Synnin Viemaa \Űūŗ„žŚŪÚ 3\


Janne Johannes Puurtinen was born in Helsinki October 17th 1974. He is from an artistic family. He says he is very grateful to his parents for they has always supported him in his musical career.

"My parents are both ballet dancers. Sure, I heard about that when I was in school. I didnít take any pressures about it though. My sister also danced ballet and I did try it myself also a couple of years but then I realized it wasnít my thing. Itís so organized and from being a child you should only reach for that one thing, itís a tough school and you wouldnít survive if you donít take it really serious.

My mother put me in piano school when I was a kid and I still was into that a couple of years ago. I didnít start to play rock music until I became a teenager. My musical education was classic so the rock business I have learned afterwards on my own.

Guess Iím the one who knows the theoretical side of music best from the guys in HIM. It helps but sometimes itís also a burden. If we for example rehearse on a song of course I think about it from my point of view and what Iíve learned. Sometimes I should just play and listen and not think too much.

I still listen to classical music at home a lot, Prokofjev and Sostakovits are my favourits. Nowadays I also like modern music, even the one that sounds freak. The thing is that when you finally have got the point of how a certain music style works, you have to get something new that you can try to figure out the same things. But, I donít like Jazz, I actually hate it.

When I started to get into rock music, my favourite was Pink Floyd. Later I started to listen to 70´s music like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Kiss and W.A.S.P never inspired me.

The youth wasnít probably easy to anyone but I would still say I was a nice guy. Later in the teenage years I realized I can be exact the way I wanna be and feel like, think I was about 15 then. I was in a music class and it was funny, many girls and only 6 guys. We had a really good time together.

It was very clear to me that I wouldnít join the army. I spent that time instead working in a theatre. Later I was also working at the Opera house for many years. I was also a dj and through that I tried working as a cook even if I had no training for that. I still like to cook a lot, I do that quite often when Iím at home.

My first real rock-band was Cosmos Tango, we even did some gigs. We also won the Finnish rock championship! After that band I got involved in Sub-Urban Tribe and Torpedo.

We were rehearsing with Cosmos Tango when suddenly my phone ringed and someone said "Hello, Iím Janne Joutsenniemi". I didnít  have a clue who that guy was. I found out that he was the guy who was looking for a new keyboard player to Sub-Urban Tribe because they had just done a new record and needed a player for the upcoming gigs. They had heard about me from Max in Apocalyptica because they had been at the same show when we did that Type O Negative cover gig in Teatro with His Infernal Majesty where my artistic name was King Tut.

That way I got involved with Sub-Urban Tribe. I did know that band by name but hadnít heard them live or anything. They gave me the records and said, listen and rehearse. Once I also did a gig with Amorphis in Istanbul. They called me a few weeks earlier and asked if I wanna come along. I thought about it in the toilet while doing some business there (!) and thought that sure, of course I wanted. It was a funny trip, the flight attendants had to apologize when they ran out of Campari and Balieys.

HIM is a difficult band to be in comparing to those other ones. Many might have needed some professional help, me including. Thereís just this crazy insane feeling and such a hectic schedule.

HIM is musically more healthy than mentally. I like a lot to play in that band for sure, cause you get very much space to play your own stuff and thatís very important for me.
Even if the touring schedule and rehearsing is pretty hectic I still enjoy playing very much, even at home. Itís like therapy. Just let your fingers go.

Jussi Mikko Salminen, known as Zoltan Pluto and Juska, was born in Kuusankoski in 1977. He didnít finish school Ďcause he was asked to join a band called Mary-Ann, known these days as To/Die/For.

"I was a die-hard HIM fan straight after the album GLS vol. 666 and all my friends said wow, the techno guy changes to harder stuff. I got to know Pätkä and later also the rest of the HIM guys including Ville of course. I had a summerjob in Kouvola when Ville told me that Antto is leaving the band, do you wanna join us? I was just like huh!! I almost got the feeling if I would throw up.

I had that thought that I would already play with HIM at their very first German gigs but I got to hear from friends that Antto would still do those shows. That was the first hit in the face. A couple of months went by and then Ville came and showed me what I was supposed to play. I was finally in the band. We started to rehearse and then it was time to get to the first longer tour.

I hadnít a bad feeling Ďcause I didnít know anything about the other guys favourite bands for example. If someone asked what song I never knew or that who was Led Zeppelins singer. It was real fun to be a techno guy in a rock band. I took pressures of that too.

It took you a lot to play with HIM. It was like life in general, sometimes fun and sometimes it sucked. It did still work out ok in itís own way. The only thing that could have happened differently was the final breakout from it. That shouldnít have been decided necessarily in a few seconds. Iím not bitter. We are still good friends and look after each other even if we donít meet that often anymore, when the boys are busy and I have my own things.

It wasnít that I would have not wanted to play in HIM.I just put d so much pressure to myself that the thing went too far. I took all to myself, thought that everything was my fault and I was the weak one. Seemed that the whole system was against me and I started to fear the people and especially Ville. I didnít give any of my own ideas to the band, only a few times.

HIM was like a girlfriend or wife. I started to think about leaving the band like I would have left a marriage. That was really the right decision and I can do this for the rest of my life or at least as long as HIM exists. I came to the result that to stay in the band would probably have destroyed me. I couldnít stand the pressure what the band had. I hated even the thing that I sometimes had to play on Jyrki (Finnish TV music program).

I was the pretty guy in that band. I wore make-up and changed my looks and in that way I tried to hide the fact that I couldnít probably play that well. I was the one in the band who performed more than played. But the visual effects meant a lot, especially when Ville shaked his ass or took the shirt off. Or Migeís rage, Lindeís calmness and Gas perfect drum playing. It does effect, we didnít have any bombs or other effects on stage and still we were voted to the best live act. I played my last gig with the guys on new years eve 2000. That was an emotional night. I cried many times after I left, wished Iíd still be a part of the group. But that is behind me now. With HIM I kinda got it all and I also took it all. It changes a person in a certain way. Thatís why I always called my friends from the road and we just talked about all other things than about the band. Thatís why I still kept my feet on the ground, otherwise I would have fallen apart completely.

After HIM I went to non military service. That lifted me up again even if it was a very rough time. I had to take some sick days, time off, I was lucky, people trusted in me and helped me back again. I also realized that problems should be solved by talking, not thinking about them alone. I even had to go through the mental hospital. I had said that I never would but when I was there I knew it was a good thing. The worst thing was probably that I didnít feel anything. I was totally lost at that point.

Itís nice to see that the HIM guys donít take everything that serious anymore. They seem to have fun again. If the fun part disappears from what you do itís totally the same if you play Join Me a hundred time or sell some milk.

Life could have been of course a lot easier if I didnít have played in HIM but it would also have been boring. Iím forever grateful to the guys that they gave me the chance to play in that band. That period of my life has made me what I am today. I have the feeling that it all went ok then, thereís no hard feelings between us. You always made some mistakes but you also learn from them.

Nowadays I play in a band near Kouvola, we play the stuff whatís in these days. Kinda same stuff like HIM. Itís very fun, I have found the music again which is very close to my heart.

People might think that Iím very rich now when the guys paid me out  (Juska got over 100 000 euros from his stocks). Now I have decided to invest some on a club. We will see what happens. Nothings gonna break me down again. I also try to do everything for this new band. If it starts to get too big, I will probably tell them that itís time to take a new guy into this who can handle the pressure. You have to be very strong so you can take it all, the ups and downs. I have myself been up there and also come down. When that circle closes in the end, Iím still the same little Jussi boy who was born September 26th 1977Ē.

Translated by Heidi Ekbom

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