HIM - immortal songs have butterfly wings | Part 1 of the HIM - Interview
Since HIM climb the charts also at the other side of the ocean, it is no longer that easy to win Mastermind Ville Valo for an extensive interview. With the STALKER the pretty Finn chats about musician´s every-day-routines, reveals his future plans and sinister secrets. Here a few of his remarks concerning the new album „Dark Light“as appetizer for the next STALKER. Unfortunately we still can´t tell you when the next issue will be in stores.
Photo: Melanie Haack
Let us start with the album-title: “Dark Light” Is it regarded to your love mania?
Maybe a bit. But it is something I did not realised when I was write the song. It is a book by a religious author called “Dark Light” and it is about a girl who is 12 who gets the plaque and dies in a hospital. It is a really rough story. We chose that because the new album is the first official release in the States, in Australia, in Japan, in Canada also. So simpler, so better. So it is really easy for people to remember HIM at “Dark Light”. Plus, its again those two extremes come together as “Razorblade Romance”, “Love Metal” and stuff like that so..
Is it true, that the name HIM changed in the USA to HER?
No. That is an old story. That was two or three years ago when we start in the States. There was another band called Him. Now we paid them some money and now can use the name HIM.
The name HIM. At first it was “His Infernal Majesty”. Why did you changed it into HIM?
We changed it that people can remember it. The people in Finland do not speak good English, that was a problem. “Ahh, what was it again?” you know? That was the reason.
Who was the producer of the album?
A new one. Tim Palmer. The guy who has mixed “Love Metal”. He is a british guy. He has been working with The Mission, David Bowie, Rober Plant, Ozzy Osborne, U2 and Pearl Jam. He has done very hard stuff like Sepultura and very poppy stuff, so we decided he is perfect for us because we have all this sides in the band.
What happened to Andy Walles?
What happened to Andy Walles? When he started to mix the album we were very happy because he mixed great albums, you know? But he lost something, the wildness that we have in the production. It sounded really… American radio rock, you know? He rocked, but… it is the same with bands like Hooberstank, if you know what I mean. We where happy with him when we talked about it, but then… he is a really nice guy and we had a great time of working with this old guy who is probably 65 or whatever. Totally grey with a grey beard.
Photo: Melanie Haack
There is one song on the album called “Vampire Heart”. It sounds a little bit like it could be out of the mind of Jyrki 69...
Allright. That is a curse. Jyrki is like a cartoon Goth. What I do with the lyrics is, I want to tell about people´s sickness, you know. Everybody has a vampire heart. It is where everything is in. so that is what it is about. It is not about little miss spookiness or stuff like that.
In “Dark Light” you use some inspiration from Billy Idol and it sounds a little bit like from the 80´s.
Yes! We tried to make a coalition with the 80´s vibe on “Razorblade Romance”, the 70´s from the first album and the London-Goth-Spooky spirit from “Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights”. It is like a combination of all that.
Your voice on the album sounds much higher.
There are a couple of tracks I sing low. I did not want to scream so much on this album. I have scream a lot on “Love Metal”. When songs have so many things going on, it is cool to bee able to sing a little bit more royal.
Photo: Samira Alinto
Can you tell us a something about the lyrics of “Killing Loneliness”?
That is very simpel. The title explains himself. Basically it is about forgetting the past. About accepting that you learn from your mistakes and you got to go on . Nobody can be totally alone. In this song I kill loneliness with my sweety.
What is about the lyrics to “Wings of a Butterfly”?
That is an old story I write about. I read in a book that immortal songs have the wings of a butterfly. Describe something beautiful not to become immortal but to overcome the power of religion or politics and step on to the next level spiritually.
The video to that song, it looks a bit like the band or the Regisseur was a fan of Batman. It is different to the old videos.
Lot so many girls in there. That was the plan. It is so boring, five boys playing Rock ‘n’ Roll and than there is a pretty girl doing nothing. I think it is pretty dark, the song is not so dark. It is more like the cult from “the Mission” from the 80’s.we met the guy called Mared Evis who has directed videos for U2 in the 80’s now he is doing Avril Lavingne and stuff like that but he is cool because he has the same hairstyle like I have but grey hair and he came up with the idea for the video. Its not like Gotham city, it is more like a dark city. Dark world.
What is the different between working which an American producer and working with Hiili Hiilesma?
At first, Tim is not American. He is British. He lives in the states but he is a brit. We have never worked with an American producer. We have worked with an Australian producer and a couple of Finish once. Tim is very much like Hiili. We told Hiili that we can not make another album with him because he had gave everything he could on “Love Metal” now have to make a break, we want to make different stuff. We met Tim the first time when we did “Love Metal”, so it was really easy. We would do the same what we have done with “Razorblade Romance”. Be away from our homes, living outside of Finland.
Would you consider to move there completly?
No. My home is in Finland that will always be my home, but I can live wherever.
There was the cooperation with Apocalyptica. Do you have other side projects?
I played bass on the solo album of Jeff Walker from a band called Kalkus. So I play bass on two tracks. It is like doom versions of old western and country songs and stuff like that. Gas played the drums and I was doing the bass. But we have not the time because touring with the band. And I have made something with the Bloodhound Gang. On one track I sing the chorus. We met them way way back in 2000. Five years ago and became friend. Jim is a very nice guy. He formed his own record label who put our record out before Universal do it. So we hang out in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He is a nice guy.