/june 2008/

Every musician has and had of course a privat life. Though there is often less time for it nowadays. Most musicians hum and haw in interviews if it?s about praising colleagues and their songs. But Ville Valo had the courage and took the time to present the 14 for him most important songs, which are not made by him and he enjoys listening to in his private life especially.

"Greetings, earthlings! This is Ville Hermanni Valo of the Finnish Love Metal Band HIM. You have now the pleasure to spend some wonderful minutes with me. It?s all about presenting you songs of my music-collection, which have a very special meaning to me."

1. Fade Into You: Mazzy Star
I would like to begin with a band from America named Mazzy Star, who is known unfortunately only by a few people. I discovered them by accident also, when their albums were played at a party of some friends. That was at a time, when I was pretty bored by Heavy Metal. I was searching for somthing sentimental. And there made Mazzy Star - especially their vocalist Hope Sandoval - my heart melt with their slow version of Folk Rock, that has something of a lava lamp. You have to check this out really!

2. Thrasher: Neil Young
I know, many think I?m a extremly slow, sentimental bastard, but please read a little further on and there will be also some harder stuff. But now to a musician, who was always very important to me. Namely Neil Young. I feel extremely honoured, that I?m now signed to the same label as him. And I think it?s a good reason to remember the power in his music again. F. e. with this song of Rust Never Sleeps - Thrasher. A very psychedelic song about things, I don?t understand. But I have read it is about his problems with Crosby, Stills & Nash. For me a tiny gate into a world, which is existing only in Neil Young?s mind.

3. Wolf Moon: Type O Negative
As you may already guess - Thrasher has really nothing to do with Thrash Metal. I think it?s kind of sexy - and the change from this kind of sentimentality to the one, the American band named Type O Negative is performing, aswell. This one inspired us extremely, when we began with HIM in 1984/85. At our first gig in Helsinki we covered only their stuff. And that was a short time before the album October Rust was released. On this album is also this track: Wolf Moon, of which I always thought it was about werewolfs and vampires. But I was just too young to understand the black humour of it. Because in real it is a cynical essay about menstruation and the menstrual cycle. The man out of steel, Peter Steele, and his hard as steel band: Type O Negative with the song Wolf Moon. Nothing, you should play for your children.

4. Marian: The Sisters Of Mercy
Let?s go on with a band named The Sisters of Mercy. Their vocalist Andrew Eldritch is one of my great heroes. Especially what regards the writing of songs. His were always very intellectual, full of black humour and completely different to those of many other people, who appeared 1984 with stupid ideas and ridiculous make-up. I think The Sisters Of Mercy are one of the very few bands outside of Scandinavia, who were able summon the same amount of melancholy in all their songs. Those songs often ensured that I wanted to cry myself into sleep - and if I did that than to the song Marian, which is btw half in German - and on the wonderful album, that defined almost Gothic Rock. Namely First And Last And Always.

5. Stronger: Lamb
The next track is again completely different. It?s of Lamb, a duo from England, that changed my opinion to "electronic music" basically. I have been always a big fan of Portishead, but Lamb were one of the first who had this Drum?n?Bass-Sound. That was really new and just of the rhythmic very interesting. Maybe I sound now like a boring old musician cunt, but that?s what I am, and the whole band HIM aswell. And also Lamb have terribly much melancholy in their songs.

6. Dopes To Infinity: Monster Magnet
I know, some of you are completely bored by this slow, boring and tired stuff. I don?t feel different. Because of that we?re doing now something about it by talking about Dopes To Infinity of Monster Magnet, the band rescueing my believe in rock music. Black Sabbath were those who acquired my taste for it, but Monster Magnet kept the fire burning. Because of this I?m very proud that we toured last year with them through the States. Dave Wyndorf is just god.

7. Under Ice: Kate Bush
Monster Magnet made my ears bleed, therefore now a tip, that is a little bit more sentimental - though it?s on its own as intense as Mister Dave Wyndorf and his great band of real Rock?n?Roll-insanes. Who btw are not longer drinking and taking drugs. That?s sad, but believe me: Formerly they were completely insane - like this lady aswell, who even surpasses an Iggy Pop. I mean Kate Bush. And the track named Under Ice from Hounds Of Love was my very own soundtrack for the year 2005. I listened to it every morning before I went to the studio to record our album Dark Light. That was the kind of contrast I needed to be able to work on such an average rock album.

8. Butterfly On A Wheel: The Mission
We once had a single named Wings Of A Butterfly. Though I don?t want to present now here our own music, I want to choose some, that has at least something in common. And the best song, that was ever written about butterflies, was even produced by the same guy, who also took care of our two last albums: Tim Palmer. He told us great stories about Wayne Hussey and his boys recording all these wonderful songs, which make me dance and cry aswell. The band was called the The Mission, and it?s still existing. Wayne Hussey is maybe completely insane, but very well capable to write really touching songs.

9. Precious: Depeche Mode
Butterfly On A Wheel - I always asked myself what?s the meaning of it. But it just stands for something very precious, that is extremly fragile. That?s at least what I was told. The term was for example used , when the Rolling Stones at the end of the sixties appeared before a court for abusing drugs. The English press talked back then about the "butterfly on a wheel". And this had probably induced my dearest friend Wayne Hussey to this great song. Since we?re already talking about "precious", means about precious things: I was always a big fan of Depeche Mode. Although their last albums quite dissappointed me, cause they were too calm and didn?t had the same dark, melancholic energy as the early albums Black Celebration, Violator or also Songs Of Faith And Devotion. But I was really positiv surprised, when I listened to the single. And I think it?s great, that Dave Gahan once got around it.

10. The Rain Song: Led Zeppelin
So, now I feel slowly, how the drugs begin to work. So, I have to go back to the seventies to my absolute favourite band and my absolute favourite album: Houses Of The Holy. As far as that is concerned, I had already many bitter arguments. Because many people think IV - or however it is named correct - is the most important Led Zeppelin work. Because of Stairway To Heaven and all these tracks. But there is nothing better, than listening to The Rain Song on a clear autumn day at home in Finland - when all leaves are red and I feel a slight hangover. Then I feel like being a child again.

11. L.O.V.E. Machine: W.A.S.P.
As you may know rockmusic is very good to make out and so on. That?s going particularly for the Rain Song and its great middle part, which is ensuring that my heart is not only supplying my brain with blood but also some other parts of the body. But the best song I can think of, if it?s about to spend a great evening with a glass of wine and someone you really love, is the next one. It?s just perfect, if you want to start properly, to screw yourself unconscious and to make babies. We Are Satan?s People - W.A.S.P. One of the first bands I could feel really enthusiastic about, the chilly, brutal power of L.O.V.E Machine. This one has not been surpassed by anyone yet.

12. Stop!: Jane?s Addiction
Now it?s time for a short break. Cause the ladies like you even more, if it?s lasting sometimes a little longer. And three and a half minute are just not enough - for any woman. A fantastic way just to hold on a moment is to concentrate on one of the greatest formations of alternative rock - and their greatest moment. On Jane?s Addiction and Ritual De Lo Habitual, their third and sadly last album. Perry Farrell, the vocalist, was for me always a key figure. An icon showing me, that you don?t have to be the greatest singer on earth - but you can change it lasting with even enough willpower. And may it be only in your mind. But stop: I made the big mistake to claim that Ritual De Lo Habitual was their last album ever. It was of course not, but they made another CD named Strays. Which I don?t see as a product of the band though, but as a project of ageing rockers, who want to make some money again. I don?t want to offend someone. Especially not the guitar player, whose solo things I admire much.

13. Crazy Train: Ozzy Osbourne
Speaking of icons: Here?s another one. A guy, whom all of you have seen once on TV and asked theirselves, if his heart will beat until the next morning. Many people set even bets on it. Because he is so weak, he?s stammering, a little crazy and one can hardly understand what he is talking, if no subtitles are dubbed in. Here is my greatest idol, my god, whom I met a few months ago in Los Angeles. I nearly peed into my pants. Yes, I?m talking about Ozzy Osbourne -and his solo work. I was always a big admirer of Black Sabbath, of which know all HIM-fans. And I owe him eternal thankfulness - because: my complete existence is based on Ozzy. But just not on the TV-series. You should listen to the albums and not believe everything that is told on TV. It?s best to start with this song: Crazy Train.

14. Live To Tell: Madonna
And now the last track, that I listen to usually after our gigs, trying to get some sleep despite the whole adrenalin: The sweetest ballad of all times, at least for me - Live To Tell by Madonna. In the eighties, as I still went to school, I had fallen deeply in love with a girl. I played bass in a band and always tried to flirt with her. But she never noticed me. But then, a wonderful Friday evening, I had the chance to dance the very last song with her at our school disco. That was Live To Tell. A very important moment to me. And I guess, many of you had similar experiences. And now you can share yours with me.

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