Interview with Ville Valo in Cologne
Hier noch mal mit Ville Valo von HIM.
- Oh my godÖ
Can you please tell us where did you grow up and in what kind of circumstances did you grow up?
- In circumstancesÖAh, oh well, I grew up in a place called Oulunkylla in Helsinki. It is suburb of Helsinki. And, my dad drove taxi for living, and my mom, she was working for the city-council, or something like that. Very basic: I went to schoolÖ
Were you a trouble kid or geek?
- AhhÖ BothÖ if you can be both. You know, I was fighting a lot, but then at the end of a day I got pretty good grades. So, I was ok. Kind of, half bad.
Hehe. And are your parents proud of you right now?
- Ohm, I havenít asked them lately, but yeah, I guess so. SoÖYou know, my daddy told me Ė do whatever you want with your life but donít, please donít, start driving taxi. So I havenít. I use them a lot.
Ok, so it was successful career, obviously.
- Well, you knowÖ
Because you didnít drive taxi.
- Theyíre pretty happy. Itís all good.
Do you still keep in contact regularly?
- Hm. Yeah, my dad works, heís got a sex-shop. And itís about ten minutesÖ
Heís got a sex-shop?
- Yeah, I used to work there too. He lives about 10 minutes drive-away from where I am, and then, my ma livesÖ theyíre still togetherÖshe works about 10 minutes awayÖ Helsinki is a tiny city, so everybodyís close, soÖ
Was inspiring to work in the sex-shop?
- Ahm, depending on level. It was sexually very inspiring. As young kid, I had the keys to the shop, I had the possibility of, you know, (???) all the merchandise. So obviously, it was good.
So, whatís your favourite sex toy?
- Theyíve been changing over the years and I havenít been in proper relationship, you know, soÖin ages. So, I havenít shoved any plastic things up anybodyís bodily cavities. So, I wouldnít know, to be honest with you. I donít know whatís goiÖ Theyí re inventing new stuff a-all the time. And I canít keep on track, I canít keep on track.
But you liked to?
- Ah, letís say, it would be, at first, it would be probably nicer just to have somebody to hold hands with. So, Iím not going to the Finnish Helsinki night-life, holding a massive (???) in my left hand and a fag in the other.
It might be kinda rude, yeah.
- AehÖ letís say, it would attract the attention of people, I donít think that would be the thing spending the rest of my life with.
So what kind of type of woman do you prefer?
- Ehm, preferably a woman. Yeah. That would be a good start. Iím not big on she-males.
Did you have any experience with it?
- With she-males?
- No, but the Thai-boys can look really really pretty, and looks can be really deceiving. Iíve heard a lot of stories form filthy tourists, going over to Thailand and waking up the next morning and wondering what the hell theyíve been up to. ButÖ no preferences. No, I donít know. As long as itís really she, and we can connect on some level, whatever it might be: sense of humor or knowledge on sex-toys, whatever. It doesnít really matter.
So, you consider yourself a romantic person?
- AaahhhhhhÖ yyyeahÖ wellÖI donít knowÖ romantic in a sense that I do care about people and I do like to spend with people. Iíve never been very into one-night stands or whatever.
So, you donít like groupies or do you?
- Well, I canít really remember, you know, thatís the problem. Usually, if you tend to party after a gig, and you end up sleeping with somebody, you usually do not remember about it the next day, if the partyís been good. And then, that also means that the amount of intoxicants youíve ingested, usually it does effect your libido, as well. So, usually the sex is not good. So, ahm, Iíve never been sober and had the opportunity of exploiting any youngsters.
- Not yet.
And, are you vain?
- I guess, everybody is vain. ehm-mm-hhmm-niam-niamÖ NoÖ I donít know. hmhm. Vain, consideringÖ Vanity. Turhamaisus in Finnish. Ehm. When needed I am vain. Iím not necessarily vain about what I wear, or I do have to have a bottle of (??) or I wonít perform. Vanity is something that you have to have which is not essential for your inner well-being. Maybe.
Ok. But is does bother you when you read bad-critics?
- Oh, well, thank god, most of them are written in German and my German is really bad, so. I canít really get them. Itís out manager translating them really badly and just saying that ďyeah, that was a fantastic reviewĒ. So, weíre good and safe.
Why are they mostly in German? Do you think that the German press doesnít like you?
- No, I just made that up. I could have said Spanish or Russian or whatever. You know, I like good journalism. I try to read a lot of magazines and a lot of books as well. And, constructive criticism is fantastic; itís great because thereís always things you can do better. But then again, if itís just a personal thing, personal vendetta, if somebodyísÖ if somebody, letís say, would hate the band why would he or she write a review on that band. Thatís being nasty, I guess, in advance. You should have somebody with a bit more open mind to, maybe, to listen to the record, or whatever. Weíve had a really good response, usually. We havenít had really really bad reviews. Besides, once in Germany, I canít remember what it was all about, but I got pretty pissed. He was somehow saying that our music really is as substantial as a cheeseburger.
Ok. That hurts. I can imagine.
- Oh, not to Gas, cause Gas was heavily into cheeseburgers at that time. But the problem was the fact that we do spend a lot of time and we do spend a lot of blood sweat and tears and fears and beers. Itís a complicated thing, since itís our passion and our hobby thatís kinda turning into way of life, and at the same time it gets the bread on the table. So, itís got a lot of good and a lot of evil in the same thing.
Talking about hobbies, which other hobbies besides music do you have?
- Well, I donít really. I donít have the time. Iím interested in gardening, but gardening is a tough job. Itís a very different art form. Thereís zillions of plants, and zillions of ways to take care of them, and I donít know anything about it. Iím fascinated about it. And thenÖ you know, I read. But thatís kinda work at the same time, Iím getting inspired. ButÖ no proper hobbies. I donít have time for it. Weíre traveling so much, so, basically Iím just traveling with a lot of books.
Mhm. Do you remember the best or your worst show so far?
- Well, theyíre probably the same. You know, the best and the worst, you know- this usually means something really extreme. Thereís couple of months Iíve been highly intoxicated stumbling around the stage. Thatís kinda bad and very good at the same time. Itís good to test your limits. But, then again, I guess the worst gigs are the ones where you donít have any response and, you know, youíre just trying your best or whatever, and it just doesnít work. Or, the whole band is just too tired after too much of traveling, or whatever, just had a fight, and nothing works. At times, stuff like that happens. But thank god not on (??) and that happens very very rarely. AndÖYou know, the best gigsÖ you know, itís likeÖ itís like doing too much ecstasy without having a hangover.
- Thatís how it feels. You feel one with a lot of people, you feel happy, and you feel giddy. And you set it on levels that just boom in your head when everything works. Itís just a fascinating thing, when youíre very concentrated on the thing as well, and it takes a lot of concentration and a bit of memory as well, and then when you see it working, itís greatÖ
It makes you happy.
- Yeah, itís likeÖitís sports, in a way. Youíre not competing against anybody else besides yourself, maybe. But still, itísÖ you have to be in a fairly good mental and physical shape, and to be able to pull it of in a good way. But, it remains to be scene. Itís stupid talking about best and, or for me itís stupid to talk about best or worst gigs, as weíre playing one tonight, and I donít how thatís gonna go.
Weíre gonna see.
- Yeah, weíre gonna go down in flames.
- Well, letís just hope for the best. But, you know, thereís a lot of gigs that the band considered to be really bad and then a lot of people who really liked it. And then, like really bad shows for the band and a lot of great reviews. And then quite the opposite. So, whoís the one to decide, at the end of the day, whatís a good gig and whatís a bad gig. You know, if it makes some people happy thatís better than none.
Transcription by La Murka