Interview with Ville Valo
Ville Valo from the band HIM was laughing at many of the cards, that had arrived to the editorial staff of Suosikki during the weeks. He answered the questions giggling huskily but was also admirably straightforward. No matter if the questions were about his sexual likings, music or ways of life.
ďI was expecting something much worse....Ē
S: What were you like when you were young?
V: This is extremely difficult question to answer, you should ask my parents. I think I was pretty much the same Iím now. Only a bit more 80ís than now and more sporty. And not this tall, hah, hah, hah...I was just a regular guy, I went to school and so on. I was a little chubby.
S: In some interview you told that HIM is more a rock Ė than a metal band. Is there going to be music similar to Hybrid Children and do
you know the members of the band in question?
V: Firstly, I donít want confine us to be a metal band for the rest of our lives. Rock-fans are more broadminded than metal-fans. The guys from Hybrid Children are all good friends of mine and theyíre extremely joyful company. I like their production, but we are not going into that direction. Besides I donít think their music is rock, itís more like metallic punk.
S: Who makes the words in your songs and where does the inspiration come from?
V: Well, I have a fuc**ing short answer for this one: Me and women.
S: Now that you have been successful, has there been any of those guys who ďknock on the shoulderĒ and how can you distinguish them from
ďthe real peopleĒ?
V: Ooo, ooo, well there has been those, but you can always tell the difference between them and the genuine people. And I donít have anything against the backpatters. Finns just have this horrible habit that you canít come and babble unless youíre really smashed. Girls are braver I think, and they have the courage to talk to me after just one cider.
S: Why donít you guys answer to our fan letters?
V: Well firstly, I have seen some of these letters drifting somewhere between the recording companyís papers six months after they were sent. We donít have a fan club. But we have the net site, where we do go and answer questions. The address is by the way www.heartagram.com
S: What do you think about Cradle of Filth?
V: Iíve seen both of their two concerts in Finland and I really like their music. Two years ago in Ilosaari Ėrock festival we got drunk together and me and their drummer sang loudly until our throats hurt.
S: What make are your underwear?
V: Usually Bjorn Borg or Boss Ė theyíre good-quality and lasting. Black boxers.
S: Where do you live and how?
V: The district of people with golden teeth, that means Eira in Helsinki. Alone in a very small one-room flat, which is full of instruments and stuff.
S: Where does the family name Valo (= Light) come from?
V: From my fatherís side...I donít know. We donít have many relatives in Finland. From my motherís side my roots come from Hungary.
S: How did you get to be interested in music?
V: I saw a picture of Gene Simmons from Kiss with blood dripping from his mouth and he was spitting fire. I thought that if I start to play music my mouth too will automatically start bleeding. It hasnít yet.
S: Do you have any idols?
V: Kiss, the whole pop-production of 80ís, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Dingo and countless of others.
S: After the concert in Rovaniemi there has been suspicions that youíre a bisexual. Is this true?
S: What is ďthe one thingĒ for you in sex and what turns you off?
V: Too much booze puts out the mood. Hmm,...there isnít ďthe one thingĒ in sex. Thatís why itís so nice part of life, because thereís so many different sources of pleasure.
S: Are you a single?
S: Do you believe in eternal love?
V: I donít. I hope that there would be that kind of a chance. But if everything went always perfectly there wouldnít be HIM and these songs.
S: If Playgirl offered you a huge amount of money, would you be ready to pose naked?
V: Heh, heh, heh. Of course it depends on the sum, but I donít have that much to show anyway. I think it would just be boring and it would lower the sales of the records. So I think I wouldnít do it this time.
S: Would Mr. Valo have sex with three 17- year-old girls simultaneously?
S: Can I order you for using for one night or is your calendar full?
V: It depends on who is ordering me.
S: Do you consider yourself as a sex symbol?
V: Never in this world. Itís something that other people have made up and I donít even think that itís really flattering.
S: Could you start dating with one of your fans?
V: No, I think it would be too awkward. I could date with a person who likes our music, but a fan would be too much.
S: Do you have a favourite product in you dadís shop?
V: Mmmmm, not necessarily. I use the condoms the most I guess.
S: Where can I find you in Friday nights?
V: Where did this letter come from? From Espoo I see from the stamp. Well, what should I say...Iíll probably be home, I guess, heh, heh...
Your dream woman?
S: Have you always been this popular among women?
V: Iím still not very popular among women. I donít know whatís the problem, but young women rarely approach me. I donít consider myself as any kind of Romeo. I hope the things would be different, but I donít need any constant praising from people though...
S: When does your new record come out?
V: Early in fall 1999. If it doesnít, Iíll go and punch the people in the recording company.
S: Will there be singles before the next record?
V: Yes, the record is supposed to come out in fall of 1999 and the single will be made in late spring, in May. There should be a new piece and remixes from the songs on our first album. We should get out some kind of an EP, because I think itís wrong that we have been quiet for so long. We should publish something every once in a while.
S: Will there be different songs in the next album?
V: Itís going to still sound like HIM, but there will be new flavours.
S: Why are you leaving the metal out from the next album?
V: Metal is boring, it drives people away from it. The next will be heavy but not metal.
S: Why is HIM going to make a pop-album from itís next album?
V: Heh, heh, heh. Who said it would be a pop-album? I have said it will be a rock album and it will be heavy, which in English is ďheavyĒ.
S: What are you going to do after the release of the new album?
V: Weíre going to have concerts in Finland as long as people are interested and then weíre going to see if theyíre still interested in us abroad. Then weíre gonna babble again in the pages of ďSuosikkiĒ, if Suosikki still is interested.
S: The names and birthdays of the members of HIM?
V: Bass guitar, Mikko Henrik Julius Paananen, birthday in December. Guitar, Mikko Viljami Lindstrom birthday in August Drums, Juhana Tuomas Rantala birthday somewhere in the beginning of the year.
The best things about HIM?
V: Honest Finnish attitude. Open-minded. Irrational. Varied. Hih, hih, hih...
S: From your songs what is the most dear to you?
V: Probably the new songs at this moment. The most important from the others is ďWhen Love and Death EmbraceĒ, because it was the first song I ever made myself, that got popularity in the radio and elsewhere.
S: All the HIMís recordings in order of releasing?
V: Fall 96 EP ďSix-Hundred and Sixty-six Ways to LoveĒ, ďWhen Love and Death EmbraceĒ Ė single, An album ďGreatest Love Songs, volume 666Ē and single ďYour sweet 666Ē.
S: Why is there a hidden song on your album?
V: The point to the hidden song was that we wanted to make the duration of the record 66 minutes and 6 seconds. We had to have enough sixes, thereís nothing more into it. Bad humour, thatís all.
S: Do you believe that HIM will be Fu**ing huge band, I mean will it be successful in abroad?
V: I donít believe so, but I hope.
S: Will you be in Nummirock- or Provinssirock festival in next summer?
V: We are planning to play only in one big festival. Now weíre going to see which one is more interested in us.
S: What was in your bottle in Rantarock festival summer 1998 in Hyvinkaa?
V: Some cheap half-dry red wine.
S: When can we see your videos in Finland?
V: Iíve had the impression that theyíre already showing them in Finnish television.
S: What did you do before HIM?
V: Iíve played since I was seven. One time I was in seven bands at the same time.
S: Is it possible that we could have a CD of HIMís first products?
V: Yes, sometime. But we have so much unreleased material. The publishing depends on the recording company and when they think it would be right time for that.
S: Viva recorded your Helsinki - concert in August. Is it possible to see that in Finland?
-I doubt it, because Viva has the rights to that concert. Unless Finnish television wants to buy the rights to it, which I donít believe.
S: Your most horrible mistake in a concert?
V: I never make mistakes in a concert. Every burp in the microphone is supposed to be there. Singing badly is a mistake, but that almost never happens.
S: Do the words of our songs tell from your personal life?
S: What does the black heart on your wrist really mean?
V: Iím not going to tell that. Itís too personal. But it looks good...
S: What would you never, ever wear?
V: sweat pants, sweat shirts, jogging outfit, stocking cap, long underwear, cheap underwear.
S: Height, weight and size of shoe?
V: Height: 184cm
Shoe size: 42
Iím planning to drop my weight to 66.6 kilos!
S: What do you think about body piercing?
V: If I had a body piercing I would probably take it on my private parts at ďPrinssi AlbertĒs. But I donít necessarily like piercing on men or women. I think theyíre useless and boring.
S: Do you have natural curls?
S: What does the tattoo under your belly button mean?
V: Thereís the heartagram-symbol, which is a combination of a heart and a pentagram. Kind of a variation from the symbol, that represents the darker side of love on the cover of our CD.
S: Do you have more tattoos and where?
V: One on my right wrist, one on my left arm...one on my...whatís this called? Lower abdomen sounds a bit un-glamourish.
S: Do you love showing yourself off?
V: I like to be in publicity, but Iím not willing to run around naked. Itís nice if you get popularity from what you do, because permanence is important at this moment. It proves that we are not a falling star, but a steady band in the business of rock.
S: What do the matters of spiritual world mean to you? Do you believe in afterlife?
V: No I donít. When we die, we rot six feet under. If you stay home thinking about life after death, you easily donít do what you could do already today. Iíve met people like this and theyíre extremely boring.
S: Why is there 666 in your songs and why do you tell about death if youíre not a Satan worshipper?
V: Does only Satan has self rights to death? Love is about small deaths all the time. 666 points at loveís more carnal and fixational part
S: What do you do in your free time and what are you passions?
V: Music and everything that has something to do with it.
S: How do you relax?
V: I donít relax. Iím extremely stressed workaholic.
S: Itís hard to imagine you jogging or going to the gym to lift weights, but is that possible?
V: Itís not possible, because I donít own any sweat pants and I cannot run, because I have exertion asthma. I hate all sports and big muscles wouldnít fit in the image of this orchestra anyway.
S: What is the most beautiful thing you know?
V: Friends. Family.
S: I heard that you used to skate?
V: That was damn long ago, somewhere in the elementary school. I took part in Finnish Championships, but I was a beginner then. Later music took all my time and I havenít skated in long time.
S: Is Uncle-Ville going to die when heís 27 like Jim Morrison?
V: No, I just changed my title to entertainer, so my goal is to get a job on a ferry sailing between Helsinki and Stockholm and sing tangos.