Digital Versatile Doom Interview


I'm nearly 31 now and I've been kinda, you know, rehearsing spiritomentaly, psychologically, physically, for this moment, you know, for the better part of my life. So, ehm…It's just one more step towards insanity, I guess. Sonic insanity, you know. So… It's always been good. It's always been good, besides Linde's bleeding. It's so funny actually on the Internet. There's like a lot of rumor that he's like, you know, (???), cocaine, (???) or whatever. We were just laughing our asses off because of that. But, everything's good. It's just… It's been very very different for the band, at least for me, because it's the first tour, all on tour I've been doing sober, so it is a big difference, but it also has (???) a lot as well, so we're not partying that much, rather concentrating on music. I guess that that's our only chance, you know. There's always better partiers, there's always people who can drink more. But there's not a single person on Earth who can play Love Metal better than us. So, I guess that that's our forte and we should concentrate on that rather than the other activities. I've done, you know. I write all my music sober and I can't work on it if I'm drunk or whatever and that wasn't (???) just, you know, you easily tend to wipe a lot of rubbish underneath the carpet and I did it by bottle and it's not the prettiest site when you… I've just let the carpet be. I let the magic carpet ride…the black magic carpet ride happen when I go back home in Finland and start writing new stuff on my guitar. Also, when you get the song it takes a lot of time to clean it up as well. All little tiny bits and pieces yet separated and, you know, put it into the right places, decide what you gonna throw in the bin and what you gonna save. So, that's how it is, but…It's like, you know… We do a lot of things with HIM, with the band, and we seem to do a lot of things backwards. That's one the things. I kinda, like…the last 10 years have been my last 10 years, and these are my min next 10 years. If you know what I'm saying. It's just, you know, feeling good, rejuvenated. I feel like starting back from late 90s. Like all of this was just a vivid dream-like sequence. Dream within a dream, as Edgar Alan Poe once wrote down.

It wasn't my plan, you know. Basically, the only thing is you easily get up in a situation where you are very self-centered. Obviously, when you are a writer or you are (???) you're very self-centered, because you write the songs, you write the things you've been going through yourself, you know. I kinda, like, for some reason forgot the existence of my parents, who've always been really close to me, because of my drunken haze. And I don't wanna disappoint them, I don't wanna disappoint the band, I don't wanna disappoint our manager Seppo, I don't wanna disappoint you, I don't wanna disappoint myself. If I'd be a slave to the bottle that would be not necessarily the most exciting way to go. Everyone can do that, I'd rather be electrocuted on stage. I guess that'd be a lot cooler.

I'm (???) bits and bits all the time, but usually when we keep on traveling within the different hotel room every other night, so it's fairly hard to concentrate on finishing the song. But a lot of little…I'm rambling on, you know, just writing the things down, and a couple of melodies here and there. Usually when I got the time to relax back at home that's when I start writing the new stuff. But, I got ideas for maybe about 12 songs or something. But also Venus Doom has been…ehm, I don't know why, I don't know with a, you know, just a (???), it seems that always writing the new stuff, you know, you have to dig deeper within yourself, within, you know, … to have stronger lenses to look through at the stuff underneath the carper, so… I'm afraid to go there, you know. It's all taken me a while. You know, just go back into this stuff, because I'm really addicted to music. I just want to give myself a space, which is I need a time off to be really taken away by music again, and especially being sober. Because I used to… what I used to do was I get so into it, turn out and let hours pass, and I couldn't even sleep after it, because all the melodies, everything's starts playing in my head. And what I'd do was go to a pub to talk about the weather and down a few pints to calm myself down. And that's something I don't wanna do now. So, it's gonna be very intriguing thing, cause now I'm for the first time after 99 I'm starting to work in my sleep as well. That's really cool. I wake up with ideas and write them down. They're not necessarily great ideas, but it's kinda fun. In that sense I do feel like 16 again.


I'm thinking about itch that never goes away, you know. It's just something, you know, itch you can't scratch, as they say. Well, obviously, it's something to do with the relationship I was in. you know, relationship is very easy to end when there's a big negative reason to do it. But when you come like on the verge, you're dancing on the razor's edge, and there's a lot of positive and a lot of negative things, and (???) balances those things. That what makes it complicated for me, at least. In that particular song it always seems that through all the negativity in the relationship, we had… we were sleepwalking past hope, because we had a lot of hope and a lot of similarities, a lot of things we could have worked on. But, as being stupid young people who, ehm fairly young, had too much their own shit underneath the carpet that should have been cleaned up before, you know, starting with a clean plate, you know, clean slate. And, ehm, I don't know, it's a very universal thing, that relationships always tough. That's what it's all about. It's just… it's about when do you really wanna let go? When is the time? Because nobody's gonna tell you the time to let go of the relationship or let go of yourself. When is the right time to go with the flow or when do you have to keep yourself in control? Nobody can tell that to you beside yourself. And it's… That's the toughest lesson on life, I guess. That happens to a lot of people, but the (???) fall in different directions and different people have different cushions to fall… to fall on, you know, after it. It's a… and when it comes to love you should not be having plans B. You know, you just have… It should be total submission to your passion, to your senses and to your heart, I guess. You know… Rational, you know… I don't believe in a thing called rational love, you know. So, in a way singing that song tales me back to the situation and also it takes me… it makes me ponder about future, what kinda decisions I'm gonna make, you know. Because I'm really indecisive bustard.

It's always different. It's… you know… It's, I guess, for me personally to be… Yeah, it's like Eskimos' got like over 30 words for 'snow', but we only have one word for 'love', which is 'love'. Of course, there's like 'admiration', you know, all different kind of little tiny adjectives describing the thing, but they can't describe, you know… Love is very different with different people. So even though you're writing about separation, all are falling in love, it's always different because you you're falling in love for different reasons. And it's always, ahm… And that makes it interesting when it is a new combination for yourself, and you always feel a kid when it starts and overwhelms you. And that's beautiful. That's why I write the songs, because I can put that stuff into mere words. Especially me and my funny accent, and me come from Scandinavia, so…And it's easier for me to put some of the emotions down in melodies and get the mood out that way.

Very often it seems that a lot of people find themselves in a tough (???), and when it's a matter of love and death it's just… When you really have to make big decisions at least for yourself you feel that you're on the verge of losing all the organity(?) or a thing that makes life worth living for…it makes it challenging, it makes it us. That's the thing that keeps me going, at least, so…

Well, the (???) thing, I've heard about this for the first time. I'm not big on myths, or mythology in general. But, you know, one Finnish director asked me to write something for his film, about 3 maybe 4 years ago, film's called Honey Baby, and they they're actually in that using one of HIM songs. It's gotta, like, the Orpheus… the story of Orpheus is the main theme. A guy's falling head over hills for a lady and the lady's for one reason or the other going to the depth of Hell. And the guy's been so desperate that he realizes he needs to do whatever he can, even losing himself in the process of saving her. And that's what love is all about – just losing yourself and letting all go, just for that little hope, for a smile. And then he goes for it, and because of his extreme talent, musical talent- he plays songs so well that the masters of Hell start weeping and appreciate the songs so much that they say: take the chick and run, but never look back; don't look back when you're climbing up the hill. And that's the thing in the myth, that's been speculated- why Orpheus looks back? It's just the curiosity that killed the cat, you know. What is it all about? Why did he have to look back so he lost his life forever? Did he actually do this for an artistic purpose- to be eternally suffering and to be able to play songs that even make all the Earth, all the living creatures in it, weep? Just in search of a, like, creative depression that everybody seems to be talking about when it comes to artistry, so… It's hard to tell, it's hard to tell… Well, basically, that's what Orpheus did afterwards – kept on playing. And made a few other chicks that he wasn't interested in, but the chicks were so turned on by the music he played that they in a sexual frenzy ripped him apart, physically. And ah… That's a good way to go. Maybe we should get a couple of groupies to try that to us, you know… That'd be kinda…that would be a sexy ending. And the thing, yeah, you know, there are different variations of the story. They physically rip all the limbs out, and (???) from the arms separated, and the head floating about in the river. And they were out of Lesbos, I guess. That's where the term "lesbians" came from. So, it's kinda, you know, weird old myths.

And I guess, more or less, it's a story of being an artist in a way that you have to… you are born in that way that you want to lose yourself entirely in what you do or you're willing for one single successful mo(ment), you are writing to give up everything for that particular moment in time, just to be able to be reborn through a note, or through a line or words or… and the search for that can be extremely haunting, for a lot of people. And I guess that's one of the reasons that a lot of people end up being, you know, mentally ill or end up committing suicides and doing many grugs, alcohol or whatever, just to numb the sensitivity that comes with being an artist. You have to keep your ears and eyes open, all the senses open to all the possible stuff that goes around. You're like that sponge sucking in all the possible information. And when you're filled with that it just bleeds out of you, and hopefully bleeds out in the way that it can be a cathartic process for the artist, and then it can be cathartic hopefully for the person who sees or hears that piece of art. It's not something you're trying to do, it's something you have to do to be able to exist, I guess. That's the reason why I do music. That's how I started. I didn't know how to cope with the world and then I found an instrument. I found an instrument and through that I realized that I'm able to cope with the world and its evil a bit better through writing songs. And that kinda keeps me safe. That's the comforting part. And it worked for me since I've been maybe… oh, I wrote my first song after my first big heartbreak when I was about 13 years old. So, it's been nearly 20 years I've been writing that stuff, so…

Yeah, I wouldn't exist without that little piece of wood there. It's just incredibly interesting in a way… I guess, to a certain extent, everybody is an artist, everybody's got their story, everybody's a living, breathing piece of art. Everybody's got great stories. Everybody! And it is the way of the world to a certain extent, you know, you have to be if you decide to have kids or whatever you have to make sacrifices. You know, you can't do… Life's (???) compromises at the end of the day. The little you can compromise the better.


That's Charles Baudelaire, that's Charles Bukowski, that's Finnish writer called Timo Mukka. His stuff's never been translated. But he's a guy that used to live in the middle of the woods in Lapland in Finland and he lived only 29 years, he lived like 60 when he died. I don't know the stories about him being crazy alcoholic, you know, downing bottles and bottles of vodka and just writing in manic frenzy. But he also had a family and I've heard that he was a great father, you know. And he was a visualizer, as well, and he wrote about life in little tiny towns and villages in Finland and they were very extremely sexual and very depressing. But he… You know, very few writers write down their thoughts as they really are. You can tell when you read somebody and you can actually tell that it's not… he hasn't been editing it himself to be more appreciated in a literary circle. I don't say it's dumped down, I'm saying that you can instantly see the flow and that is a flow in it, that, you know, the (???) get heavier by the end of the sentence or they don't or lighter, and that's how he wrote. And he's just one of my idols in a way of being a father, good father, and a support of family, and then, still living a very passionate life and being able to get so much out of him, that it makes life worth living for, you know. I guess, one of the things is that he's stuff is so… It's so very Finnish, and not even Finnish, it's more Lappish. The language is really hard to translate, because there are a lot of words that I don't get, old school. And it's like a lot of dialects that very few people use. So, it's very very hard to get the whole vibe down. And I guess that somebody's done… some of his works' been translated into, I guess, German or Swedish. But I don't know how well it would do in English. It's like, you know, those rural writers here, in America, where you're writing about some very specific place and you have to write in a very certain specific way to get the actual mood of living in there. And nobody who's never been there can get the entire right feeling out of it.

I've spent couple of weeks in Lapland to write Venus Doom, so, I rented a cabin in the middle of the woods and just went there and ended up hooking up with all the local reindeer herds and listened to their stories, and taking helicopter rides over the mountain and wrote a few songs… I actually wrote the basic ideas for Sleepwalking Past Hope in Lapland, and for Cyanide Sun, as well, and I can hear the Lappish influence in those two tracks of VD. Because for me they sound, ehm, what the right word for it would be, they sound really wide-screen, like a very cinematic, there's like a big landscape behind the music. It's a very wide angle. And I'm really proud of those things. I can really hear the sound of the North. And I was thinking maybe going back there for the next album. There, you know, people tend to be very…they keep very much in themselves. They're not very open, not a lot of chit-chat go around them. And they're very honest in a way that there's no small talk and they don't bullshit. So… let's say if I walk into a bar, somebody can…a guy can walk up to me and say "are you a good guy?", if I say "yeah, I consider myself a fairly good guy", "Ok, in that case, just come along and sit down with us." It's that direct, there's no bull(shit) whatsoever. And I love the honesty in that, because it kills… You know, you kill a lot of time by trying to please people, trying to, you know, have the mask on. And back in the North, they don't care about that, and that's the cool thing about it. That's something very unique.


Nowadays, also, you know, because somebody thinks we live liberal, it means that kids have to stretch further and further to make themselves noticed, you know…if you know what I'm saying, you know, culturally and all that. There's not so many taboos anymore. And obviously, kids always search for taboos… You know, if we just think of, let's say, intoxicants back in a day when weed was, like, cool illegal thing. It's nothing nowadays. Cocaine is nothing our days, and smacks are not interesting for anybody. You just nod off. So… They're searching for something, they're searching for, you know…like do they call (???), like transgressional literature, something that rips the reality around you apart and you can restructure it, you know, through the way you clothe yourself, through the way you live your life and all that, you know. The search of the individuality is becoming obsessive at all times. People want to be so different, you know. People just rise to the barricades and the barricades, and try to hop over the boundaries to see if the grass is greener on the other side. It's just…Let people not to do that on a psychological or an intellectual level… You can still get a lot by just reading, you know, lot of thoughts, and lot of ideas. A lot of people seem to, I'm not saying everybody, but it seems to, have the obsession that you have to show your individuality and your crazy identity through alter-means. And that's not important, I guess. You just rather shut up and say one good sentence once in 10 years and you'll be a got to a lot of people. Haha, you know, I'm not saying that you should do, but… It's very wise doing that… and that is kinda crazy and that's what I'm… obviously… Especially in America if you're just watching tellly, what's on there? It's kinda ridiculous, all the reality shows and everything. Nothing's to everybody anymore, so… What are you looking for next? What's going to be the next kick? Murder? Or suicide is gonna be a kick, or something? And is has, and, you know, in the near past. Well, it was sad thing. He was introvert, it seems, I don't know about that kid very well, but…Introverted 18 year old guy with tendencies towards neo-nazism, and he was really in his own cocoon, he didn't know much about outside world. And he just threw whatever information got the idea that he has the right to kill people, and he's doing that for purification of (???) for mankind. And… I don't know what kind of spiritual level he was working on… It's kinda weird and tough to get guns in Finland, but we don't have any metal detectors in schools and stuff like that, because Finland's considered to be a very, you know, safe country. And a lot of people do have guns, but they… most of people are Northerners, who are… who use them for hunting, or who's hobby is just, you know, shooting at track, so…That's a tough thing.

There's in Oxford something about that, a great book by the way, there's a story about what happened during one of the depressions that happened in England, you know, 60-70s or something, and there was a family with 3 kids and they were struggling with money, and they heard their parents fighting about it. So, the 3 kids aged, maybe, 11, 9, and 4, they all hung themselves in their kids-room, and what they wrote down was a note to their parents that "we did it so there wouldn't be so many for you to take care of". The alter power is to admit denial's all power, you know. They've got, for example, in Finland he was a political, you know, like, "a" everything: a sexual, a political, entire…a entire everything. So, he was just basically trying to make himself as a blank canvas, which is extremely hard to do if you're living in a loving family, so… That must be a horrendous journey he's been going through and all the pain that he's been going through. So…actually, cross that border into insanity and do all those horrible things he did. You know, it's… Well, also the good thing about humanity, in general, is the fact that terrible crisis and terrible catastrophes they do appear to have the impact on people that people become closer to each other, they start valuing their life a bit more after that. And people who, neighbors who hated them, hated each other previously, they can even hold hands occasionally. So, it seems that lot of people are so self-centered that it does take a catastrophe to all of them suddenly to realize that theirs is life outside of themselves and outside of their families and universal concerns. Anything called universal compassion and love and hope.

I've been a vegetarian for a long time. I was a vegetarian for about seven years when I was a teenager, but then when touring became extremely hard, places are (???) if you go over, in Belgium, it's hard to get proper vegetarian food. So, I started eating fish again, and chicken, then I made a deal with my dear friend Lee Dorian form a band called Cathedral, we became friends couple of years back, you know. He's really (???) vegetarian and I just gave him like a birthday present, I said yeah, ok I'll be a vegetarian from now and on. And this's been the last year and a half. Now, I'm nearly vegan. I do… you know, I'm like vegan who eats chocolate. So, I'm trying to avoid dairy products, and I eat…I'm nearly fruitarian as well, so I try to skip all the rice and bread and everything… you see, I'm just trying to find a right diet for myself to stay healthy on tour. You know, when you're traveling a lot it's very hard to live on pizza for months and months... just, it doesn't work. Linde he does eat fish, no chicken, no red meat. Gas, he's omnivore, he eats everything…(???) Basically, it's a matter of, also just, to be able to sing, because when you sing, when you play gigs you have to breathe through the tummy. And if eat meat digestion's so very slow that you can't use all your capacity as a singer, so it's good to eat a lot of greens, and that's why I'm… it's not, you know, I'm still wearing (???) stuff, and I'm not really politically involved in that. Let's say, it makes things simpler and it makes me feel better, so that's why I do that. I've never done any, you know, illegal driving or whatever. So… I don't drive; I use taxis, just (???) a cab. I'm not very environmental when it comes to that, you know, you can't do anything basically when you start thinking about it. If you start thinking about all the stuff, you know, humanity's doing to environment. It must be very hard for kids to learn who to trust and who not, you know. With all the information in the internet and if you flick through different news channels everybody's got a different take on the same stories, like, who do you believe? And then all the urban legends floating about, all that stuff, you know. It wasn't like that, back in a day.

What is the dark side? Well because, you know… let's say, if we grow up, let's say and we go to school and we learn about art history. You know, most of the amazing art, visual art have been done by very religious people, and most of that art is really really dark. If you think about Dante, for example, or John Milton or a lot of those people, they had a really strong relationship with God, and a very Christian God, and still they actually, they poured out all the Gothic imagery that all the entire Goth-people use nowadays, more or less. You know, I think it's just imagery anyway. You know, it's justa word association, word games, you know. The word "God" means so different things to different people there's (???) play around with them. As they say in a Bible, or do they say that in a Bible? But they're always saying that the greatest trick of Satan is that (???) people still do think that he doesn't exist. Maybe, you know, the God, people are worshiping, is the true evil. At least, the Vatican is. You know, when a religion is based around money then it's not…it doesn't have anything to do with spirituality. You know, what Jesus did in the temple back in the day. And at the end the day one of the main sins, you know, the main deadly sins: hatred and aggression. What did Jesus do? He became extremely agitated and extremely anxious of the Pharisees, and he nearly destroyed church there. And then he was crucified for his sins, I guess, and ours. So it's very complicated the myth in the Bible, (???) if you think of all those things, and… Well, I don't have an extremely great need to find myself a saviour, you know, I don't need that. My saviour is all around all of the time. It's just the world around, the people around, the stories they tell, and it's the whole thing. That's what keeps me going. If it's be just dark and empty and anything left is just a void then it'd be pretty miserable, but… And, you know the (???), when we're talking about issues of morality, you know. It's very interesting. You know, as what you said about people pretending to be God's disciples doing very much the opposite that's taught in New Testament. (???) you know, there's a vengeful hateful god of Old Testament, he was a tough guy as well, or was, or is.


Kalevala is like a (???) book, and we had a? there's one old guy called V?in?m?inen, who played a lying type of an instrument called kantele and he sang songs and everybody listened. He was the old wise man, and there's a lot of stories. There's like (???), there's like (???), there's a similar sot of, like, the river of Death that you pass and there's a lot of similarities. And my knowledge on the Finnish culture is very limited. It's a tiny country and a (???) country and I'm not sure, you know, it's been mixed with Vikings, because we're not the true Vikings in that sense, there's a lot of Russian influence, I guess. But, you know, there's basically, you know, that's what Christianity did. They came on over and they built on all of the old holly, places they built their churches upon, so… It is a rape of the culture, in a certain sense… And you know… Imagine Pan, the great god Pan, that actually been Satan, you know, and… Santa Claus, Joulupukki in Finnish, which means Christmas Goat. That's started from tradition like guys knocking on the door like on Halloween, wearing goat masks and just going in and ravishing the place, raving and looting, that kind of thing. You know, just being rock'n'rollers without music, and… And there's a lot of weird cultural things, especially when it comes to Christina world, you know... they took some of the elements out of the… But that's... but ah, that's a thing for me, I don't fight against it, I find it fascinating how a human mind and how the people have worked. It's like piece of their God. Let's say that'd be out of that culture, let's take that and just create our own little (??) and just claming that that's the right way to go, you know, you really need a lot of confidence and a lot of guidance, whatever guidance that is, to be able to actually successfully, fairly successfully, to be there, if you look at the world nowadays.

Well, you know, what's fascinating touring with this particular band, with these particular songs is that, it seems that in each and every city we're playing gig people do appreciate different songs, and different moods, and different vibes. Bit more rock'n'roll energy, type of the things seems to dig deeper into the collective psyche of a particular group. It's just weird. And that's kinda what makes it really interesting, you know what's behind the, you know, what's around the corner. So, and that's probably one of the reasons why we still keep on doing it. Because if it would be exactly, you know, be just repetition, it'd be super boring for everybody included, especially the audience. So… Everything's fairly good now. Everything's fairly good. It's a (???). It's such a hard thing to get 5 people who spend most of the year living very close to each other, you know, nearly sharing bunks in a bus, and everybody knows each other through out, inside out, and it's tough to get 5 people to work as one, working unison when playing a gig, and then getting all the technical aspects right. Then hopefully get a lot of people good attendance at the gig, and then sound right, and everything like that. It's always a bit of a gamble, but that's kinda…that's one of the things that also makes it exciting. Because there's always weird stuff that can happen. And usually when beautiful, you know, perfect imperfection happens, you know. That's when you…that's when everything is right.

He's great, it's fun. I've known Linde since I've been like 12-13, and he's a very, you know, he's very quiet introverted character, but he's been opened up a lot, and you can actually hear all the emotions, the frustrations through his playing, and he's changed as a musician a lot. You know, he used to be more introverted as a guitar-player as well. And now he's kinda like liberated himself, I don't know why or how or what happened, but it's great to see that kind of a flower in bloom. Same with the rest of the guys, you know. Gas is still struggling a bit, but he'll get there. It takes that funny (???) that you can't take yourself, it just happens naturally on a good gig or it's just transformation that happens slowly, that you just emerge yourself, totally lose yourself in a music, so much that you do the things that you never thought of and you can't remember what you just did a second ago. That's a great thing. So, you know, if I would be singer for Aerosmith I'd be saying that it's very… you could compare it to making love, the best thing is just when you lose yourself in what just happened. And when that happens that's a great height. And that's probably one of the reasons why a lot of musicians and writers are trying to run after that height with the…with some intoxicants or whatever. But it's also…you know, I do have a bit of stage fright, not too bad nowadays, but…I used to have a bit, a bit of that, and when I started singing that was a time when I still was a drummer and a bass-player, so I was used to carrying something around with me, so my crutches stage were having a cigarette and a bottle of red wine Amadeus, something like that, because it just… I felt naked without it, so… And now I still have cigarettes and we'll see when I start to cut down smoking, will that ever happen, but…Now it's just collective push musically towards something, I don't know where it is. It's just nice to be, nice to be where we are musically at this particular moment. You know, it's just…You never know what to expect. There's also tradition of people like, let's say, Jim Morrison. He didn't do a lot on stage, everybody just remembers him doing the shamanistic dances or whatever, he did them, like, twice. He was just clinging on to a mike and trying to get the story through. So, there's a different tradition in that sense. But…Nick Cave he's a great (???), but…I guess that when he was a bit younger he thought that he had to do something, he had to learn (???) to do the moves or do something, you know, to be able to be considered as a great performer or whatever. I guess that the most challenging thing is to lose yourself so completely in the music that it'd be…you'd rather tell the story through the music than doing something brilliant, doing like a Justine Timberlake routine. That's a different cup of tea, that's a different way of entertaining, but if we would be able to get at least a tiny little percent of people sucked into the mood of the music and we could really overwhelm them with the music that's the best thing, I guess. Especially nowadays, there's always somebody who looks prettier or cooler, who's got leaner body, who can cooler th(ings), you know, back flips or whatever like that on stage. We're not (???) circus, they do that stuff extremely well, but what we're trying to do is to musically create the sonic aura of something hopefully different, as it hasn't been done before. And at time it, you know, I like it when stuff starts happen uncontrollably and because of an unconscious source, or subconscious source, you know, it's…I guess, that's what you call, that's how it started the term "being a natural" Thing happen naturally, that's flows out of you and you can see the difference comparing to artist or performance, who rehearse their craft. Or you can do both, obviously, but…I'm trying to stay away from theatrics, you know. If it does happen, I don't know…it's something I don't think too much of it, you know, because I guess that, singing itself is fairly demanding in this band, and getting everything right, and when I am on stage I don't think about myself, I think of the band and the sound of the band, and that's also one of the reasons why I sing lot of times with my eyes closed. So, I don't have any distractions of, let's say, pretty ladies or people waving at me or whatever. It's beautiful and it's nice to… At times it gets…takes you away from the mood of the song and the sentiment that's there to be brought forth, so… So, I'm listening to everybody on the stage all the time, you know, so, I'm like listening to all of them, not a part of, you know, I'm just a puppet. I don't know…and the puppet is the whole collective consciousness of the band HIM. So, it's not that self-centred anymore. It was more when I was wasted on stage.

It's funny that a lot of people who never been to our gigs and maybe have just seen a clip or a video, or believe the rumours that we're really Satanic, driving the kids nuts, you know. They are the ones losing the whole thing. At least, when I'm looking at the audience from a stage a lot of people are smiling, they're singing along, and it's a cathartic experience, hopefully for everybody. You go through universal pain together, you know. The pain of losing people around you, and the pain of growing up, and the pain of, as you grow up, learning that you actually don't know anything. And, you know, the world becomes day by day a bit more complicated place and it's good to know that you're not alone. And it was extremely interesting for me, I actually met somebody yesterday that should've been talking to a couple of fans, he was a fan who did an interview, and some of people said that "listening to the music of HIM makes me not feel alone, makes me help me through sleepless nights, you know, like thoughts of suicide". But a funny is that that it's exactly what music does to me, that's why I write it. I'm not alone when I write music and it makes me help…it makes me get through many a sleepless nights and to be able to confront the negative…the negativity in the world in general with a smile on my face, more or less. It's tough and it's hard, and it's tough for everybody, but it's crazy how a person lives zillions miles away in a place called Helsinki, sits on his bed, feels something, and picks up a guitar and puts that feeling into the music, couple of words, couple of chords, and through a long process gets that thing recorded; and all of a sudden them music spreads all around, and what happens is that it does exactly the same what it did for the (???) so to speak. It's a weird cycle that it does, it seems to do to a lot of people. But also music is, you know… everybody's got their sonic diary and everybody listens to different bands for different reason, and everybody does listen to certain songs because they recreate the smell, the sense, the whole atmosphere of the situation of the past. You know, when I listened to Madonna's Live to Tell I remembered my first disco, you know, slow dances with a lady I was into, when I was like 12 or whatever. That does great memories, so that's also the reason why I write music, but there's also the negative thing for me because I can't feel there, I just feel the moment, the sentiment where I am at, at the moment, where I'm writing it down. And at times it's painful, and at times it's rejuvenating. Hopefully, both at the same time.

Transcripted by La Murka

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