H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty) Biography

Review The Artist (43)

Source: http://www.heartagram.com/theband/
H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty)-photo
Three albums into their career, with healthy combined sales of 2 million, HIM felt it was the right time to define a couple of things. Define HIM ­ the band. Define the music, already commonly known as love metal. And, last but not least, figure out the deeper meanings behind the mighty Heartagram!

You hold the results in your hands, in the compact form of “Love Metal”. One and a half years worth of exploration and soul searching, as well as the time-honoured tradition of ‘working one’s ass off’, has gone into these ten songs.

“There we were. Gas a hopeless Slayer addict and Burton completely hooked on Tchaikovsky. Mige getting high on Brian Eno and Linde tripping on Jimi Hendrix on a regular basis. Me, I was curing my hangovers with shots of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.”

The ‘me’ being Valo, vocals and songs. Gas on drums, Burton on keyboards, Mige on bass, Linde on guitar. Collectively they are known as HIM.

“We had no idea where it would lead us in the end. Whether it would turn out to be silly psychedelic music or the meanest motherfucker of metal known to man,” Valo grins. “But it felt really good. We just incorporated all the elements that came naturally and took it from there. With pretty mediocre success, of course…”

That last tongue-in-cheek shot reveals that Valo & co. are content ­ in fact they are immensely proud of their fourth album. Just listen to that new kind of urgency that’s so evident on songs like “Buried Alive by Love” and “Soul on Fire”! The deep dark groove of “Sweet Pandemonium”! The sheer spiritual qualities of “The Sacrament” and “Circle of Fear”. The innocent beauty of “The Funeral of Hearts”. The purgatory that is the epic finale, “The Path”. Consider love metal defined.

“It’s the love of the Summer of ’67 getting crushed by the metal of the post-Altamont world,” Valo offers with a sly smile. “And everything’s happening right here, right now! In 2003.”

The making of “Love Metal” was a two-dimensional thing. The album was produced and recorded in Helsinki by Hiili Hiilesmaa, producer of the very first HIM album back in 1997. Hiilesmaa is noted for his work with mostly pretty uncompromising metal bands (Sentenced, Moonspell, Amorphis, Theatre of Tragedy…), and easygoing as he might be on the outside, in certain respects he runs a tight regime. Nobody survives his sessions if failing a serious attitude check!

“What has always fascinated me about Hiili is the manic way he approaches recording. The guy is nothing else but metal’s answer to reggae’s Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry! The Mad Scientist. One who always dares to experiment with things that others dismiss off-hand as crazy or laughable.”The second dimension came about through a transatlantic move. Next stop was Scream Studios, Los Angeles. Birthplace of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, Faith No More’s “The Real Thing” and countless other latter-day classics. The album was mixed there by Tim Palmer whose work, especially with U2, caught Valo’s attention. A bit of a surprise, this one?

“Yes and no. U2’s music as a whole isn’t really my thing, that’s right. Then again they have songs like “One” and “With or Without You” that are very close to the thing I try to achieve, you know, melodically, lyrically and feel-wise. But always with my own, shall I say, David Lynchian twist to it,” Valo reveals. “Tim did a beautiful job unearthing all those hidden treasures within our music. I could just sit back wearing the fly glasses that Bono had left behind at the studio, and listen to the music sort of unravelling before my ears.”

So it was as if a piece of Helsinki winter madness had been thrown onto Venice Beach. Or perhaps a case of LA smog vs. the midnight sun (with a few English showers thrown in for good measure, given the fact that Mr. Palmer is indeed a Briton). Light and darkness clashing. Whatever the case the different elements complement each other beautifully. The end result is a vibrant concoction of in-your-face riffs, heavy beats and sweet soulful melodies.

“I’m still quite amazed how easy it was in the end, making this album,” Valo confesses. “But then again, as we all know, Elvis has already done everything! I guess the man gone and took the load off our backs.”

When returning to LA for the video shoot of “Buried Alive by Love” (directed by ‘Jackass’ honcho Bam Margera and featuring actress Juliette Lewis of ‘Natural Born Killers’, ‘Cape Fear’ and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ fame), Valo was touched to find out first hand that even some of Kelly Osbourne’s friends proudly wore their heartagram tattoos. (Now one has to bear in mind that Kelly’s dad is pretty much responsible for the HIM guys being in the business in the first place…)

“I mean, uh… after all, how wrong can you go with a heartagram?” For once Valo seems a little bit lost for words. “We can argue about good or bad taste, but it’s a sensual symbol, isn’t it?”

Yes, the heartagram. The same symbol that is displayed on the album cover has followed HIM from the very beginning.

“We have such terribly short memory spans that we couldn’t possibly think of having individual symbols like Led Zep did,” the heartist himself laughs. “The heartagram stands for HIM as a band, as an entity. And for love metal in general.”

Harder than titanium, softer than pure gold, quicker than silver. Red hot or cold as steel. Love Metal.

Thanks to Pelican for submitting the biography.

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wow | Reviewer: ash | 2/24/10

ookay for one most of you aare posers like reallly youalll youknow about the band is ville valo and yeah him is an amazing asss band and their lyrics speak so much but reallly if you only know like four songs your not reallly a fan at alll i love him and like its amazing how much people get out of their lyrics like i losten to him when sad to be happpy



its just amaizin | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/28/09

i just love their songs starting from JOIN ME, GONE WITH THE SIN, WICKED GAME, WINGS OS A BUTTERFLY ect.. its an amazing feeling to hear this songs and if you didnt heard i suggest you ti di it quickly..



more than HIM | Reviewer: KimLovesHIM | 7/17/09

i think 4 me HIM over these many long years has been a wonderful comfort zone. I myself have a heartagram tattoo and to me its so much more than a symbol. It shows me....and how iam (im a libra also.lol.)...iam about balance. And HIM....has helped me become a better person...and of course many others things...i guess what iam trying to say is thar HIM changed my life.



I LUV | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/20/08

I agree with the 3rd one they are so not dvilesh their just egspressing their feelings and I am a huge fan of him and ville I even tape pictures of them on my notebooks so who ever thinks their bad THEIR NOT AND HOW DARE THEY.I love the band I even have a little crush on Ville.I love you ville and for those whose reading this thank you for reading this and dont tell enyone about my crush on ville.If you have any qestions just ask me at falcon rige in the 8th grade FACS



Absolutely magnificant!!!!!! | Reviewer: JoksA HIM fan!!!!#1!!!:) | 6/5/08

There is no better band that HIM in the world as I know!!!!!! HIM helped me a lot because I had a lot of broken dreams and loves etc... And HIM's music brought me back to life every time!!! You guys thanks A lot you made my life so goooooood!!!!!! Keep on rockin and never stop!!!!!!



You suck :D | Reviewer: Bobby | 5/13/08

HIM has had at least 6 CD's out including as follows: Dark Light, Venus Doom, Razorblade Romance, Love Metal, Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, and Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. UPDATE ONCE AND A WHILE!!!!!!!! :) thank you friends :D



You suck | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/13/08

HIM has had at least 6 CD's out including as follows: Dark Light, Venus Doom, Razorblade Romance, Love Metal, Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, and Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. UPDATE ONCE AND A WHILE!!!!!!!! :) thank you friends :D



HIM Is Bloody Brilliant | Reviewer: Sanityless | 1/6/08

HIM are brilliant! Their lyrics are so beautiul, and you can really tell that they mean something! Ville Vallo has been through alot, and he has a gorgeous voice. I particuarlly like their well-known music like Killing Loneliness, Razorblade Kiss, Heartache Every Moment and the like. Just listening to their music makes my stomach do backflips, it's that moving.



HIM... | Reviewer: kimberly paige | 12/24/07

i didnt really read that whole blog but thats not mi point...i think i speak for everyone when i say that HIM's music speaks to everyone in a different way.. but yet it helps us over come things in our lives.. i know its help me move on from my brothers death n being a 13year old thats done drugs n smokes but started at the age of 12...o and for all those ass holes that judge..i havent for a while...so heres to one of the most true bands alive... keep the music comeing



I love HIM!!!!! | Reviewer: Mollly | 11/28/07

I agree with the 3rd one they are so not dvilesh their just egspressing their feelings and I am a huge fan of him and ville I even tape pictures of them on my notebooks so who ever thinks their bad THEIR NOT AND HOW DARE THEY.I love the band I even have a little crush on Ville.I love you ville and for those whose reading this thank you for reading this and dont tell enyone about my crush on ville.If you have any qestions just ask me at falcon rige in the 8th grade FACS.





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