Finnish band HIM aspires to U.S. market with new record deal
Helsingin Sanomat 7.09.2004
Contract signed with Warner Music affiliate Sire Records
Love metal band HIM from Helsinki has taken a decisive step towards conquering the vast American music markets. The band has signed a major record deal with the American label Sire Records, an affiliate of Warner Music.
The multinational Warner Music will be responsible for the worldwide distribution of the future HIM albums everywhere else except in Finland.
In their native Finland, HIM albums will continue to be released under the band's own Heartagram label.
The contract guarantees HIM a worldwide priority status, in other words, the band will be considered as one of Warner Music's major acts.
"To us the most important change is that Sire Records commit themselves to a simultaneous releasing of forthcoming HIM albums everywhere in the world", says HIM manager Seppo Vesterinen .
Other multinational labels reportedly interested in HIM included Universal, Interscope, Atlantic, BMG, Sony, EMI, Columbia, Roadrunner, and Sanctuary.
The contract with Sire Records covers the next four HIM albums, two of which are optional. Furthermore, the label has an option to release the fifth HIM album as well, provided that the U.S. record sales of the fourth album exceed three million copies.
"Of the production of the first U.S. album we have a seven-figure deal, while the contract in its entirety is worth eight figures, both in dollars and in euros", Vesterinen agrees to reveal.
"It is a major contract even on the American scale."
"Such contracts can be calculated in so many different ways", cautions HIM singer-songwriter Ville Valo .
"The advance payment goes primarily to the production of the upcoming album and related videos. We'll hardly blow the money on the Helsinki night life", Valo laughs.
Sire Records was launched in 1966 and in the 1970s the label made a conscious effort to attack the "dead corporate rock scene" with fresh New York-based underground acts such as The Ramones and Talking Heads.
In the following decade Sire reaped success by introducing one of the worlds biggest pop acts, Madonna.
The label has also provided a launch pad for other international success stories such as Blondie, The Pretenders, The Cult, and The Cure.
Last year Sire Records was revamped when its co-founder Seymour Stein returned to the helm. In addition to HIM, the label's other two proteges are the American newcomers Von Bondies and The Distillers.
This autumn HIM will tour as a headlining act both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
After the tours the band will start working on their first album under the new label. The first single can be expected late in the spring and the album should come out in about a year.
The upcoming album is likely to be produced in Los Angeles, although the producer and the studio have not yet been appointed.
sent by Ines