Tom Lanham of PureVolume recently conducted an interview with singer Ville Valo of Finnish love metallers HIM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
PureVolume: You’ve said you’ve had some big moments of emotional revelation recently. Such as… ?
Ville Valo: Well, most of the stuff is obviously personal. But musically speaking, we had a lot of trouble getting this album together because our drummer got ill — his hands got all messed up and he wasn’t able to play for eight months, and we needed to wait. We realized, as a band, that we can’t get anybody else to fill his shoes.
PureVolume: DEF LEPPARD waited through a similar, although much more tragic, situation. You always had to respect them for that.
Ville Valo: I know. Indeed. That’s actually one thing I quoted many a time when having meetings with the lads in the band. I said, “You might have problems with your hands, but you actually have them!” So that was like the icebreaker a couple of times. But it took us eight months to wait until Gas was good, and we weren’t sure if we were gonna make an album, or if the band would continue to exist. So it made everybody sit back and reflect on how much the band means to each individual. And it’s one of those things that bands—especially rock bands—never have the time to do, because you’re always so busy. There’s always the new tour, the new album, the new whatever. But this time around, it kind of forced us to think a bit and re-evaluate what the whole thing means to us and just how important it is. And obviously, doing all that reflective meditation or whatever you wanna call it, we realized that it is really important, and that made us wait and then really go forward with the new album. So it was sort of an existential crisis.
PureVolume: Left to your own thoughtful devices, do you go out or stay home alone?
Ville Valo: Well, it depends on the situation. I’m kind of an on-and-off guy. If I go out, I go out, and I rarely end up back home. And if I’m staying home, I’m usually just turning into a hermit. So I think it’s important to do both, and I’ve never been good at balancing. I’m one of those guys that, if I end up opening up one beer bottle, it never ends. But then I’ve had a lot of support: I’ve been sharing my home with a female for the past year or so, and that’s a lovely change. There are other things to do now as well as just ruminate and be terribly depressed and be all “Woe is me!”
PureVolume: “Female”? You talk about her like she’s some sort of zoo specimen.
Ville Valo: Ha! Well, I think the term “girlfriend” sounds so tacky. So maybe I can use the good old-fashioned way and just say that I’m going steady with somebody. And I’m still trying to figure it all out. But it’s been good. And in the past year and a half, there’s been a lot of positive stuff happen in my personal life. So that’s helped me get through all that stress with the band. But in the end, music is very important to me, and it’s what I’ve been doing all my life. So I’m really happy that we were actually able to pull ourselves together and create an album like this, that we can be proud of. Girlfriends or not.
Read the entire interview from PureVolume.