/july 2005/

HIM Take "Goth Bon Jovi" Route

Finnish rockers HIM are set to release their fifth album "Dark Light" on September 26. The album is the fifth the band have recorded for their new label, Warner, and is described by frontman Ville Valo as sounding "like a gothed-up Bon Jovi". Speaking to rock sound he said: "Last time, on "Love Metal", we wanted it to be our Black Sabbath album. This time we're still soppy bastards, but there's a bit more experimenting. We wanted it to be like a U2 album with lots of textures. "Actually Baby" is one of my favourite albums of all time. So there's lots of ear candy, but it's pretty 80's in that there are big hooks on the choruses and they're all sing along." "Dark Light" was recorded during February and March of this year with producer Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, Ozzy Osbourne, U2) at Paramour Studios in Silverlake in California. Previous uses for the location include the filming of parts of Halloween 2 and while Ville was recording his backing vocals, a feature-length Playboy film. Ville says the location itself provided to be inspiring, but for entirely different reason. "We just wanted to get away from the pressures of everyday life, so you don't have to do the dishes or play the bills," he said. "We did end up being at (legendary rock hang out). The Rainbow every other night, but the studio itself was in residential spot, on top of a hill in a big mansion, I was still finishing a lot of the lyrics there and once the sun went down over downtown LA it allowed me to reflect. It was very peaceful and it meant we could concentrate on what we did best. So the band sound pretty relaxed on this album. It was really good to get the brothers together again, without families or girls." He explained that the album moniker follows HIM's traditions of "using contradiction in titles", but also has another, coincidental meaning. "What makes it funny is that my last name means "light" in Finnish. Then if you translate "dark" straight into Finnish it means that you're a bit crazy in the head, so I just thought, "Great! It's crazy old me again!" Because it's our fifth album we're also going to use the Rоmain numeral '"5", so it's all very autobiographical." Lyrically, themes still revolve around "girls and boys and the politics of the heart", but Ville revealed that his own love life has influenced him too. He said: "I've been handing out with the same girl for a while so it's very, very inspiring. I'm like her evil twin. It's good for the head." Since the last album both bassist Mige and Keyboard player Burton have tied the knot, although Ville says he's still only "contemplating" marriage himself, and insists that the band "are still a bunch of wankers - literally!" Reflecting on HIM's breakthrough success in the UK with 03's "Love Metal", the singer insisted they're maintaining level heads despite their increasing fame and fortune. "It doesn't change anything," he countered. "We had number ones in places like Germany and played our biggest gig there in 01 in front of 9.000 people. I think the only pressure we have put on ourselves, because it's always hard to write another album and make it exiting again. After struggling for so many years it's nice to be able to play for your own beer, but it's important to remember the reason why you're doing this is the music and not the endless partying." Ville also spoke about the reason behind that now infamous haircut, laughing: "I'm very close to my feminine side and some psychologists claim that when ladies cut their hair, it's a transformation ready for when they they're going through something really heavy in their lives. When you're working on an album you need to transform yourself mood-wise as sonically. So I've always been cutting my hair for albums, but I never thought about it until now, because people are asking." Current song titles for "Dark Light" include: "The Face Of God", "Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly", "Under The Rose", "Behind The Crimson Door", "Play Dead", "Dark Light", "Vampire Heart", "In The Nightside Of Eden" and "Drunk On Shadows".

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