Bericht aus der polnischen Popcorn
(Popcorn, June 2003)
A new album: Love Metal, two superb videos and the first child in the team. These are only three from many reasons, for which we interviewed Ville Valo, the leader of the dark ship company HIM for a small review.
Popcorn: Hi Ville! We have nice, warm weather. And how is the weather in Helsinki?
Ville Valo: There is no heat, but behind a window (laughter) it gets quite nice.
Popcorn: Last time we spoke, you were in Warsaw to promote "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights". Did something change in your private life?
Ville Valo: The most important is, that we play in the same warehouse. Lately our music family enlarged, because of Linde's daugther born on the 6th of March.
Popcorn: Our congratulations!
Ville Valo: Thanks, for sure I will pass on to him!
Popcorn: Ville, I cannot resist asking you, whether you made any new tattoos?
Ville Valo: This time I can not boast a new example, but we are soon going to Amsterdam, where a 100% for sure I will get myself something nice.
Popcorn: let's come back to music. How did you work for the new album?
Ville Valo: The album was recorded and produced in Helsinki by Hiili Hiilesmaa, who worked with us on our first disc. Tim Palmer has mixed the album in Los Angeles, who on account has worked with U2 among others.
Popcorn: Already while reading the titles of Love Metal it was easy enough to come to the conclusion, that you wrote only sad and dark texts...
Ville Valo: For sure my lyrics are pompous, elevated and full of seriousness and my muses are the world, people and feelings. But between poems I try to divide irony, and even my specific feeling of humour with listeners.
Popcorn: What is it like for you writing texts?
Ville Valo: Firts of all, this is a considerable challenge for mind and talent. I adore creating different stories, to transform feelings into words. Surely I write the best, when my heart bleeds. Therefore sometimes I treat writing as some kind of medicine, therapy for the soul.
Popcorn: What does gothic mean for you?
Ville Valo: Lipstick (laughter). It reminds me also of excellent music, that the Sisters Of Mercy play for example. But Gothic is also a considerable market, like in America. The German fans consider this music like a religion. I prefer to say, that HIM plays... Love Metal! Because first of all our music is based on rock and old heavy metal. Elvis Presley, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones - they are our favorite bands.
Popcorn: Who invented your logo the "heartagram" on Love Metal's cover?
Ville Valo: I invented the logo before HIM came into being. I was 20 years old. It resembles our lives and what our music expresses. It is a link between romantic messages taken from Presley, and emotions which carry metal. Link between the dark aspects of life and love...
Popcorn: Juliette Lewis, whom we know from movies like "Natural Born Killers" and "Gilbert Grape" played in your video "Buried Alive by Love". How do you remember your co-operation with her?
Ville Valo: She is a very nice and normal girl! No capricious star. On the set in Los Angeles she arrived with her boyfriend, a skater. We were joking, having fun...
Popcorn: The video to "Funeral Of Hearts" is a totally different story...
Ville Valo: Yes it is full of cold climate and fantasy. We went to the north of Finland to Lapland to shoot it. It was terribly cold, but when I looked at it on TV today I was satisfied. It was good to freeze!
Popcorn: Your schedule is full of concerts during the summer festivals in Europe. I didn't find a concert in Poland...
Ville Valo: Not everything is lost! We think about performing in Poland. We love to play for you! We remember a super party during a previous visit and we want to come back at the very latest in autumn of this year. Check our site www.heartagram.com. We update all our concerts dates currently.
Popcorn: We are waiting for this!!! To conclude, I have request - can you greet for Popcorn the HIM fans in Poland?
Ville Valo: Of course! We thank behind echoes - mails with proofs of liking, in which you greet us and you ask about many matters. We thank the creators of internet sites particularly, which are consecrated to HIM. See you!
German Version comes soon!!!
Orgy for Gloominess
(Rumba, August 2003)
With their fourth album, HIM strips love metal to its bare essentials.
Finland's most successful rock band is ready and willing to take their next journey towards true international superstardom. Singer Ville Valo and bassist Mige opened their hearts to Rumba about Hollywood, drugs, pissing and? yes, love metal.
They're being eyed with curiosity, the singer in his black knitted cap, black sweatshirt, scarf, tight jeans and sneakers, and the bassist in his red knitted cap and faded T-shirt. Actually, they're getting shamelessly stared at. Some of them nosy ones might have recognised Ville Valo, Finland's most renowned rock'n'roll singer. We're sitting in one of the most expensive restaurants in Helsinki, where all the other customers are cigar-smoking businessmen wearing Prada and Armani suits.
Regardless of what you might think, this isn't exactly the most typical environment for our beloved lovemetallers, even now when they're balancing on the edge of international superstardom. In this restaurant, a customer in sneakers is just about as rare as a snowstorm in July, and the fancy-schmancy businessmen are undoubtedly gazing at Ville for his 'bizarre' looks alone.
To sum it all up, we are doing an interview in the middle of a cultural clash. It might be just a clever plot on the record company's part to bring a little something extra for this encounter between a contemporary rock zine and two musicians practically interviewed to death by now. Or maybe it's just a coincidence. In any case, there's something very HIM-like in the whole scenery; nothing's quite what it seems.
We order delicious but ridiculously expensive meals on the record company's bill. I assume that the HIM guys enjoy similar luxurious cuisine on a regular basis. Do Ville and Mige still have any sense of taste left after all the gourmet meals and culinary pleasures?
"Nah, we don't really have time for gourmet meals, usually we just grab some ethnic stuff or something. We all have our favourite restaurants where we eat. Only like once in a blue moon we eat something as expensive and fancy as this," Ville explains, with a sincere look on his face.
Somehow I find it hard to believe this guy whose three previous albums have sold over two million copies worldwide. That's a shitload of albums, for a Finnish band.
Love Metal is HIM's fourth album. In five years and with their first three albums, the band has made Finnish rock'n'roll history in more ways than one. HIM was the first Finnish band singing in English that made it big already with their first album (that is, was approved by the public too, not just by the rock magazines), and they were definitely the first Finnish rock band whose second album sold over half a million copies all over Europe right after it was released. In addition, HIM was the first band to prove that a Finnish band singing in English can actually go on top of the official Finnish charts, and stay there too. And all this was said and done before the band members' average age reached 25 years.
Of course, the HIM guys are not the kings of the world yet, they have not achieved everything they'd like to achieve. Both the band and the people around them are eager to reach across the Big Pond to the American market, a place that could very well be receptive to a band like HIM. So far Ville and his bandmates are virtually unknown in the U.S., but they do have two celebrity fans there already. Bam Margera is a professional skater known by the MTV generation as one of the loonies of the hit series Jackass. Last autumn HIM flew to California to shoot a video for the rather queens-of-the-stone-age-like Buried Alive By Love, the opening track of Love Metal. The video was directed by Bam.
"Actually, we went to LA to mix the album", Ville explains.
"At first, we went to London to work on a couple of tracks with Tim Palmer, to see how he works and what kind chemistry we have together. Even though Tim is British, he lives in LA. He wanted to do the mixing at home, and since the chemistry between us seemed to work well in London, we decided to go to LA with him. Besides, it was a convenient excuse to go and hang around in the City of Angels."
Love Metal wasn't mixed in any old sweatshop in LA. The work was done at the Scream Studios in Venice Beach, the birthplace of for example Nirvana's Nevermind and Faith No More's The Real Thing. Was this the first time you were making a record in LA, that self-proclaimed capital of Western entertainment industry and shameless hedonism?
"This was the first time we were actually there in person. A couple of years ago we did a song for the Turbonegro tribute album, and that was our first song that was mixed in LA. But back then we weren't in there in person, we were just giving instructions and stuff over the phone and e-mail about how it was supposed to sound."
"Me and Mige went to LA for the mixing process. Then we shot the Buried Alive By Love video with Bam, and at that point the rest of the band flew to California as well. By that time the mixing was basically done, so we threw a little party first and then started shooting the vid."
Palmer, who was responsible for mixing Love Metal, has gained some name in the music biz by producing albums for bands like U2. Ville and Mige were staying in LA for three weeks, which I hear was enough to get over the jet lag. What did you think of LA as a place?
"I fuckin' loved it!" Ville says, getting excited. "I liked it more than New York 'cause in LA all the buildings are low. And it was cool when nobody was walking around, everyone was driving their cars. You can't go anywhere in LA by foot."
"But there was something kinda uneasy about LA too", Mige continues. "That place is fuckin' enormous."
"We were staying on Sunset Strip. It's a cool area cause all the clubs and record stores are right around the corner."
Besides Bam Margera, the HIM guys have another celebrity fan in California too, Kelly 'Ozzy's daughter' Osbourne. Rumours say that Kelly would've wanted to find out just how much lovin' our sinful ambassador of love metal was ready, willing and able to give. Or, at least her friends were, as they were eager to show Ville their heartagram tattoos.
"Nah, it wasn't like that at all", Ville says, smiling. "Kelly is a friend of Bam's and I met her through Bam in this one club. We were just chatting for a bit, talking shit about everything. She was just partying there with some of her friends. And they had this big bodyguard standing by all the time."
It seems that it could actually be easier for HIM to break into the American market through the hard rock and pop metal oriented LA and California than through the hip and super trendy New York. In LA it's basically enough that you got the right amount of zeros in your marketing budget. The City of Angels wouldn't be the City of Angels if they didn't do their maths first and only then start to plan the so-called artistic designs and substance. But the one-million sales of HIM's second album Razorblade Romance should still be a relatively good reference anywhere in the world, even in the cynical LA.
Those of us who have followed the band's career for a while know that the recording process of HIM's previous album, Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights, was everything but easy and smooth. The European tour that followed the album was almost the end of HIM as we know it.
"All of our recording processes have been difficult. This new album is the first exception to that rule. The only problem we had during the actual recording phase was that I got the shittiest flu and we couldn't do anything. Our flights to LA were booked for a certain day, and we really had to go then. For a moment it looked pretty serious 'cause we didn't know if I was gonna make it. But that was like the biggest problem we had when making this album."
So the new songs were written during that short time you had off after all the promo and touring was done for the previous album?
"We practised the new songs a lot before going to the studio. I was playing the guitar at home and at times we got together and rehearsed. We messed around with the songs quite a bit, changed the riffs and the compositions and all that. I had about 10 songs ready before we got together with the band and started working on them."
I remember reading somewhere that Ville writes most of the HIM songs at home, lying in bed in his underpants, playing the guitar. Is that still how it goes today?
"Yeah it is? Except that I don't wear the underpants anymore", Ville laughs.
"When I wake up at home and got nothing to do, I grab the guitar and start playing. It's my way of relaxing, you know. It only turns into work when we start rehearsing the songs with the band and arranging them, putting them together. That takes a little bit more effort. But when you play the guitar for fun, that's easy. It doesn't take a lot of energy. It's just something I really love to do. I already have 8 new song ideas of the next album after Love Metal."
As far as the music, the name and the cover art are concerned, Love Metal is a Thematic Entity with a capital T and E. On the one hand, it's an explicit statement about HIM's music, a clear definition of love metal. Yet on the other hand, at the same time and for the same reasons, it takes the band back to where they started from and even beyond. In some album reviews, Love Metal has been said to take HIM to the other side of the cliché of love metal.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ville feels the same way.
"Love Metal reaches across the band's history all the way to our first album, Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666, and even beyond that. The new album shakes hands with our teenage idols and sources of inspiration. It's like, 'say hi to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin?and now let's rock and have a great time'."
"The first album is always a test, isn't it? Back in 1997, we didn't know a damn thing about studios and recording albums, we were just given 15 days to record Greatest Lovesongs. Over the years we've learned a thing or two, though, about what recording an album can be, what it should be, and what it definitely shouldn't be."
"I think Love Metal is just as well produced as for example Razorblade was, it's just been produced in a different way. Every album is produced, but you don't have to spend seven months doing it just for the sake of producing the album, if that doesn't feel right. The most important thing with this album was that there was gonna be space and air on it, that you could hear the joy and feeling of playing on it. And that it sounds organic. I like that kind of an assertive and confident feel on an album. When you know what you're doing, you can relax while you're working. And that was how it was for us with this album."
HIM's two trademarks, the feelings of endless sorrow and overwhelming melancholy, are still present on Love Metal. Aside from a couple of tracks that get their power and feeling from aggressiveness (Buried Alive By Love and Soul On Fire), most songs on the album are driven by the agonising pain of a broken heart.
"This is the most cathartic album we've ever recorded", Ville believes.
"I think it's gloomy rather than just sad. It's a fuckin' gloomy album, when you really think about it", Mige contemplates.
"Our music and this album are basically celebrating gloominess. They're celebrating it, glorifying it and throwing an orgy for its honour. That's what love metal is all about. It's not your average melancholy, you know, when you go like 'oh fuck, everything's fucked up.' Everything always gets fucked up at some point. It's more like asking, why is it so bad to hit the rock bottom at times in order to get back up again?"
With Love Metal, HIM took a trip to the past also on a very concrete level. The album was produced by the same guy who also produced the first HIM album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666, the semi-official Finnish metal guru Hiili Hiilesmaa. In 1999, Hiili was hired to produce Razorblade Romance after the success of the first album, but the chemistry between the band and the producer didn't work. This time, three years later, the co-operation between Hiili and HIM worked like a charm again.
"We know a lot more about everything now than what we did back then when we worked with Hiili for the first time", Mige explains.
"At that point, when we were recording Razorblade, Hiili was working way too much. Now he's only taking the projects he really enjoys. And he's also taking more time off, so that he can fully concentrate on the projects he's chosen. At the same time we've learned to take it easy too. I think we can relate to him a lot better now than before."
"In other words, Hiili is not like Rick Rubin and we're not like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers."
Both Ville and Mige maintain that there's no pressure or stress about how Love Metal is going to be received by the record-buying public. By now we already know that the album went straight to Nr. 1 in at least Germany and Finland on the first week after its release. In any case, it's easy to believe the guys when they say there's no pressure; they've already gone through that hell so many times that they've probably learned to relax a bit.
"Well, I suppose I'm a bit nervous about it. Of course I'd love it if the album went on the charts everywhere, especially in the UK. 'Cause you know, the fact is that this album is supposed to bring us bread and butter for the next two years", Ville admits.
"Luckily we're so happy with all the work we've done that we owe no explanations to anyone, even if someone came up and said that it's total crap."
Last autumn HIM published their first official Finnish biography, Synnin Viemää ('Gone With The Sin'). The book contains detailed reports on the band's international tours, and it seems to imply that during both the Razorblade Romance and Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlight tours, the band members were mentally and physically exhausted and actually came close to giving up and packing it in completely. Wild rumours about Ville's suicide attempts and all sorts of feuds between the band members were circling in the Helsinki rock scene, but no one knew the real truth behind those rumours.
"In hindsight, it wasn't really all that bad. It was kinda softcore stuff if you compare it to what some other bands have gone through. Or maybe it's just a matter of time putting everything into perspective, or something."
"Everyone goes through good times and bad times, regardless of what you do for living. Sometimes you're good to yourself, sometimes you're not."
After a moment of thoughtful silence, Ville admits that the previous tour might have been a bit too challenging socially.
"We had worked too much, and I had kept way too much shit inside for too long. And it all came to a halt in a very nasty way, I totally exploded in the tour bus one night and took everyone down with me for weeks. But luckily we're all good friends, so we were able to talk about it afterwards and fix things up. That was the first time I had to face the question 'what if the band didn't exist at all after this?' It was definitely not a nice thought, I can tell you that."
"Relationships between band members are like marriages, and breaking up a band is like a divorce. If a relationship like that is broken off because the people involved don't want to stay together and do their thing anymore, there's only a bad and an even worse way to do it", Mige sums up.
"Being on tour is like a world of its own. When you kick off a tour, you never know what's gonna happen out there. Before the last tour, we were thinking that this time we're gonna try to take it easy and not go out and party and drink so much. But when we actually went on the road, that's exactly what we did. We went out and partied like never before. It's such a different world and a different atmosphere out there."
"When you're on tour, you're in such an adrenaline high all the time that you have to go a little crazy to burn it off. I mean, as long as you don't screw up the gigs, you can go and shoot heroin right into your eyeballs for all I care. As long as you don't screw up the gigs. That's like the basic rule."
Parties come and go but the tour goes on, Ville and Mige explain in unison. Despite the 'evidence' presented in Juho Juntunen's Synnin Viemää book, the two lovemetallers maintain that the HIM guys generally stay out of trouble and steer clear of scandals.
"We're definitely a different kind of band in one sense; there's not a lot of people hanging around backstage at our gigs. Mige and Burton play chess, I drink beer with our roadie. Then we go to the hotel bar and that's about it. That's as wild as it gets, usually."
Ville says that only the upcoming tour will reveal the true nature of the chemistry between the band members. People's lives have changed quite a bit since the last tour. For example, the guitarist Linde is now the proud daddy of a little baby girl.
"Personally, I had this attitude on the last tour that I held on to until the end. It was a case of letting loose and taking that to the extreme. And a lot of that stuff ended up in the book", Mige confesses.
"It was like, you could piss into someone's shoes if that's what you felt like doing. Or into a glass cabinet."
"Shit happens, you know."
I excuse myself to go to the men's room, and realise it only when it's too late that I had left my beer at the table unattended. When I get back, I ask Ville and Mige if it's still safe to drink the rest of the beer, or have these two masters of excretion pranks already played a nasty little trick on me.
"A good dick prankster never reveals the tricks of his trade", Mige grins.
"Except maybe in books, but by then it's already too late", Ville continues, with a mischievous smile.
What's the biggest and best dick prank the HIM guys have ever pulled?
"That pasta thing that Kerkko Koskinen ate." (Kerkko Koskinen is a well-known Finnish musician who used to be in a very popular band called Ultra Bra.)
"At the Emma gala, our equivalent of the Grammies, they had this pasta buffet for the people performing and presenting awards there. There were no staff members around, so we had to pull a little prank on Kerkko."
"He has since been informed about our dick prank, and lucky for us he's got a great sense of humour."
"I gotta tell you, though, it wasn't a pretty sight. It felt really bad to watch Kerkko eating that pasta afterwards. Really, really bad."
german version comes soon!!!
Bewertung zu "Love Metal"
Das Geheule war groß, als die finnischen Düster-Rocker von HIM vor zwei Jahren ihr drittes Studioalbum „Deep shadows and brilliant highlights“ auf den Markt brachten. Fans und Kritiker beschwerten sich, dass die Band sich völlig dem Kommerz verschrieben habe und ihr immens erfolgreiches Zweitwerk „Razorblade romance“ (2000) dreist zu kopieren versuchte. HIM selber gaben offen zu Protokoll, dass sie auch nicht glücklich mit dem Werk seien, aber von der Plattenfirma (BMG) mehr oder weniger gezwungen wurden, diesen Weg einzuschlagen.
Nun, die Wahrheit liegt, wie so oft, irgendwo dazwischen. Fest steht, dass „Deep shadows and brilliant highlights“ zwiespältige Reaktionen auslöste und bei weitem nicht so erfolgreich war wie sein Vorgänger. Doch dem soll nun Abhilfe geschaffen werden. Auf ihrem aktuellen Werk „Love metal“ streben die Herren Ville Valo (Vocals), Daniel „Linde“ Lioneye (Gitarre), Michael „Mige“ Eros (Bass), Buddha „Gas“ Cognac (Drums) und Burton (Keyboards) eine Art Rückbesinnung auf alte „Greatest lovesongs vol. 666“-Zeiten an. Sprich: Mehr Rockgitarren anstelle poppiger Keyboardteppiche. Wobei man davon ausgehen kann, dass die epische Wucht der Herzschmerzdramen von Texter und Songschreiber Ville Valo auch anno 2003 sehr stimmig eingefangen wird.
Ville Hermanni Valo, Mastermind der finnischen Himmelstürmer, wurde am 22.11.1976 in Helsinki geboren. Früh stellte sich heraus, dass der kleine Ville kein gewöhnliches Kind war. Schon als Jugendlicher zeigte er eine besondere Vorliebe fürs Bizarre. So gehörten der Kiss-Bassist Gene Simmons, der morbide Horrorautor Edgar Allan Poe und Westernheld Clint Eastwood zu seine ersten Idolen. Seine erklärten Hassobjekte waren die Beatles und Blumen (sic!). Auch Familie Valo war nicht gerade das, was man eine gutbürgerliche Kleinfamilie nennt. Vater Valo betreibt einen Sexshop und setzte Sohn Ville als Verkäufer hinter die Kasse. Aus dieser Zeit rührt Villes Vorliebe für Sexspielzeuge, die er auch heute noch leidenschaftlich sammelt. Ville ist 20 Jahre alt als er 1996 mit Mikko Henrik die Band HIM gründet. Primäres Ziel der Band ist es, dem öden Alltag zu entfliehen, da alle Bandmitglieder in relativ langweiligen und zudem schlecht bezahlten Jobs arbeiten. HIM ist das Kürzel für „His Infernal Majesty“ und gibt bereits jede Menge Aufschluss über die Musik, die zwischen Glamour, Pathos und Gothic angelegt ist. Noch im selben Jahr erscheint die erste, selbstbetitelte EP in einer Auflage von 1.000 Stück auf dem finnischen Markt. Die Plattenfirma BMG Finnland wird so auf HIM aufmerksam und bietet der Band 1997 einen Plattenvertrag an. In Skandinavien sorgen HIM mittlerweile vor allem durch ihre Live-Performances für Aufsehen. Ville Valo entpuppt sich besonders bei der weiblichen Fans als Sexsymbol. Die Presse betitelt ihn als Reinkarnation Jim Morrisons und vergleicht ihn mit dem jungen David Bowie. Ein paar Jahre später, nach drei Alben und über zwei Millionen verkauften Einheiten, gehören Ville Valo und HIM zu den ganz großen Acts der europäischen Rockmusik.
Im April 2003, nach fast 1 ½ Jahren Produktionszeit, legen die Finnen nun ihres neues Werk vor. Das Album wurde im Finnvox Studio in Helsinki, mit dem alten Vertrauten Hiili Hiilesmaa, aufgenommen und zum Abmischen in die Hände von Tim Palmer (Sepultura, Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Pearl Jam) gelegt. Vorbote der vierten CD ist die Single „The funeral of hearts“, die im März erschien und wieder alle Markenzeichen des HIM-Sounds vereint. Mit seiner zuckersüßen Melodie, gepaart mit derben Gitarrenklängen, geht der Track absolut auf Nummer sicher und kann deshalb getrost als „definitiver HIM-Song“ bezeichnet werden. Wer HIM in der Vergangenheit mochte, wird den Track lieben. Die, die sich bereits über „Gone with the sin“ oder „Right here in my arms“ aufregten, werden auch mit „The funeral of hearts“ ihr Waterloo erleben.
Doch die Maxime auf „Love metal“ lautet Rückbesinnung. Und so legen HIM auf ihrer neuen CD los wie die Feuerwehr und knüppeln im Highspeedtempo mit „Buried alive by love“ einen der härtesten Songs der Bandgeschichte raus. Da sich auf der limitierten Auflage des Albums ein Videoclip zu diesem Track befindet, ist davon auszugehen, dass der Song die zweite Singleauskopplung wird. Hoffentlich vergraulen die Finnen damit nicht ihr Stammpublikum, denn „Buried alive by love“ brettert doch ganz schön heftig aus den Speakern. In eine ähnliche Richtung zielt auch „Beyond redemption“. Der Song bewegt sich im Midtempobereich und wird von druckvollen Basssounds in bester Gothic-Metal-Manier geprägt. Der Refrain ist wieder typisch HIM: Hymnisch und eingängig. Mit „Sweet pandemonium“ folgt die erste Ballade. Ein von orchestralen Klängen getragener Schmachtfetzen im Stile von „Close to the flame“. Ville Valo haucht, gluckst und jauchzt wie in besten Tagen. Zum Glück sorgen die schneidigen Gitarren dafür, dass der Song nicht all zu sehr in seichte Gewässer abdriftet.
„Soul on fire“ startet ebenfalls mit enormem Tempo, dem aber nicht durchgehend standgehalten wird. Es gibt immer wieder kleine Breaks, in denen Ville das Ruder übernimmt und die Instrumente lediglich Beiwerk zu seinen gehauchten Vocals sind. Der Refrain gehört dagegen zur härteren Sorte. Treibende Beats und kreischende Gitarren beweisen dem Hörer nochmals mit Nachdruck, dass HIM die Liebe zu ruppigen Gitarrenklängen wiederentdeckt haben. „This sacrament“ beginnt mit einem traumhaften Piano-Intro, das nahtlos in einen epischen Keyboardteppich übergeht. Wenn kurz darauf die Gitarren und das Schlagzeug einsetzen, stellt man rasch fest, dass das Grundgerüst des Songs dem Hit „Join me (in death)“ ähnelt. Kein schlechter Song, der aber vielleicht etwas zu sehr auf Nummer sicher geht. Bei den doomigen Klängen im Intro von „This fortress of tears“ lassen Black Sabbath grüßen. Man erahnt, wohin die Reise geht. Doch der Song schlägt erst ein paar Haken. Nach einem atmosphärischen Piano-Part, zu dem Ville stöhnt und schmachtet, ergreifen langsam die Gitarren das Regiment und führen den Song in den Hafen eines begnadeten Refrains. Ville Valo, der Meister der Melodien hat wieder zugeschlagen!
„Circle of fear“ und „Endless dark“ werden von akustischen Gitarren eingeleitet, die in düsteren Bass-Grooves münden. Zusammen mit Valos dunkler Grabesstimme wird bei beiden Stücken eine mystische Atmosphäre erzeugt, die nur von den optimistischen Refrains aufgebrochen wird. Trotzdem zählen die genannten Songs eher zur Gattung überdurchschnittlichen Füllmaterials. Zum Abschluss walzen Valo und seine Mannen mit „The path“ ein ausschweifendes Acht-Minuten-Epos in die Landschaft. Finnlands größter Dildosammler legt noch mal die gesamte Gefühlspalette in seine Stimme und leidet bis ihm und uns die Tränen kommen. Die Melodie schwebt begleitet von kitschigen Uuhuu-Chören durch den Raum, während die Gitarre ihr trauriges Lied von gebrochen Herzen, flammender Liebe und dem Tod spielt - also den hauptsächlichen Zutaten von Herrn Valos, mit Verlaub, reichlich beknackten Texten. Aber das ist ein anderes Thema. Auf jeden Fall verraten die zehn Songs des Albums Ville Valos Gespür für starke Melodien und unterstreichen den Charakter handgemachter Rockmusik.
Bleibt festzuhalten, dass HIM mit „Love metal“ die Kurve noch mal bekommen haben und zu etwas härteren Klängen zurückgekehrt sind. Das weiß durchaus zu gefallen und lässt den arg verquasten Vorgänger „Deep shadows and brilliant highlights“ vergessen, welcher der Band künstlerisch wie zwischenmenschlich beinahe den Garaus gemacht hätte. „Love metal“ ist ein grundsolides Album geworden, das für fast jeden etwas bietet. Hitparadenfutter, Heavy-Metal-Eskapaden und epische Breitwandmusik mit erhöhtem Leidensfaktor auf Seiten des Sängers. Dass man so einen Schritt zurück, der im Prinzip einen Schritt nach vorne darstellt, nicht unbedingt erwarten konnte, ist kein Geheimnis und macht es umso angenehmer, über dieses Werk zu berichten. Die HIM-Fans können also aufatmen. Es geht weiter!
» The path
» This sacrament
» Buried alive by love
» Sweet pandemonium
» This fortress of tears
Insgesammt erhielt dieses Album von Filmstars.de 7/10 Punkten.
English version comes soon!!!
Love and Hate
Ville and Mige has known each other since primary school. They wonder even themselve how they can be such good buddies when they are like night and day. It started as follows:
Location: Oulunkylö primary school, North of Helsinki
Time: the 80‘s
Happening: Ville who is in the 3rd grade and Mige who is in the 5th grade meet while playing a game.
They prefered to hang around with each other instead with bigger groups. When others were interested in sports they were interested in music. Ville remembers, we started to exchange bass videos and watched them together.
yes, it has been away too long since we did that. We should have a team night again, snacks and videos. Both of us would get a bass and we should try to do the same as they do in the videos, just like we did in the early days. The others would surely leave quite angry, thinks Mige.
They exchanged violent moovies, too.
-Yeah, we did that very much says Mige.
-Or you borrowed them from me, I had a lot of them and you had non, adds Ville.
-Ahaa... I gues I didn’T have that many... You were my link to the violent movieworld, says Mige. But I gave them back. Didn’t I?
So this is how it is
Relevant things: To understand each other, to grow as a human and that we may see the musicians skating together in the future.
Ville and Mige didn’t think that long about the most important things in their friendship-
-It’s the way we understand us. Our opinion is always very different and that means you need to try to understand the other persons point of view as well. They can’t tell what the biggest moment of their friendsip would be.
-My memory is very bad. I can’t remember special moments and I don’t even want to, laughs Mige.
-Playing is nice and that’s what it has been for 15 years now, says Ville. We know each other so well also when it comes to music.
The guys are laughing when we ask what else connects them than music because music takes a lot of their time.
-We do different things and we talk a lot outside the work stuff, I don’t know, says Ville.
-I have been thinking that we could start some new hobby, maybe we could do some handcraft, says Mige and Ville can’t stop to laugh.
-Sailing would be nice but Mige doesn’t like that idea at all.
Seriously they have been talking about to start to skate again. Ville has done that before for a long time. Mige never tried but he would be very interested in learning it.
What we fight about
Subject: something that has to do with the band. What happens? Ville yells and Mige is quiet. How can u solve it? Let time pass by and be friends again.
Both wonder that they don’t get bored to look at each other day by day, on the road or at home. They don’t fight that often but still sometimes. Ville screams and Mige is the one, who’s more quiet.
-Mige is the thinker person, it’s not that good if you just think about it and u can’t talk and try to solve it.
-That’s true, Mige agrees. The one who screams gets over it faster than the person who just keeps everything inside. Now we have actually more only diagreed about things without fighting.
-We have had probably 3 serious fights during the last 15 years and they didn’t last longer than 1 week, says Ville.
The more serious ones had always to do with the band. All guys put so much time and energy in HIM that such things can happen. There are no special reasons for the disputes, somebody is in a bad mood and than the bandmates have to cope with it, says Ville.
But good friends are already used to that situations. Ville tells that there are also good sides of talking about things. You learn to talk about things which bothering you but it would be actually good sometimes to keep the mouth shut.
This is the future
Ville and Mige continue to make music, with or without HIM their friendship will last.
The guys say that their friendship will last and stay the same but they are not able to tell how long HIM will exist.
-How old will we be after 20 years? Almost 50! It’s very hard to say wether the band still exists or not. We are very good friends in the band, but u can’t force anyone to stay if he doesn’t feel good anymore, says Ville. True love means also to let people you love go their own way.
Nobody from the guys belives that they will ever do anything else than music in their live.
I have no experiences of having a normal job and I have not a clue what it feels like, Ville tells us. My world is a totaly different one than the one of people who work from 9 to 5.
The guys can’t imagine something that could ruin their frienship.
-Ofcourse you hurt people in life but by accident, it would be very hard to melt the fact that someone would try to harm you in purpose, Ville says.
Liebe und Hass
Ville und Mige kennen sich seit der Grundschule. Die Beiden wundern sich selbst darüber wie sie so gute Freunde sein können obwohl sie wie Tag und Nacht sind.
Und so hat alles angefangen
Ort: Oulunkylö Grundschule, im Norden von Helsinki.
Was passiert ist: Ville, der in die 3. Klasse geht und Mige, der die 5.Klasse besucht treffen sich während eines Spiels. Sie ziehen es vor zusammen abzuhängen anstatt mit größeren Gruppen. Als sich die Anderen für Sport interesiert haben, haven sich die Beiden für Musik interessiert, erinnert sich Ville. Wir fingen an Bassvideos zu tauschen und sie zusammen anzusehen.
-Oj ja es ist schon zu lange her seit wir das gemacht haben. Wir sollten das mal wieer machen, Snacks und Videos. Wir hätten beide einen Bass und wir würden das Selbe tun wie in den Bassvideos, eben genau wie damals. Die anderen würden bestimmt ziemlich sauer gehen, denkt Mige.
Die Zwei tauschten auch Gewaltvidos.
-Ja das haben wir oft gemacht, sagt Mige.
-Du hast sie dir immer von mir ausgeliehen, ich hatte viele davon und du hattest keine, fügt Ville hinzu.
-Ahaa... ja so war das glaube ich, ich hatte nicht viele, du hast mich dazu gebracht, sagt Mige. Aber ich hab sie doch zurückgegeben oder nicht?
So ist es also
Was wichtig ist: das Verständnis. Menschlich zu wachsen und das wir die Musiker vielleicht zusammen skaten sehen.
Ville und Mige haben nicht so viel über die wichtigsten Dinge ihrer Freundschaft nachgedacht. Es ist die Art wie wir uns verstehen. Unsere Meinungen sind immer total unterschiedlich das bedeutet du musst versuchen den Standpunkt des Anderen genauso zu verstehen.
Sie könnten nicht sagen was der höchste Moment in ihrer Freundschaft war.
-Mein Erinnerungsvermögen ist recht schlecht, ich kann mich nicht an spezielle Momente erinnern und eigentlich möchte ich das auch nicht, lacht Mige.
-Musik zu machen ist ok und das it es jetzt schon seit 15 Jahren, sagt Ville. Wir kennen uns so gut auch was die Musik angeht.
Die Jungs lachen als wir sie fragen was sie außer der Musik noch verbindet da die Musik ja einen großen Platz in ihrem Leben einnimmt.
-wir machen unterschiedliche Dinge und wir reden viel über Sachen die nichts mit Arbeit zu tun haben, ich weiß nicht, sagt Ville.
Ich habe über ein neues Hobby nachgedacht. Vielleicht könnten wir Handarbeit machen, sagt Mige und Ville kann nicht mehr aufhören zu lachen.
-Segeln wäre auch ganz schön, aber Mige gefällt diese Idee überhaupt nicht.
Aber sie haben ernsthaft darüber gesprochen wieder zu skaten. Ville hat das früher lange Zeit gemacht, während Mige es zwar noch nie versucht hat, aber sehr daran interessiert wäre, es zu lernen.
Worüber wir streiten
Thema: Etwas was mit der Band zu tun hat. Was passiert? Ville schreit und Mige ist still. Wie kann man das lösen? Zeit vergehen lassen und wieder Freunde sein. Beide wundern sich darüber das sie sich nicht gegenseitig langweilen, auf Tour oder zuhause. Die Beiden streiten nicht so oft aber dennoch ab und zu. Ville schreit und Mige ist eher der Ruhigere.
-Mige ist da mehr gelassen, aber es ist nicht so gut, wenn du nur darüber nachdenkst und nicht darüber reden kannst und versuchst das Problem zu lösen.
-Das ist wahr stimmt Mige zu. Derjenige der schreit kommt leicher darüber hinweg als derjenige der alles immer nur runterschluckt.
Jetzt sind wir eigentlich mehr unterschiedlicher Meinug in manchen Dngen, ohne jegliche Streitigkeiten.
-Ville sagt: „Wir hatten vielleicht 3 ernsthafte Streits in den vergangenen 15 Jahren und keiner von ihnen dauerte länger als 1 Woche.
Die ernsteren hatten mehr mit der Band zu tun. Alle stecken soviel Zeit und Energie in HIM das solche Dinge passieren können. Es gibt keine speziellen Gründe für die Streitigkeiten, jemand hat schlechte Laune und das lässt er dann an den anderen Bandmitgliedern aus.
Aber gute Freunde haben sich schon an solche Situationen gewöhnt. Ville meint das es auch gute Seiten hat wenn man über Dinge redet. Du lernst über Sachen zu reden die dich stören aber manchmal wäre es besser einfach die Klappe zu halten.
So sieht die Zukunft aus...
Ville und Mige werden weiter Musik machen, mit oder ohne Him bleibt ihre Freundschaft bestehen.
Die Jungs sagen das ihre Freundschaft so bleiben wird wie sie ist aber sie können nicht sagen, wie lange es HIM geben wird.
-Wie alt werden wir in 20 Jahren sein? Fast 50! Es ist sehr schwierig zu sagen, ob die Band dann noch besteht oder nicht. Wir sind alle sehr gute Freunde, aber du kannst niemanden zwingen zku bleiben, so Ville. Wahre Liebe bedeutet auch das du die Menschen die du liebst ihren eigenen Weg gehen lassen musst.
Keiner der Jungs glaubt das er in seinem Leben je etwas anderes außer Musik machen wird.
-Ich habe keine Erfahrungen in einem „normalen" Job, ich hab keine Ahnung wie der ist, erzählt uns Ville. Meine Welt ist eine ganz andere, als die Welt jener Leute die von 9-5 arbeiten.
Die Jungs könnten sich nichts vorstellen das ihre Freundschaft zerstören könnte.
-Natürlich verletzt man sich im Leben einmal, aber unabsichtlich. Die Tatsache das man jemanden mit Absicht weh tut wäre ziemlich hart, so Ville.
HIM - Heart of Gold
(Sonic Seducer 2003)
Live as a rockstar can be so great: You record some songs for the new album, take them for the mixing to L.A., meet an extremly coll actress there, fly to Norway for paddeling and some hours later you play together with the other boys from the band in the Finnish forest, which is full of fresh snow. So it is a great life that the guys from HIM are living. Wouldn’t there be this small flue virus which knows absolutely no respect and holds singer Ville Valo in his bed in February and keeps him away from meeting his actually quite nice obligations. Only bassplayer Mige Amour appears for the exclusive German-presentation for the new HIM album „Love Metal" in Cologne, while ill and coughing Ville is present only through the phone.
If there is a secure applyer for the German Top-Ten-peak from the rather dark regions of the european musicszene than it’s HIM. After the No.1 Hit „Join me" and the well accetpted singles „Pretending" and „Right here in my arms" the Finns are not any longer just a band for friends of the goth and metal style, they are a upgradet issue for BRAVO and the media. Ville and co have to go from TV channel to TV channel, and with „Love Metal", how the new HIM-work is named the successtory of the romantic Finn-Rockers will conitnue. The title was cooked according to the well known recipe: You take something hard from here, something tender from there, mixes it well and the result you’ll get is a voice-contrast. You can find this also in many lyrics of master Valo. And you’ll also find it in the new arrangements of the new songs. This „Love Metal" theme has been with us for years. First we were laughing about it because we couldn’t get rid of it. The people said: You make love metal. And as we noticed that this name has became a part of what we did we used the name consequently as title for the album", says Mige and continues to smile. He likes such klischees - why else would he have choosen the name „Mige Amour" than? - Also the newest presentation of the HIM symbol, the mix of a heart and a pentagram have been adjusted to the current title. It’s a heartagram of gold.
So nothing has changed relating to the titlle of the album. however who buys „Love Metal" in April and puts it into his CD-player will get messed hairs because of the hard counterwind. The opener „Buried Alive by Love" is quite the hardest and fastest what HIM have recorded in their 8-year carrier: A solid metalsong with a toughing melody."And a not so tender shock for tender ears", Ville comments shortly." We grow old and sad. This is our last chance to rock’n’roll once more. It wasn’t clear for us that rockstars have to go to the retirement home after theire 27 birthday." But Ville isn’t that old yet also if he got this bad virus:"It’s nothing bad, just a flue. I have to take antibiotikas for somedays and I shouldn’t work. I also have a bit fever and my nose is running. In short words, I simply feel bad." (coughs)
It is not the first time that the actual tough Finn is down. Already at one of the last tour through Europe HIM had to cancell some shows. But this time Ville is smarter: He does everything not to endanger the big showcase on 08.03. in Hamburg, Große Freiheit. „The idea is that we play the complete album from the start till the end for the fans, reporters and people from the record company. And if the people still want more we will continue with some old tracks", says the singer. 3 hours after the Hamburg show has been published without any announcement on the homepage all places for the fans have been totaly booked out. Click click click, HIM fans from all over the world, from Australia, Brasil, The US and Canada have secured a place through the internet. It’s not sure whether they all will come or not but there are a lot of people who are on the long waiting list, which can follow than.
Many fans will heare in Hamburg the new single „The Funeral of Hearts" for the first time, which will be delivered to the stores first 1 ½ week later, on 17th on March.
The single will be exactly what is expacted from Ville Valo: A hymne. But one which is a lot more powerful than „Pretending" or „In Joy and Sorrow". The song invites to sing along after a few seconds. A video to the song is also existing already, it was shoot n January. For the clip Ville was allowed to get in a boat and to paddle over a froozen lake in Norway - there was no chance to shoot the szenes in Finland as there were -20 degrees at this moment- but the band came back home because the rest of the clip was done in the snow, were you can see among other things Mige riding on a horse with the guitar in his hands as a Helinki Rock’n’Roll Cowboy. Fire is burning around the drums and some wild people are freezing to death while wearing a . The strong contrast between the opener „Buried Alive by Love" and „The Funeral of hearts" seems to be the headingmotiv for the whole record as well. But the extrem powerful production was good for the sound. „ Our record was again produced by Hiili, who also has produced the first record „Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666". The wohle album was recorded at the Finnvoxstudios in Helsinki, we have mixed 2 tracks in London, the rest in L.A. while this time we shoot the clip for „Buried Alive..."." In some countries the song will be released as the first single. HIM had a starguest for their videoshoot in December: Juliette Lewis from „Natural Born Killers", „From dusk till dawn", „Kalifornia" or „Kap of fear". Not bad for a music video. „We walked through the floors and Juliette joined us. It has become a simple rockvideo but I really enjoyed it. Regie was done by that skater guy of „Jackass", Bam Magera.", says Ville. The boys from HIM also like the crazy stuntshows from MTV and Mige adds: „We thought: Ah finaly we can hurt each other a bit. And we reconned that everything turns out to be totaly crazy. But in the end it turned out to be a classical rockvideo. We were very suprised because when u see the Magera-family u think of people who doing a lot of crazy stuff and who piss on their dads. But that’s not Bam, he’s a lot more subtilecharacter. And so we were suprised. „Ville agrees with that „in 1 month we did 2 video clips, which are totaly different and we are very confident with both of them." But for Mige the time in L.A. was not what we would call a relaxed holiday.
Mige, who’s actually not afraid of cameras has developed a phobia against the security cameras, which are installated in L.A. on every corner, to monitor the traffic and ofcourse to guarantee the public security. But fact is that they steel the citizan every feeling of privacy like „Big Brother". „This cameras getting me really paranoid. They recorded me stately. It’s horrible. As beautifull as California is if it is avoidable I will never come back to L.A. again."
First Mige don’t have to worry about that. Also if HIM are well known in many countries till South America the HIM-perium is still in the back in the US. Last year „Join me" was released in America but only in the Boston area and environment. The people liked the song but a national release is not planned yet. So a big challenge is waiting for the 5 guys and with the new record they have good chances for possible succesplans.
„Love Metal" seems to be hot. On „Sole on Fire" suddently guitar improvisions are istalated as good old Led Zeppelin, just harder. Or at the last track „The Path" if psychadelic paths are choosen on which the guitar is crowling, as on the Cosmic-Pope-Jam-Version of „Pretending", which should be well known among the fans as it was the original version of the song. But between this wild execurision you also can find enough space on „Love Metal" to break the hearts of girls. Esp. With the song „Sweet Pandemonium", which starts with a tender piano intro, continues with acustic guitars and rounded- up with a fad bass of Mige. It sounds gothic somehow but it doesn’t make sad - more yearning. „We have the advantage that we are from Finland, were melancholy is from and so we manged it to make a heartbreaking record, better than anybody esle at the moment." It was possible to incorporate more pianoparts because they found a keyboardplayer with Emerson Burton who has a classical music training compared to Zoltan Pluto, who left the band after „Razorblade Romance". Mige:" Before Burton came into the band we never had a good keyboarder. Ups, i shouldn’t have said that. But you know what I mean: He’s a keyboardplayer who knows more about keyboards than anybody else from the boys. The mix of fast and slow is it what dominates „Love Metal": „This time we tryed to increase the dynamic, We have no pure ballade on the record, there is no total calm song on it. But there’s also no pure rocksong except maybe „Buried Alive...", because we wanted to keep it as hard as possible. But also this song has it’s differences relating to the dynamic in it’s parts, competing refrains. It was our idea to have such heavy Black Sabbath guitars. We didn’t want to produce such a dumb 3 minutes, 30 seconds rock-shit. We wanted to keep it as musiclike as possible without losing deep by this." Sounds complicated but the result of this afforts is understandable.
It has nothing really changed relating to the lyrics. Or maybe it has? „The others can rate that better than I can do it as we were working 1 year on this record. By that you get blind and theaf for thoose things, so that you can’t hear out what the song is actually about", singer and songwriter Ville confesses." But the lyrical aspect on the record is a bit more, at least I don’t sing that much about realtionships between boys and girls anymore. It’s more about that you are adolt enough to appreciate what you have. Usually people don’tknow how to appreciate what they had. If people own a thing they normaly don’t care about and only if they lose it they recognize suddenly it’s value."We have heard it already but it hasn’t appeared in the HIM-universe yet. And also Mige tells us that he has realized a change in the way his hold friend writes lyrics. „This time the lyrics are more like folk-songs. They tell stories, there are mor symbols and more complex issues."
For the recording the band members have taken their time in contrast to the foregoing record „Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" were the band was steadily present at Festivals, concerts and promotion things. Before this the work seemed to be a maraton...."Our timers were a bit full when we started to work on „Deep..." we spent 10 days here 10 days there but never at one place. This time we had more time. We were well prepared to get the right feeling. Now we go in the studio and now we do it. That was missing the last time. So we are suprised that the result of this was still that good.", says Mige.
And he continues to tell us about a lot of strange rituals, their old producer Hiili forced them to do in the Finnvoxstudios, which have become a second home for the band. „Hiili told us different characters, which we had to play. Some different annimal characters. Sometimes we played like frogs, sometimes like tigers. All that shit sounds as we would be a psychoband but we had to be pushed somehow. He’s a great pusher. I don’t talk about drugs. I mean he’s a great pusher and brings out the personality of a person. It tooked very long and we had to work for it very hard. But everything was nice and friendly. He’s a very good producer. He fits very well to our band." Tis time HIM tryed that the songs sound like they do when they play them live.
„We decided together with Hiili which songs we would like to record and which ones not. However the most important thing for us was that we can spend a good time in the studio because that’s rare nowadays", says Ville.
For that the bandmembers brought a lot of stuff into the studio to feel a bit more homely. That was only possible because the studio was close to the appartments of the musicians.
„We went there in the morning and brought all our toys with us, all the masks and different outfits. Everything you need to creat a lively and breathing piece of music", tells Mige. So what you need than? Guitars, guitars, guitars, guitars. „ In the past years we’ve collected a lot of guitars. And for the first time we had more than seven guitars in the studio. We had old guitars and uggly guitars and goodlooking guitars and good guitars and bad guitars, we used them all.
Ofcourse the guitar is the most relevant instrument on the record. And we were able to bring them with us into the studio and we had enough time to cope with them", so Mige. The homely atmosphere seemed to have a positive influence on the selfasteem of the band.
Contrary to the mood changing of the past times the latest music have had no special affect on „Love Metal". „We took more influence out of the experiences we made before or of the people we meet. Whoever we meet, I think we concentrated more on what was typical for HIM".
Sometimes it was said that Mige is too much into Brian-Eno. Eno is a music legend, who started at Roxy Music in the 70‘s and he played a big role relating to soundinovations. Mige calls it to orient onelself so much on a person „Brian Eno-Bullshit"- and adds: „This time we were more careful and harder in our decisions, to make it more as a HIM album. we wanted to find out what good is for HIM and not what would be good for the outstanding persons."
HIM Herz aus Gold
(Sonic Seducer 2003)
Das Leben als Rockstar kann so großartig sein: Man nimmt ein paar Songs fürs neue Album auf, jettet damit zum Mixen nach L.A., trifft sich dort mit extrem coolen Filmschauspielerinnen, fliegt dann zum Paddeln nach Norwegen und spielt ein wenig später mit den anderen von der Band im frisch verschneidten finnischen Walt. Ein großartiges Leben also, das die Jungs von HIM da führen. Wäre da nicht ein respektoser, kleiner Grippevirus, der zumindest Sänger Ville Valo im Februar aufs Krankenbett geworfen hat und ihn davon abhält, seinen eigentlich recht angenehmen Pflichten weiterhin nachzukommen. Zur exklusiven Deutschland-Präsentation des neuen HIM-Albums „Love Metal" in Köln erscheint allein Bassist Mige Amour, während sich der schniefende, hustende Ville nur per Telefon einschalten kann.
Wann es in den eher dürsteren Reginone der europäischen Musikszene einen sicheren Anwärter auf die deutsche Top-Ten Spitze gibt, dann ist es HIM. Nach dem Nummer Eins-Erfolg von „Join Me" und den recht gut gelandeten Singles „Pretending" und „Right here in my arms"sind die Finnen längst nicht mehr nur eine band für Goth- und Metalfreunde, sondern ein hochgradiger Bravo- und Radio-fähiges Medienthema. Gerne werden Ville und Co. Von Fernsehsender zu Fernsehsender durchgereicht. . Und mit „Love Metal", wie das neue HIM-Werk getauft wurde, wird sich die Erfolgsstory der romantischen Finnen-Rocker garantiert fortsetzten. Der Titel wurde nach bewährtem Rezept gekocht: Man nehme etwas Hartes hierher, etwas Zartes dorther, knete es gut durch und man erhält einen stimmigen Kontrast. Dieses Prinzip zieht sich auch durch viele Texte von Meister Valo. Und in den Arrangements der neuen Stücke findet es sich auch wieder. „Dieses Love Metal Ding hängt uns seit Jahren nach. Wir haben erst darüber gelacht, weil wir es einfach nicht loswerden konnten. Die Leute sagten: Ihr macht Love-Metal. Und als wir dann feststellen, dass dieser Begriff ein Teil dessen geworden war, was wir taten, haben wir ihn konsequenterweise einfach als Albumtitel benutzt", sagt Mige und lächelt weiter. Ihm gefallen solche Klischees - warum somst hätte sich der Baß-Spieler sonst den Künstlernamen Mige Amour verpaßt-. Auch die neueste Auflage des HIM-Symbols, dieser Verschmelzung von Hezr und Pentagramm, wurde dem jüngsten Titel angepaßt: Ein Heartagram aus Gold.
Vom Titel des Albums her ist also alles wie gehabt. Wer sich im April jedoch „Love Metal" holt und die CD in den Player schiebt, dem wird zunächst ein heftiger Gegenwind die Haarfrisur zerzausen: Der Opener „Buried Alive by Love" ist so ziemlich das härteste und schnellste, was HIM in ihrer mittlerweile auchtjährigen Karriere aufgenommen haben: Ein solider Metal-Kracher mit eingängiger Melodie. Und ein nicht allzu sanfter Schock für zarte Ohren, den Ville nur knapp kommentiert: „Wir werden eben alt und traurig. Dies ist unsere letzte Chance, noch einmal zu rock’n rollen." Zwar war uns bislang noch nicht so klar, dass Rockstars in Finnland schon kurz nach dem 27. Geburtstag ins Altenheim eingeliefert werden. Ganz so alt ist Ville ja nun doch nicht, auch wenn er sich diesen bösen Virus eingefangen hat: „Es ist nichts Schlimmes, nur eine Grippe. Ich muss für ein paar Tage Antibiotika nehmen und mir viel Ruhe gönnen. Ich habe auch ein bischen Fieber und mir läuft der Schnodder aus der Nase. Kurz, ich fühle mich einfach schlecht." (hustet)
Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass der eigentlich abgehärtete Finne niedergestreckt wird. Schon auf einer der früheren Touren durch Europa mussten HIM einige KONzerte absagen. Und diesmal ist Ville klüger: Er tut alles, um nur nicht das große Showcase am 08.03.2003 auf der Großen Freiheit in Hamburg zu gefährden. „Die Idee ist, dass wir das komplette Album von vorn bis hinten durchspielen für die Fans, die Journalisten und Leute von der Plattenfirma. Und wenn die Leute dann noch mehr wollen, dann werden wir einige alte Tracks nachlegen", sagt der Sänger. Drei Stunden, nachdem das Hamburg-Konzert ohne Vorwarnung auf der HIM-Homepage angekündigt worden war, Waren bereits alle Fan-Plätze ausgebucht. Klick, klick, klick, HIM-Jünger aus Australien, Brasilien, den USA und Kanada haben sich dank Internet eine Platz gesichert. Ob sie alle kommen, bleibt abzuwarten. Es gibt jedenfalls eine lange Warteliste von Leuten, die nachrücken können.
Viele Fans werden in Hamburg zum ersten Mal die neue Singel „The Funeral of Hearts" die ert eineinhalb Wochen später, am 17.März, an die Plattenläden ausgeliefert wird. Und die dann doch wieder genau das sit, was man von Villes romantischer Seite erwartet: Eine Hymne. Allerdings eine, die viel mehr Power aufbietet also „Pretending" oder „In Joy and Sorrow". Die allerdings auch nach ein paar Takten schon zum Mitsingen einlädt. Ein Video dazu gibt es auch schon, gedreht im Januar. Dazu durfte Ville in ein Ruderboot steigen und auf einem eisigen See in Norwegen herumpaddeln - in Finnland konnte mandiese Szenen nicht aufnehemen, denn dort herrschten zu diesem Zeitpunkt -20 Grad Celsius. Dennoch kehrte die Band in die Heimat zurück, denn dort wurden schließlich die Aufnahmen im Schnee gemacht, bei denen man uner anderem Mige mit einer Gitarre auf einem Pferd reiten sieht als Helsinki-Rock`n Roll-Cowboy. Ums Schlagzeug herum lodert das Feuer und einige Wilde frieren sich im Lendenschurz wohl ihre edelsten Teile ab.
Der strenge Kontrast zwischen dem Opener „Buried..." und „The Funeral..." scheint auch gleichdas Leitmotiv für das gnaze Album zu sein. Wobei die deutlich kraftvollere Produktion dem Sound gut getan hat. „Unser Album wurde wieder produziert von Hiili, der auch die erste Platte, Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 betreut. Wir haben das gesamte Album aufgenommen bei Finnvox in Helsinki, haben zwei Tracks in London gemixt, die restlichen in Los Angeles. Und während dieser Zeit haben wir das Video zu „Buried Alive by Love" aufgenommen." In einigen Ländern wird dieser Song auchals erste Singel herauskommen, einen Stargast hatten HIM bei diesem Videodreh im Dezember auch: Juliette Lewis aus „Natural Born Killers", „From Dusk till Dawn", „Kalifornia" oder „Kap der Angst". Nihct der schlechteste Blickfang für ein Musikvideo also. „Wir haben es ineinem großen Theater aufgenommen und sind durch die Gänge gegangen und Juliette hat mitgemacht. Es ist zwar eher ein ganz einfaches Rockvideo georden, aber ich habe das sehr genossen. Regie hat dabei übrigens dieser Skateboardtyp von Jackass geführt, Bam Magera," erzählt Ville. Die durchgeknallte Stunt- und Unfugshow auf MTV hat es auch den Jungs von HIM angetan, wie Mige ergänzt: „Wir dachten: Ah, endlich können wir uns selbst ein wenig wehtun. Und wir rechneten damit, das alles wirklich verrückt würde. Aber es stellte sich heraus, dass am Ende doch alles wie ein klassisches Rockvideo aussah. Wir waren sehr überrascht, denn wenn man die Magera-Familie sieht, dann denkt man an Leute, die Rennen auf dem Rasenmäher fahren und heimlich ihre Väter anpinkeln. Aber so ist Bam gar nicht, er ist einviel subtielere Charakter. Und so waren wir angenehm überrascht." Da stimmt auch ville zu: „In einem Monat haben wir zwei Videos gemacht, die vollkommen unterschiedlich sind, und wir sind mit beiden sehr zufrieden."
Allerdings war die Zeit in L.A. für Mige alles andere als ein entspannender Urlaub. Der eigentlich gar nicht so kamerascheue Bassist hat eine regelrechte Phobie gegen die Überwachungskameras entwickelt, die dort an jeder Ecke hängen, um den Verkehr zu beobachten - und natürlich die öffentlichen Sicherheit gewährleisten sollen. Tatsächlich rauben sie dem Bürger aber jegliches Gefühl von Freiheit und Privatsphäre - wie bei „Big Brother". „Diese Kameras machen mich wirklich paranoid. Sie haben mich ständig aufgenommen. Es ist schrecklich. So schön Kalifornien auch ist, ichwerde niemlas mehr nach L.A. zurückkehren, wennes sich vermeiden lässt."
Zunächst kann in dieser Hinsicht wohl noch Entwarnung gegeben werden. Denn obwohl HIM in vielen Ländern bi hin nach Südamerika sehr erfolgreich sind, hält sich das HIM-perium in den USA noch zurück. Im vergangenen Jahr wurde „Join Me" drüber veröffentlicht, allerdings nur für den Bereich Boston und Umgebung. Der Song kam zwar gut an, von einer nationalen Veröffentichung ist allerdings noch keine Rede. Da wartet noch eine große Aufgabe auf die fünf Mannen, und mit dem neuen Album haben sie für eventuelle Eroberungspläne ein heißes Eisen im Feuer.
Denn Love Metal scheint an machen Stellen tatsächlich zu glühen. Bei „Sole on Fire" treten plötzlich Gitarren-Improvisationen in den Vordergrund wie bei den guten alten Led Zeppelinn, nur härter. Oder beim letzten Track, „The Path", wenn verschlungene psychedelische Pfade eingeschlagen werden, auf denen sich die Gitarre windet und wendet, ganz so wie bei der Cosmic-Pope-Jam-Version von „Pretending", die allen Fans bestens bekannt sein dürfte, denn sie war die ursprüngliche Version des Songs. Aber zwischen diesen wilden exkursionen findet sich auf Love Metal natürlihc ausreichend Platz, um Mädchenherzen erst zum Beben und dann zum Schmelzen zu bringen: Besonders mit dem Songs „Sweet Pandemonium", der mit einem ganz wiche Piano-Intro beginnt, mit Akustigitarren weitergeht und den Mige miteinem recht fetten Baß unterlegt. Das klingt zwar irgendwie gothic, aber keinesfalls deprimierend - eher sehnsüchtig. „Wir haben den Vorgeil, dass wir aus Finnland kommen, wo die Melancholie herkommt. Und so ist es uns gelungen, ein herzzerreißendes Album zu machen, besser als irgendwer sonst im Moment", kündet Ville selbstbewusst aus dem Telefon-Lautsprecher. Die größeren Piano-Parts konnten diesml eingebaut werden, weil mit Emerson Burton ein Keyboarder mit klassischer Ausbildung in die Band gekommen ist. Im Vergleich zu Zoltan Pluto, der die Band nach „Razorblade Romance" verlassen hat, eher der Mann fürs Grobe. Mige: „Bervor Burton in die band kam hatten wir nie einen anständigen Keyboarder. Uh, das hätte ich jetzt nicht sagen sollen. Aber du weißt, was ich meine: Er ist einfach ein Keyboarder, der mehr über Keyboards weiß als alle anderen Jungs in der Band." Und der wahrscheinlich sogar mehr von Musik insgesamt versteht als die übrigen Bandmitglieder.
Der Wechsel zwischen schnell und langsam, das ist es, was „Love Metal" dominiert. „ Was wir dieses Mal versucht haben, ist eine Steigerung der Dynamik. Wir haben keine einzige lupenreine Ballade auf dem Album, es gibt keinen vollkommen ruhigen Song darauf. Es gibt aber auch keinen reinen Rocksong, außer vielleicht „Buried...", weil wir den Song wirklich so hart wie möglich halten wollten. Aber selbst dieser Song hat dynamische Unterschiede in den Teilen, konkurrirende Refrains. Es war unsere Idee, dass wir solche schweren Black Sabbath Gitarren haben. Wir wollten keinen beschissenen 3 Minuten 30 Sekunden langen Rock-Shit machen. Wir wollten es so musikalisch wie möglich halten, ohne dabei an Tiefe zu verlieren." Hört sich kompliziert an, aber das Ergebnis dieser Bemühungen ist doch recht eingänig.
Textlich hat sich auf dem neuen Werk wohl nicht sehr viel verändert. Oder vielleicht doch? „Das können andere besser beurteilen als ich selbst. Denn wir haben an diesem Album eineinhalb Jahre gewerkelt. Dabei wird man so blind und taub für diese Dinge, daß man nicht mehr heraushören kann, worum es überhaupt geht", gesteht Sänger und Songwriter Ville. Aber:"Die textliche Seite der Platte ist ein bißchen introvertierter, zumindest singe ich nicht mehr so viel über die Beziehungen zwischen Mädchchen und Jungen. Es geht eher darum, erwachsen genug zu sein, um ztu schätzen, was man hat. Es ist ja nicht immer so, daß die Leute auch zu schätzen wissen, was sie gehabt haben. Wenn Leute etwas besitzen, dann geben sie normalerweise einmen Scheißdreck darum. Und erst wenn sie es verlieren, entdecken sie plötzlich seinen Wert." Das hat man zwar schon irgendwo einmal gehört, im HIM-Universum ist diese Erkenntnis bisher jedoch noch nicht aufgetaucht. Und auch Mige meint, eine Veränderung festgestellt zu haben an der Art, wie sein alter Kumpel Texte schreibt:"Diesmal sind die Lyrics ein wenig mehr wie die von Folk-Liedern. Es werden eher Geschichten erzählt, es gibt mehr Symbole und komplexere Themen."
Dabei haben sich die Bandmitglieder nach ihrer augenscheinlichen Omnipräsenz bei Konzerten, Festivals und Promoterminen im Jahr 2001 darum bemüht, sich ganz zurückzuziehen und Zeit und Raum für ihre Kreativität zurückzuerobern. Denn vorher schien ihnen ihre Arbeit oft wie ein einziger Marthon. „Unsere Terminbücher waren ein bißchen voll, als wir mit der Arbeit an „Deep Shadows" begannen. Das ging damals: Zehn Tage hier, fünf Tage dort, nirgendwo so ganz. Dieses Mal hatten wir eine zurückhaltendere Arbeitsweise. Wir haben uns gut vorbereitet, um auch die Einstellung zu bekommen: Jetzt gehen wir ins studio und jetzt ziehen wir das durch. Das hat uns beim letzten Mal schlicht gefehlt. Um so erstaunlicher, daß das Ergebnis auch damals noch so gut war", meint Mige.
Und er erzählt gleich noch von einer Menge äußerst merkwürdiger Rituale, zu denen ihr alter Produzent Hiili die Band in den Finnvoxstudios genötigt hat, die eigentlich so etwas wie eine zweite Heimat für die Band geworden sind. „Hiili wies uns alle möglichen Charaktere zu, die wir spielen sollten. Alle möglichen Tierfiguren. Manchmal haben wir wie Frösche gespielt, manchmal wie Tiger. All der Scheiß klingt zwar, als wären wir eine Art Psychoten Band. Aber wir mußten einfach ein bißchen gepusht werden. Und er ist ein großartiger Pusher. Ich rede da nicht von Drogen. Ich meine, er ist ein großer Pusher, der die Persönlichkeit eines Menschen zum Vorschein bringt. Es hat ziemlich lang gedauert und wir haben ziemlich hart darn arbeiten müssen. Aber alles war nett und behaglich. Er ist eine sehr guter Produzent. Er paßt sehr gut zu unserer Band."
Diesmal haben HIM verucht, die Gitarren möchtlichst so klingen zu lassen, wie sie auch live klingen „Wir haben letztlich auch mit Hiili zusammen entschieden, welche Tracks wir aufnehmen wollten und welche wir lieber weglassen. Das wichtigste für uns war jedoch, daß wir eine gute Zeit im Studio verbringen, denn das ist heutzutage selten", sagt Ville. Dazu haben die Bandmitglieder einiges angeschleppt, um sich häuslich einzurichten - was letztlich nur möglich war, weil die Studios so nah an an den Wohnungen der Musiker lagen. „Wir gingen morgens hin und brachten alle unsere Spielzeuge mit, alle Masken und verschiedenen Outfits. All diese Dinge eben, die man braucht, um ein lebendiges und atmendes Stück Musik zu schaffen," sagt Mige. Was man dann eigtentlich noch braucht? Gitarren, Gitarren, Gitarrren. „ In den vergangenen Jahren haben wir eine ganze Menge Gitarren gesammelt. Und zum ersten Mal hatten wir mehr als sieben Gitarren im Studio. Wir hatten alte Gitarren und häßliche Gitarren und gutaussehende Gitarren und gute Gitarren und schlechte Gitarren. Und wir haen sie alle benutzt. Die Gitarre ist natürlich wieder das wesentliche Instrument auf dem Album. Und wir konnten sie alle mit ins Studio bringen. Und wir hatten genügende Zeit, damit zurechtzukommen," so Mige.
Die recht abgeschlossene und heimelige Atmosphäre scheint auch einen positiven Einfluß auf das Selbstbewusstsein der Band ausgeübt zu haben, denn im Gegensatz zu den manchmal doch recht unterschiedlichen und sprunghaft wechselnden Vorlieben vergangener Zeiten hatte die aktuell Musik eigenlich keinen nennenswerten Effekt auf „Love Metal": „ Es war mehr so, daß wir uns von den älteren Erfahrunge beinflussen ließen. Oder von den Leuten, die wir getroffen haben. Wen wir auch immer getroffen haben, ich denke wir haben uns mehr darauf konzentriert, was wesentlich für HIM ist."
Irgendwann wurde Mige nämlich eine ausgeprägte Brian-Eno-Hörigkeit nachgesagt. Eno ist eine Musiklegände, die in den 70er Jahren bei Roxy Music anfing und im Laufe der Jahrzehnte immer ihre Finger im Spile hatte, wenn es um Soundinnovationen ging. Sich so sehr an einem Vorbild zu orientieren, nennt Mige heute „Brian-Eno-Bullshit" und meint: „Diesmal waren wir vorsichtiger und fester im Entschluss, es mehr zu einem HIM-Album zu machen.Und wir wollten herausfinden, was gut für HIM ist, nicht was für die da daraußen gut ist."
Auf die „da draußen" werden wir noch zu sprechen kommen, denn die Fans, die Journalisten und die Promoter nehmen ein ganze Menge Zeit im Leben von Rockstars ein - Zeit, in der sie oftmals lieber auf der Gitarre spielen oder einfach ihre Ruhe haben würden. Mehr davon in der nächsten Ausgabe.
Ville is talking about Sex
3 o’clock in the afternoon can be damn early if you had a party on the night before till in the early morning. And so HIMsinger Ville Valo walks throug the hotel after one of this „After Party afternoons", on the next day after the gig in the Großen Freiheit, Hamburg in March. „Please don’t talk so loud, I have terrible headache", he grins. The explanation for that hangover is short, but it says a lot: „Jägermeister Red Bull"... And than he have to talk about his privat life...
Metal Heart: Could you tell us something about the first time when you had sex?
Ville: I was pretty drunk. Everything I can remember is that it haven’t been that good. I was 19 at this time, so I haven’t been one of the „early ones". From my experiences boys are usually a bit late with the first time. But actually it is not important. There are no statistics about people, who make their first sexexperiences in the age of 7, who are later totaly good in sex.
Metal Heart: Is there something related to sex what you prefer?
Ville: (laughs) To be sober and to have no hangover. No, to be a bit more serious: it’s always depending on the one you have sex with. Some ones are more agressive, the other ones are more tender. I guess every woman has her one way of and thats good.
Metal Heart: Is there anything that you don’t like related to sex?
Ville: I can’t imagine something at the moment. I always enjoy it. Further more I’m in a relationship with my girlfriend since 5 ½ years now, there are no bad suprises anymore.
Metal Heart: What kind of underware du you consider sexy on women?
Ville: Non. I hate the sexy underware which you can buy in this special shops... I hate such things. If the woman doesn’t ware any underware it’s the best.
Metal Heart: Because you have to put the underware away anyway?
Ville: If you are planning to have sex it could be a advantage to put it away. Yes.
Metal Heart: What kind of underware are you wearing by yourself?
Ville: My mom buys them for me. Mostly Boxershorts. I don’t care about that things. She’s always watching that I have some and I get them for Christmas.
Metal Heart: Did you ever have sex with more than one woman?
Ville: To be honest no but I can imagine that the two woman have to be very strong personalitys, which are also able to cope with that after this. Otherwise there could be fights because somebody is feeling disadvantaged or one of them can’t cope with it...
Metal Heart: Did you ever have an Onenightstand?
Ville: Not with somebody I didn’t know. I don’t like such stories. When I have sex with a person I have to know her first. I don’t have to be totaly in love but the person should’t be a stranger.
Metal Heart: Did you ever have sexual experiences with another man?
Ville: No. It hasn’t happend yet. But generally I would’t say no. I’m 26 years now and there can be lots of things to happen. I made the experience that you do lot’s of things in your life, on which you haven’t thought at all. After some Jägermeister Red Bull, who knows?
Metal Heart: What’s your opinion about pornos?
Ville: I was working in a Sexshop and I’ve seen there a lot of that. There are even some which are ok and which you can watch. On tour you have them everywhere, e.g. in the hotel via pay-tv. But that’s ok, it’s trainig for the right hand...
Metal Heart: Could you imagine to make your own film?
Ville: Not really. I’m not a Peter Steele and also no Tommy Lee. Both are the best examples that everything is big in America. I got some information about the activities of them when I was working in the sexshop. Everybody has to know it for himself what he is doing. I personally have the opinion that the issue „sex" is cosiderred too much in our society. You can see nude women everywhere and dicks and noone is realizing the beauty of sex.
What are you thinking of prostitudes?
They fullfill an important roll in our society. I personally haven’t been at a prostitude and I can’t imagine to pay for sex. Currently there was a discussion in Finland, that it should be granted to disabled persons, who are not able to have an relationship because of theire handicap, to go to prostitudes to stabilize their psychadelic. I’m not sure if that plan would be good.
Can you separat sex and love?
Ville: No. Maybe I’m too romatic but I can’t. It belongs more to it than simply to go into bed with a person.
Is there a wish, which you want to become real one day?
(grins) Yes. I want to save a lot of money, fly to Estland and get a penisextension...
This report was taken from the Metal Heart Magazin, issue June 2003
Ville im Sextalk
Drei Uhr nachmittags kann verdammt früh sein. Vor allen Dingen dann, wenn man am Abend zuvor bis in die Puppen gefeiert hat. Und so schleicht HIM-Sänger Ville Valo an einem Jener After-Party-Nachmittage, dem Folgetag der Show in der Großen Freiheit in Hamburg Mitte März durchs Hotel. „Bitte rede nicht ganz so laud, ich hab tierische Kopfschmerzen", grinst er. Die Erklärung für den Hangover ist kurz, aber viel sagend: „Jägrmeister Red Bull..." Und dann darf der Gute auch noch über sein Privatleben sprechen...
Metal Heart: Kannst du uns von deinem ersten Mal erzählen?
Ville: Ich war ziemlich betrunken. Alles, woran ich mich erinnern kann, ist, dass es nicht besonders toll für mich war. Ich war zu dem Zeitpunkt 19, habe also nicht unbedingt zu den Frühstartern gehört. Wobei ja gerade Jungs immer eher spät dran sein sollen mit ihrem ersten Mal, was ich so mitbekomme. Im Prinzip ist es ja auch egal. Zumindest gibt es keine Statistiken darüber, dass Leute, die mit sieben ihren ersten Sex hatten, später die absoluten Raketen sind.
Metal Heart: Gibt es irgendetwas, das du in Sachen Sex besonders magst? (lacht) Nüchtern sein. Und keinen Kater haben. Nein, mal im Ernst: so etwas hängt immer von der Partnerin ab. Manche sind aggressiver, andere verhalten sich zärtlicher. Da hat wohl jede Frau ihre eigene Art, und das ist auch schön so.
Metal Heart: Gibt es irgendetwas, das du in puncto Sex gar nicht magst?
Ville: Dazu fällt mir eigentlich nichts ein. Ich finde es immer gut. Außerdem bin ich ja seit fünfeinhalb Jahren mit meiner Freundin zusammen, da gibt es keine bösen Überraschungen mehr.
Metal Heart: Welche Unterwesche findest du an Frauen sexy?
Ville: Gar keine. Am allerwenigsten Reizwäsche. So was hasse ich. Gar keine ist am allerbesten.
Metal Heart: Weil man sie ohnenhin ausziehen muss?
wenn man plant, Sex zu haben, könnte das von Vorteil sein, sie auszuziehen ja.
Metal Heart: Welche Unterwäsche trägst du selbst?
Ville: Meine Mom kauf mir immer welche. Boxershorts meistens. Ich kümmere mich da nicht so drum. Sie passt stets auf, dass ich welche habe, und schenkt sie mir dann zu Weihnachten.
Metal Heart: Hattest du jemals Sex mit mehr als einer Frau?
Ville: Um ehrlich zu sein, nein, aber ich kann mir vorstellen, dass die Beteiligten sehr starke Persönlichkeiten sein müssen, die damit auch im Nachhinein umzugehen wissen. Sonst gibt es Streit, weil jemand sich benachteiligt gefühlt hat oder es doch nicht verarbeiten kann.
Metal Heart: Hattest du schon einmal einen Onenightstand?
Ville: Mit jemandem, denich nicht kannte, noch nie. Ich stehe nicht auf solche oberflächliche Geschichten. Wenn ich mit einer Person schlafe, dann muss ich sie vorher kennen. Ich muss nicht zwangsläufig bis über beide Ohren verliebt sein, aber die Person muss mir zumindest vertraut sein.
Metal Heart: Hattest du jemals sexuelle Erfahrungen mit einem anderen Mann?
Ville: Nein, kam noch nicht vor. Ich würde es allerdings nicht grundsätzlich ausschließen, es nicht mal zu versuchen. Ich bin erst 26 und es kann noch vieles passieren. Ich habe ohnehin die Erfahrung gemacht, dass man im Leben oftmals etwas tut, woran man einige Zeit davor nicht im Traum gedacht hätte. Nach ein paar Jägermeister Red Bull, wer weiß?
Metal Heart: Wie denkst du über Pornos?
Ville: Ich habe ja mal in einem Sexshop gearbeitet und habe dort diese Dinger haufenweise gesehen. Es gibt sogar welche, die ganz gut gemacht sind und die man sich durchaus anschauen kann. Auf Tour laufen die Teile auch überall, selbst im Hotel via Pay-TV. Aber das ist okay, eine gute Übung für die rechte Hand...
Metal Heart: Könntest du dir vorstellen, deinen eigenen Film zu drehen?
Ville: Nicht wirklich. Ich bin kein Peter Steele. Und auch kein Tommy Lee. Die beiden sind ja die lenbenden Beispiele dafür, dass das Sprichwort „everything is big in America" zutrifft. Ich habe von den Aktivitäten der beiden damals im Sexshop mitbekommen. Es muss ja jeder selber wissen, was er tut. Ich persönlich finde, dass das Thema „Sex" in unserer Gesellschaft zu sehr ausgeschlachtet wird. Man sieht überall nackte Frauen und Schwänze und niemand erkennt mehr die eigentliche Schönheit von Sex.
Was denkst du über Prostiuierte?
Sie erfülleneine wichtige Aufgabe in unserer Gesellschaft. Ich selbst war nie bei einer und kann mir auch nicht vorstellen, jemals für Sex zu bezahlen. Es gab in Finnland jüngstens eine Diskussion, dass man geistig Behinderten, die aufgrund ihrer Behinderung nicht in der Lage sind, eine Beziehung zu führen, Kontakt zu Prostituierten gewähren sollte, weil das ihre Psyche stabilisieren könnte. Ich weiß nicht, ob der Plan so greifen würde.
Metal Heart: Kannst du Sex von Liebe trennen?
Nein, kann ich nicht. Vielleicht bin ich zu romantisch veranlagt, aber ich kann es nicht. Für mich gehört mehr dazu, als einfach nur mit jemandem ins Bett zu steigen.
Metal Heart: Gibt es noch einen Wunsch, den du dir eines Tages erfüllen möchtest?
Ville: (grinst) Ja. Ich möchte ganz viel Geld sparen, damit nach Estland fliegen und mich dorte einer Penisverlängerung unterziehen...
Den Bericht haben wir vom Metal Heart Magazin, Ausgabe Juni 2003
Bam heals Villes heartache
but first only in England!
What the hell has HIM-singer Ville Valo (26) to do with „Jackass"-chaot Bam Magera (23)? A lot! They are not only associated through a deep friendship, now Bam even did the regie at the HIM-clip of „Buried Alive by love". But step by step:
Bam is a big fan of the finnish gothic-rockers already since 3 years. At a skatercontest in their homecountry he saw them for the first time. And he was so into the local heroes that he came to their gigs in Amsterdam and London. In England he meet Ville and Co finaly personal.
They liked each other from the start. Bassplayer Mige (28): „the boarderszene is cool as the people are open for different musicstyles." HIM are also big fans of Jackass. Ville:"The cinema moovie was excellent. And Bam is also that crazy in his private life." Bam doesn’t show his love for the Finn not only with words. He’s got a huge HIM-Tattoo and his website (www.bammagera.com) is in the HIMstyle. Bam had the idea to shoot a video for his friends when he was hanging around with them again. First the guys thought it was one of this Bam-typical jokes but than they liked the serious plan. And so it started with a small camera and for jackass typical - skateboards. „Than Bam allways had better ideas," Mige remembers. So they recorded in a theater in L.A. in the female starring: Hollywoodstar Juliette Lewis (29),"From dusk till Dawn") Bam get her for the clip and Ville had a big impression of her: „she’s totaly cool!" Everybody liked the result of the shooting. „It has become a real Rockperformance vieo", says Ville proudly. „The clip has nothing to do with the Jackass stunts altough it would have been funny if Bam would have shown us as idiots", keyboardplayer Burton (28) says and praises: „I didn’t think that this guy could make a typical rockvideo. Burton always wears this cowboy hat...
The clip is shown first only in England, where „Buried Alive by love" is released as the first single of the new HIM record. The German fans can find the clip only on the digipack of „Love Metal". Ville:""It is the heaviest HIM song ever." And the lyrics? It’s about heartache: „I never wanted to lose you but a cold heart is a dead heart...." Ispite of this lyrics nobody became sad on the set. That wouldn’t be the style of Jackass than.
Bam heilt Villes Liebeskummer
aber vorerst nur in England
Was zum Teufel hat HIM-Sänger Ville Valo (26) mit „Jackass"-Chaot Bam Magera (23) am Hut, äh, an der Mütze? Eine ganze Menge" Beide verbindet nicht nur eine enge Freundschaft, jetzt hat Bam sogar beim HIM-Video zu „Buried Alive by Love" Regie geführt. Doch der Reihe nach: Bam ist schon seit drei Jahren ein großre Fan der finnischen Gothic-Rocker. Auf einem Skatercontest in ihrer Heimat sah er die Band zum ersten Mal. Und war von den Local Heroes so begeistert, dass erihnen zu Gigs nach Amsterdam und London nachreiste. In England traf er Ville und Co dann endlich persönlich. Es funkte sofort. Basser Mige (28) : „Die Boarderszene ist Klasse, denn die Leute sind offen für sämtliche Musikstile." Umgekehrt sind HIM große Jackass Fans. Ville: „Der Kinofilm war super. Und privat ist Bam genauso abgedreht." Bam zeigt seine Vorliebe für die Finnen nicht nur mit Worten. Seinen Body ziert ein großes HIM-Tattoo - und auch seine Webpage (www.bammagera.com) hat er im HIM-Look gestylt.
Die Idee, ein Video für seine Freunde zu drehen, kam Bam, als er mal wieder mit den Finnen abhing. Ville & Co hielten es anfangs für einen Bam-typischen Scherz, doch dann begeisterten sie sich für den durchaus ernst gemeinten Plan. Und los ging’s: zunächst mit einer Minikamera und - typisch für Jackass - Skateboards.
„Dann sprudelten aber immer bessere Ideen aus Bam heraus"
, erinnert sich Mige. Schließlich wurde in einem Theater in Los Angeles gedreht. In der weiblichen Haubtrolle : Hollywoodstar Juliette Lewis (29, „From Dusk till Dawn"), die Bam vermittelte - und die auf Ville mächtig Einduch machte: „Sie hat echt Klasse!"
Vom Ergebnis des Drehs waren alle begeistert. „Es ist ein richtiges Rock-Perfomance Video geworden
", erzählt Ville stolz. Mit Jackass Selbstverstümmelung und gefährlichen Stunts hat der Clip nichts zu tun, „obwohl es schon lustig gewesen wäre, wenn Bam uns als Deppen hingestellt hätte"
, findet Keyboarder Burton (28) und lobt: „Dass der Typ ein klassisches Rockvideo dreht, davor kann ich nur den Hut ziehen."
Hut? Richtig, Burton trägt ja immer einen Cowboyhut...
Den Clip gibt’s zunächst nur in England zu sehen, wo „Buried Alive by Love"D als erste Single des neuen Albums rauskommt. Deutsche Fans finden das Video nur auf dem Digipack von „Love Metal". Ville: „Es ist der härteste HIM Song aller Zeiten." Und der Text? Es geht um Liebenskummer: „I never wanted to lose you. But a cold heart is a dead heart..." Trotz dieser Zeilen kam am Set keine Depristimmung auf. Wäre ja auch nich Jackass-Style...
The prince of darkness is back
Lucinda and Elvira standing freezing at the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. „Where is the Große Freiheit?", they ask somebody who walks by. The both girls in the age of 16 don’t speak any German. They live in Barcelona and have extra come to Hamburg to see him: Ville Hermanni Valo, songer of the finnsish Rockband HIM, dream prince of 1000 of girls. Today HIM play the new songs for the first time in the „Großen Freiheit" of the new record „Love Metal", which comes out on 14th of April.
Fans from across Europe have come. They won the tickets on the homepage of HIM. And now they scream! Villleeee! They are in the second row. It is narrow and hot. And it becomes a lot more narrow and hot. Hte guitars scratch, the drums beat and Ville sings „Buried Alive by Love" with a dark voice. It’s the first trach in the new record. It show’s the direction: Ahead with full power.
HIM have become heavier. Lucinda and Elvira shake their long black hairs, guitarplayer Linde plays a overwhelming solo.
Ville smokes his cigarette, gives a sweet smile and says: „I’m happy that we are back"!
A blond girl passes out direct infront of Lucinda. The security get her out carefully. Ville pulled a black whoolen hat over his black hairs. „I will put it away when they are long enought again", he promises. But the most people don’t care about that. With or without hat - Ville is the king of the night. But also his band doesn’t have to hide. On the bass crazy Mige makes the necessary sound. Meeanwhile fat Gas is hitting his drums.
Keyboardplayer Burton is again wearing his Cowboyhat and Linde is looking damn cool when he’s working on his guitar. But ofcourse not as cool as Ville. He trys to say something: „The next song is our new single, which...." but than noone can understand him anymore. It is too loud. HIM play „The Funeral of Hearts" (available since Monday). When Ville sings the beautifull chorus, he takes his hand to his heart. It’s one of the biggest moments of the show. Now also the last one is in the audience is in his spell.
You can feel how much the Fans have missed the guys. HIM tooked a break of 1 year after their record „Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" in 2001. They were tyred after all the concerts and interviews. And they needed time to write new songs.
The waiting was worth it. They are fit and want to play. Only Ville could move a bit more. But he prefers to go along with the sound. And coughs. Because of the cigarettes. „I’m getting too old for this shit", he says and grins.
HIM play all 10 songs of „Love Metal". The last track is called „The Path", says Ville. After that it’s over and the band leaves the stage. But the Fans are not quiet. They want to hear the old songs. HIM return and play a medley of their best songs (eg. „Join Me"). Lucinda and Elvira are swetting and can’t talk anymore. Wehn the light is on they fall lucky in each others arms. „That was fantastico"!
Also Ville and co are happy.
They celerbrated the Afertshow party in the Scandia Bar till 05 o’clock in the morning. At this time Lucinda and Elvira were lieing in their beds in the youthhostel.
Der Prinz der Dunkelheit ist zurück
Lucinda und Elvira stehen bibbernd auf der Hamburger Reeperbahn. „Where is the Große Freiheit?", fragen sie einen Passanten. Die beiden 16-Jährigen können kein Deutsch. Sie leben in Barcelona - und sind extra nach Hamburg gekommen, um IHN zu sehen: Ville Hermanni Valo, Sänger der finnischen Dark-Rockband HIM, Traumprinz tausender Mädchen. In der Großen Freiheit spielen HIM heute erstmals live die Songs ihres neuen Albums „Love Metal", das am 14. April erscheint. Fans aus ganz Europa sind dafür angereist. Sie haben die Tickets auf der HIM-Homepage gewonnen. Und jetzt schreien sie! En ohrenbetäubender Jubel bricht plötzlich los, als Ville auf die Bühne kommt. Lucinda und Elvira reißen die Arme hoch und rufen: „Villleeee!" Sie stehen in der zweiten Reihe. Es ist eng und heiß. Und es wird noch viel heißer - Mirkrowellenheiß! Die Gitarren krachen, das Schlagzeug wummert, und Ville singt mit dunkler Stimme „Buried Alive by Love". Es ist das erste Stück der neuen Platte. Es zeigt, wo’s langgeht: nach vorn mit voller Wucht. HIM sind härter geworden. Lucinda und Elvira schütteln ihre langen schwarzen Haare. Gitarrist Linde spielt ein atemberaubendes Solo. Ville zieht an seiner Zigarette, lächelt süß und sagt: „Ich bin froh, dass wir wieder da sind!" Direkt vor Lucinda fällt ein Mädchen in Ohnmacht. Die Ordner tragen es vorsichtig nach draußen. Ville hat eine schlichte schwarze Wollmütze über seine schwarzen Haare gezogen. „Wenn die wieder lange genug sind, kommt die Mütze weg", verspricht er. Den meisten hier ist das egal. Mit oder ohne Mütze - Ville (26) ist der König des Abends. Doch auch seine Band braucht sich nicht zu verstecken. Am Bass sorgt der verrückte Mige (28) für den nötigen Wumms. Derweil verprügelt der dicke Gas (32) sein Schlagzeug. Keyboarder Burton (28) trägt mal wieder seinen Cowboyhut. Und Linde (26) sieht verdammt cool aus, wie er seine Gitarre bearbeitet. Aber natürlich nicht so cool wie Ville. Der versucht gerade eine Ansage: „Der nächste Song ist unsere neue Single, die..." - dann ist er nicht mehr zu verstehen. Der Jubel ist zu laut. HIM spielen „The Funeral of Hearts" (seit Montag im Handel). Als Ville den wunderschönen Refrain singt, greift er sich ans Herz. Es ist einer der größten Momente des Konzerts. Nun sind ihm auch die Letzten im Publikum verfallen. Man spürt, wie sehr die Fans die Jungs vermisst haben.
Ein Jahr Pause hatten sich HIM nach ihrem 2001-er Album „Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" verordnet. Sie waren schlapp nach all den Konzerten und Interviews. Und sie brauchten Zeit zum Schreiben neuer Stücke. Das Warten hat sich gelohnt! Die fünf sind fit und spielfreudig. Nur von Ville würde man sich manchmal ein bisschen mehr Bewegung wünschen. Aber er wiegt sich lieber wie eine Schlange im Takt. Und hustet. Wegen der Zigaretten. „Ich werde zu alt für diesen Kram", sagt er und grinst. HIM spielen alle zehn Lieder von „Love Metal". „Das letzte Stück heißt, „The Path", sagt Ville - danach ist Schluss, und die Band geht von der Bühne. Doch die Fans geben keine Ruhe. Sie wollen die alten Hits hören. HIM kommen zurück und spielen ein Medley -kurze Version ihrer größten Kracher (z.B. „Join Me") hintereinander weg. Lucinda und Elvira sind schweißgebadet und heiser vom Schreien. Als das Licht angeht, fallen sie sich glücklich in die Arme. „That was fantastico!" Auch Ville und seine Mannen sind glücklich. Zum Feiern ging es danach auf die Aftershowparty in die Scandia-Bar bis nachts um drei. Da lagen Lucinda und Elvira schon längst in den Betten ihrer Jugendherberge.
HIM - Love and Metal
(Loud, June 03)
„Love Metal" brings Ville Valo and HIM back to the showcase after relative the relative unsuccessfull record „Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights". Will the new album, which brings back the weight of the first one of HIM in a certain way, obtain also the notability that the band gained with „Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666" and „Razorblade Romance"? Ville Valo, the frontman and leader of the profeject, has an answer to these questions...
This new work has a much more heavier atmaosphere than the last one, is that an answer to thoose who conidered that „Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" was too much pop?
No, it wasn’t. The last time I have been listening a lot to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, as we liked the tour with the original frontman so much, we decided that this work would have more energy... something like Iggy Pop with the Stooges.
In this moment, while we are doing this interview, you already know that the band is on top in the German and Finnish sell charts. Which is the sensation to obtain this is a heavier work and apperently less comercial than the last one?
Personally I don’t think that the fact that we are heavier now has any influence on the selfffigures of the record. If you notice the charts of the last year you can see that Slipknot are in the top position, I think it’s a sign that the borders between the different styles of music are more and more open.Nowadays we can find more pop as hard metal in the mainstream of a band. Sure I’M very happy about the success we have with the new album, esp.after an intense work in the preperation of the recordings... with many tours, rehearsals, studiotime and ofcourse the recording of the videos. I’m happy. After all this work it’s an adjusted comensation.
Talking about videos... I read somewehere that you where working on a promotion video for the third single of „Love Metal"?
We have already recorded it in Prague, some weeks ago, but I haven’t seen the final result yet. We made the videoclip for „The Sacrament" again under the regie of the director of „Buried Alive by Love". We really liked working with him, so we decided to repeat the same experiences. We had lots of fun in the recording, it was all done in an old castle and we had a model on our side.
Isn’t it strange to record so many videos when the album is only 1 month in the stores? Is it because of the support of MTV?
No, we have only recorded „Buried Alive by Love" because a friend of us, who’s also a big fan of HIM, Bam Magera wanted to make a video with us. We have chosen that track, because it is the first single in England and „The Funeral of Hearts" is the first Single in the European market, but I’m not sure about the reaction right now.
After that the European tour starts? Right?
First we do some festivals in Russia, Spain, England, Germany, Swiss, Austria..., maybe Sweden. I don’t know yet. The big tour will be in fall than it will be a clubtour.
It is funny that when „Razorblade Romance" came out, you came to Portugal four times. For the next record you came there only once, and now u don’t have planned anything although you’ll be in Madrind a day after a Portugeese festival. What’s up?
I don’t know.... well, I don’t even know if recent proposals were made. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Youre international success let some new and similar Finnisch groups appear... Charon, To/Die/For, The 69Eyes,... What’s your opinion about this groups?
The 69Eyes are existing much longer than we do, about 15 years always interested in Rock’N’Roll. They changed a bit, but I guess thier Line is related to the 80‘s.. Like Billy Idol, The Cult, Sisters of Mercy... and we are more interested in th e70‘s groups, eg. Black Sabbath.
To/Die/For and Charon sound shit... they are bad copies of Sentenced. That’s not my style; but what they do they do it well. I still haven’t heard their last record so I can’t tell anything about it.
Your entrence in the American market has been slown up, because their was another group existing which had the same name. I recall that you had released a single and u had to change the name from HIM into HER. How did you solve that problem?
We’ve tryed to do our best and we never know what may happen. The problem has been solved in an easy way: we gave them money and made them happy. Now we can use the name HIM again in the US. But I don’t know when we’ll go there. We will be very busy with the tour, the record probably we will realeas the album in the beginning of next year in America. We would like to go on tour there, but should that happen it doesn’t matter to me. I’m allready happy that there are a lot of people in Europe and they like what we do. Sure it would be cool to do a tour in America, Japan, Australia and in the other countries, but we are not in a hurry.
I confess that I expected that your last record would be the pass to non European countries. I also know that u have many fans eg. In America.
Some albums have arrived there through the imortation market and many people buy them but you always need a music editor that supports us and gives us a big launching in a large scale. If not, we would run the risk to play for 20 people at each show and that would be very expensive.
The copy of the album, I have here is divided in three sides: A B and C... Usually a normal CD-Box is devided in 10 tracks.
I prefer the devision of the vinyl. There would be 5 tracks on side A and 5 on side B. It was a joke to create side C. Anyway u can divide the cd in 2 parts and the last is the last track „Love Requiem", it is written in another way and time... If the track would have been in the middle of the record it would have been too long.
Usually your fans are quite your... Don’t they think it’s strange when u talk about the 70‘s and names like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Is it improtant for u to know that they maybe discover the bands u were listening to in there age?
If thoose bands haven’t existed, we wouldn’t be her, so it’s fair that we talk about them, so people get to know them. I have no promblems by saying that Black Sabbath is probably the biggest rockband ever.
How did you manage to deal with the differences in the musical taste of each bandmember? U’ve got everything from Tchaikowsky to Slayer.
Sometimes it is complcated, but we are old friends and we learned how to respect the taste of each other when we make something new than everybody just influences his instrument. None of us is that fanatic that he wants to sound like somebody else.
U recorded the album again with Hiili Hilesmaa in Helsinki...
When we started to write the music, we decided to go into a studio to see how it sounds. We all went there and we decided that wthis album should be oriented on guitars. So we decided to take Hiili as
the producer. Basicaly because there is nobody who’s better in producing that way. Several years ago we recorded an album with him and his evolution during that time is quite big. That’s the reason why we also used his studio in Helsinki as we didn’t want that he has to work in a studio he doesn’t know. It has become a second home for us.
I know through the source of MTV that you are going to make a contest to choose the support band for your next tour...
Well, it’s more connected to a beer company, which will be the sponso than. They makde the suggestion as int he US they do that already for a long time, to promote small bands. They give them money for the studio and other stuff. Sad that when we begun we didn’t have that kind of support. At the same time they promote our band by giving us free beers...
U have success on the European Continent but in Britain it seems like they still dont pay attention to your records. „Love Metal" has only obtained place 55 in the British top 100.
In some countries the turnover was low. For us Germany is probably the best country. We are touring there since 1998 and so we are well-known there. England is always something different. Rock’N’Roll isn’t the most popular style there, but many things have improved. We played a gig in the Astoria and it was sold out.
I Know that u meet Moonspell (Portugeese band) a couple of times, have you ever considerred to make something together?
Generally we meet in the studio during the recordings. They recorded their album and we ours. We have never talked about a commen project but Hiili has produced their last record at the same time when we did and we went together to some bars in Helsinki. Telling the truth it would be great to do something together in the future but maybe it wasn’t the right time...
Love and Metal in German coming soon
I write my best songs while having a pie
Bravo: Did you rock away your anger at your ex-girlfriend with „Buried Alive by Love" and the other songs of your No. 1 record „Love Metal" which have become also very heavy?
Ville: Susanna was and is my big love! I’m not angry that she left me - I even hope to get her back. We are preparing to get it write again at the moment. We’ve been together 5 years although we’ve spent only 3 month real together. That should change in the future. The sound of the record has to do less with my feelings than with our workkind. I write all the melodies, riffs and lyrics by myself but the feeling of the new tracks is developed by all of us, we did it together as band. We rehearselt some month and than we played them live in the studio. . I’m really proud of our new record!
Bravo: How and when do u write your songs?
Ville: When I wake up - by taking a shower or having a pie! Than I have the best ideas. I try to hit the toilette right and than suddenly I got a melody!
Bravo: And than you fail to hit the toilette because you are so exited?
Ville: (grins) noo - that’s more seldom. I have studied the technique to have a pie and to compose at the same time...
Bravo: Where do the ideas for your lyrics come from?
There is a lot of work behind the most of them. My lyrics are feelings that I changed in words. I have to listen long and intensive into myself to find sentences, which express what I feel.
Bravo: But your songs are allways about love, death and pain...
Ville: That’s true but I allways discribe them from a new point of view. Nobody should take my lyrics too serious, as they are pure fantasy. Love and death are only symbols, pictures for life. The original meaning of my songs is the search for the sense of life.
Bravo: HIM stands for His Infernal Majesty... So are you connected with the devil?
Ville: No, I don’t belive in satan and I don’t praise him. But I was allways faszinated of the fairytales and stories about the devil. The evil is a part of all of us. Everybody should know that. Nobody is totaly good.
Bravo: What are your dark sites?
But the times in which we get so drunk that we almost lost our mind are over. Today we go on tour to play good music, and not to drink.
Bravo: Is it true that you had a job in a sexshop?
Ville: Yes, I helped my Dad in his shop. One day suddenly my physicsteacher wanted to buy dessous for girlies. We both blushed totaly when we recognized each other.
Bravo: Bam Magera was doing the regie for your new clip of „Buried Alive by Love". Are you a fan of Jackass?
Ville: Yes, I adore Bam for his skills as skater - and esp. As a filmexpert. He’s a good director and he’s got cool ideas. We got to know us in London 2001. Bam is a big fan of HIM and one of my best friends. He even get my heartagram - tattoo and he’s got our logo on all his skateboards.
Meine besten Songs schreib ich beim Pinkeln!
BRAVO: Hast Du dir mit "Buried Alive By Love" und den anderen ziemlich hart geratenen Songs auf eurem Nr. 1-Album "Love Metal" Die Wut auf deine Ex von der Seele gerockt?
Ville: Susanna war und ist meine große Liebe! Und ich bin ihr nicht mal richtig böse, dass sie mich verlassen hat - ich hoffe sogar, dass ich sie zurückgewinnen kann. Im Augenblick sind wir jedenfalls dabei, die zerrissenen Fäden wieder zusammenzuknoten. Wir waren ja fünf Jahre zusammen, obwohl wir davon höchstens drei Monate echt zusammen verbracht haben. Das soll in Zukunft anders werden.
Der harte Sound der CD hat weniger mit meinen Gefühlen zu tun, als mit unserer Arbeitsweise, ich schreibe wie immer alle Melodien, Riffs und Texte allein - aber das Feeling der neuen Stücke entwickelten wir gemeinsam als Band. Wir haben mehrere Monate geprobt und die Basistracks dann live im Studio eingespielt. Ich bin echt stolz auf unser neues Album!
Bravo: Wie und wann schreibst du deine Songs?
VILLE: Gleich nach dem Aufwachen - nämlich beim Duschen oder beim Pinkeln! Da habe ich einfach die besten Ideen. Ich versuche dabei, richtig ins Klo zu zielen - und plötzlich höre ich mich eine neue Melodie Summen!
BRAVO: Und vor Aufregung pinkelst du dann daneben?
Ville (grinst): Nee - eher selten ich habe die Technik, gleichzeitig zu pinkeln und zu komponieren, schon perfektioniert...
BRAVO: Wie kommen deine Texte zustande?
VILLE: Hinter den meisten steckt harte Arbeit. Meine Texte sind in Worte gefasste Gefühle. Ich muss lange und intensiv in mich reinhören, um Sätze zu finden, die rüberbringen was ich empfinde.
BRAVO: Es geht in deinen Songs aber immer wieder um die selben Themen: Liebe, Tod oder Schmerz...
VILLE: Stimmt - aber ich beschreibe sie immer wieder aus einem neuen Blickwinkel. Und niemand sollte meine Texte zu wörtlich nehmen, denn sie sind pure Fantasie. Liebe und Tod sind nur symbolische Bilder für das Leben. Das eigentliche Thema aller meiner Songs ist meine Suche nach dem Sinn des Lebens.
BRAVO: HIM „His Infernal Majesty" (dt.: Seine teuflische Majestät). Bist du denn mit dem Teufel im Bunde?
VILLE: Nein, ich glaube nicht an Satan - und bete ihn schon gar nicht an. Aber ich war immer fasziniert von den Märchen und Geschichten um den Teufel. Das Böse ist im übrigen ein Teil von uns allen! Das sollte sich jeder eingestehen! Kein Mensch ist nämlich durch und durch gut.
BRAVO: Was sind deine dunklen Seiten?
Ville: Jägermeister! Aber die Zeiten, in denen wir uns beinahe um den Verstand getrunken haben, sind vorbei! Heute gehen wir auf Tour, um gute Musik zu spielen - und nicht mehr, um zu saufen.
Bravo: stimmt es, dass du früher mal in einem Sexshop gejobbt hast?
VILLE: Ja, ich habe meinem Dad in seinem Laden ausgeholfen. Eines Tages stand plötzlich mein Physik-Professor vor mir an der Kasse. Er wollte Mädchen-Dessous. Wir wurden beide ziemlich rot, als wir uns erkannten....
BRAVO: Bam Magera führte Regie bei eurem Video zu "Buried Alive By Love" Bist Du "Jackass"-Fan?
VILLE: Ja, ich bewundere Bam für seine Fähigkeiten als Skater - und vor allem als Filmprofi. Er ist ein toller Regisseur und hat irre Ideen. Wir lernten uns 2001 in London kennen. Bam ist großer HIM-Fan und einer meiner besten Freunde. Er ließ sich sogar mein Heartagram-Tattoo nachstechen und hat unser Logo auf all seinen Skateboards.
Love, Passion and Vice
U really sound happy and content...
-Yes I feel very good as I’m happy about our new record. But I’m totaly afraid at the same time taht the fans won’t like it as we don’t become younger, too.
We need the fame, otherwise we would be fucked (laughs)!
The record is called „Love Metla" but I thought that you are actually not real mealheads.
It’s more to get the people a bit confused. „Love" and „Metal" are two extremes and I like it to play a bit with this contrasts. But our drummer Gas is a realy metal head!
The new single „The Funeral of Hearts" sonds very romantic and full of passion. What did u want to express with that song?
- I’m representing the melancholy of being in love. For me love is a funeral of hearts because u give your heart away to somebody from the moment u fall in love. Than it isn’t yours anymore. You put it in a and you burry it... I love that song. It’s probably the best I’ve ever written.
You have had big hits with „The Funeral of Hearts", „Join Me" and other songs but are there moments in which you doubt on yourself?
Sure there are some. But than I go home, sit down, have a cup of coffee and write new songs. That always helps.
U and the other guys from HIM know each other for a long time now, since you’ve been in school. Do you also get on each others nerves somtimes?
We are five completly different people; there are some little fights. But in spite we respect and like each other.
Which member of HIM does actually have the most worse.....
Mhmm, probably our bassplayer Mige. He doesn’t like to wash hisself and that often doesn’t smell that good. And he doesn’t wear any underwear.
There is also something intresting about your guitarplayer Linde, also called Lily Lazor. He became dad by the beginning of March.
Yes, that’s true! He’s got now a little daughter. It happened totaly suprisingly: He got to know a girl, fellt in love with her when he saw her the first time, she got pregnant and now Linde is dad.
And which impact did that have for the band?
Do you now all get decent and homely?
(smiles) Let’s see! Fact is that we have to make a lot more money now as babystuff is not that cheap!
How improtant is family for you?
Very, very important, I wouldn’t be here without my mom and my dad. I try to see them as often as possible. And ofcourse my little brother Jesse, too. We do a lot together.
Who do u love the most on this world?
- I’m not sure. Maybe my mother. But when I answer this my girlfriend becomes angry. So I rather say myself. It’s said, that only if you love yourself and if you respect what you do u are in the position to give love to somebody else.
Is there someone you hat or totaly dislike?
I dislike all people who make war on this world. Everybody, who hurts inicent people and does them harm. But I don’t hate this people. I guess I’m not able to hate somebody.
Your songs and your appeareance always have a melancholic taste. Do you have sunny spring feelings?
I have some at the moment. But I don’t know if it is the season or the presentation of our new record. Away from this it is still quite cold and gloomy in Finland. As soon as I’m back there again I get melancholy agin. (loughs).
What are you doing in such moments?
I call my friends and ask them to go out with me.
What would say your friends about you. How would they describe your kind?
Probably as an excentric asshole with a golden heart.
U have given your heart already away 5 years ago to your girlfriend but you look for other girls. Which kind of character must a girl have to get your attention?
I like natural, nice girls, which can talk with you.
And which look do you like at girls?
I like everything that underlines their personality. In my opinion girls shouldn’t follow a certain trend. I like it if girls have their own style and outfit, in which they feel good. That inflences the personality a lot and makes her contant. Some girls try to be trendy and than they looking uncontent sometimes.
Why are you wearing a hat so often this time? Do you try to hide a shit hairdress?
Juska, our former keyboardplayer gave it to me. I wear it already for a while and I didn’t wash it (smiles). But it doesn’t smell that much. Hte hat is a kind good luch charm. It keeps my ears warm. Furthermore I try to get long hairs again for the headbanging.
Do you have some new Tattoos?
Unfortunately not. The one who used to make them has mooved to Amsterdam and I still haven’t had the time to visit him. And I don’t allow it somebody else. I want to have my Tattoos all in one and the same style.
Waht’s your favourite sentence to get a girl?
„Do you want something to drink"? or „And how are you"? And than she says: „Nothing go away." (laughs).
Oh you are a real romeo! How was it when u fell in love the first time?
Horrible! I was totaly down. I was in love with a girl, which was in love with my best friend. The classic way. I have had heartache for a few month and than I started to write songs to express my feelings. So everything started.
What was the most embarressing moment in your lovelife?
Oh, there are many. But the worse case was as follows: When I was about 15 years old I kissed a girl after a party, both of us were drunk for the first time and we were lieing on the bed. Suddenly I fellt bad and I had to vomit - on her. That was emberassing. Later we were laughing about this matter.
The Rocker with the magic powers
Ville - whight night of all hearts
Tears, yells, girls pass out - all this because of an thin guy with black rings under his eyes and the pale of death in his face. HIM-frontman Ville Valo (26) -the wight night of all hearts-. The girls are in his spell. They lose controle when they are close to him, getting in a conflict between erotic and hypnotise. They can explain that only because of the magic powers of the Rocker from Helsinki. In March His Infernal Majesty celerbrated a great live-comeback in Hamburg infront of 1,500 fans.
In the previewshow Ville, Mige (28), Linde (26), Gas (32) and Burton (28, Keys) performed worldexclusive their songs of the new record „Love Metal", which will be in the stors on 14.04.03. The tickets for the Rockshow were only available at the HIM website www.heartagram.com. Within 24 hours there were no tickets available anymore.
Girls from all over the world, from Peru to the Färöer Islands travelled to Hamburg to get the ultimative kick from the rocker with the sad eyes. Is Ville really associated with the dark powers relating to the name of the band and the speculations with the word „death" in his songs? He grins and says no. „he only dark power I’m into is Jägermeister!"
His favourite drink, which Ville used to drink a lot at a show is meanwhile used not that much anymore. „In the end of 2001 my girlfriend Susanna left me", the rock-romantic explains. „I got into the deepest whole of my life and concelled even out tour. But the pain let me grow. I’m a new person." Villes heartache left something in the HIM-top-3 single „The Funeral of Hearts", his most sad and most touching song.
HIM Ville - Ritter aller Herzen!
Tränen, Schreie, Ohnmachtsanfälle - alles wegen eines schmächtigen Typen mit schwarz geränderten Augen und der Blässe des Todes im Gesicht: HIM-Frontmann Ville Valo (26) - Ritter aller Herzen. Ihm sind die Girls verfallen. In seiner Nähe verlieren sie die Kontrolle, geraten in einen Zustand zwischen Erotikrausch und Hypnose, den sich viele nur mit übersinnlichen Kräften des geheimnisvollen Rockers aus Helsinki erklären können. Anfang März feierte „His Infernal Majesty" (Seine teuflische Majestät) mit seiner Band in Hamburg ein triumphales Live-Comeback vor 1.500 Fans. In dem Vorabkonzert stellten Ville, Migé (28, Bass), Gas (32, Schlagzeug), Linde (26, Gitarre) und Burton (28, Tasten) weltexklusiv die Songs ihres neuen Albums: „Love Metal" vor, das am 14.4. in die Läden kommt. Tickets für die morbide Rock-Show gab´s nur über die HIM-Webseite www.heartagram.com zu gewinnen; binnen 24 Stunden waren sie weg. Mädchen aus aller Welt, von Peru bis zu den Färör-Inseln, machten sich auf den Weg nach Hamburg, um sich bei dem Rock-Magier mit den traurigen Augen den ultimativen Kick zu holen. Ist Ville wirklich mit dunklen Mächten im Bunde, wie der Bandname und die vielen Anspielungen auf den Tod in seinen Songs nahe legen? Grinsend schüttelt der wortkarge Finne den Kopf: „Nein, die einzige dunkle Macht mit der ich im Bunde bin, heißt Jägermeister!" - Seinen Lieblingsdrink, den er früher im Konzert flaschenweise in sich reinkippte; verwendet Ville nur sparsam: „Ende 2001 hat mich meine Freundin Susanna Verlassen", erklärt der Rock-Romantiker. „Ich stürzte in das tiefste Loch meines Lebens und brach sogar unsere Tour ab. Doch der Schmerz hat mich geläutert, ich bin ein neuer Mensch!" Villes Liebeskummer hinterließ Spuren auf der HIM-Top-drei-Single „The Funeral of Hearts" (Begräbnis der Herzen) - seinem traurigsten und bewegendsten Song.
Ville - lonely like never
... because a little chaot wants it like this
Litomerice in the Chech Republic, 1 car hour away from the capital Prague. HIM are recording their videoclip for the new singel „The Sacrament" (release is expected for June). Sounds strange but is cool! There are old churches, a huge market place and esp. The old barock castle Plaskovice.
Nobody could have constructed a location which is more perfect. Ville Valo (26) has to play a owner of a castle, who has been left of his big love.
Ville: „The song is about the horrible pain of an end of a relationship of 2 people who love each other."
It’s 13:00 o’clock when the 5 Finns arrive at the castle. What’s up? Nobody really knows that at this time. Treatment? Regiebook? Storyboard? Is not existing!
It’s not a wonder because the director of the new video is jackass chaot Bam Magera (23) and he doesn’t think much of this well-planned things.
Ville: „ Bam is really cool. He gets the ideas for the clip first when he is at the set."
The result is as follows: First Ville tosses and turns in the bed, than he walks lonely and down of pain through castel and town.
„I hear you breath so far from me, I feel your touch so close and real..." Between again and again szenes of Villes big love (in the clip done by a chec model) who suffers as well. For the bandcollegues fo Ville the videoshoot starts first at 22:00 o’clock: Rocking in the main lecture of the castle! Meanwhile they play chess and eat! The vegetarians guitarplayer Linde (26) and bassplayer Mige (28) get Broccoli at the catering. And Ville? He prefers to smoke...
A bit time after midnight suddenly nobody knows how to continue as Burtons (28) Keyboard is in the hotel „no panic", screams Bam and jumps donw a stair with 35 steps.
It’s 05:00 o’clock when Ville is smoking his 82 cigarette (!) than it’s finaly time for bed - but only for 1,5 hour than the shoot goes on. After 3 hours only the interview with Ville is missing for the making of. But it’s stopped because Bam bumbs against the garage. He had taken extra much space for it. Now he passed out. „Get some ice", screams Ville exiteted. Some minutes later the chaot is still a bit down but well again. Now it’s breakfast time.
Well, instead of coffee they get beer and istead of rolls and croissants they get a lot more beer!
Ville laughs! „ It’s a finnish breakfast and I’m sure it is good for Bam’s head..."
Ville - einsam wie nie
...weil ein kleiner Chaot es so will!
Die Gothic-Rocker drehten in Tschechien den Clip zu ihrer neuen Single „The Sacrament". Regisseur war wieder mal „Jackass"-Rabauke Bam Margera.
Litomerice in Tschechien, eine Autobahnstunde nördlich der Hauptstadt Prag: Hier drehten HIM das Video zur neuen Single „The sacrament" (soll Mitte Juni kommen). Klingt komisch, ist aber cool! In der bischöflichen Residenz gibt es alte Kirchen, einen riesigen Marktplatz und vor allem das leicht verspukte Barockschloss Ploskovice. Eine perfektere Location hätte kein Studiobauer errichten können, denn Ville Valo (26) soll einen Schlossherrn spielen, der von seiner großen Liebe verlassen wurde. Ville: „In dem Song geht’s um den wahnsinnigen Scherz einer Trennung zweier Menschen, die sich lieben." Um 13 Uhr trudelten die fünf Finnen am Drehort ein. Was geht ab? Das weiß zunächst keiner so genau. Treatment? Drehbuch? Storyboard? Gibt es nicht! Kein Wunder, denn Video-Director ist wie schon beim Clip zu "Buried Alive by Love" „Jackass"-Chaot Bam Margera (23) - und der hält nicht viel von organisatorischen Dingen. Ville: „Bam ist echt krass. Die Ideen zum kommen ihm erst am Set." Das Ergebnis sieht dann so aus: Erst wälzt Ville sich schlaflos im Bett, dann irrt er elend und vom Schmerz der Trennung gebeugt durch Schloss und Stadt.
„I hear you breath so far from me. I feel your touch so close and real..." (Songtext-Auszug). Dazwischen immer wieder Szenen von Villes großer Liebe (gespielt von einem tschechischen Model), die genauso leidet wie er...
Für Villes Bandkollegen beginnt der Dreh erst um 22 Uhr: Rocken im Hauptsaal des Schlosses! Die Zeit Überbrücken sie mit Schach - und Essen! Die Vegetarier Gitarrist Linde (26) und Basser Migé (28), holen sich beim Catering Brokkoli mit Sahnesauce. Und Ville? Der qualmt lieber...
Kurz nach Mitternacht plötzlich Ratlosigkeit am Set: Burtons (28) Keyboard liegt im Hotel! „Keine Panik", brüllt Bam und wirft sich erst mal eine 35-stufige Treppe hinunter. Um 5 Uhr raucht Ville seine 82. Zigarette (!), dann geht’s endlich ins Bett - aber nur für eineinhalb Stunden, dann wird weitergedreht. Nach drei Stunden fehlt nur noch das Interview fürs Making of. Doch das wird abrupt unterbrochen. Denn direkt neben ihm klatscht Bam gegen ein Garagentor. Er hatte extra viel Anlauf genommen. Jetzt ist er ohnmächtig. „Holt Eiswürfel" schreit Ville aufgeregt. Minuten später ist der Chaot noch leicht benommen, aber wieder bei Bewusstsein. Stärkung ist angesagt: HIM bitten zum Frühstück. Wie das aussieht? Na ja, statt Kaffee gibt’s Bier, statt Brötchen & Croissants noch mehr Bier! Ville lacht: „Ist eben ein sehr finnisches Frühstück" - und sicher gut für Bams brummenden Schädel...
"Ville Valo's Top 10 Sex Rules"
The HIM frontman's guide etiquette
Backdoor Love Is For Losers
"When I'm making love I have to see my girlfriend's face. I mean a position like The Wheelbarrow might be interesting and esoteric, but let's just say I don't like gardening. It's not my cup of tea."
The Missionary Position Is King
"See, for me it's the missionary position and that's it. My problem is I never have casual sex. I've always been dating the girls I've been with. I'm a boring youngster. I guess - more into romanticism. If you wanted to be more adventurous you could try the lotus position - my girlfriend's just started doing yoga."
Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
"Always remember to take a shower before sex. Our bass player never showers. He doesn't brush his teeth either, so it's pretty easy for us to know if he's been doing something, uh, dirty. You can smell it. And our drummer wanks on the tour bus which I don't consider to be a healthy pursuit, particularly since we're always passing out drunk in each other's bunks. You don't know what you've slept on."
Porn Is Overrated
"I used to work in my dad's sex shop in the early days of HIM, so I've seen most porn. Most American porn is very basic: missionary, doggy style, then anal, then squirting it, like, whatever. It's all the same and most is pretty boring. Scandinavian porn is better - Finland is the realm of porn."
Ride 'Em Cowboy
"The Rodeo position is the winner, because you hold on to your ride one handed! Then you can do other things with your free hand; roll a cigarette, read the paper, do a few lines or throw your lassoo and Stetson. I haven't done that one in a while, though, because I've been looking for the right boots. That's basically the reason HIM tours a lot. You just can't get the proper boots in Finland."
Sex Toys Are No Substitute For The Real Thing
"I'm still a young bloke. I haven't passed 'level three' yet. Basically that's when you get bored of having sex, so you start buying all the little gadgets to spice it up. I've nothing against sex toys; I just don't find them interesting. I'm still happy just to have a warm body next to me."
Don't Get Hung Up On Bondage
"I'm not into bondage at all, I would hate to see myself being tied up. My fetish is my girlfriend. I love her toes, her knees, her back, everything about her. Do I know friends with strange fetishes? That would be telling and Helsinki is a small city. Although our bass player is totally hooked on lace. He even had lace curtains in his car."
Free Your Ass And Your Mind Will Follow
"When we're on tour, we check out shit-eating films. That's the best, that's where you really test your sanity! Psychologically it's very interesting. I guess people haven't passed their 'anal phase' - as Freud might say. It's a pretty natural thing really. And true spiritual emancipation if you think about it - you just let go"
'Self-Love' Is Good Love
"Wanking is always a good thing, especially on tour. It relaxes you, and I don't want to have wet dreams, especially on the tour bus. We get hotel rooms every now and then, so we're like 'save your wanking for that'. Which might explain why out Pay TV bills are always huge."
Use Cigarettes Wisely
"When you smoke it doesn't go well with ones erection. It cogs up all the tiny veins - bad for the boner! I have a cigarette pack saying, 'smoking can damage the sperm and decrease fertility' so I consider cigarettes to be my condom. That's how I avoid unwanted pregnancies."
German version coming soon!!!
In 2000 Ville Valo & Co. have been your big heroes with the song „Join Me". Now finaly the comeback. At a Fjord in Norway the video for „Funeral of Hearts" just has been shoot. HIM were riding on horses which had the words „Love Metal" on them through the polarnight. Guitarplayer Linde had a special reason to celerbrate the end of the shoot: He becomes Daddy in April.
Im Jahr 2000 waren Ville Valo & Co. mit „Join Me" Eure großen Helden. Jetzt kommt endlich das Comeback. An einem Fjord in Norwegen wurde soeben das Video zu „Funeral of Hearts" (VÖ: 17.3.) abgedreht. Dabei ritten HIM auf zwei mit den Worten „Love Metal" bemalten Hengsten druch die Polarnacht. Den Drehschluss feierte vor allem Gitarrist Linde hochprozentig: Im April wird er Vater.
HIM - Shock -Comeback
The „prince of darkness" comes back: on the 8.3. HIM will play their comeback concert in a club in Hamburg which is called „Große Freiheit". The first lifesign of the finnish cultrocker Ville Valo (26) and his band since 2001. The new HIM-single „Funeral of Hearts" will be released on 17.3. - with a shocking fantasy-video: Ville: „I’m hunted from wolfs and ghosts through the taiga." The CD „Love Metal" will be released on 14.4.
HIM - Grusel - Comeback
Der „Prinz der Unterwelt" kehrt zurück: Am 8.3. spielen HIM ihr Comeback - Konzert im Hamburger Club „Große Freiheit". Erstes Lebenszeichen von Finnlands Kultrocker Ville Valo (26) und seiner Band seit 2001. Die neue HIM-Single Funeral of Hearts" erscheint am 17.3. - mit einem gruseligen Fantasy-Video: Ville:"Ich werde von Wölfen und Geistern durch die Taiga gehetzt". Die CD „Love Metal" kommt am 14.4.
English version of "HIM" comes soon!!!
Er ist scharf wie der junge Mike Jagger und rau wie der alte Keith Richards - ohne den Sexappeal von Frontmann Ville Valo (26) hätten es HIM wohl nie zu Weltruhm gebracht. Denn wer wäre 1998, als er in HIMs Superhit „Join Me" fragte: „Would you die for me tonight?", nicht mit und für ihn gestorben (im übertragenen Sinne natürlich)? Nun, HIM Leben - und ihre Fans auch: Mit „Funeral of Hearts" machen sie sich in den oberen Plätzen der Charts breit. Nur Ville Valo ist nicht ganz frisch. Jedenfalls nicht beim VIVA-BamS Interview, dass er beinahe verschlafen hätte. Bei Wasser, Cola und starkem Kaffee erzählte er über seine ganz spießigen Träumen.
Von BETTINA HENNIG
Mann liest immer, dass dein Vater einen Sexshop betreibt. Was macht eigentlich deine Mutter?
VILLE: Sie arbeitet für die Stadt Oslo, hat einen stinknormalen Bürojob mit viel Papierkram.
Wie lange sind die beiden schon zusammen?
VILLE: Knapp 30 Jahre
Wie Solide. Wenn man denkt, was man über dich und die Groupies hört, sind sie wohl nicht gerade ein Vorbild dafür, wie du dein Privatleben gestaltest...
VILLE: Hör doch nicht darauf, was man erzählt. Ich bin seit fünf Jahren in einer festen Beziehung - und ich bin absolut treu.
Ist dein Partner ein Mann oder eine Frau?
VILLE: Eine Frau.
In allen Interviews liest man das du solo bist. Warum hast du sie uns verschwiegen?
VILLE: Es ist einfacher, wenn niemand davon weiß. Dann muss man in Interviews nicht darüber sprechen.
Wie bleibt ihr in Kontakt, wenn du ständig auf Tour bist?
VILLE: Das ist ihr Problem (lacht). Nein, wir telefonieren täglich, und ich versuche, sie so oft wie möglich in Helsinki zu besuchen.
Wohnt ihr zusammen?
VILLE: Nein, nicht mehr. Es hat nicht so gut geklappt, weil wir beide viel um die Ohren haben.
Was macht sie?
VILLE: Sie ist Maskenbildnerin. Früher hat sie auch mein Bühnenstyling gemacht, aber heute nicht mehr.
Träumst du manchmal davon, dich niederzulassen und eine Familie zu gründen?
VILLE: Wer träumt nicht davon? Ich bin bislang nur nicht dazu gekommen, weil ich die vergangenen Jahre zu viel um die Ohren hatte. Aber Grundsätzlich ist das ein Ziel, ein privates zumindest.
Den Sexpart des „Sex Drugs & Rock ´n` Roll" - Klischees erfüllst also nicht. Wie sieht´s mit den Drogen aus?
VILLE: Sind nie so mein Ding gewesen. Natürlich habe ich früher gekifft. Aber gemocht habe ich es nie. Ich trinke lieber - am allerliebsten Bier.
Und du rauchst wie ein Schlot...
VILLE: Ja, das ist wohl nicht zu übersehen. Ich komme auf vier Päckchen Zigaretten am Tag.
Wann Willst du damit aufhören?
VILLE: Wenn ich es schaffe, sofort. Aber ich habe nicht die Disziplin dazu...
„Ich träume davon, eine Familie zu gründen"
(thanks for typing to thoran!!!)
Interview in Greece
DS -Ok first of all thanks for being with us again. Welcome to Greece!
DS -You know it’s been something like one and a half year since the OAKA gig and we’ve been really expecting to see you again, since as you know some people we’re very happy with the situations in that gig, due to the rain and stuff like that…
Ville-Yes, I know!
DS -Well some moments before the gig what is that you expect and what don’t you expect from the people outside?
Ville- I am hoping, I’m expecting that I will shit my pants! Laughter
DS -Why is that?
Ville -Because I’m always nervous and I always get butterflies In my stomach, my stomach gets completely messy and Gas probably feels the same cause he went to a Japanese restaurant and all that raw fish and sushi…his stomach Is pretty bad too! Laughter
DS -Guys we saw some pictures outside of people pushing, screaming and trying to get inside as fast as they could to get to the first row, do you think there should be a limit in that pushing and yelling, does it sometimes affect you as a band while performing?
Ville -Wow. Well thank god most of us should be wearing glasses; we can’t during the gig so we can’t see shit! We can’t see the first raw…we see blur, massive. Laughter
But you know, sometimes this can be a little bit rough especially in festivals where there are lots and lots of people and they may start pushing around and whatever, it can be dangerous, that’s where we quit the show there or whatever, for a second and pause.
DS -Can you remember, which was, as a band your favorite gig?
Ville -It was in Holland, last Saturday!
DS -Oh really? Why’s that?
Ville -Well we played really well and the people were dancing and especially in songs like Soul On Fire, they were really feeling it and asking for more, that’s what we want
DS -So it depends on the country?
Ville -No, I think it depends on us, if we play well all together hopefully that creates sort of like an entity, energy that cheers the side of the beast to the audience! Laughter
DS -Don’t say that loudly here!
Ville -Oops! Sorry
DS -So, when is the tour ending? Are you planning to do anything after that?
Ville -You mean now?
DS -No we mean normally when is it going to end?
Ville -Oh, the tour is never ending.
Mige- It’s a never ending story J
DS -So there’s no time to rest ha?
Ville -Well, we’ll have a couple of weeks after in October, but the tour is going to continue after, as long there are people who appreciate what we’re doing. We’ll carry on till late September for now.
DS -Mige did you guys know about that?
Mige -What that the tour is going to end then? Well I guessed, I was thinking of that!
DS -Could we ask any of the others? Laughter
Ville- Yeah, I’m just the linesman here! Laughter
DS -Linde, what is your favorite song in Love Metal?
Linde -Well, it’s This Fortress of Tears
DS -Because of the solo?
Linde -Yes. I really love this song.
DS -Lately there’ve been some other Love Metal genre bands. Do you think they should call their music like that?
Ville -Are they?
DS -Some of them. What do you think of bands like Poisonblack, Charon etc..?
Ville- Well, they all sound like Sentenced, don’t they? Because then some people listen to one band they tend to follow projects like these. If they say they are, that’s very flattering for us, but I don’t believe in that.
DS -So there’s no genre?
Ville -There could be a couple, like BendOver..and us!
DS -Ville in an older interview you said that in our 30’s you’ll probably be dead? Now that you’re more close to that age do you regret saying that? Laughter!!
Ville- I know I’m freaking old, but I’m still 26, so I still got a couple of years to decide J
DS -Do you think now you still got so many things to offer to music?
Ville -I should check out myself at sometime In the future and see if I’m still writing good music.
DS -Are you influenced by the type of music you listen to during different periods of time or is it some standard form of style you follow as a composer. Because you said sometimes you may listen to Iggy Pop, sometimes Neil Diamond or whatever…
Ville -Yeah, most of that reflects when I’m putting the songs together, because even if I’d love to do a more “Americana” song, with slide guitars and all that, he can’t do it (showing Mige and then Linde!)…well, nobody’s perfect! Laughter we generally work the whole thing together and come up with a standard form.
DS -What does the word gothic mean to you?
Ville -Erm, black, cats and black lipstick~!
DS -Is HIM’s music mistaken as gothic? Is it a cliché to call it like that? Gothic rock or whatever?
Ville -I don’t know. The gothic scene is very different from country to country. Like In Germany it means like you’re all wearing a cape and a whole like Dracula outfit and eat gothic stuff at the same time. Like the Monsters family. They also put this little ketchup drop on the lower lip J. While in the States it’s more of industrial clothing and in England it’s different too. I remember it all began when in Gernany, originally, the first EP of Sisters of Mercy was reviewed. That’s when it started. Maybe we are, we are gothic in our hearts! Laughter
Ville –Mige you are a Goth!
Mige- I’m a bad Goth!
DS -You are in a gothic band so you are a Goth!
Maybe Gas should tell us about gothic music! Laughter
Gas- Laughter. Gothic music, I don’t listen to gothic music! J
You know guys; I am more like the Metal guy, Slayer and all that!
DS -We ask that question because when you began it was really different. I mean, now that you are more “mainstream” was it like loosing your religion having to do all that? Having to compromise with some things in the music business?
Ville -Wow. We had to but we’re not so different. That takes us back to the previous one. We can all quote Peter Steele (Type O Negative). It sounds like what he said when he was asked if he’s a Goth he said he was not a goth but..but…when he looked himself in the mirror and realized he’s over 2 meters tall and he’s got black hair and all that. That’s pretty valuable.
This is the point where we were signaled to start wrapping up the interview but Ville said “Let’s sit here for a while. We’re ok with the guys. No hurry” that really was amazing for us. Having so many more things to ask the band, we went on…
DS -It’s a personal question we want to ask all of you guys. Every fans dream is to meet their idol- you!- but sometimes they can’t realize he might be a simple man like you are and that long- awaited moment is just a simple moment. What is the right way to behave in order to enjoy and have the best memories of it?
Mige- Wow! It’s a really strange moment.
DS -Like Ville once said about when he met Iggy Pop.
Ville- I was really nervous, yeah, we shook hands and talked about reindeers for a second! J and left the building!
DS -What do you think of those people/fans who wait for years In order to see you, touch you or whatever?
Ville -That’s sick! I understand being nervous. I was like that the first time I met Peter Steele. I’ll be shitting my pants when I’m going to meet Ozzy.
DS -You haven’t yet?
Ville -Not yet. But knowing all that we spend a little time to talk on tour and we know how many people probably have met you in years deserve but also should give you some respect, us and all the fans “idols” generally. When they really start talking to you that’s different. It’s nice to say “hello, how are you” but there’s no reason to hang around for the rest of their time without saying anything, cause they must have better things to do, they might even want to take a shit or whatever, prepare themselves for a gig. There are lots of different people in each tour. We’ve met some really nice ones and some really spooky!
DS-Linde. Daniel Lioneye was more than joke? Do you think you’ll play live again?
Linde-No, I don’t think so!
Mige- Yeah, HIM songs! Laughter
DS -You could cover HIM songs! We want you to sing Pretending definitely! Laugher
Mige-(Mige makes fun of Linde’s voice by singing Pretending ?) Oh, keep on pretaandeeing! Boo boo booo. Linde, Ville and Burton Laugh out loudly
DS-Now guys we’ll give you a word and want you to give another one that suits you best.
DS -Fans ( Ville confuses the word fans with the other meaning of fans
and replies “ I use them for more cooling in my house! And everyone drops dead from laughter! ) Finally Mige gives the word “funnyfolks!”
Mige: Can’t beat that!
Ville- Oh, like your club? I will have to say “love”, because that’s our song!
Should It be with a “c” or a “k” ?
Ville- A “k”! (oops! J)
Ville- We just came from there! It’s the last place where I thought about sex! Laughter!
Mige- Too warm!
Ville- In Europe and in Finland it’s the first time in 200..they never expected in 200 years that this would be the hottest weather and in Celsius it’s about 30 or something!
DS-Maybe Linde knows better what family means. Now that you’re a dad.
Linde- My daughter is everything!
DS- How is she?
Linde- She’s great. I’ very happy.
Ville- Endless hangovers! There are so many people we haven’t met for some time, older friends and like that; we do these briefings and constant partying. It’s great to have, you know, old friends.
DS- It should be a place for relaxation though.
Ville- Well, that too!
Gas- Funny creatures. From another planet.
Gas- Certainly extraterrestrials!
DS-BAM? (not bum!)
Ville- He is a friend.
DS- We know him In Greece through skating and stuff and many people like him (!)
Ville- Oh! We met a couple of years ago and we became friends. Friends, fan friend, we just thought that it’s allright for him to come over and check us out when we play some gigs. I mean, he directed very well BABL and The Sacrament. Friend, I’d like him to be, it’s like having one extra member In the band.
Drinks are on the table and we can stay more!
DS- Can I ask you about Love Metal? We see that there is not a picture of you in the cover of Love Metal. Was that an attempt to help people focus on the entire band and not Ville? Finally HIM is Ville?
Ville-Well, we’ve done 3 albums with my face all over and it’s getting boring. Anyway, the idea was to concentrate on the heartagram a bit more; so like lots of people in America for example they think that that’s BAM’s symbol because BAM’s been wearing that everywhere (!) and we wanted sort of to focus on that. Complaining, you know, in a way that everybody would notice “oh THAT’s the band, THAT’s the reason” (!!). We saw lots of people with tattoos of a heartagram symbol. It’s strong on its own. It’s a symbol. It’s like our tribute towards Venom’s Black Metal. It’s a very similar cover artwork.
DS-Ville, Evi wants to ask this question. Would you argue with those who consider the early His Infernal Majesty sound of like 1997 more mature than the present one, or is it just this change we talked about earlier?
Ville- The old album more mature?
DS-Because it was more serious.
Ville- More serious yes. We, yeah it was a bit more serious but that was in the young times.
DS-You were trying to be more serious?
Ville- You know, we were trying to be as good as we wanted, as good as we could. We had no idea though on what was going to happen. Now we’ve done a couple of albums it’s easier to relax. That’s not the hardest thing.
DS-We asked that also because people in Greece love the first album.
Ville- Really? It’s a good album!
DS-They want to hear more songs from it in gigs so I don’t know if you’ll play any from it.
Ville- We’ll play Your Sweet 666 and Wicked Game.
DS-Ook, we have the meet & greet event coming up and we’ll give you your present later.
DS-Why not now?
DS-Ok, well, we’ll give you the present now. We know you guys collect guitars.
Ville- What is that?
DS- We’re gonna give you this guitar…
Ville- Who’s gonna have that? Mige, Mige doesn’t have a guitar.
DS- We asked all fans from Greece to sign on the guitar.
DS-It will take you some time to read though.
Ville-We’ll have plenty of time to read it. Excellent! Thank you very much!
(Ville starts jamming with the guitar) What was the song? Excellent!
DS-We had a festival called the Burning Heart Festival last Saturday, it was the first festival not dedicated to the band but to the fans of the band!
Ville- Oh, yeah!
Meanwhile the fans are right outside.
DS-Thank you very much for everything guys.
Band- No, thank you for the gift and everything is wonderful.
After the end of the interview Gas starts jamming with the guitar (!) and we can’t help asking him.
DS- I didn’t know you play the guitar!?
Gas- Well, I used to. Heh
When asking if anyone from the band has been to any of the Greek islands, Mige tells us he’s been to Kos and Burton to Santorini ( at the time Ville was in Athens for MAD’s secret gig)
The doors open and backstage chaos begins!
Deutsche Version von "Interview in Griechenland" kommt bald!!!
Death, Love And Rock 'n' Roll
Love Metal brings him back to the heavier rock. Ville Valo the charismatic leader of the Finnish band, confesses himself.
“I’m in London, basically for the premier of Jackass-The Movie but also to do a bunch of interviews” answers the singer of HIM when asked where was him.
“To be very honest I’m not even a big fan or follower of all the “Jackass” phenomenon, but I was personally invited by Bam and it seemed that refusing his proposal could be rude” Same wouldn’t say Bam Margera- the crazy star of the TV show-, an assumed fanatic of HIM’s music and director o the first video and single from “Love Metal” Buried Alive By Love, that has the special participation of the actress Juliette Lewis.
“Bam became a good friend” says Valo between grins “ He saw one of our Videos and by coincidence a few weeks after he had to make a work trip to Helsinki. At that time he bought our albums because they weren’t available in the USA yet, and he liked a lot what he heard. I think he became completely obsessed by the band and spoke of us everywhere…(Grins) He end up contacting me and we started a strong friendship , that originated the recording of that video. Initially we didn’t even thought about working with him, but Bam insisted so much that we ended up accepting.
Besides it was him, that by is own will, invited Juliette Lewis to participate on the vide, and obviously that was one of the other reason that lead us not to refuse this invitation.”
By this time, Ville valo with all success that he achieved he must have become in the object of hate of a lot of people. In spite of that, the other person on the telephone line seems very down to earth to make us believe we are facing a musician that already realized his dreams but it’s still on contact with his roots. The way he speaks about his career transpires humbleness and realism, even when he shows he’s not surprised that Love Metal got to number 1 on the Finnish top sales. Actually, the other previous 2 albums achieved the same. “I always liked to fight for my objectives” confesses “It’s easy to be seated on the couch waiting for the things to happen, but is way interesting fighting for them…It’s really good to know we already sold some millions of cd’s in Europe, but the truth is we continue without a contract, a deal in a country like Japan and that’s one of the most important fields for a rock band. Until now we couldn’t get in the UK and USA market, were the sales haven’t been any good. It’s not hard to understand we still have a lot to fight and that gives me inspiration to continue to make good music, to try each time even better.”
Whereas in England the situations seems to be improving – the band recently sold out Astoria- the entrance of the band in the other side of the Atlantic has been always delayed by a complicated situation. The existence of other band with the same name, stopped the promotional plans of the band-that adopted the name HER for the edition of their first single in the USA “A truly ridiculous situation” he confesses. “We wanted to edit our first album in the USA and we couldn’t, what created a feeling of impotence about what was going on. There are always albums that get there by an importation process and there’s lot of people that buys them, but the country is so large that it becomes impossible to get somewhere without a launching in a grand scale. The record company ended up for opting only by the release of a single, to see how things would go, and preferred waiting for the new album. For us it was a big disappointment, mainly because it was all resolved in a very easy and quick way. We offer them some money, and they were satisfied and end up abdicating the rights of the name. Now we can use again tour name HIM in states and we will work a lot to try to bore the USA market. I can guarantee you will give our best, but we never know what will happen. As you’ll be very busy here in Europe I think the USA release will only be at the end of the year, so we’ll have to wait to see how we are received over there.”
A simple audition of Love Metal, a look in the present promotional plan of the group, the passion of (influent) teenagers like Kelly Osbourne have for the their music make us believe that probably HIM won’t go by playing in small clubs for much longer.
“This Album is the only tool that we have for paying the rent during the next 2 years” says Ville joking with the situation. “ It’s true we don’t think a lot about it, but if everyone hated what we do, that would be very bad and critic because that’s from that, that we pay our bills. I formed a band because I was a huge Black Sabbath fan, and things haven’t changed that much-the music continues to be what’s important and it’s the only thing that I follow when I’m writing, it’s really from the heart. I always thought that the rock bands should do stuff like this, if we start to think a lot in the reactions that we will arouse, we will end up sounding like Boy George .Not that I have something against him, but for us things don’t work like that .”
After a relative unsuccess of DSBH, considered by many a record too polished and commercial, Ville Valo and his band mates embraced one sonority more simple and opted again by an heavier and rockish approach that characterized their first albums “ I think it’s a steep forward in our evolution, this record can be more heavier and having a darker environment, but I don’t think it’s only a wink to our past. It doesn’t make sense trying to repeat what we already did, even because we have been growing and today we are a different band. We smoked so many pot we were kids that we don’t even remember about we done on our last album. Besides, I can’t imagine HIM making something like AC/DC…I don’t see us playing the same riffs during the next 20 years.
I think our secret lays on the fact we don’t think much about what we do, we let the spiritual state at the moment leading what we do, and things end up happening very naturally. It’s Impossible to stop our acquaintanceship to have influence in what we write, even that we won’t do it consciously. This time I spent a lot of time listening rock from the 70’s –mainly Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin- and I ended up writing huge riffs, that go beyond a simple pop song. Perhaps that’s why this record sounds heavier and quicker, there’s no big secret.”
The work of the production- curtsy of Hilli Hiilesmaa, that recorded the debut album of the band, between others, the last two albums of Moonspell- it’s also more raw and simplistic, giving a huge kick in the weight of the guitars, putting the keyboards in a second place
“ When we realized that this album was more directed to the guitars we decided right away to work with him. What we wanted was sounding like a real band and for that, we tried to capture in the studio the energy that we have in the rehearsal room and in the gig. There’s no one like Hiili to produce strong and heavy guitar…Besides, we already know each other for a long time, and that eased the process.”
The production of the last album was a bit agitated, we worked with different producers and because of that, we ended up remixing the album many times. This time around we tried a more relaxed approach, we recorded in a studio near our houses and I think the final result ended up being quite satisfactory”
However, and as usual, the band doesn’t wan to leave behind the pop sensibility; from the 3 first themes, there was already chosen the singles “FOH” and “BALB” “That also happens in a very natural way. I’m not trying to write specifically catchy chorus, that’s something I do very naturally and it’s not a conscious try to be on the Radio or on TV. Even because in the present is very hard to predict what’s going to be successful or not.
When our last album was released, Slipknot was on the first places of the tops, in the next week they were kicked put by Kylie Minogue. It’s weird, but nowadays there are no bounders for what’s mainstream or not. We can either find one pop plastic fabricated artist or a band more rough on the top the record sales, so we have to do whatever we feel like doing, without being worry what hype or not. What really matters is writing good songs, then everybody can play…either it’s Cradle of Filth or Kyle Minogue”
Review of the gig at the Vilar de Mouros festival
VILLE VALO MUST BE IN LOVE OR HE WON THE LOTTERY OR MAYBE HE’S DOING YOGA. NO, VILLE VALO THAT PRESENTED HIMSELF IN VILAR DE MOUROS AS THE LEADER OF HIM CAN’T BE THE SAME THAT ENTERED AND LEFT THE STAGE WITH HIS HEAD DOWN, SAD, DISTANT OF THE PUBLIC IN HIS OWN TRAGIC WORLD. WE DON’T REALLY KNOW WHY NOW-IS IT THE YOGA, LOVE OR THE LOTTERY???-VALO ALMOST GETS TIRED OF SPEAKING SO MUCH BETWEEN THE SONGS. FUNNY, HE TELLS STORIES, SMILES ALL THE TIME (!!!) SHOWS SIMPATHY IN REPLACE OF THE USUAL VAMPIRE LOOK, WE CAME WITH WASHED FACE (NO MAKE UP) WITH A BURNED NOSE INCLUDED.
The fans, obviously are amazed by all this, even because HIM gave an amazing performance. The result was an incredible gig, engaged and professional, that made us forget the disasters performances on the last visit to our country.
HIM brought songs from their last album “Love Metal” title that already says much about the gothic-romantic songs that they play. Themes like “BABL” the first single, “The Sacrament” or “FOH” tell basically the same stories, sad of love, sex, death and frozen mysticisms. They’re mellow and some could be wrote to Celine Dion or Bon Jovi if the heavy guitars weren’t there. Valo mocks with his own sentimentalism and jokes with his sexual ambiguity, and shoots sharp arrows to the hearts of the ladies in the first row. “Your Sweet 666” “Poison Girl” and “Right Here In my Harms” represent “Razorblade Romance” and for collective hysteria “Wicked Game” couldn’t be left out, the song from Chris Isaak had become a Gothic hymn. Obviously “Join in death” was a must, but not before Valo telling where he took the inspiration for this song on MTV, more accurately from a Robert Miles song. The moment of apotheoses was the verse “THIS LIFE AINT WORTH LIVING”, it’s the climax, yelling in unison .
Before Ville Valo leaves the stage he throws a towel to a girl, and he goes off stage. The girl stayed in, crying…
Deutsche Version von "Tod, Liebe und Rock 'n Roll" kommt bald!!
Rock On Mag
Sometimes you feel strange when you take an interview, especially with a band that has unbelievable success ,but also and a big stream of people who “hate” them cause they find them “orioles”. The most strong example of these bands are definitely HIM and because ROCK ON wants to be in all kinds of hard rock, we went to speak with the frontman of the band, Ville, is adored by all the female population like one of the zan-premie of music scene ,with his androgynous image. A friendly advice: Before you go and blame HIM, listen to “Love Metal”, compare it with some of the albums of other Finnish groups especially and then tell me if there are more or less “metal”.
“Hello Saki. I am sorry about my voice but we had a party about an award nomination and I have a horrible headache.”
It is a very strange title for HIM “Love Metal”. I had never expected that you would use the word metal for a title for your album. Do you believe that these two words express your music better?
”It is an old story. When we signed our first contract, in 1996,every person in the company really find it really hard about how they could put our music in a kind.
They didn’t know if we were rock, metal, gothic or anything else. So that was the reason why we “make” this new kind “love metal” to describe what we play. We wanted to have a title that would come to people’s mind easy like VENOM who have the “Black Metal” or MOTORHEAD the “Rock n’ Roll” and to describe in the same time our music. Our influences are from different kinds of sources, for example from one the hand I love Elvis Presley and from the other hand I like really much CRADLE OF FILTH, but also I like and the classic heavy stuff of BLACK SABBATH and other pretty same bands.”
What do you think that has change in you music and your attitude from your first album until “Love Metal”? I am sure that many things appeared that have created your change.
”I wouldn’t say that our appearance and our attitude has changed. Maybe we have started to know different is better and we have a different composition now. My opinion about our music, I would say that basically we know some more things around how to make an album better.”
Nice. How can you describe the differences in your musical development from the first to the last album?
“Love Metal” has elements from the our other albums. It has the strong guitars from our first album, the rock n roll feeling from the second and the melodies of the third.
It takes some time for a group to find his personal sound. We in the “Greatest Lovesong Volume 666” we listened a lot to BLACK SABBATH and TYPE O NEGATIVE, in the second album we had many influences from 80s,with Billy Idol and artists like these, in the Deep Shadow and Brilliant Highlights we had a more sensitive key flue direction, in the style of Neil Young. They aren’t so thoughtfully choices , but the things go really normally and this is something that really makes me happy about the music. I don’t know.. Maybe our next album will be black metal! Who knows…”
Are you also listening to that kind of stuff?
”Yes, sometimes. Unfortunately the last black metal CD that I have bought was the “Damnation and a day” from CRADLE OF FILTH. Usually I always prefer to listen more calmly music, like Neil Young and more generally more melodic songs with nice lyrics.
Do you think that HIM’s audience are especially fans of rock, gothic or heavy metal?
”For me is really strange that they are all these that you just said. I would also add some kids who listen to modern pop. It is amazing for us that we have made to attract this so heteroclite audience that buys our albums comes to our concerts with our music and generally that we make it to have a good time .We see people who wear black lip stick on their lips and other who have their hair like in the 80’s and wear t-shirts with classical metal bands from 80’s.There are also some countries in which we have really young girls in our audience and countries in which the audience has an older age and more rock style.”
Do you believe that your 45 minutes set before OZZY in European would attract more gothic or more pop audience to come to see you?
”I don’t have a clue. The first thing that came into my mind was that finally my dream came true, we will play with OZZY and I am a big fan of BLACK SABBATH.
But I will tell you the truth, I don’t think that this concert will annoy the audience like you said cause we are already pretty influenced from SABBATH.”
“Join me” is, if I am not wrong, until now the most popular of your singles.
It was also in the soundtrack from the movie “13th floor”. Why you didn’t try anything familiar with “Love Metal”.
“Join me” hadn’t been written for the movie, but it was just included in the soundtrack. Someone contacted our company and all was just done so simple. Certainly it helps a lot cause we saw ourselves in magazines that we could never imagined to. Certainly it would be really pleasant to do something similar again.”
You have done also some covers in your last albums and “Wicked Game” was really a big success. Why didn’t you try anything similar with “Love Metal”?
”We have done that several times and not only with “Wicked Game” but also with “Don’t fear the Reaper” from BLUE OYSTER CULT long before Marilyn Manson made “Sweer Dreams” and created a stream in which all the American bands made these kinds of covers. This made us tired. We have so much stuff that we don’t need to make any covers anymore.”
I have the impression that you have separate your album in three chapters..
”It is the classic style of Bible and it becomes better in the back side(of the album) I think
It seems to me like the back side of an album..
“Exactly this was our first idea. You probably have the edition which has the bonus track “Love’s requiem”. The normal edition is the limited which has ten tracks and five tracks on each “side” so we put the bomus track it as a “third side”.”
This sign which you called “heartagram” ,if I am not wrong, you have drawn it.
”Yes, I did it 6 years ago.”
The aim is that you want to be recognized by this?
”The sings are always recognized, either they are pentagrams, or they are hearts or they are crosses.”
Some artists like Prince used something familiar for their name…
“Yes but it was unbelievable and no one could remember it!(laugh!)
I had the idea and I give it to a designer. The heartagram it is a combination between heart and pentagram! Something like yin and yang which is a combination between good and evil.”
You don’t think that when someone who doesn’t know you will think that you are a black metal band when he will see your album with the heartagram in the front?
”I am really not interested in it. I am not really a religious person. I believe in paganism. I have never been baptized or something like that and I don’t believe in the Christian God. I have nothing to do with religion. I have nothing against it, but I just have nothing to do with it.”
The booklet of the album includes lyrics but they are all written in a really indiscernible way. Why have you made them like this?
I haven’t been asked this question by many people and I don’t really know why. I don’t want our fans to read our lyrics easily. Everyone who is really interested will take a light and will try to read it. I also wanted to tell you that I also wanted the front side of the album like this so that you couldn’t scan it! Others don’t want their cds to be copied we didn’t want anyone to scan our front side of the album!!! It has so many elements on it so if you try to scan it you can’t see them all. On the other album I have written the lyrics on a paper and one couldn’t easily read them cause I have such bad handwriting like I was a doctor.”
Why did you used two studios two make your cds?
”We went to Finnvox cause it is the biggest and the best studio in Helsinki, there are a lots of others but they are small. And it is really bad that some think that this is a studio where only metal bands, because also artists from classical music recorded there. Two songs from the album, Sweet pandemonium and Buried alive by love, were made in a studio in England and some others in the USA!
Do you believe that you prevented your cd from getting in the net before its release?
"I am really tired about this fact and I have to say that I am not interested in it at all. It is really ridiculous for me to give some tapes to the journalist to do their jobs just not to get in the net…. This is how they make the worst opinion about the cd. Even worse, in some countries in Europe a promo with 6 tracks only from the album had been given. Probably the companies make their own grave. Except of course if you’re called METALLICA and you do whatever you want and you call the journalists to listen to your album and you don’t release any promocd. By the way, ”St.Anger” sounds like a promo to me."
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
HIM - northern light
(Release Magazine 2003)
A man whose name means light has brought dark romance from distant Scandinavia into orderly European homes everywhere. We sent our partly Finnish journalist Mattias Huss to find out more about Finland’s biggest rock star and Him poster boy Ville Valo. He spoke to Release about money, music and melancholia. And of course, love.
No autograph assaults in Stockholm
If I were meeting Ville Valo in Hamburg or Berlin, there would in all probability be crowds of fans camping outside the record company building. In Stockholm, where the interview takes place, he has no such problems. The major papers haven’t grasped the significance of his presence yet, even if the rock magazines are slowly catching on. Sweden may well be one of the last places in Europe where Ville Valo can still go shopping for milk without being assaulted for autographs. My first sight of him, leafing through a thick biography on Iggy Pop between interviews, is a tell-tale sign of his encyclopedic knowledge of rock’n’roll trivia. His last name, Valo, means light, but in the world of Him, darkness is prominent.
- I couldn’t fathom anyone singing about his or her breakfast, butterflies, or something like that to our kind of music. If there is light, there is also darkness. The heartagram is a symbol for that divide.
So Him is about dualism. Darkness and light, love and death. Life is perpetually divided, and so is the general public, at least when it comes to Him. The band has found an enormous audience, not the least part consisting of young girls in Germany and middle Europe, many of them from the gothic scene. While that audience has been very happy with the romantically morbid output of the Finnish gloom troop, Him have witnessed the disapproval of the musical underground with every record sold following the incredible sales figures of "Razorblade Romance": almost one million copies to this day. Numerous reviewers, including ones from Release, have treated Him very harshly with accusations of cynical commercialism in their musical production.
But that’s not how it works, is it?
- This band was formed because of Black Sabbath, says Ville Valo, mildly irritated. We were inspired by Kiss, Iron Maiden and all those bands. They were all mainstream bands that sold shitloads of records. Of course we dreamed of being like them, maybe go to Hollywood one day or something. But when we make a record, we have no idea if it is going to sell or not. We have never, ever had any marketing people involved in the making of our music. We make the record, and then the marketing people hopefully manage to sell it. If it sells, is it our fault?
Of course it is their fault. There are a number of inescapable facts that set Him apart from the anonymous, toiling hords of Scandinavian metal bands and take them into the sphere of popular interest. First, occultism, vampires and other sub-cultural trappings don’t seem to interest them much. Secondly, their music is very accessible, stylistically diverse and melodic with clear, strong vocals instead of hellish grunts. Third, and most importantly:
- We don’t have enough of those really tight, black leather pants! explains Ville.
Well, that might be an explanation... Still, the anger from the musical underground seems to be due largely to the following facts: Ville Valo looks too good, his band uses trappings of the metal scene but sometimes leans musically towards Bon Jovi, and sells too many records to people who normally wouldn’t buy a metal album. Is there a teeny tiny bit of jealousy I sense here?
- We obviously want people to buy our albums and play live in as many places as we can. I think it's just fabulous that teenage girls like our music. I mean, if I hadn’t heard Kiss in my teens I wouldn’t even be doing this. I really don’t see the problem.
A tribute to their idols
The latest album "Love Metal" is the fourth by Him, and in many respects it represents a homecoming. Like their first album “Greatest Love Songs Vol 666” - it was produced by their old friend Hiili Hiilesmaa, who with his knack for guitar riffs (Hiili has produced Finnish metal bands like Amorphis and Sentenced) brought back a forcefully direct approach generally missing from the albums in between.
- I look upon our previous output as a trilogy, says Ville. They show a band learning to record albums. We had been working without rest for a number of years and felt that we needed a vacation. So the rest of the guys took a break and I wrote some new songs. The idea was to make an organic rock album and show off some of our own idols like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. It was like a combination of all our former albums. Hopefully we picked the best parts and not the lousy ones... Time will tell.
The album takes off at full speed with “Buried Alive by Love” and balances the band’s rather ballad-choked repertoire with some fast, dynamic songs.
Goth or Scandinavian melancholy?
The subject matter though, has retained all its spleen, making me wonder where Ville’s perpetual musings on love and death actually come from. The landscape of lovers’ tombstones, angels crying blood and spiritual murder present in the lyrics brings to mind gothic literature classics like ETA Hoffman or Sheridan Le Fanu rather than the heavy metal fantasies of hell and the apocalypse.
- I think it is more about the Finnish folk tradition I got from my mother's milk, claims Ville. That is all there, and some Finnish writers are so overtly melancholic and gloomy that their writings become a celebration of gloominess. My parents also listened a lot to (Finnish singer/athlete/actor with a strong sentimental streak) Tapio Rautavaara. I got subjected to all this at the same time I was into the Rolling Stones. Him is what came out.
But the melancholy present in the music of Him is not something only the Finns should be proud of, if we are to believe Ville. Him share their particular “Slavonic melancholy” with the rest of Scandinavia.
- You can hear it in all different sorts of bands. The Cardigans' new album, for instance, sounds really American, in a Neil Young-sort of way. Still, it has this intangible melancholia that an American band could never do. I don’t know what it is, some particular Scandinavian wistfulness. It’s positive thing, not something we should run away from.
Him drummer played with Kent members
Him, indeed, does not fear the big feelings. Despair, hope, desire and disgust are described in words so serious and laden with cliché that they rise beyond cliché and become something else.
- The songs tell the story of what a powerful force love can be, says Ville. People are still asking us what love metal is, so this time we decided to show them once and for all with this album. This is what love metal is about. For instance, when I write “We are like the living dead”, I’m talking about how love can blind you and turn you into the walking dead, a puppet. And love is the master of puppets, see?
The last playful metal reference is just one in an endless string of nods to various artists from Depeche Mode through WASP to Type O Negative and Roky Ericson. Facts sift through the flow: Ville is apparently a big fan of reggae music and their drummer Gas Lipstick hails from Eskilstuna, Sweden where he used to play in bands with members of Kent.
The name issue that Him was having with an American experimental dub outfit of the same name - leading to a temporary sex change for Ville’s band in the US when the name was changed to Her - seems to be sorted out. Expensive videos starring American movie stars are in rotation. After a bit of a stand still following the release of ”Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights”, Him seem to be on a roll again.
It is high time. After all, there are oceans to be crossed.
Deutsche Version von "Nordlicht" kommt bald!!!
HIM – Filth pig
He is a sexsymbol that is desired by girls in all ages.
But to ……. Is nothing for Ville Valo.
HIMs singer is most comfortable when he can bathe in his own filth.
Close –Up spent three days together with Finlands biggest rockstar.
”Unprettiness forbidden” is printed on a sign in the vault that leads to the innergarden where Ville Valos apartment building is. This prohibition is a remnant from the 1920’s when the ”workerhouses” was built in the quarter of Rödberg.
Nowadays this quarter is constituted mostly by ”well-to-do” people that keeps things clean around them and that does not allow ”unprettiness”.
Someone has yet forgotten to tell about this to HIMs singer. His flat is like a %#¤%&!# pigstie. If I didnt know better I would think that it belonged to a beaten drugaddict. Not that it is a bad apartment, the spacious two-room flat is nice and the rent is about 10.000 SEK (guess about 1000 EURO or smth) /a month. The current ”to take care of” advices are tho not folloed at all.
A look into the bathroom is accompanied by a warning:
- Please, go do your buisness, but I wouldnt recommend it. You never know what might crawl up from there. (LOL)
If someone would have vomited wouldnt make a difference – that is how messy the apartment is. I am mute, I am shocked.
- People that comes here either end up vomiting, laughing or crying. I dont let so many in here, this is my own place. This is me, so who cares? There is no reason to be a clean individual. I dont wash my hair ( now we know why his has his cap on..), my body or anything. IN that way everything becomes more organic.
Finland own Robinson –Leif har been presented.
”Better a little dust here and there then a clean hell” ( swedish saying, I dont knwo how to say t better in english) is declared on a sign in my childhoodhome, a saying I have taken words for. Ville Valo syas the opposite. The 26-year -old moved from home 9 years ago and declared this as his most cleanest place ( until now). Ok, my visit has caused the first ”cleaning” in a long time – scattered clothes has been gathered in a big pile to make it easier for me to move around.
- I never wash my clothes. Personally, to me ts not good to hang clothes in the closet, its easier to find what Im looking for if they are on the floor. When I was thirteen-fourteen years old I was hit by a neuros and I even woke up during the middle of the night just to put a %## pencil in the right position on the table. Everything had to be right geometrically. After that I thought that it would be better if I ended that behaviour and started to be a slapdash person. (lol)
When was the last time you actually cleaned?
- I vaccumed the livingroom in June or Junly last year, but I never really cleaned it. The rest…. I dont remember.
You may wade in beerbottlecaps and empty cigarette packages exactly everywhere – ”have been to fond of then”- but the kitchen takes the price. He has lived here since the autumn of 2000 without cooking once. The fear of the gas-stove has made its deal, but today there are other obsickles in the way. Like hundreds of beerbottles, used glass with unknown organismes as tenants ”do the dishes, what is that?” and piles of unidentified stuff on both the floor and in the sink.
- The problem is that Im the artistic type that rather play acoustic guitar and masturbating then holding in a vaccumcleaner. One of the reasons to why I wanted to show the flat in public is to make people understand the anxiety I live in and the pain I suffer from living in this horrible surronding, Ville says with a laugh.
Black trashbags covers all the windows. Last year the girlfriend left and took the curtains with her. As the apartment is on the firt floor the singer wants to shelter himself from insight and who needs daylight when your last name is ”light”? His grandfather took the name Valo and only two people in Finland is named Ville Valo.
The inheritance from his father makes itself reminded, in the Tvscreen where a erotic 70’s movie, ”the rites of Uranus”, is shown. The father runs since about a decade back a sexshop in Helsinki, where the son worked in his teenage years. Ville gladly waves with another kultish grotesque videocasette from Something Weird, ”The haunted pussy”.
- I think HAUNTED wanted to be named HAUNTED PUSSY, but later they dropped the ”PUSSY” to have bigger attractive force, he grins. Seriously speaking, it felt a little odd when dad bought the store. But in the end it has paid in different ways. It has been an excellent way to educate yourself sexually – everything has been very unrestrained.
In the couch is the singers only company: a armless dummy. He does not know how the relationship with the girlfriend who has moved out shall be defined and he doesnt want to take the word ”single” in his mouth when the heart belongs to the love since five years back.
- I love her, eventhough she is neither ready or willing to wait for me –and then I dont mean the sexual connection but the fact that I am often out on tour. She has never understood that I am worthless at buying roses or Valentiine’s Day-cards. For me its easier to write a song, which she doesnt like that much since our songs are miserable. I completely understand her.
When we later that night after a night out goes our own seperate ways, Ville heads off to his favouriteplace, a gaybar where the Woman comes to a sleepless night. Unfaithfulness does not exist, no matter how messy the relationship is.
- I have always been monogam (one woman man) and I have never had a temporary sexual contact. I have always dated girls that I have done something physical with. The reason I some so much is to make my erection so bad that I cant f**k a groupie by mistake on tour!
Never in my life have I met someone that smokes so much, so manical. Smoking too much is not a exaggeration, a cigarette is ALWAYS in the corner of his mouth.
- I definetly have a deathwish. Some journalists have accused us of being a gothrockgroup, so I thought that I could get black lungs aswell, he smiles. I have a nervous disposition. A psychologist and I have discussed the fact that for men a cigarette gives the sensation as becoming nursed by your mother. So by smoking I feel more close to my mother. And because of all the mess I keep around me I feel close to my dad aswell, that eventhough he has money sometimes messes around in peoples trashcans. So Im a family man….
After I have taken the worst mess away from one of the armchairs and sit myself down, I discover a thermometer without its safetyshield on the arm rest. Very pleasant. For about a month Ville has been struggling against a long influenza, which says a lot about his resistance.
- During a period I smoked about 4 packages of Marlboro Lights a day, I even smoked when I was eating. It ended with me being put in to hospital for a couple of weeks. Strange, different-colored tubes was put into every various bodyparts. I had to stop smoking so much. Its okey, Im still young and I used to do alot of judo and skateboarding when I was younger. My health is not so good, tho I look better then I feel.
How do you fix living like this?
- I have to be a miracle, the exception that makes the rule. Det good for my voice aswell. Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age, ex- Screaming Trees) is my idol, so Im trying to make that sound in every possible way: drink a lot of american whiskey and smoke a lot of cigarettes. No, but seriously speaking it's a habit I’ve had since I was young. For me its better then to smoke pot, its not as bad for the lungs.
The thing is that this HUGEsmoker is an asthmatic that never goes anywhere without his cortisonspray.
Three days I spend together with Ville Valo. A guy I previously dismissed as a pretentious poser that very skilfully have been hiding behind a facade. That is more about surface then substance. This image is destroyed totally. He is the real thing. Here there are no deceitfulness, its more like a humility boredering to naivety.
As on a night when a guy that had more then he can bare to drink sits down at our table and steals Ville’s beer and energydrink. The place have stopped serving and the singer friendly asks if he can have his beer back. The guy takes a couple of sips and then yells: ”I have aids!” At that moment all the apetite disappeared and just when Im about to tell the drunkard to go to hell, Ville says:
- Oh he has only gotten too much to drink. I dont want to make a scene, its useless. Lets forget about it.
There is a fear from the musicians side to get in a situation where he wrongly can be pointed out to ba a bastard. As a public person he has all eyes on him. Hani Rocks memebers must excuse me, but right now no rockstar is in the spotlight as much as Ville. Next after Boomfunk Mc’s, HIM is Finlands most successful musicexport through all times with an albumsale for about 2 million ex. The biggest success, ”Razorblade Romance” (BMG 2000) is for example living in about 700.000 german homes.
Wherever the frontman is –on the street, on airports, on bars – people in all ages walks up to him. Small kids, teenagers, scarred rockers, middleaged women, elderly –everyone knows about Ville Valo and wants his autograph. Everyone gets a nice and friendly welcome.
- It costs nothing to be friendly and accommodating. Many in my situation gets paraniod: ”oh my god, does that person look at me because who I am?” Who the hell cares? Everyone looks at everyone, people are beautiful to look at. I have never seen it as a problem. Why? I have high moral and I can separate right from wrong. Life has treatend me well.
One single time has fame got negative consequences. A finnish newspaper proclaimed: ”Ville Valo – I tried to commit suicide” A classic newspaperscoop.
- We were so drunk on the tour in Germany and I hanged outside the balconyfence on the hotel’s 10th floor. It was not a try to kill myself, it was me being a drunk idiot. Mom and Dad did not like it, it was very uncomfortable.
As a part if his ”incongruous personality”, as he calls it, sees himself as partly a social failed loner, partly a individual that must have people around him. Especially when he drinks, which is mostly all the time. His breakfast contains beer with icecubes in it (”it has to be ice cold and the icecubes makes the carbonic acid disappear so I dont burp”), lunch is a unknown conception and in the best cases he takes a small meal late at night. And in that case, a cold microwave pizza.
- I would descibe myself as ”Prozachappy”. Tho I have never tried any antidepressive drugs tho my doctor told me I should. I have been sick during a longer time and been hit by influenza and lunginfections. During the records of the new album ”Love Metal” I felt dizzy in several months. Thought I had a braintumour, but the doctor declared that I was overstressed/outburned, that I drink and smoke too much and that I am a bad boy. HE said that the only way to recover was to take medecine to stabalise the brain. My answer was: To hell with that. It should only limit me. I feel better to be a maniac then a bored fuck.
A sympathic move is the complete sick humour and self irony that the Finn deliver in a correct highclassenglish as fecthed from the Tvseries ”Herrskap och Tjänstefolk (dunno the the english title)”. As when the offer from a german lifestyle magazine to pose naked has been discussed.
- it wouldnt work. We are trying to get big festivalgigs so I can earn some money, go to Estonia to make a proper penisenlargement and to decorate the middlesection of Playgirl, just as Pete Steele!
Other candy for the fans: What do think HIM is called in the US? HER! When the Chicago musician Doug Scharin owns the rights to the name HIM in the states – a dispute as with the help of money is getting settled to the ”evil” HIM’s benefit – the quintette wanted to joke around a little. And how many % compensation does each of the other band members gets as a songarranger? 6,66%! Twice as much as they are entitled to, but what dont you do for a good laugh…
How many can by the way the names of the guitarist, bassist, keyboarder or the drummer? Take it easy, its nothing to be ashamed of. Linde, Migé, Burton and Gas are almost invisible. They hate doing interviews, be in pictures and be in videos.
Ville Valo is HIM, thats the way it is.
- After the last tour the band was almost breaking up, the engine reveals. We had big problems, fighted and I kicked people from left to right. I was outburned and bored, couldnt see the tree for all the branches. When I eventually gathered myself it worked again. I have a big burden to bare as the spokesman, single songwiter and as the one that decides how the covers shall look. I do EVERYTHING. When the ther guys are lazy I get pissed off.
During several days of conversation the singer doesnt mention his colleagues by name once. Instead they are reffered to as ”my guitarist”, ”my drummer” ect. Most feel very inspired to them.
- Now you understand why they hate me, Ville says with a smile. Havent thought about it. I used to say ”Migé”, but then the journalist looked like a questionmark. I guess I dont want to give useless explanations and therefor I say ”my bassist”. I have to shape up with that.
”Love Metal” is lovable title. The follow-up to ”Deep Shadows & Brilliant Highlights” (2001), as I playfully describe as ”bored polished”, is maybe not as metallic monotone as the first album GLV 666 (1997). Tho is has a bite and awarming melodic feeling that is missing on the later albums. The openingtrack ”BABL” is for example a sublime uptempo number that could have been signed by a melancholic Queens Of The Stone Age. And ”Soul On Fire” is very interesting.
- Interesting?! Is that everything you have to say? Ville whines. Strange, macabre or odd would have sounded better. Intresting is a meaningless word. I prefer that you call it boring, polished bullshit. I respect strong opinions. ”Love Metal” will probably seem more cleared up compared to the next album. We do as Carcass did, tho backwards: we beging with mainstream albums and end up like a skanky cultgang. Its my plan.
Ville Valo knows music, not to say the least metalmusic. HIM was formed 1995 as His Infernal Majesty, taken from a lyric from ”Sacrificial Suicide” from Deicide’s self titles debutalbum. Oh yes, he can yell the whole lyric as an almost identic Glen Benton.
- All different kind of music interests me. At a time in my teenage years I had seven different bands at the same time. On Mondays I played jazz, and on Tuesdays reagge, only to on Wednesdays scream in a grindcorecombo. I can be sick of metal sometimes, tho it is somthing I always return to. I love deathmetal and blackmetal. Deicide and early Carcass and Napalm Death are the given favourites.
The Pornmovie ”The rites of Uranus” have been exchanged to another VHS video. On the screen there now is a livegig of Pedersens, a coverquintette that has done only one liveshow, on a club in Helsinki in April 1996. The name aims to Kim Bendix Pedersen, alias King Diamond, and the repertoar contained only from the Danish terrormasters earrings.
In the main roll? Ville Valo of course.
- My voice might sound completely different in HIM, but I learned to sing to King Diamond. I wanted to be him for a day and spent several months trying to get it on. King Diamond heard a record from the concert and apparantly he liked it. One of my biggest dreams was ot stand behind a veil onstage and sing his parts when he was sick with the influenza or had a bad day.
Would the Finn handle it? No doubt. The falsetto is a clockwork and if it wouldnt be for the certain deathtendencies in the lower register, anyone could think it was the King himself. The outfit is very impressive and by one occasion even ”Grandma” (a dressed out friend) is rolled out on stage in a wheelchair.
- I have very bad beardgrowth and I had to wear a fake moustache, the imitatior laughs. Unfortunatly the glue didnt stick forn more then 3 songs and I tried to sing ”the Invisible Guest” in a convincing way with the moustache hanging over my mouth.
Actually there are plans on incorporate ”Them”-pearl ”Welcome home” in HIMs liveset. Suck on that one.
How much you even want to interpret ”Love Metal” as a encouragement to love metal, its more handy to consider it as an description of goods: love metal. Ever since the breakthrough with their cover of Chris Isaaks ”Wicked Game” HIM have worked as a makeout-soundtrack.
- ”Love Metal” – what a paradox, Ville says. We want to bring out the love. Compared to Satan, politics and swords and dragons love is much cooler. It more violent, as well as physically and psychological. I have nevre undestood what is terrible to talk about love. There are very many bad things about love, love to different Gods is the reason to why there is war. Everything has its orgins in obsessed love. I write about love’s essance itself, others about shit. To sing about love doesnt mean that we have to be a soft, sweet teenagepopband. Its not about that. I know that I am simple and obvious in my songwriting, but what is wrong with that? After Mercyful Faith’s ”Black Funeral” or Black Sabbath’s ”Black Sabbath” you can no longer write about Satan. There are so many good albums about fucking and doing drugs, but not so many good, hard rock albums that comes closer to the love with a little touch of intelligence. I dont say that we are the thinking human beings band. Everyone knows that men thinks with their cock, but my cock is different!
In what way?
- Lets not go there. The right moment will be.
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
The gothic test
The new HIM-album is named Love Metal. Most people see the finns in the gothic-corner. We tested vocalist and ex-porn-seller Ville Valo.
Your big arm-tatoo is familiar. How many piercings do you have?
Zero. Real goths don’t have piercings. Take Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters Of Mercy for example. I have earrings. But they don’t count, do they?
Do you own a Hawaii-shirt or something colourful?
You won’t find something colourful in my wardrobe.
How many human skulls do you own?
One. And it’s grown on my throat (laugh). No, honestly. I just got an ashtray shaped as a skull as a gift. I have a real cow-skull at home. A friend of mine has this weird hobby and collects skulls. He also has a human skull. I got the cow-skull last year as a birthday present. He found the dead cow somewhere. He cut the head and dissect it himself. A nice present!
On the „Funeral of hearts“-cover there are two hearts in a coffin. Who may come into yours?
Probably my girlfriend. Maybe my brother aswell. But actually I want that everybody is alive. So, let’s not talk about funerals.
Can you dance the gothic-dance?
You have to bend your upper part of the body to the front and pretend to shake out. I have to admit that I danced it when I was drunk aswell (laugh).
Do you use light powder?
To glow in the dark? No, never. I’m that pale like in my videos naturally.
Have you ever spent your holidays in Transylvania?
No. I would like to spend my next vacation together with my girlfriend in Salzburg. I like this old city, the mountains, castles and small lakes. It’s a great city in the visual sense. And I like „Mozartkugeln“. Even if Mozart, the vocalist of the german gothic-band Umbra Et Imago, is the only Mozart I know. He is like the good old Mozart, only in gum.
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
A Lovers Guide To Romance
(Rock Sound 04/2003)
With HIM’s latest opus ‘Love Metal’ about to hit the streets, Rock Sound gets smoochly with Finland’s finest frontman Ville Valo some romantic advice.
I like girls in general, if I see a beautiful girl and she has a crooked nose it doesn’t really matter. I love hair – the more the better, hairy armpits are sexy as well – I have no turn-offs.
Moving for the kill
Just go over and say hello. Having a decent conversation is usually the best way to start rather than trying stupid pick-up lines or asking to buy them a drink – that’s all bullshit: go with the flow, it’s easy, you just improvise. If someone’s interested, you can usually see it in their eyes. You should definitely not be too drunk and you shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for the breath.
Dress to impress
Always go as you are, that’s the best way, you instantly get through all the bullshit. If someone doesn’t like you ‘cos you’re wearing sneakers they can fuck off. Clothes show the kind of person you are but they don’t really matter – if you want to impress somebody, you should be able to impress them with your personality.
I have such dry skin I can’t wash, especially during winter – thank God I put some deodorant on! I washed these jeans last July and this shit (referring to his other clothes) four months ago. Don’t use shampoo because it’s bad for your scalp. I like ladies to look natural, so many ladies destroy their skin with shit-loads of make up – if you want to look like a goth stay indoors and use garbage bags on the windows so you don’t get the sunlight, that’s much better way to handle the spookiness.
It’s romantic to open doors for ladies and let them in first, stuff like that’s cool. Always take the other person’s feelings into consideration and you’ll find treating them well is better than buying them a box of chocolates. Good manners are romantic but unfortunately people don’t have them anymore.
The way to woo
Don’t be like everybody else – have real opinions about real matters. I’ve met so many people who don’t know anything about anything. You’ve got to have opinions, it’s very important- but you also have to understand there’s a difference in people and that’s the beauty of it all that we shouldn’t be the same.
How far on a first date?
Kiss on the cheek maybe, it depends. Sometimes there’s an animal instinct going on, if you’re both adults you should be allowed to decide yourselves, but you have to be careful especially if drink is involved, otherwise you’re going to end up being a true idiot. I prefer not to do it on the first date. It’s nice to know someone’s personality because everything physical then feels a lot more important and more unique. I like that a lot.
Red Bull – it keeps you awake! You don’t need aphrodisiacs to get the person randy, just the smell of the skin. Skin is better when it’s dirty, you can smell the person – each is different and you know them by smell – I love that. Using lots of perfume is not necessary.
Silence and body music – the sounds of things happening like breathing and stuff – that’s definitely the best. It’s always different. I like old Elvis songs, that’s pretty romantic but my girlfriend hates them so we have silence not verbal or sexual silence, just no music.
Why not? I used to work in a sex shop. Loads of couples use them – but not on the first date! There’s loads of adverts for sex toys in the papers in Finland at the moment and it’s just making sex way too casual – it shouldn’t be casual – it should be a beautiful experience. It’s not always like that but you know you can try.
I don’t really care for piercings. I like ladies with no earrings but it doesn’t really matter, you’re not in a relationship because somebody has a piercing – personally I don’t get it.
When to call
It depends on how well the date went. I don’t know if there any rules, just call them when you feel like it. Texting is so fucking unsexy. It would be so cool to teach pigeons to take little letters saying, ‘Let’s meet in three weeks on Thursday at five o’clock’- the pigeons will probably be shot down and then you’ll all be there crying with all the roses in your hand!
Tips for lasting love
Talk, though I’m really bad at that. Talk about things going on in the relationship – that’s what people don’t seem to do. Hiding things is the worst thing you can do, that’s how marriages end in divorce.
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
Crying out for a little romance in your life? Then lie down and relax, because HIM frontman Ville Valo is here to spread some sexual healing.
People can't help but stare when Ville Valo walks past. They don't know who Ville Valo is, but they know he must be someone for he oozes the sort of insouciant cool that only the staggeringly confident and achingly hip can pull off. To walk alongside Valo through the hateful tourist trap that is London's Leicester Square on a chilly spring evening is to know how it must feel to be invisible, for passers-by are blinkered and focused as their puzzled, questioning eyes lock on the Finn's chiseled features, searching for clues as to his identity. They'll search in vain, for in this country, Ville Valo is a nobody, albeit a decidedly handsome nobody. In mainland Europe, though, things are different. In mainland Europe, Ville Valo is a bona fide 'face'. As the frontman of gothic metallers HIM, the 26-years-old is rarely off MTV, and a bankable cover star of both teen glossies and metal rags. This month, his band's new album 'Love Metal' will top the charts in at least three European countries, most likely Germany, Austria and Finland. In the UK that same album, HIM's fourth, entered the charts at number 55, hardly comparable, but an encouraging result nonetheless for a band who have hardly been greeted with open arms in this country - indeed, one early Kerrang! review memorably described the Finns as "plodding along like a nocturnal donkey wearing fake fangs and a cape". "My hopes are that this album will sell more than Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' and then I'll be able to buy Neverland and live in an oxygen tent with Bubbles," he deadpans. "But I suspect that's not going to happen. And I've just got to live with that somehow."
We're sitting in a North London bar, and Ville Valo is puffing on what is possibly the 30th or 40th of the 100 cigarettes he'll get through on any given day. When he laughingly insists that these cancer sticks are an essential part of who he is - "They make me sound more husky and sexy," he smiles. "If I quit I'd sing like a fucking choir boy" - it's clear that his bone dry wit hasn't been blunted one iota by the raging hangover he's nursing following a night out at the UK premiere of 'Jackass: The Movie'. Valo says he's not a fan of such swish occasions, but he'd been invited along by 'Jackass' star Bam Margera and it seemed rude to refuse, particularly since Margera is one of his best friends (and also incidentally the director of the video for HIM's current single 'Buried Alive By Love'). Anyway, he got to drink for free and see The Darkness for the first time, so it was all good. There's every chance that right now you might already have decided you hate Ville Valo, with his celebrity buddies and rock star lifestyle and smouldering good looks. But he's also a laid-back, witty - this is a man who cites the "Blood of Christ" as his favourite drink - and immensely personable character. Besides, anyone who'll snigger when called a sex symbol and rasp out a couple of lines from Marduk's black metal anthem 'Jesus Christ... Sodomized' in a trendy Camden watering hole is alright by us. Oh, and sorry girls, he's taken. If you must point a finger, blame Gene Simmons, for - as with Trent Reznor, Kurt Cobain and just about every US rock musician who hit puberty in the 1970s - it was the sight of Kiss' expansively tongued stack-heeled lothario who put the idea of this whole rock 'n' roll malarkey into Ville Valo's head 14 years ago. Up until young Valo spotted the God Of Thunder in a rock magazine, he was a normal well-adjusted kid... or at least as well adjusted as any kid who grew up in Helsinki as the scion of sex shop owning parents can be. "I remember the first time I found a dildo in my house I was like, 'What the fuck is this?', "he smiles. "And so my dad sat me down and told me he owned a sex shop and said, 'Don't worry about it and just come and visit one day'. When I was 18 I used to go down there and make copies of all the porn tapes. That way I had more money to spend on cigarettes and alcohol." When the music bug bit young Valo, it bit hard. Every day he'd rehearse with a different band - Monday might mean singing with a grind-core band, Tuesday meant playing bass in a reggae band - but all along he dreamt of assembling a heavy, melodic and theatrical band in the image of his heroes Black Sabbath, Kiss and Iron Maiden. When that band came together in 1995, his fellow Finns took one look at their name - His Infernal Majesty - and assumed, not unreasonably, that Valo was fronting a satanic black metal band. Around the time that the band had to halt a gig because of a pitched battle between "penguin mask wearing" black metal fans and Bible-wielding religious zealots, His Infernal Majesty became HIM, the world's first, and only, 'love metal' band. "There's too many bands singing about hate and politics and religion and that's what I didn't want to do with my music," he explains. "I hate all that happy shiny people bullshit and I always wanted to be in a black metal band, but when I heard Dimmu Borgier's 'Enthrone Darkness Triumphant' I knew there was no point. Anyway, love and sex is at the core of everything. I know I'll never figure love out, but I can keep trying." It hasn't all been plain sailing. A couple of years ago, HIM were unwittingly dragged into European tabloid newspapers when a cassette of their 1999 album 'Razorblade Romance' was found in the Walkman of a German teenager who'd committed suicide, and it was claimed that the hapless teen had been driven to his fate after listening to 'Join Me In Death', a fatalistic tale of immortality-seeking lovers. The story soon died down, but it left a bitter taste which lingers still for the young singer. "No-one kills himself over a song." he mutters. "I'm not a psychologist and I'm not qualified to heal people's problems. I just want to make music."
When Ville Valo talks of his band's career he does so with humility and no small amount of realism. When he sais that 'Love Metal' will be a Number One album in his homeland he does so without arrogance or false modesty, as both 2001's 'Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights' and 1999's hit the top spot in Finland. But while HIM may have sold two million albums worldwide - 10 of them to Kelly Osbourne, who snapped up copies to distribute among her mates, some of who now sport tattoos of HIM's trademark 'Heartagram' symbol on their teenage flesh - but they've yet to secure a recording deal in the US or Japan, two 'territories' every rock band dreams of conquering. Ville Valo doesn't mind, indeed, he says he likes the fact that his band "can play for 100 people in Glasgow one day and then 8000 people in Berlin the next". When HIM comes to an end, he says he'd like to go to college to study theology or mathematics ('solving a math problem gives you the sense of achivement as writing a good song' he reckons), but right now he sees his band as having a very simple mission. "Most European rock music sucks," he shrugs. "We're just trying to fight back and prove that some Scandinavians can be good at what they do. But if you only have the money to buy one album right now get Black Sabbath's 'Black Sabbath'. You can get around to our album another time".
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
Red is the love, black is the heart
(Rock Hard 04/2003)
One week and some dozen interviews after the live premiere of the new album “Love Metal”, the HIM front man Ville Valo is still in great mood. The first critics on the now fourth longplayer are good, the last night was funny, and somebody has presented him the new CD of Michael Monroe.
“Hopefully the record is as good as the comeback of Hanoi Rocks”, the singer rejoices, before he tells that the Sleaze-kings are still absolute superstars in Japan: “At their arrival the guys even had to write autographs for the custom officers.” Afterwards he faces up to our questions.
Do you have the feeling, that the turbulence around you turned more bearable after the much observed comeback of Hanoi Rocks and high-graded albums of Finnish bands such as Nightwish, Stratovarius or Children Of Bodom? Do you receive less pressure than before?
“I haven’t been thinking about this yet, because the expectation attitude of the public is not decisive. We are our hardest critics ourselves and always try to become better. I confess, that we were badly prepared for our last album, but this time we can conscientiously say that Love Metal is the best possible record that we could have recorded at the moment. If the magazines see it differently, we’ll weep like little children, hahaha!”
Do you care about the opinion of reviewers after all after two million of sold albums and some hundred thousands of sold singles?
“Yes, absolutely. I also can live with journalists who don’t like our music, no problem. But they should be able concretely to justify their opinion. Constructive critics haven’t harmed any band, but finding a record bad on principle, because I might have used an eyeliner during a photosession, is just poor. But whatever may come, we completely stand behind the album. It combines all the aspects, that we’ve not always brought on one point earlier: the melody and the psychedelic element of Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights, the heaviness of our debut and the straight rockers of Razorblade Romance.”
In contrast to your last album Love Metal sounds more organic and more unforced. Was it easy to write the songs?
“No, but we had the advantage to be able to go about it more relaxed. During the Deep Shadows tour we were under an enormous pressure, because we had worked for three years without a noteworthy break. I was frustrated in such a way that the others were only going on my nerves, and that I developed a real hate on them. So many aggressions had piled up, that one day I had a huge fight with Migé and we didn’t talk with each other for a week…”
Not a nice working atmosphere…
“Above all not, when you have a Finland tour before you. We had to delay the tour for two month, because under such circumstances you can’t go on stage and pretend that everything is fine. In several band meetings all the problems were put on the desk and openly discussed. Only after the Finland tour we were sure that we want to continue as a band at all.”
What was the main reason for the bad mood in the band?
“I can speak only for me, but for me it was like that, that too much work and too less fun have let me mutate to an absolute unbearable bloke. In addition to that we gathered lots of critics for Deep Shadows, which totally unsettled us. If you work on an album for month, you one day lose any distance to the songs. You are not able to give a neutral judgement. Only last week I listened to the record again and realised that the songs were good, but the production was really made flat. But to come back to the fight: the thing is now out of the world, and I am happy that the band has forgiven me my moods.”
What has exactly happened? Till now I always had the feeling that you manage your conflicts behind closed doors.
“I think, our different temperaments were the main problem. While the others are rather calm and obdurate when they don’t agree with something, I explode. And then it gets really awful, because in such moments I mercilessly exploit the weaknesses of my friends. For me the thing is then done, but I never really thought about the fact that I hurt other persons’ feelings with such a behaviour. Especially at this background the new record is so important for us, because it was clear to us, that it could be the last record which we record together. Probably exactly this crisis was the reason that we bunched all our strengths together and enhanced as a band. For our keyboarder Burton Love Metal is only the second record the recorded with us, and he has definitely brought us forward.”
I have the impression that he fits into the band more that your previous keyboarder Juska anyway. You haven’t taken him (Juska) very seriously often.
“That’s right, but Juska was extremely young and actually not a real musician. He came to the band when we were desperately seeking for a keyboard player and couldn’t find anybody else in such a short time. Don’t get me wrong,l everyone in the band liked Juska, but he was very sensitive and couldn’t handle all the pressure. Nevertheless he is still a good friend of mine and we have a beer together from time to time.”
Is he is better now? There were the wildest rumours going around about his drug consumption and state of health…
“Yes, he has picked up courage again. He had bought a bar and afterwards he pretty came into stumbling, because he was surrounded by shitty guys and wrong friends, who hung themselves on him because they knew that he has some money. I know these people aswell and I told them to let him be. Meanwhile he is with his old girlfriend again and plays in a new band. He now has something he believes in again, and he is on a good way.“
Have you also discussed the stylistic orientation of the next record at your crisis-meetings?
“No, it was only about the problems in the band. During the following break everyone except me went on holidays. I am glad if I can spend a couple of days in Helsinki and don’t have to care for anything. A pretty boring arrangement of freetime, isn’t it? But the separation was good for all of us, because after it we made the Finland tour and could look in each other’s eyes again. It was really convenient to be able to notch from the sweat-mill for a while. It gave everyone enough time to think about what he would do in the case of a band-split. None of us had really good ideas, haha! To be serious: Now we don’t take things so self-evidently as before and everybody takes part in the band with full power again. Above all I have intensively exchanged myself with Migé, because he is extremely self-critical and direct also to other people.”
That means that he was included more in the songwriting-process than before? Mostly it is like this that you write the songs and introduce them to the band in the rehearsal room…
“We work like this already since the beginning of our career. It’s not like this that I record the songs before and everybody plays only that what I tell him to. I don’t want that everybody has a fixed association already in the beginning of the session. We are a democratic band, and everybody can bring in his ideas. During the rehearsals the guys play their instrumental parts and I stand there and listen carefully. I never sing during these rehearsals, because I have my melody-lines already in my head anyway. My aim is to make the songs as “round” as possible – and it also belongs to it to build in a calm part in which the melody can develop, and not mercilessly band every soundhole with drums. Only after the songs are ready, I begin to write the lyrics.”
You use a pretty specific vocabulary in your lyrics. One could almost think that there is a special dictionary out of which you take your ideas.
“In the case of lyrics I am very disciplined. I am not an Englishman who has the advantage to sing in his mothertongue, but an outsider, who sometimes chooses certain words by their sound. For me it is not about telling a story; the words just have to fit, otherwise the lyrics would loose their poetry. On Love Metal the lyrics are more cryptic and twisted than on our previous albums. I was just sick of “babies” and “darlings”. Seriously: I always had a weakness for the lyrics of Black Sabbath. Even though I had never understood them, I liked their sound and the to it connected atmosphere. Maybe I’m in a preferred midlife-crises, haha…”
Is it also the explanation for Love Metal being the first HIM-album on which’s cover the bandlogo, the heartagram, appears and not you?
“No – we just realized that the heartagram has developed to a real trademark of the band. Lots of our fans have it even tattooed. Furthermore the design fits perfectly to the albumtitle, Venom had their “Black Metal”, Motörhead their “Rock ‘n’ Roll” – it’s only fair when we make demands on “Love Metal”, isn’t it? But back to the packaging: We have consciously chosen a black cover on which the heartagram is painted with black [?] lacquer colour, because we are all fans of the vinyl-covers from the seventies. Things like the zipper-cover of the Stones album “Sticky Fingers” are the best in design for me. Maybe one day we’ll also release such a deluxe-thing. I could imagine a hand-signed and numbered vinyl-box with a really fat booklet.”
“Why is Love Metal the strongest album in the band career in your opinion?”
First because it – like already mentioned - combines all elements of your previous recordings, and then I think that the record sounds very organic and atmospheric. During the recording sessions we this time got it to tackle the different songs very relaxed and to develop them out of spontaneous jams. When one gets into Love Metal, and listens to the record, concentrating on it and from the beginning till the end, one will fast notice that the order of songs is everything but random. The record develops, due to the partly over-long songs, its very own charm and is definitely not just a chain of hitsingles.
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
Interview in Seura Magazine
The relationship that has last for years he will not make official.He says its not that easy when you are always on the road and your chick is in Helsinki.
HIM comes stronger and newer as ever.Singer Ville Valo shines and you would almost need glasses to protect your eyes.
At new years eve HIM played their traditional Tavastia gig.Fans from countries like Germany and Poland were there.Their new single will be out in the near future,its taken from the upcoming 60min long cd called Love Metal wich was recorded in Helsinki and then mixed in Los Angeles.
Ville says that he fights against this world and yells out his pain on this record.
The last record DSABH was sold about 500 000 copyes and RR over 1 million.
Ville tells that he and the other guys are in a better shape now than ever.This year starts with promo work around Europe and then its time for some festivals.
A Friendly Soul
Ville knows how to take all this fame and you have to search for a more friendly guy in the rock buisnes.But,under all this there is certanly also a serious minded guy who feels the pain to create new stuff and also to let it all out,its not that easy as it may seem.
-The earlier stuff has more been questions than answers,now its time to let you know the answers.
In a big scale it has been about why is everything so messed up.
-In the end everything isnt that bad after all even if it was the attention to make this upcoming record as dark and melancholic as possible.When we started to make this record,I did whipe away all angels from my shoulder.
He also says that its not fair to complain all the time when you have a million bucks in your pocket.
-We try to say that in the end of a dark tunnel there can still be some light which can certanly "die" in any moment.
The Power Of Darkness
Ville says that the melancholies of a Finnish mans soul cant be beaten by any power in the world.
His idols are the Finnish icons Tapio Rautavaara and Reino Helismaa.
-Melancholines doesnt have to be a bad thing,it can also be a power wich you just have to use the right way.HIM does that pretty well,we all have a roof over our head and some food at our tables.Hi doesnt feel down about the melancholines he feels himself,even if it took over 1 year to work this out this time.
-Its about a psychofysical feeling,wich grows under the power of this metaphysical feeling..All that I find in Tapio Rautavaaras songs.Kinda same feeling I get if I watch a good Simpson episode or when I havent paid my TV license.
The Last Fantasy
The last record was dedicated to Villes mother so the new one will be stuff for his father who has the famous shop Aikuisten Lelukauppa in Kallio.
-We have learned how to live with our small penises.If we have done the wrong judgement,we will reserve a place to a clinik in Tallin.
Not for a very long time has Ville been working in the sex shop.
-I sure do rememer when i sold dildos for married couples in the shop.
Ville says he lives his life very down to earth,that death can be just around the corner in the rock buisnes world - at a very early point.
What if the succes one day will end?
-When I dont have enough money to pay my rents, I will fulfill my last fantasy and move into a trashcan in Kallio.Fame does not last forever.
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!
HIM: Love and metal to death
A lot of people do not understand the roots of gloomy Finnish band's music right. And is it gloomy if MTV advertises it? I don't know what is in the West, but I clearly remember when five Finns in black clothes first appeared on MTV-Russia.
I don't wanna lie: in 1998 strong guitar sound united with nostalgic "Wicked game" was very unusual. Everybody thought guys had joked well. They were not the first, Marilyn Manson and Orgy did the same. And two years after we were deeply shocked because "Join me (In Death)" reached the first places in commercial European charts. They obtained what they wanted, Finnish Bon Jovi. And they only pretended black and gothic because for the global debut they had chosen nothing else but famous pop-hit. Romantic like all "Bon Jovies" like - with the video about naked girl and desert beach.
But not long time ago I learned that Ville Valo first heard not pop-hit "Wicked Game" but sad song from "Wild At Heart" by David Lynch. And it cleared up that everything was not that way. These Finns in black clothes are really on the edge of depression. What looks like radio song about love for us for them is sacramental confession listened by chance. And they absorb it like vampires suck blood. And then they take their guitars and sing melancholic songs.
The new, forth album is brought out when HIM has already become mega stars. Yes, when the band stopped to be serious for the first occasional fans of " Greatest Lovesongs vol.666", when it fills fan army with girls who had listened Britney Spears. For these girls "Cool" ("Cool" is Russian magazine for teenagers. - note by SoulInLove.) takes interview before me. What will I have to talk about with Ville?
- Ville, you are the first artist for the not long history of our magazine who appeared on over cover twice. The first one was when HIM brought out previous album. Is it important for you to be "number one", to appear in popular magazines?
- Of course it's important. I mean publicity is necessary - It reminds people that we exist and bring out new album. But I do it not for my ego I have not got any mania. It is absolutely not important for me like a person. But my work includes some things I have to do.
- What is about new pictures? We have met a little trouble- record label hasn't got a lot of new ones. May be they are not necessary?
- No! We have done some pictures, they will be sent to you (really few days after we got thick parcel of pictures, thank you Ville! - note by author). We were shooting new video and designing new album's cover. We just had no time!
- Has HIM image changed?
- There is less make up, we look like we really are now.
- To talk about HIM and do not mention "love metal" is nonsense. But suddenly we found out that your new album has got the same name. Is it some kind of remake? Are you going to go round? I remember your earliest album "Greatest Lovesongs Vol.666" - even the title is similar.
- I would call it looking back. This is our fourth album and we decided to look back and gather the best moments of three previous CDs. In fact "Love Metal" is "best of" but it consists of new songs. We have taken heavy guitar sound from the first album, rock-n-roll approach from the second and huge melodies from the third one.
- Would you affirm that you've got something to say about the style, which has been created five years ago?
- I think we have a lot of work. We can improve our style, we do it in every album. Remember AC/DC - they brought out 30 albums and all of them are pretty similar. I have nothing against it - we do the same. We try to extract maximum of three chords and our guitars.
- Is it gonna be a long time? Encourage your fans or disappoint them?
- I don't know. We are happy with what we have. If it is a day people will not listen to us we gather and think about changes.
- By the way the term "love metal" was created by you or by journalists?
- We've done it. Journalists have endless problems with terms. We understood it because of our own music - so we had to turn on our brains.
- The names "love metal" and "Love Metal" are the same but have contents changed?
- Well, no. The main point is in union of differences: light and darkness, beautiful melancholic melodies and heavy sound.
- Do you agree HIM music has changed, become pop?
- My opinion is - no.
- You mean those who think that you played honest even underground music on the first album and now became major "stars" are mistaken?
- But it has not changed music! You can't call Marilyn Manson pop star because he is famous. His sound is not pop!
- Your personal opinion: is love metal for a long time?
- Hmm? Let's guess at the future that it's minimum for another ten years.
- Will it die with HIM or stay?
- I hope someone from the other bands will use our heritage.
- Can you say any exact name?
- We haven't got big choice! (laughing)
- Well, give us one name.
- No, we have to wait for these ten years. We haven't got someone better than we around.
- This is the rare case: first I remember your remakes of my favorite artists especially Black Oyster Cult "Don't fear the Reaper". How do you choose concrete artists and songs?
- There are no rules. Both "Don't fear the Reaper" by Black Oyster Cult and "Wicked Game" helped us to understand our own style, to detect us as a band.
- Are there any remakes on your new album?
- No, there is only our own material. This is the second album without Black Oyster Cult and Chris Isaac. There are no good songs left around, so we have to write ourselves.
- May be it evidences about your skill like a poet and composer? May be this is the reason why you needn't other's songs?
- I'd like to think so. I noted my songs become better every year. Also music needs definite amount of human energy and it's better to waste it for your own music.
- Do you like Scorpions?
- This is unexpected question. I listened to them in the later 80's. I even was their fan.
- I think you are slowly replacing them like "the main metal band for girls in the earth".
- Well, they are old now? It is strange comparison: Scorpions and we.
- But what is about girls?
- We are not only for them, we are for everybody. Guys listen to us with the same pleasure. It is the old proverb: search for guys were the girls are. But we like to touch sensitive girl's souls with our music.
- And what about planet? Do you think I overdid? Are there any places where you are absolutely not popular?
- We are unknown in America. We have not ever been there with concerts and no albums were brought out there.
- How will you estimate your fame in Russia? You've been there twice?
- Oh, it's a big honor for us! Not long ago we were invited again. If people want to hear us we will keep coming to you over and over.
- I heard you like Jim Morrison?
- No! I like Iggy Pop more. He is better and he is alive.
- At least I heard you are often compared with Morrison.
- There is nothing strange. People need different comparisons all the time.
- What would be your reaction for the offer to take Morrison's place in reformed The Doors?
- But they already have Ian Astbury from The Cult. Anyway The Doors is not my favorite band. My idols are Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Kiss.
- Well, how would you react for the invitation to the Black Sabbath?
- I'd react with definite answer "no". Black Sabbath is idols for me. And I wanna thank them for the wonderful music they had done with my own music. But I even don't want to try to create it with them.
- You are leader by nature. Can you image yourself in the background like someone's shadow?
- Of course I am leader but we have absolutely democracy in the band. A single whole "HIM" depends on everybody's playing on his instrument. What is about second role - there was no attempt to compete with me. I am not worry about it: I write music, I sing.
- Do you like cinema?
- What cinema?
- Of course good cinema! (both author and Ville are laughing - note by author)
- Oh, of course I do. My favorite director is Tim Burton. His best films are "Beetlejuice", "Batman" and "Nightmare before Christmas".
- Well, you choice worth your style? Have you ever been offered cinema roles like David Bowie and Tom Waits?
- There were a couple of offers, but nothing had happened. It is always interesting to try something new. But we simply are busied with HIM and have no time.
- Our magazine lately carried out totals and called David Lynch the cinema hero of the year 2002. It seems he is your minion too, isn't he?
- I agree with your choice. His "Mulholland Dr." was magnificent.
- What will be your forecast about your new album's place in the musical totals of the year 2003?
- For me it is undoubtedly the album of the year because HIM is not going to bring out new albums till the end of the year. (laughing)
- The last joke I have heard about you is that there is another band called HIM in America and they posses copyright for this name. And you are going to change name call your band HER. Is it true?
- This joke contains part of true, but we definitely won't HER! Really, there is people who has registered name HIM and don't wanna leave it. But we'll do something. Just give us time!
Deutsche Version kommt bald!!!