was savage number of people. Scream and squeal were deafening.

I am subdued (it is really suitable word) by Ville Valo manner of singing. It is thoughtful drawling and melancholically. Plenty of girls, who have come to the concert all of them beautiful and young, started to breathe deeper with the sound of his voice. And he is His Infernal Majesty not in vain, he is irresistible and fatal. Also people were waiting for the slow melodies.

When musicians started to play slower then usual, lighters lighted up. But they were shining not very long time. HIM music is not convenient for lighters and slow dances in the darkness.

The concert came out terribly beautiful. Beautiful sound, beautiful light, beautiful vocalist sings beautiful and slightly thoughtful songs. Also I think the definition weird is suitable for their music. It is charmed.

People were waiting for the hits. And they’ve got them! It figures that the greatest thing was “Join me (In Death)” and Ville in lilac mist. Girls screamed sitting in the shoulders of their boyfriends and swinging their hands. Cool howling and loud series of accords finished “Pretending”.

Everybody even people who did not know English sang “In Joy And Sorrow”. It was complete rapture. They were called for again. People screamed, stamped their feet, called the name of the band and screamed again. They have sung how beautiful she was and gone away. The first who has left the scene was vocalist Ville. He went when music was not finished. Musicians kept on playing, the guitars thundered and howled, drummer bitted his own head by drum sticks. Really I can’t say for 100 % but from the hall it has looked in this way. They were leaving the scene by one by one: guitarists, one of them dropped his shirt as a present for listeners. And the last was drummer who has made shot like thunder for farewell.

 

 

Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!

 

 

 

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