|Ville Hermanni Valo formed HIM in the summer of 1995, gathering around him some old friends who shared his vision of a brand of rock Ville himself calls 'love metal'. Depeche Mode meets Dimmu Borgir in a David Lynch movie... Their first EP was 666 Ways to Love, released in 1996. Since then, the band's members have changed a couple of times but Ville, Migé and Linde have been with the band from the beginning, and are accompanied with Gas and Burton. "You could say that we are the Scandinavian, dark version of any boyband. Except that we write our own music. And our choreagraphy is not that polished. Plus, we don't look as good as the Backstreet Boys."
HIM's debut album Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666 was released in the autumn of 1997, introducing their sound, a vibrant mix of metal and bittersweet pop melodies. This remarkable debut paved way for Razorblade Romance, a 21st century foray into the crimson coloured landscape of love and death. Enter Valo , HIM lead singer and songwriter and leader of the "Love Metal" movement.
"Why we covered Wicked Game? I've always liked David Lynch' s movies, and the dark, moody music has always been an important element in his films; Wicked Game is perfect example of that kind of song. Plus, it's extremely easy to play since it has only three tones."
Razorblade Romance, which was released on January 24th 2000, was recorded at Rockfield Studios, the birthplace of such classics as Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Oasis' (What's The Story) Morning Glory and, as the band are keen to point out, the debut album of Black Sabbath. Razorblade Romance was produced by John Fryer who has previously worked with White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, and includes songs such as Join Me, Poison Girl, Right Here in My Arms and Gone with the Sin.
"The only way to make music is relate to it deeply on emotional level. How do I get my ideas? I just sit down to the middle of a pentagram, and they start flowing. Love and death - life and death - those two things are the extreme opposites of each other, and include the entire scale of essential feelings and events. It's not only love and death, I'd say it's about love, hate, dying, living, feelings... and those are pretty important things - at least to most people. Love and death can mean lots of things, maybe there's some kind of symbolism there. And yes, Poison Girl is based on a true story - many think that it's somewhat a misogynist song, but it's not. It's a sweet apology."
Valo half sneering hard rock front man, half suffering poet. Half heart-throb, half enigma. When we go back a few years we will find Valo working behind the counter of his father's sex shop, dreaming of the music he was going to make someday. The reality of the dream is music full of soul and imagination. Songs that could move you, bring you to the verge of tears and leave their mark on you forever.
"When I was six years old, I wanted to be a cowboy - but then again, just a few years later I wanted to be a musician. I knew what I wanted when I got my first Kiss-record. It was Animalize, and at first I thought that it was some kind of etno music. It had this cover with fur pattern, and thought it looked neat. But then I turned the record over, and there's Gene and Paul, the band looking like something I'd never seen before. I ran to the counter because I knew this was it - the thing I wanted to do."
In August 2001, HIM releases their third full-length album, "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights". "What next? You just wait", Ville says with a sly smile. "It could be anything I just may have a plan B, you know. I might go full time into the family business."