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Valvas: faces of the same coin

Interview edited by Olly Olly Oxen Free - Marzia for The Heartagram Path  -  Italy

THP: Let's start with a basic question. Not everybody knows about you, so just tell us something about you and your life.

Valeria: I was born in Thessaloniki in Greece. I am 20 years old. My hobbies are listening to music (HIM and Ville, of course), I also like drawing and I 've also got a passion for kick boxing and spending hours on my pc.
Vasiliki: I was born in Kalamata,a town in southern Greece and I am 22 years old. In my free time I like listening to music, especially rock and metal and drawing. I also love reading books and watching movies.

THP: Where do you both live now? Thessaloniki, Valeria, is usually a place for HIM shows... have you ever been to one of their shows there?

Valeria: We both live in Alexandroupolis, a town in north-eastern Greece. We are both medical students here. When the last gig took place in Thessaloniki (aproximately 2 years ago) we both had examinations. So we had to study a lot. We deeply regret this. It was a pity we haven't been there.
Vasiliki: Actually we have never seen them live...we hope that we will,when the new album will be released next year.

THP: Well, I guess that you'll get a chance to with the upcoming album and tour. They really worth a trip to see them live :) Speaking of HIM... how was your passion for them born? Is there a particular story behind or you've just listened to them and fallen in love with their music?

Vasiliki: I first listened to their music when Dark Light was released from a friend who listened to rock music. After a couple of years, when  Ville sang Summerwine( which was a huge hit in Greece) I started listening again to their music and fell in love with it...
Valeria: Of course we are going to their next gig. As soon as possible. We are also planning to go to Helldone next Christmas and also pay a visit to Santa 's house in Rovaniemi. I first listened to HIM when Vasiliki started. Venus Doom was released then. I started listening to lighter songs, such as Join me in Death and Vampire Heart. And then I started listening every song. I was just obsessed!

THP: HIM is the sweetest absession :) As Vasiliki speaks about Summerwine, what do you think about this male/ female duet? Have you liked it more than the one with Manna or the Don't fear the Reaper one? In your opinion, why was it such an huge hit in Greece and other countries as well?

Vasiliki: Personally I prefer the one with Manna, Linde's wife. Summerwine was a huge hit cause it is a well known song, radio friendly and it was released just before summer. The video clip was also great and Ville looked gorgeous!
Valeria: I personally prefer Summerwine. I loved this duet. Ville showed all his sexyness in the video clip and it was an opportunity for many people to appreciate his voice.

THP: You said that you both live in Alexandroupolis because of your meds study. Have you met there or did you know each other even before?

Valeria: We've met here. At a bus stop. Someone introduced us and since then we are inseparable friends.
Vasiliki: We were very different personalities back then and we've both changed a lot in these past three years...We got crazier!!!

THP: Well, that's great :) Have HIM been part of your friendship? I don't know why, but they've got the power to get people make new friends thanks to their music. It's something that I never experienced before with other bands, but they do. What do you think?

Vasiliki: I totally agree with you! I believe that HIM got us closer and their music has played an important role in the change of our characters...
Valeria: I agree with Vasiliki. We've also met new friends through communities about HIM. They are people living in our country and also people abroad. All HIM fans are a huge family as we see it!

THP: Yeah, that's it. Today, I've got to know people from all around the world and some of my closest friends are from all around Italy. That's definetely a great thing :) So, let's go back to your life for now. Everyone can see how talented you're at drawing. How was born your passion and since when?

Valeria: We've been drawing as amateurs since high school. But our passion in drawing was reinforced when we were looking at Ville's face. In photos and videos. So, we started drawing him. Also, our skills in drawing have improved a lot over the past few years. Ville was our inspiration.
Vasiliki: I've always loved drawing but I had given it up when I was in high school cause the schedule was really tough and I had to study a lot. But when I moved here I started drawing again and then I saw Ville's face and that was it! Since then, I've been drawing with Val and having a great time!

THP: You said that Ville inspires you while drawing. You've done a lots of paintings and some of them are really great. For example, the last you've realized, Ville Valo - Welcome to Hell... this is really a hell of a drawing. Really, really good. How was its idea born?

Valeria:
Ville is erotic. We wanted it to be something dark and complex. Ville appeared holding the gates of Hell. And inside there were tortured people, flames and smoke. Also we wanted it to look luxurious, that's how we imagine hell to look like. And we drew two chandeliers. Ville is a strong personality. And in this drawing he has the role that suits him.
Vasiliki: For me the whole concept of hell is inspired a lot from the melancholy of his music and lyrics...Ville frequently uses words such as hell in his songs to demonstrate strong emotions and that's how we visualized it...

THP: So in your opinion could he be considered a sort of modern poète maudit? A fallen angel of this days and ages? At least, this is the idea that I get from this painting
Valeria: We don't consider him to be a fallen angel, but a sexy angel. Bringing us the new translation of the Bible. (This was something he said while he was singing the song "your sweet six six six" live in a gig, RockamRing 2005). He said that humorously, and we had this idea for our drawing. He is sexy and humorous. And that's what we wanted to show in this one.
Vasiliki: I don't like thinking of Ville as a cursed poet...mostly like a very talented and spiritual person who has the ability to express deep emotions with his music.

THP: Oh, I understand now. Well, at first sight this is what you feel, I mean... flames, dark wings, that bible. You just have to go deeper in the meaning of its title so. Well, I think Ville is such a talented person and so spiritual... actually, he's not a poete maudit but you can find their style in his lyrics as you can read in The funeral of hearts. What do you think about this song?

Vasiliki: Actually this is my favourite song, I can still remember the first time I heard it.. I agree with you that he is very influenced by poets such as Poe and Baudelaire and that's very obvious in his songs. In this song and generally in every HIM song I believe that the most important thing is that everyone can interpret it in their own way and doesn't really matter what Ville had in mind while composing it...

THP: Well, I guess it's not possible figuring out what he thinks... we can just try to interpret it in our own way, I agree.

Valeria: I believe that the song " Funeral of hearts" shows how senstitive a man can become when he falls in love. His heart is in someone other's hands. If the woman he has fallen in love with decides to be cruel with him, he will get hurt. If he wasn't in love he wouldn't let that happen. But since he is in love everything depends on her actions and feelings. He is vulnerable and easily hurt. But that's just my point of view. Ville's songs can have many meanings. That's what I love about his songs.

THP: Love is not that easy... I guess his songs are just like it: complicated and sometimes they can hurt, just like Ville when he's writing them... a part form The Funueral of Hearts, what's your favourite song?

Vasiliki: Second favorite is ''Vampire Heart'', one of the first HIM songs I ever heard... I also love vampire stories and vampire characters so I really liked the lyrics here...When I hear that song I don't really try to interprete it, I just feel the passion from the lyrics.
Valeria: All HIM songs are my favourite!! But I really love "Gone with the Sin". It has gothic romantism. I love the way he describes a girl losing her life in his arms and the passion he has for her. His voice is really beautiful in this song. He makes me feel the erotism of his words.

THP: Yeah, Gone with the Sin is such a beautiful song, so romantic and desperate in some ways. Just a curiosity: have you ever seen Gone with the Wind? Firs the book by Margaret Mitchell and then the film which has inspired Ville for this song?


Vasiliki: I have never read the book but I have seen the movie and liked it a lot. I didn't know that that was his inspiration for the song and honestly I can't make the connection...
Valeria: I had no idea about this either!! What's the similarity between them?

THP: First of all, there's this similarity between the titles. We've read about this, I guess there hasn't to be a strong similarity between book and song to take inspiration from. It's the whole concept in my opinion which is important: this lady is running out of life, she's dying just like Scarlet was running out of her life, the way she loosed everything... when Ville says "And whoa my darling completely torn apart", it makes me think about how Scarlet and Rhett were so far away from each other. "I adore the despair in your eyes" makes me think about one of the last scene of the film, when Rhett decides to go away and says something like "Frankly, I don't care"

Vasiliki: I see your point...it's just that when I listen to this song I don't picture the girl to be anything like Scarlet O hara...(whom I really dislike). I always took the lyrics a bit more literal, ''running out of life'', "lips once red as wine''.I  never thought of it the way you say ,but it sure is an interesting interprentation.

THP: Uhm, well... if I have to be sincere, I don't picture the girl as Scarlet. It' more literal the first impressione of the song, as you say, but if I have to go analyse it in relation to the film, I can see it this way...I mean, it's more figurative than all. The girl of the song has not to be Scarlet, I guess it's more the idea and the the metaphore you can see behind the words. Anyway, speaking of music, it's a questiong we usually like to ask, it is to say: male a TOP 5 of your faovurite HIM songs and albums and give us an explanation.

Valeria:

TOP 5 Songs

5: Soul on fire
4: Bleed Well
3: It's all tears (though it's not written by Ville)
2: Gone with the sin
1: The Funeral of Hearts

TOP 5 Albums:

5: Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
4: Razorblade Romance
3: Dark Light
2: Venus Doom
1: Digital Versatile Doom


I LOVE Digital versatile Doom because it's a live performance, Ville's voice can be heard loud and clear, and I love all of the songs of the album. Of course I 've watched the DVD with Vasiliki a dozen times! 'Ive bought new speakers for my computer, I connected them all together, turned on the sound and it was like a live gig. I thought Ville was in my bedroom singing. Then I fell asleep with his voice in that interview after the gig. It was magical.

 

Vasiliki:

TOP 5 Songs

5: join me in death
4: sleepwalking past hope
3: gone with the sin
2: vampire heart
1: Funeral of Hearts

TOP 5 Albums

5: Razorblade Romance
4: Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
3: Dadark light
2: venus doom
1: digital versatile doom



I like these songs because they are more emotional in my opinion and I prefer their latest albums cause they are heavier and use more electric guitar and have more guitar solos.

THP: Uh, Digitale is such a great live :) I really like it and Venus Doom is my first album as a HIM fan, so I'll keep it forever in my heart. Anyway, just another question before the last: have you got any HIM tattoos?


Valeria: No, we haven't. We've drawn HIM tattoos for other girls and we also want to have a tattoo. However, tattoos are something permanent, so we want to draw them the way we like them. I 'm planning to have a big HIM tattoo on my lower back. I'm really enthousiastic with the idea!
Vasiliki: I haven't any tattoos either and I agree with Val on the matter. You have to really like the design and I would prefer it to be something I made, so until insparation comes...no tattoo!

THP: Well, you're absolutely right. It's wonderful when you're able to create your own tattoo the way you want it to. What do you think about people getting heartagram tattoed? Do you agree when people say that nowadays it's more than just a band symbol? Something that's a deep meaning, a way to represent life in a certain way this dualism between good and bad?

Valeria: Of course. It's clear that it is a symbol that represents the combination of good and evil. It's like ying and yang. And this is the cental meaning of all HIM songs. Hell and love. Pain and pleasure. Death and sex. Sex is the opposite of death in psychology. People that know they are going to die, make love as a reaction to death. So making love is willingness for life.
THP: Uh, good point. I really like it.
Vasiliki: I find it very impressive that the symbol of a band has become so famous...even to people who know nothing of HIM and that probably demonstrates its power... For me it doesn't represent just life but the human nature to its core. Heaven and hell, good and evil are all inside us, expressed throughout our personalities and actions...

THP: Yeah, I guess it's totally impressive how a band's managed to create such a symbol and philosophy... you know, their songs aren't just words, it's something more, not just the description of a lost love, suffering, but there's the whole concept of life itself anf this is so far beyond any other band has never done. Well, I guess we're fineshed :)
Val & Vas: Thank yoy Marzia! We really loved this conversation!

 

 

If you want to see all Valvas' painting, just go to and see our Gallery!

 

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