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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).


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.

Interviewer: You have been together as a band for twenty years now. What do you remember from the very beginning?

Ville: The same enthusiasm we have now. In the very beginning when me and Mige, our bass player, played in his mother’s basement in Tuusula, our wish was that we could play a gig. And then when things progressed a little with the band our wish was that we could play a gig outside of Helsinki, or play a second gig. Little by little. Appetite comes with eating, as they say. I have a lot of nostalgia but at the same time a lot of things haven’t changed. We still have the same mischievous glint in our eyes. I assume that that’s really important, that we are not totally bored yet.

Interviewer: But has something changed?

Ville: Of course a lot of things have changed. But you have to remember that when you talk about twenty years, I’m 35 now so I was about 15 back then. So of course it sometimes feels weird that because I have grown up with the band, I have gone through puberty, pre-puberty, first girlfriends, losing my virginity, stuff that’s pretty personal and pretty big and everything has happened parallel to the music. I think that’s really unique and wonderful and at the same time a little scary. It’s hard to keep these things separate. Of course a lot has happened. I started playing music when I was like seven: playing the recorder at the Oulunkylä elementary school. It has been a long road.

Interviewer: So what do you remember best about these twenty years?

Ville: Um. What I remember best? Twenty years is such a long time… Girls, boys, friends, screw-ups, not screw-ups i.e. successes. It’s a combination. A tragicomedy. It can be that things are going great with the band and the albums are high on the charts and stuff but things at home are really bad. Everything doesn’t happen like in the movies. Well, it depends on the movie of course. Let’s say that there aren’t a lot of regrets and I think that’s what counts.

Interviewer: What’s HIM’s biggest achievement so far?

Ville: Personally I think our band’s biggest achievement is that my dad doesn’t have to help me with the rent anymore. That has been huge. And that I’ve gotten to spend time in some weird bus in the middle of the desert in like Arizona, that’s amazing. I don’t think there’s one thing that would be the biggest or the smallest. There's a big mess of everything. Good and bad.

Interviewer: How has the music business changed in these twenty years?

Ville: Thank god we are not businessmen so we don’t know much about the music business even though we do know about making music. Let’s say that we had the pleasure and honor of recording our first album with Hiili Hiilesmaa analogically on tape because all this computer stuff didn’t exist yet. So we have seen the technological advances when it comes to making music and then through iTunes this whole mp3 or AAC or whatever show. It’s interesting but it doesn’t change the fact that when your heart is bleeding, the melody isn’t affected whatever the format is.

Interviewer: So what now then?

Ville: Our next album, Tears on Tape, will hopefully come out around February, March or April. Right now there are leading vocals, backing vocals, some synths and drums and acoustic guitars still to be done on six tracks and then we are finished. Then we are going to London at the end of November to mix it. Hiili Hiilesmaa produces this album and Tim Palmer, who we have worked with before, will mix it and we decided to do it in London because that way we get a change of scenery and it’s easier to see the forest from the trees and we get to stay in more expensive hotels. We’ll go there and then hopefully like December 12 we’re going to be done. Then we just wait and hope that we find a cooperation partner or a record company that would have enough faith in us to go through the trouble of making people across the world understand that there’s also good music coming out of Finland.

Interviewer: What kind of music can we expect?

Ville: Toivo Kärki, Kari Tapio and Tapio Rautavaara meet Andy McCoy. That’s our goal. It’s boastful and hearty and smells like sweat. But it still has depth and the melancholy that we Finns can appreciate. Kind of like taking the extremes of what we have done so far even farther away from each other. The heavy stuff is even heavier and the beautiful stuff is even more beautiful and when you combine them you get this David Lynch-like effect. It becomes a little dream-like and you don’t really know where you are because you’re in pain but at the same time someone’s touching you and it feels so good.

Interviewer: So is the public still interested in HIM?

Vile: What’s more important is that we are still interested in HIM. Whether we can still be interesting to the public as well… I suspected that when the tickets for our four Helldone gigs at Tavastia at the end of the year – it’s this tradition that we had to take a break from because of Gas’s problems – sold out so fast, it was because Seppo Vesterinen, our dear manager, had used up all his cash to buy the tickets so that we wouldn’t feel bad. But I do think that there are still some people who like what we do and we have to remember that we just have to make better music, that’s the only way. [shrugs] That’s all we can do.

Interviewer: Do you still have goals as far as HIM is concerned?

Ville: As far as HIM is concerned, that deep, nonsexual artistic fulfillment is the bullseye. We get closer to it all the time but then you realize that you can also bring in the handcuffs. So there’s so much variation, meaning that it’s an endless road. If you consider a writer or a painter – and it doesn’t even have to be art – you always learn more by doing and we have always had enough motivation to go further and discover some new tricks. If someone doesn’t think they’re that new, well that’s just too bad. All we can do is believe in ourselves and listen to our moms and dads.

Please don't copy-paste and post this translation anywhere without my permission. If you think others would like to read it, just post a link to this page. Thank you.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D

'The heavy stuff is even heavier and the beautiful stuff is even more beautiful and when you combine them you get this David Lynch-like effect.' - This line in particular made me extremely happy.
Oct. 28th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you Eeva once again! You ended the frustration of trying to figure it out by watching him and listening very carefully to the things you can understand! I love the 'whatever' in the middle of a sentence! Talk about swapping languages!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 28th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
thank you so much!!! <3
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
awesome translation. thank you so much for doing this and sharing! you ROCK! =)
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
thank you so much. :)
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
I can't thank you enough for translating this. You are a Saint! Thank you again, it was a great read. :) \m/
Oct. 28th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this brilliant translation ,it was fascinating !!

Much love from Northern Ireland xx
Oct. 29th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
thanks for the translation! my favorite line from this is
"It becomes a little dream-like and you don’t really know where you are because you’re in pain but at the same time someone’s touching you and it feels so good. "
god i love that man!
Oct. 29th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
"it was because Seppo Vesterinen, our dear manager, had used up all his cash to buy the tickets so that we wouldn’t feel bad."

Thanks for the translation!
Oct. 29th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you once again for translating. Wonderful interview.
Oct. 29th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this :)It's like listening to his voice pronouncing those words !!!
Interesting and funny as ever.
" It becomes a little dream-like and you don’t really know where you are because you’re in pain but at the same time someone’s touching you and it feels so good. " This phrase has the whole HIM music feeling for me :)
Oct. 29th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you alot for translating!
Oct. 29th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the great translation.
It is always a pleasure to read and for you much work.
Helen Mazurova
Nov. 1st, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear, for the translation! So grateful to you.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:26 am (UTC)
I'm worried because there is no more update to the blog.

This is one of my favorites!

I hope everything is going well for you...

Edited at 2013-04-01 10:28 am (UTC)
May. 27th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to see a sign of life from you!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )