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Video interview

HIM have come out of hiding so I guess I have to too. :) Here's the translation of the video interview from Friday (which you can watch here on YLE's site).

VILLE VALO: “THERE ARE NO REGRETS”

Interviewer: HIM has been out of the public eye for a while now. Where have you been?

Ville: I have been at home with my guitar in my hand trying to come up with as good love songs as possible – if there’s still room for more of those in the world. I have been working the whole time. We were out of the limelight also because our drummer Mika “Kaasu” Karppinen ― Gas to his friends ―had problems with his arms. He’s been playing drums since he was five and he’s over 40 years old now and he got like shin splints but in his arms, which is pretty rare but I hear it happens. That delayed things. First we waited for two months and then for three and in the end we had to wait for eight months before he was okay again. Then last spring we started to make new material. Good things come to those who wait, so to speak.

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Rumba 15/2001

HIM – MUSIC FOR THE BULIMICS OF ROMANCE

Third time’s the charm. HIM’s first album made Ville Valo Finland’s only rock god with street cred. HIM’s second album turned him into a superstar in Central Europe. Now, as their third album is coming out, heaven is waiting but so is the gutter. Will the new, softer HIM sound launch Ville Valo into intergalactic orbit or drop him back on the ground?


The first time I interviewed Ville Valo: October 1997, an ersatz Irish pub, the article was for a free newspaper distributed downtown. Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 was about to be released, the breakthrough was yet to happen. Ville paused the tape recorder several times to talk about Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Kiss; he was like a little boy who had just been promised a summer job at his uncle’s candy store. “The album sounds damn good, by the way,” I told him at the urinal. “Yeah yeah, you never say that to anyone else,” Ville replied sarcastically.

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A VALO PHENOMENON IN EUROPE

[The title is once again a play on words that’s pretty impossible to translate. Just remember that ‘valo’ means light and the title will make more sense.]

There is a Valo phenomenon in the European pop skies. Our reporter Walter de Camp witnessed this freak of nature at a HIM gig in Hamburg. “And we thought this gig was going to be a secret meeting for fans”, German fan Connie said with a whine.

When on a Sunday afternoon, a week after HIM’s gigs at Tavastia, I entered the bar of Hotel Monopol on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, where the band’s press conference was about to start, I didn’t have a clear idea of how big HIM was in Germany.

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Translation: Soundi 8/2007

”Talking about fate is just laziness.”

YOU’RE ALREADY HANGING ON A CROSS, VILLE H. VALO

In early 2006, Ville Valo’s public image was still spotless. Then engagements started unraveling, flower pots started flying and apartments started changing. HIM’s sixth studio album deals with the storm that brought down the bohemian idyll and the downward spiral of certain loved ones.


The last day of June [2007] at Nosturi in Helsinki. HIM have just finished their rehearsal and are now sitting with their heads together figuring out the setlist, not only for the five upcoming gigs supporting Metallica but also for their two performances in Finland. The break nook in the back corner of their home cave, consisting of miscellaneous couches and rundown armchairs, is just like the one in every other band’s rehearsal place. There is nothing to reveal that here rehearses Finland’s internationally most successful rock band.

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Translation: Suosikki 9/2007

VILLE VS. VILLE

What new is there to write about a rock star about whom there have been enough articles published in the last ten years (in Suosikki magazine alone) to make a book series? Let’s wipe the slate clean of the past once and for all! Suosikki made Ville Valo take responsibility for stuff he has said in the past.


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Translation: Ville Valo on Arto Nyberg

Here's the translation of Ville Valo's appearance on Arto Nyberg's talk show on November 5, 2006. You can watch the interview here.

Arto Nyberg: HIM made Finnish rock history by selling half a million copies of their album Dark Light in the US and getting a gold record there. Please welcome Ville Valo.

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Interviewer: We’re still at Provinssirock. It’s Saturday. We’re here with Ville Valo from HIM. Hi.

Ville: Hi [to the camera]. Hi [to the interviewer].

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Ville Valo will welcome the New Year in the traditional way on stage with his band HIM. Before that, dear citizens preparing for Christmas, sit down and make yourself comfortable because in honor of the celebration of light, Valo has something to tell you.

Ville Valo buys himself some time. He takes a light cigarette from a pack, lights it and leisurely inhales the smoke.

In manager Seppo Vesterinen’s office on Uudenmaankatu, there are maps of the world hung up on the walls. The world is filling up with pins and it doesn’t take you long to figure out what they stand for.

HIM conquers new souls one gig at a time.

Valo exhales a cloud of smoke and returns to the question he was asked.

- What would I talk about if I was to deliver a Christmas sermon?

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Translation: City-lehti 16/2005

VILLE VALO – LIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE

HIM, with their 3.5 million records sold, are on the verge of their ultimate international breakthrough. How does it feel? We connect to Walter de Camp at restaurant Sea Horse where Ville Valo is buying rounds.


It was a Monday night a few weeks ago, and Ville Valo was giving interviews at a table in the back corner of restaurant Sea Horse. Sea Horse seems to be Ville’s favorite restaurant. On another night at the end of July, he even got photographed by a guy with a camera phone in the men’s room there. While taking a leak! The guy claimed the pictures were for personal use only.

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Translation: Suosikki October 2005

HIS MAJESTY MR. VALO

All great men have a history. And Suosikki has been fortunate enough to follow the story of this great Finnish rock singer from the very start.


(Text by Katja Ståhl)

Fall of 1996, office of BMG Records.

- What do you think, Asko Kallonen asked after playing me His Infernal Majesty for the first time. The speakers had blasted an interesting version of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

- What an awesome singer, and the version is great too, I said enthusiastically. Who are these people?

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Translation: Image 07/2007

VALO IN THE DARKNESS*

How is Ville Valo really doing? In one scale, there are 4.4 million albums sold and gigs from here to eternity, but the other one has been overturned by depression, alcoholism and panic attacks. Samuli Knuuti met Valo who was his old self and at the same time a changed man.


The map is a big one, the size of the whole wall – wall or a movie theater screen. It’s divided into three parts and little red pins cover it like a spotty rash. It’s maps exactly like this one that you could imagine seeing in the headquarters of firms radiating dignity and stable capital, in big banks or old-time movie theaters. But this is not one of those places, this is a war room.

“It’s badly out of date, especially as far as America is concerned”, manager Seppo Vesterinen says apologetically and waves his hand dismissively towards the map. The pins mark places where HIM, the band he manages, has performed. Europe is full of pins but the other continents are more deserted, partly because the pins haven’t been updated. One unconquered country is France with only two pins, for some reason.

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Photobucket
Helsinki, February 4, 2004 at 0.17 a.m.: Ville Valo is crossing Kapteeninkatu undisturbed even though the world’s biggest rock magazine has just chosen him the sexiest man in the world.

VALO AT WORK

International rock star Ville Valo sits in a bar, poses for the camera and gives witty answers to my questions. That’s his job. But there’s more to being a rock star: “The most important thing in everything is good manners”, Valo says.


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Translation: Soundi 1/2010

VILLE VALO: “A SURE WAY TO SCREW UP GOOD MUSIC IS TO IGNORE THE VISUAL STUFF”

In February [of 2010], HIM will release their seventh album. After that, the heavy but romantic band will spend at least a year on the road. But should we get worried when the band’s leader Ville Valo says he enjoys himself the most when he’s home alone with his guitar?


A white Christmas is on the way. There’s a missed call from HIM’s former keyboard player Antto Melasniemi on Ville Valo’s cell phone. We hear that Antto is an avid cross-country skier. Ville gets caught up in speculations about whether Antto might have been calling him to suggest they go cross-country skiing together in Paloheinä [the main area for cross-country skiing in Helsinki].

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Axl Meets HIM

Here's the translation of the recently surfaced Axl Meets HIM videos.

The program was very choppy putting bits of different interviews together, so hopefully you can make sense of this. I also skipped all the parts in English.



Part 1:

Axl: Tell us about your family and about what it was like growing up and starting your career as a musician?

Ville: I don’t have many memories of my childhood. My brother was born in 1983, I moved on my own when I was 17. I went to school at the Oulunkylä elementary school and junior high attending a program that emphasized music. Just normal stuff: I fought and hated Swedish. But that wasn’t the teacher’s fault. My dad drove a taxi and my mom worked for the city. She still works for the city of Helsinki. I played music, I moved out and then we formed HIM.

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Image 7/2002

Since there's nothing new for me to translate, here's another old but interesting Ville interview/article. This one's from Image magazine 7/2002.

BORN COMPLETE

If Ville Valo hadn’t existed, he would have had to be invented. But there was no need: Ville invented himself. And even though he changed Finnish rock, he himself did not change. After five years and almost two million albums sold, he’s still the same man as in his first interview, a pop creation living in his own self-furnished world. But outside the pop universe he navigates like a stranger.

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