Radio Ultra. Interview with Ville Valo 15.12.2001
V- Ville, L- Leading (Michael Kozirev) C- listener who's called to the studio.
L: Good afternoon everybody, my name is Michael Kozirev, you are listening to the radio station Ultra. And I have to say that today we have the special event because Ville Valo surrounded by the crowd of fans, flashes of cameras, and dressed as usual with luxurious neglect has come to our studio!
L: Welcome! Hello, Ville!
V: Hello, sweetheart.
L: We'll be on the air for an hour…
V: Oh my God! :)
L: We'll play several very rare versions of HIM, and I'll ask you to judge the questions of our listeners.
V: As always again. I've got used to this already.
L: I repeat that the author of the best question will get two tickets to the concert and CD. Everything will be signed by Ville Valo. We're starting our conversation. Don't pay attention to the flashes of camera. Let's begin!
L: So, what has happened for the past six months since you last visit in our country in June.
V: Well, basically we were just touring, touring, touring, touring... We have finished Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. It was realized in Europe. We were touring. That's all about it basically. I can't remember when I for the last time slept in my own bed in Helsinki.
L: How many days have you spent back home for the past half a year?
V: A few days, about 10-11… I have not been counting.
L: The tour basically around the Europe?
V: Yeah, this time yes, because in England for example the album will be out in February and we'll give a couple of gigs there. Still everything is open with going to Japan and America. We'll see.
L: What was the reason of the last HIM stop before coming to Russia?
V: We were for the first time in Croatia in Zagreb, from there we went to Czechoslovakia to Prague and from there to Warsaw in Poland. And from Warsaw we flew here last night.
L: Are you despair to get back to Sent Petersburg and correct the absence of the show happened last June. It was not your fault we know.
V: Hm… we're not despair but it would be nice to be able to do the show this time, because we were worried about that situation.
L: What are the strongest memories and surprises that stayed of your last visiting Russia in June?
V: Hm… visiting this beautiful radio station. It was different location that time but I remember it! :))
L: Oh, It's very politically correct answer. :)
V: (laughing) Yeah and we have a couple of nice dinners and the local people. Then what else… The train ride from Saint Petersburg to Moscow was beautiful. I like old Russian trains very much. It was excellent caviar… and vodka.
L: Any romantically datings that you remember from last tour to Russia. Any beautiful girls, names or friendship that you have met?
V: No, we really don't have any time to meet people so much. And girls hanging up in the hotel are pretty, wild pretty and aggressive. There's no way to conversation with them. They are trying to tear our clothes.
L: I see the part of your close is covered with plastic type, probably there is a hole witch was torn out by fans, right?
V: No, no, no. It's not fans. It's just a new way of expressing myself. I'm trying to look like Charlie Chaplin, just the moustache has not grown yet! ;)))))
L: Let's start from telephone calls. Hi! You're in the air, ask your question.
C: Hi Ville! I am not aggressive. I'm very kind and gentle.
V: Wow, for change.
C: I'm very glad to see you in our country again. I have some question for you. It's strange question.
V: We used to.
C: What was the most stupid thing you've got for New Year? The strangest gift.
V: Usually me, my friends and my family as we grown up we don't give material presents. We just trying to make food and enjoy the company of people we love. I completely wasted last Christmas. It was strange. Also I have friends with families in different countries, they can't go there, and we're visiting some club, for example.
L: I can only add that very strange and perfect present was brought to our studio. HIM fan has brought valenki (Russian historical national warm boots. - note by SoulInLove) as a present for Mige. It will be his birthday in four days - 19th of December. They are amazing! Written with HIM symbols, very large it's really masterpiece! There is something inside, but we didn't open it, because Ville promised to pass it to Mige. What do you think about this present?
V: Oh! It's really for Mige, they are too big for me! They are really cool. Kids in Finland wore such before. We were skating on them from snow hills in Helsinki! How are they named in Russia?
V: Oh, huoppikat in Finnish because of material is called huoppa.
L: Well, now we know that little Ville Valo wore huoppikat!!!
Ville is laughing.
L: It' s really progress!!! :)) We'll be back after the song.
---------- sounds Right Here In My Arms (concert version) ----------
L: What is your reaction to this song?
V: It was pretty funny to listen to. Now we have another reason to rehearse more. We've played terrible! (laughing)
L: No, but I thing singing was absolutely fantastic! Particularly the final!
V: Oh yes! I sounded like a pig going to slaughter! :))) Vee-ee!!!
L: Music plan. What's going on with HIM around the Europe? What're your best hits in Europe, people like better? What are the highlights of concerts?
V: Basically we try to make concerts pretty short, to play good songs. In some countries people still have not got Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. It was out in different time in different countries. "Pretending" seems to go down well, we play "Heartache Every Moment" and "Please Don't Let It Go" too. That's been excellent everywhere, or the audience is just… pretending. ;)
L: I do think that you are in the position when with the each step band gets more and more big songs and you are not required to sing the old songs you've been tired of, because you have new hits and the audience responds to it. Is that true?
V: That's cool that we have new material, which people like but of course we still play the old things because we are not tired of them, we've been changing some arrangements to make them more interesting for people, more interesting for us to perform, and there is people who like the first album the best, so we still playing songs like "It's All Tears (Drown In This Love)".
L: HIM life and HIM on CD. Big difference or small difference?
V: Gargantuan difference! It's more about mathematic in studio, you can create massive sound which you can't do in live. We try to fill the lack of production with the adrenalin energy. This is the thing why I like Black Sabbath so much? They are… hm… more role-limited.
L: Have you listened to the new Ozzy album?
V: I've got it, yeah… but I don't like it so much. I was hoping that would have done common album with Black Sabbath, but as far as I heard, they won't do it. I'm very upset because I still think this people have enough energy and talent to make another great album and to wipe all that the new metal action bands.
L: To show who is the master in the house :)
A question about video "Pretending". We argued about the technology's been used, can you will put some light to How it on how has it been filmed?
V: There's no digital effect at all. It was done by us been on the rack we called it the rocking-chair and people moved the rocking-chair. We were fasten, so we didn't fall down. It was camera on the rack also, two cameras in the back and everything moved. It was very simple. It was in London. The director is very great and he doesn't like digital effects. His name is Kevin Godli. He was doing videos…. for example "Every Breath You Take" for Police at the 80-s and "The Owner of the Lonely Hearts" for Yes and a lot of video stuff for U2. He's really cool guy. Truly professional.
L: Let's go back to the listeners and take a couple of telephone calls.
C: You are in Moscow at the second time. Do you believe to come back is a bad symbol? In what signs do you believe?
Ville' starting to laugh. The leading is trying to explain Russian proverb (It's no good to come back to the place you've been before. - note by SoulInLove)
V: It's bull shit :)
L: He is asking about your attitude.
V: It's cool thing to be able to come back here. Because in the first time when we came to Russia we were astonished by the amount of people who were on the gig. We always come back. It never has been bad for us.
L: The next call.
C: Do you believe in God, angels and demons? May be you had to do with something extraordinary like poltergeist.
V: Actually when I was kid I loved horrible stuff, I wanted to see a ghost, to have super national experience but unfortunately it's never happened. Finland is not Religious County, I have not been baptize myself, I'm true Scandinavian pagan. I do not believe. For me God is a character from bad 50-s movies. It's my view on the matter.
L: What about trolls and elves?
V: Hm… Well, It's a hard question. I've been reading The Lord Of The Rings…
L: Preparing yourself for the movie?
V: I have not the time before or the interest before it. I wanna see the movie, and I wanna know the end before I'll see. There are so many trolls and elves that I start believing that! :) But one thing probably I believe in Santa Claus. Do you have Santa Clause in Russia? Or it's a bit difference?
L: No, It's almost the same but it's called Ded Moroz - Grandfather Frost.
V: Yeah, Grandfather Frost. That's a cool thing! You have Grandfather Frost and we have Santa Claus. They must be brothers or something, because Santa comes from Finland, Lapland. He's from Korvatunture - it's a big mountain.
L: Many people in Russia talk that Grandfather Frost is a real Santa and he has come somewhere from Siberia.
V: Come on! They can be brothers! What's the problem? :)
Everybody is laughing.
L: We'll be back after the song.
------ sounds "It's All Tears (Drown In This Love)" (acoustic version) -------
L: Any comments about this song? I have to explain that during the pause we have been in the concert hall of our studio and Ville explained in what condition they usually play acoustic. Right?
V: Yeah. It's actually a really old version we did it when our first album in 1997 was realized in Finland. It's pretty funny if you'll listen to it very loud, you can hear me and Mige. We were in the same cloth. You can hear statics connect to my cloth. I was bursting of laugh all the time. It was really funny. It's interesting to make acoustic versions differ from album versions, not just unplugging guitars and playing acoustic. We're doing something extra.
L: What instruments has you been using for different acoustic versions? Anything interesting?
V: No, not really. Mige was playing the acoustic bas (double-bass), and I've been playing the acoustic Guitar. I have a very beautiful Swedish guitar of the year 64. We have just been using retro… to make sound more like original Wicked Game to make sense of Elvis.
L: Any instruments that you keep in home, do you have any rare peaces?
V: I can't remember… I've given something. I have 70-s organs. And that Levin I've talking about. That's mine. We've been using in acoustic version. It's 64. Levin is a Swedish company. They are not existing anymore, but they made great orchestra guitars. I've just cope myself one really beautiful 6 strains. Gibson's guitar. I call it Rambo from the Silvester Stalone film. A couple of synthesizes and samplers.
L: Well, let's listen the telephone call.
C: I want to ask during what historical events do you want to be. And what historical person do you want to meet.
V: It would be really nice to present at the time when the Jesus rose from the dead. It'd be cool. To prove that was right or not. He is a first rock star in some way it would be cool to meet him!
L: Other telephone call.
C: What do you think and what do you feel when you write your songs? And where do you get the inspiration?
V: From live in general. So many interesting things are happening. I'm just 25, pretty young. There are a lot of things to learn about life. And the main topic is boys and girls and everything what's between.
L: Now we'll listen another rare acoustic HIM song
------ sounds "In Joy And Sorrow" (acoustic version) -------
L: I wanna ask you a strange question. What's in your pockets?
V: Oh. Let me check… Chewing gum, napkin with Mary Magdalene, I can wipe my nose with Mary Magdalene, then I've got my wallet and passport and that's all.
L: Very frank answer. Particularly about Magdalene.
V: They are pretty cool. Our guitar player has the same sort of… because he's noising all the time :). But they have the shape and look like a dollar. That's cool, he can wipe his nose with American dollar :).
L: O.k. The last couple of calls.
C: I want to congratulate you with your last Birthday. I wanna know, do you have the place in the Earth where you feel yourself better? And do you think that you are beautiful?
V: Probably countryside of Finland. I wanna buy the cottage near lake or something like that. That's what I'm saving for.
L: What area of countryside in Finland?
V: Basically wherever. It's all good there.
L: On the coast?
V: No, on the soil. There are so many beautiful places there. Even in Lapland. There is cool atmosphere and the air there is so fresh. And I don't consider myself beautiful.
L: To add to your countryside feeling. How do you communicate with people who used to know you before becoming rock-star, how you've been treated in your hometown? Can you walk down the street easily now?
V: Basically we still don't have the sort of paparazzi in rock-star culture. People in Finland basically don't respect conversation so much. Because they are all… and junk users, or they used to be back in the days. They are like plumbers. It's basically easy to be pretty calm there. Helsinki is a small city anyway. You can easy breathe.
L: The last telephone call.
C: I have two question. The first: I have read in one magazine, that Ville's done the new tattoo. Is it true and what does it mean?
V: Actually I've got two new tattoos. One is the sign of the flame from the cover of our new album. And the other one is the character called Cosmic Pope, he's also in the cover of it. I've made a deal with myself that whenever we're making album, I'm just gonna take a tattoo, some of it's signs. Basically after five albums I'll be tattooed everywhere.
L: Good explaining! It was our last call. But we've prepared a little surprise to you. Please, listen this track in Finnish. We wanna now your reaction.
------ sounds a little part of tribute to Tuomari Nurmio - "Valo Yossa" -----
V: Hm… This guy, called Tuomari Nurmio. In Finland he is really well known by being great lyricists of all time. And this is one of his poems. Finnish artists made a tribute album for him. This tune, which my daddy listened to a lot when I was kid. It's first special for him so basically I've made this song because I wanted to tribute Tuomari Nurmio and then again I want to say a big thank you to my daddy so it to be a Christmas present.
L: What is this about?
V: Actually it's about the night time in Helsinki. Mines passed out in the snow, taxi is driving around. It's very hard in a couple words to explain it. Because it's about all life. It's about being philosophical with ordinary life things. Simple and great at the same time.
L: Yes it's very tender piece.
V: It's very difficult to translate the lyrics. I would if I could. There's used the 50s Helsinki slang. which was used by people. Words are very important there. Words and slang.
L: Now I will offer you seven questions that we've already answered. Try to pick out one you liked the most. This person will get two tickets and the album from you and your autograph.
V: Hm… I think that the third one about supernational sort of things. There when we were able talk about Santa Claus and Grandfather Frost. That's a cool thing, yeah :).
L: Well, we've chosen the winner. In the end I wanna thank everybody who helped us. And I would like to thank the band, cause it's really special thing that you've visited us for the second time. And I now that for many fans of HIM in this country it's an important and special thing.
V: It was pleasure for us too to be back. Even of the Russian sayings :)
L: I wish you all the luck in Saint Petersburg finally.
V: Yeah. We hope to the best too.
L: And I hope that tonight show will be special and you'll enjoy it as well.
V: (sighing) It's gonna be, it's gonna be!
L: And for the farewell other exclusive - well-known song Rebel Yell (Ville is shouting: "WOW!") by HIM. Thank you to everybody, BYE!
Translated by Soul in Love