HIM - The Rasmus - Negative
Ville: Today is our first free night, because we’ve got a day off tomorrow. This night is going to be our connection’s night, the night in which we’ll all become blood-brothers (Lauri & Jonne wince slightly) – well, at least brothers. We’ll got to a gay bar and drink Kolsch [A/N: beer from Cologne]. On a short tour there can be high times, but for HIM the tour won’t be over before October. To play professional for such a long time and do a good show one can’t get wasted every night, no one could deal with that. And to play fucked up shows isn’t a good idea either because the crowd might claim their money back.
But that never happened, did it?
Ville (raising his eyebrows): Of course that happened, many times actually. We fucked up everything. Partying on tour isn’t worth risking it all. I mean, the reason why we tour is to play music and not to drink, take drugs and hang around with groupies.
HIM, The Rasmus and Negative – that’s quite a Womanizer Setup, some kind of gothic Chippendales...
Ville: Hm, you think so? We’re no womanisers, we just want to give the fans something, not use them. We want to give them the opportunity to listen to good Rock n Roll, that’s not womanising to me.
Well, let’s say heartbreaker setup...
Ville: That’s different. Well, hopefully we don’t break hearts but repair them.
Jonne: Exactly, we want to give hope, not break hearts, that’s boring anyway.
Ville: Most Chippendales are gay, we’re not.
Were there any running gags ahead of the show or bets who’ll get the loudest applause, or the most chicks?
Ville: Nah, we’re just happy that everything went so well. It takes some time until the crew can handle everything properly, a certain kind of tranquillity and routine sets in and one’s getting used to touring again. It’s like driving a bike.
Lauri (trying to say something as well): Everybody likes to be number one, but...
Ville (taking over mercilessly): We’re all number ones in different categories: The Rasmus are able to get the crowd moving, we let blood stir – especially the blood of people that wear black lipstick – and Jonne makes everybody shake their balls.
Jonne: We came to seduce the other’s public.
Ville: Yes, and up to the present day you’re doing a good job at it. Concerning the girls: We don’t like girls backstage, for several reasons.
Lauri: It’s always the crew that gets the girls anyway. Until we’re ready, they’re all gone again.
There’re a couple catchphrases in your lyrics: Love, Death, Darkness and Shadows. What would you sing if you’d have to leave these words out?
Ville (after thinking for a long time): We’d sing about the same things, without using these particular words. We’ve got this drinking game: You put on a HIM record and drink every time “Love”, “Death” or “Baby” come up. We used to do something similar back in the day when we were watching “Conan the barbarian”. Everytime Arnold Schwarzenegger killed an enemy, we drank a shot of vodka. I think I never made it longer than 10 minutes. It’s true, it was some kind of Conan Club... we were wearing Kilts and knives.
Lauri: Those things are just fascinating us, that’s why we write about it.
Jonne (sighing): For me, writing lyrics is like writing a diary. Maybe I’m just that depressed – I’m depressed quite a lot, we all are.
What’s characteristic for a finnish man?
Jonne (first): Somehow all finnish men have this kind of shielding armor around them. It’s hard to crack it open, but once you’ve made it you’ll find something special behind it, something long-lasting and sincere.
Ville (is trying to say something again): They’ve got the worst stings in the world.
Lauri: And often problems, to show their feelings. I think that’s the reason they drink so much.
Ville: Yeah, that’s the reason for us to make music.
Are finnish women more shy than germans?
Ville: Nah, rather the opposite, they’re very direct and impetuous, especially in the north: They pull your pants down – they really rock and make you blush! I once met a couple from that region. We were in the middle of drinking something when the girl started complaining about her boyfriend. She said she had taken off all her clothes but he just kept on watching football, even when she stood in front of the TV, masturbating. He just drank his beet. Hey, and she told me that without even knowing me a bit, it was more or less the opener of the conversation. I sat there like: Erm, well, that’s nice to know...
A romantic moment: How do you propose to your bride-to-be?
Ville: To be honest, I can’t even remember how that went down. But romanticism is everywhere, it surrounds us. Even going to the toilet can be romantic, it just depends on how you look at it. I think romanticism has nothing to do with candles and red roses, that’s just an oldfashioned imagination. If you look at the world through pink glasses, then you’re close to the truth I live.
Lauri: I think I’d rather try it the oldfashioned way. But I never seriously thought about it. It such an important, big decision that I will think about it for a long time in depth. But it’s certainly something I’d make private and honestly [A/N: ??? I found honestly as a translation for ehrenvoll, which means full of honour.]
Jonne: Hm, I’d say: a skullbath. That’s something Sir Christus invented and our way of having a romantic night, but you need a lot of alcohol and usually no girls.
Ville, you once said that Finland was more a spiritually coined word than a political one for you?
Ville: Hm, pretty much none of those. That’s another reason why we mostly sing about relationships. The political landscape of Finland is really boring, and so is the religious one. Only the pride in the veterans of the winter war connect us, so we’re here to retaliate.
Lauri: I’m proud of the finnish music, and proud of the finnish people, proud of how sincere and honest they are. Finns are straightforward and don’t make many words. There’s no such thing as smalltalk in Finland, we talk in short sentences. That makes communication easy; all the rubbish is being left out and that leads to less misunderstanding.
Jonne: There’re a lot of similarities between Germans and Finns and maybe that’s the reason why finnish music is being liked so much over here.
Ville: The finnish population is still looking for it’s identity and while the older people try to find it in politics and memories of the war, we found music. Music is an universal issue/business, but our goal is to mix in the ‘special finnish thing’ like a certain spice.
It’s weird that this finnish evolution came more or less over night...
Ville: Yeah, we had this secret alliance. All finnish bands just rehearsed, rehearsed and rehearsed and we all agreed not to release any albums before the year 2000. That was the idea behind it and I have to say, it worked out well.
Lauri (hoarse): Strategy! I don’t think that it was just for HIM’s success that so many finnish bands have made it elsewhere in the world. Even when the door is being opened a bit, you still have to be good, strong, emotional and believable to survive out there. It’s not enough to be from Finland.
Ville, what happened in your neighbourhood?
Ville: I can’t talk about it, for legal reasons. It includes violence and brutality, also on the police’s side. [A/N of Sonic Seducer: blabla you know the story ... they also say Ville wants to buy an own, single house now.]
Lauri: I’ve been arrested a few times when I was younger, but only because of a few graffitis, never anything serious.
Jonne: I have been arrested when I was 14 or 15 years old, for urinating on a church’s wall. And I threw a TV out of the hotel room’s window. [A/N of Sonic Seducer: His parents got to know about that by reading the newspaper.]
Ville: Our guitarist also tried that once, but the window was too small. Instead, he started throwing vodka bottles from the minibar at the old ladies passing by, but that didn’t work out either. Right after that he passed out.
Lauri: The TVs nowadays are getting bigger and heavier anyway, especially those plasma monitors. We’re not the strong kind of guys after all...