Greek Rock & Roll Magazine
This month's issue of the Greek Rock & Roll magazine contains an interview from Ville Valo, taken by the Greek HIM FC "Our Diabolikal club". HIM where in Amsterdam that day and despite they had many interviews in their scedule, Ville was in a really good mood and talked to us for more than 30minutes! So, here is the interview,excuse me if I had done any mistakes but the transalation was a bit hard because there wasn't very good phone signal and also Ville was talking too fast sometimes! :D Anyway,enjoy! ;)
ODC: Hello, is this Ville from HIM?
Ville: Yap, it is!
ODC: I am Ilias by your Greek fan club, Our Diabolikal club. How are you?
Ville: Oh, nice mate! How are you?
ODC: I'm really nice and happy to speak with you again. Do you remember me?
Ville: Yes yes, you where there for the NYE Press Conference. You have given Mige a signed poster by the Greek Fans.
ODC: Wow, yeah! That's cool. Anyway, I hope you are able to speak with me now.
Ville: Yeah, now that's fine. We are in Amsterdam and we have loads of interviews to do you know, but it's good that we just finished.
ODC: Oh, so you have some free time for another one?
Ville: Yeah, I have plenty!
ODC: OK,so...Shall we begin?
Ville: Yeah, tell me...
ODC: OK, here is the first question.
ODC: Could you explain us the whole idea around the "Dark Light"? I mean the concept and the things that inspired you mostly on this album!
Ville : Oh basically you know, I'm happy in writing a lot of stuff. While on tour with "And Love Said No" the complilation album we released a lot of our stuff tended to be a bit too mellow and that... Then like about 3 to 2 months before we started recording the album I scrapped all the songs and I rewrote everything which is gonna turn a bit more like 'direct' rock album with this one and that's basically what we did. You know the inspiration came from books and movies and everything like from before, you know...from life in general. As a band we had a great time, a lot of fussing and fighting but then we had great time recording it too.
ODC: And the most of the ideas, came while you were on tour? For example you were trying to compose some songs while on tour, or would you wait to return back home and then work on a new song?
Ville: Bits and pieces yeah...I always write on tour as well, but probably it takes a bit of time to get back home to be able to relax and then concentrate on the ideas. So I have like a little riffs and little ideas and melodies and stuff like that, but usualy the whole bits and pieces we're always doing back at Helsinki.
ODC: Your sound in the new album is a bit different than "Love Metal" which was your previous work with Tim Palmer.What changed this time? Tell me about your cooperation with that great producer!
Ville: Well, you know...We became really good friends while doing "Love Metal" and we wanted here to produce the album. So, he found this great-great Mansion on the top of a hill at Silverlake, L.A. All the idea basically, what I had in mind and what I was saying all the time was that I wanted U2's "Achtung Baby" meeting with Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"! It would be like sophisticated, heavy and rock but still have a lot of texture.
ODC: Your Lyrics in this album are darker than your previous 3 albums. Maybe even darker than Greatest Lovesongs Vol.666, your first & hardest album! How did that happen? I mean, don't you try to be more mainstream since you make a
new start in America?
Ville: No, you know... As the name of the album "Dark Light" indicates you that it's about light and shade, it's about trying to find the balance between evil things and good things and there's couple of songs that were so melodic and so accessible that I wanted the lyrical side to be a bit more rough to creed that tension, to have a bit more than twin picks so don't feeling to it.
ODC: Ok, about your singing voice now: This time you sing higher, there are no low voices. I mean bass vocals that remind of "Gothic Rock". Why did that happen?The only voice we heared and was really really deep was in the Nightside of Eden were you speak like the Devil HIM-Self!That was cool!
(The end of that track personaly reminds me of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" movie. You know, the song while you're entering the town: "This is Halloween")
Ville: Hahaha, maybe that Devil is the Devil himself!
ODC: The end of the track reminds me of the opening song in Tim Burton's movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas".
Ville: Yeah...I remember that.
ODC: Hmmm, maybe you should send that specific song to Tim Burton to use it to his next movie as a soundtrack!
ODC: What about Butterflies, you speak about them in a couple of your new songs...
Ville: Hahaha, no! Well, it's more about sacrifices and more about that you have to burn some bridges down your past to be able to hop on to the next level! That's all about me and that's what I meant by the whole thing. And no , I've never been cruel to animals besides eating them! Hehehe.
ODC: Yeah, especially butterflies that are so nice bugs...
Ville: Yeap, they are very good with Kary! Hahaha.
ODC: As we saw in your latest promo pics, your style completely changed. Appart from your hair that now is short, you dress more "mature"! I mean your all-stars were replaced by Nike shoes and your trimmed old-looking pants with normal ones. Was that your personal choice or was it made after pressure by your company??? Generally the band's image became more "serious"!
Ville: Well, you know... We've always been wearing what wear. You know it's like...As you know yourself you tend to like different clothes every now and then. Very few people would wear the same leather trousers for 10 years in a row. It's good to go back to them but it's not by any means meaning that you don't like what you've done in the past but of course we've been able to buy nice clothes we've been all given by friends 'till now and that's basically what changes the look you know.
ODC: So, now you buy your clothes by your own?
Ville: Well, I'm at the moment wearing a jacket that was given to me by a guy who works in a company called "Tiger Sweden", the T'Shirt was bought to me by my fiance, I bought my scarf and the Vercace jeans are BAM's who gave them to me. Then I bought my own Vans shoes and SpongeBob Squarepants socks.
ODC: Oh, cool!
ODC: Everybody can have a bad day. Taken that into consideration, how do you react
after having a bad gig? For example: When you are in a festival and people opposed to your
music try to ruin your performance, or you're not that willing to sing that day
but you have to do what a man has to do?
Ville: Well, there's always low points. Everybody knows that. Wherever you work you might be ill and have like fever but know that you still have to go to the work. That's the same thing with gigs. I think we're getting better and better if we're minimalizing the opportunity of having shitty gigs but if there's a bad day it's all your fault usually! You're just gonna go with it and you're gonna listen to good music and try to make yourself feel good at that moment. I think that's the best way! And when people are firing shit at you on stage, that's fun!
Ville: You know, when people throw bottles on stage during your performace etc. That's fun!
ODC: Yeah, like the other time at Rockwave festival here in Athens, that PLACEBO fans were throwing bottles and stuff on stage while you were playing...
Ville: No, that's fine whatever you know...I'm mate with Brian Molko and we're laughing at it together.
ODC: Oh, nice. That's the best reaction.
Ville: That's the only reaction. Otherwise they are driving you mad!
ODC: Failure is inevitable for all of us. In case your international breakthrough
doesn't bear the fruits awaited would that affect you as a lyricist/composer
and the band in general?
Ville: Well, if things don't go well then we'll have to write better songs the next time. That's what we're doing anyway.With the world of music everchanging you never know what's gonna be accepted, what's gonna be big and what's gonna be the great big thing or whatever. Well,I'm happy that we're able to live in hotels and we're living off of the music we do and we are happy doing that music and we are passionate about it...If Dark Light isn't gonna have a mass success we're gonna do something better the next time around!
ODC: Are you the kind of guy who would stop creating music or you could easily
combine having a family with wife and kids while touring all over the world?
Ville: Well, we'll see what happens in the future. Well, I 'm engaged now so it could be that when I'm married and...Yeah, I like kids a lot!
ODC: Cool, so probably you should have a couple during the next years...
Ville: Yeah, I'm still fairly young so I'd love to do the kids pretty soon. It would be great to be not too old...
ODC: Would you move from Europe to the USA or anywhere in order to promote your career more sufficiently?
Ville: Yeah, sure! It doesn't really matter. I was born in Helsinki, I've got lots of my friends in Helsinki and my parents live in there but most of the year I'm anyway living out of home working with the band. So for me it doesn't.
ODC: There was a rumour (or not?) you would also release a solo album, do you plan it?
Ville: No, that's a weird rumour. I was talking with somebody from Vienna that it would be lovely to do an acoustic album once! But nothing I would be working on now or nothing I would be working in a while! Because we're entirely tied up with "Dark Light".
ODC: So, the rumor is not true...
Ville: No, it's not.
ODC: Tell me some bands that you think that they worth a lot, but unfortunately didn't do anything "big"!
Ville: You mean Scandinavian bands?
ODC: No, in general...
Vile: Well, there are so many... There's so many people who deserve better, like the Dutch band "The Gathering". And Lacuna Coil I believe that they deserve better.
Ville: Anathema, definately! We just played with them Yesterday!
ODC: That's something I wanted to ask you...How was the gig?
Ville: It was fucking awesome!That was the first time I saw them playing live and I met the guys before. The guys are sweethearts and play the best music I know.
ODC: Yeah, they really like Greece and the have come plenty of times here!It would be nice if you could come together some time...
Ville: OK, we'll try to arrange that!
ODC: The next big thing in music/a special band etc.? Tell me your prediction!
Ville: Hopefully it would be HIM! Hahaha
ODC: And except HIM that are already doing something important? Any other bands?
Ville: Well, I believe that Lacuna Coil could make something important too!
ODC: You recently had a photo-session with Christina Scabia, the singer of Lacuna Coil. How did that happen?
Ville: Oh, we've met Christina years and years ago, so we've been friends for a while.
ODC: Oh, so you are friends!
Ville: Yeah, we had a great time!
ODC: Cool! So, you might have a cooperation someday?
Ville: Maybe one day, you know...That's not a bad idea! Who knows what happens? They have 2 singers already so...
ODC: Hm, maybe you should replace their male singer! Hahaha
Ville: Hahaha, naaah! Come on!
ODC: When will you come to Greece for a Live?
Ville: Ehm, we're probably gonna come over...I thing in the Spring time next year! Because now we started the first tour that's happening in States and it's gonna continue until Christmas!So then I know that we'll do some gigs in England in January, then go to Japan and then in March we're doing stuff in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Then we're coming to Greece!
ODC: By the way, I'd like to ask you: This year in the Helldone festival that will happen in Helsinki and will last for 3 days...Will you play in all of those days or just on the NYE?
Ville: Hm, on the NYE Eve only! In the other days they'll play bands like Negative, The 69 Eyes and CHARON!
ODG: Nice, we'll be there probably like the last year also!
ODC: Your message to your Greek fans from Our Diabolikal club.
Ville: Keep on patience, we're definately gonna be back!And while you're doing that enjoy Dark Light and everything that Black Sabbath has ever done! That's my message! Hehe
ODC: Thank you very much! Have you ever visited our site!
Ville: Yeah,I have seen it! Though I'm not into internet my self. I don't even have a connection!
ODC: And...Did you liked it?
Ville: Yeah, that's really good! Thank you for that! Thanks for all the energy and all the effort!
ODC: Thanks again! So, I think that's all I had to ask you! Thank you very much for your time! Take care, I hope to see you soon(In Finland)!
Ville: No problem. Take it easy mate, greetings to everybody in Greece! Bye .
credit: Our Diabolikal Club