November, 2011

Exclusive Interview: HIMs Ville Valo on Being Voted the Hottest Dude in Hard Rock and Metal.

On October 21, Revolver posted a readers poll right here on our website,, asking you to vote for who is the single Hottest Dude in Hard Rock or Metal, inspired by fan requests for more coverage of Hot Dudes to complement our annual Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock issue. The response blew our minds: Over 100 musician names were written onto the ballot by the fans (on top of the 16 we had nominated to kick things off), and more than 400,000 votes have been cast. Perhaps most impressive, though, some 150,000 of those votes went to Ville Valo, the frontman of Finnish love metal outfit HIM. Valo and his band have been largely radio silent for the last year, except for news that HIM had parted with record label, Sire/Warner, in March, and then, in September, that they were working on the follow-up to their last record, 2010s Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice. Considering his big win, however, we decided that we had to track Valo down and drag him, at least temporarily, out of his fortress of solitude for a comment. And fortunately for us, the always-charming musician didnt put up too much resistance.

REVOLVER: So youve won our Hottest Dude in Hard Rock and Metal readers poll by an astounding margin
VILLE VALO: Does this mean I could be the cause for the arctic melting away? [Laughs] Well, you know, we havent been touring. So I think in this day of oversaturation, through the internet and all that, were able to maintain a bit of the mythical old-school rock-and-roll aspect, because were so very far away.

But weve had some problems with Gas [Lipstick, HIMs drummer]. Gas has had some medical problems. Hes got nerve damage, they found out. A condition similar to shin splints, but in his arms, both of his arms. It came to light about three months ago. We havent been able to do anything since that.

You never know, us, lonely fellows, you know, touring in the lonely tour buses It might be that its not just music related. Our wrists are fucked. Its been a tad confusing but its not negative all around. Weve had good sit-downs. We sat down, like, in the wee hours of the morning [a few nights ago] just to discuss what were gonna do, and, because it seems that the first time hes able to really give it a go is in December, weve just got to wait.

But basically what happened to Gas arm is, I was saying, I need to be the hottest! and he said Sure, Ill try my best. And he gave me a call that Ive got some nerve damage because of your hotness. So thats what happened, I guess.

REVOLVER: It seems that to many people you are an exotic creature.
VILLE VALO: Yeah, as in dangerous species. People are hunting us down, even here. Thats the reason why I live in a tower. Shotguns go off in the middle of the night and silver pieces fly about. Gotta be careful here. [Laughs] But Im still a big believer in all that stuff. Theres ways of doing it. Obviously youve gotta do what you love. Youve gotta do it as well as you can. And that dictates how its gonna be, how its gonna look, that sort of thing. You know, if youre talking about the temperature of a rockerlevel of heatyou know, I think that its incredibly hot, this person, like, Robb Flynnnot sexuallybut Robb Flynn from Machine Head, hes likehes just going for it. And hes just doing what he does and hes on level with fans when hes playing. Hes got a really, really cool vibe. And then, if youre comparing penis sizes, you should always be looking somewhere else besides Scandinavia, you know. The cold winters dontyou know, its one of those things. But then thats when it comes really handy to mix up inches and centimeters. Thats how we won the war. [Laughs] Im getting hysterical here.

REVOLVER: Any beauty regimens that have kept you on the hot list over the years?
VILLE VALO: [Laughs] Oh lord, you get desperate there. Im sorry if Im not really informative enough. Well, you know, reading about Jack the Rippers knife, maybe that could be a good one to do some shaving with later on. But I think a good beauty tip is to think of good thoughts every day. It starts from within. Not necessarily positivity, but a bit of, kind of, how would I put it? Acceptance and understanding, if possible at all. If not understanding, then discussing and bringing forth what it is youre not understanding and trying to figure it out. Because if you let those continuous loops of thoughts revolve around your head, that will make you old, that will make you ugly as well, that will wear you out, from within. We know how it can be. Everybody has went through that stuff. But as opposed to saying some acne whatever gel is better than the other, Im saying that it all starts from within.

REVOLVER: Is it embarrassing to be asked about this kind of stuff?
VILLE VALO: Embarrassing, well, you knowembarrassment factors very, very You cant take it out, you cant take it out from man or the industry or what we are. I think its fun, and I think its really fun since I am this odd descendent of some random Berserker Vikings here in the middle of behind Gods back somewhere next to Russia, in the utter darkness, strumming an acoustic and singing about forlorn love and pretending to be Baudelaire or whatever. Its just I think all those things in context just makes it hilarious. So Im really happy to be a part of the whole game or the whole rock-and-roll circus. Im really honored that, you know, by all the goods and the bads, Ive learnt a lot and, you know, met a lot of beautiful people around the world and learnt these tips of getting rid of the inner acne.

Interview by Dan Epstein

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