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Biography

We're currently working on the new update of this biography. Stay tuned!.


Talking of HIM and writing about their history is not quite easy . This Finnish band, founder of Love Metal, is a sort of mystical figure, because there are so many stories told about them not always reliable. A lot of discussions come from two factors: the Heartagram -symbol of the band – and the name Him , standing for His Infernal Majesty. Since the beginning, because of the questions about hypotetical bounds to Satanism, the name HIM has received so many attentions, but never from the band. Ville Valo himself says that the name doesn't matter and it's not connected to any religion, much less to Satan. In an interview Ville Valo declared that the name is meaningless, since in every interview they ask him the meaning of his band name and every time, he answers something different. Once, he also told to an interviewer that HIM standed for "Hanson is Murder".

The Heartagram is even more controversial. It's the band's trademark and perhaps better known than the band itself. That symbol has been created by Ville Valo and has become a reason for the fans of this magical Finnish group to recognize themeselves . Five out of ten fans have a Heartagram and you can't consider yourself a fan if you don't know its meaning. This symbol needed only five minutes for its elaboration , but it's really full of meaning, the meaning of all HIM music: love and death, joy and sorrow perfectly entwined . The pentagram means death, the heart means love and the circle enclose them both. Here's the Heartagram.

The seed of HIM started when the little restless , fast -talking Ville Valo met a very taciturn boy of his age, Mikko Lindstrom (Linde, Lily Lazer ) at the Pop and Jazz school of Oulunkyla, where they discovered a shared love for rock music.
Ville already had a fair musical experience: in 1986 (fifth class) he put up a band called B.L.O.O.D.S, in which performed for the first time an instrumental version of Iron Maiden's “Run to the hill.” Later ,with the name of Elovena Boys, they played U2 and Dire Straits'covers. Back then Ville was the bass player. He had started playing bass encouraged by his parents. Ville and Linde started playing together in a band called Aurora , which can be considered the foundation of HIM.

If Linde is a constant presence in Ville's life, another Mikko , whose last name is Paananen, comes and goes in their life . He was two years senior and his parents were both artists. He lived away from Ville and they met only to play .But after his parents divorced , Migè moved with his mother in Tuusula and became a stable part of HIM. He was the bass player , Ville turned into a singer and Linde remained the irreplaceable guitarist of this great band. .The boys shared and cultivated their love for Black Sabbath and Kiss music. In 1995 Ville left school and got to work in his father Kari's sex shop, that over the years became a regular stop for HIM fans in Helsinki.
At the time, new members were added to the band: Antto Melasniemi as keyboardist and Juhana Rantala (Patka) as drums player. This is the first official composition of the band HIM. Antto was then replaced by Zoltan Pluto and finally by Emerson Burton, Patka by Gas Lipstick.

In 1996 HIM released their first EP entitled “666 Ways To Love: Prologue, with a picture of Ville's mother Anita on the cover when she was 19 and worked as a shop assistant.
The track list includes three original songs (Stigmata Diaboli, Dark Sekret Love e The Heartless ) and a cover of Chris Isaak 's Wicked Game, becoming even more famous than the original one.
After the first gig at Tavastia Klubi ( now HIM sacred temple, home of one of the most famous metal festival in the world , the Helldone ) Tina Vuorinen from Welldone listened Wicked Game at the radio and pleasantly impressed, decided to meet the boys and to offer herself as a manager. Later she left the band to her ex husband Seppo Vestarinen, still general manager of HIM.

Wicked Game is also the first self made video of the Finnish group , recorded in a park by the keyboardist , with the Valo's dog ( a Great Dane), Ville with a glass of wine and the others in the back ground. After a while, a professional video of the same song was shot in Germany. Before the EP the band recorded two demos , one with seven tracks “Witches And Other Night fear”. The only copy is probably in Ville Valo's private collection.Just a year later, Him recorded their first album “ Greatest Love Songs Vol 666” . Once again the audience wondered whether these boys from the North were linked to Satan worship. Nothing could be more wrong.The number of the beast 666 is associated with evil and pain, opposite to love , because there isn't love without pain, as you learn in songs like “Your sweet 666” and “It's all tears”

HIM fame grew more and more in their country until the release of their second album in 1999, Razorblade Romance, that hit the top of Finnish and German charts , while singles like Join Me In Death (included in the soundtrack of the thriller “The 13th floor”), Right Here In My Arms and Gone With The Sin entered the top 20 in Germany and Great Britain.
In 2000 ,Ville met Bam Margera, an American pro skater starring, along with his crew, in popular MTV shows, like Jackass and Viva La Bam. They became good friends and probably Margera helped the band to approach the USA market.
In 2002 Razorblade Romance was released in USA , but there was already an American band named HIM, so they had to change the name in HER (Her Evil Royalty) . Only 1000 copies of Razorblade Romance by HER were released, because HIM success brought the label to pay a fine and buy the sole rights for the name.

Going back into theri carreer, 2001 is a year full of news for HIM because of the new album and the new side projekt. Before the releasing of their new record, Ville & Co were busy with their new band, the Daniel Lioneye, with Linde doing vocals, Mige the bass and Ville the drums. They abandon the usual themes of HIM'music in behalf of the ones of the hard rock: sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. It wasn't a demanding projekt since the band just played a few gigs in Finland and they released just a CD which wasn't even planned: The King Of Rock'n'Roll.

In August of the same year, HIM released their new album: Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. Just like Razorblade Romance, even it hits the Finnish and German charts, with successfull singles as Pretending and Heartache Every Moment. HIM became the new Hanoi Rock, one of the most successful Finnish bands of the 80's.

Razorblade Romance started their career in the USA, but it's thanks to Love Metal that the HIM phenomenon explodes int that country. Maybe even thanks to their friend Bam Margera who, after a deal, started using the heartagram as his logo (on Element and Adio clothes) and promoting it in his MTV shows such as Viva La Bam. On 2003, HIM became guests of important festivals such as the Download one sharing the stage with The Hellicopters (in 2004, they'll be headliner of this same festival). From Love Metal, they released hits such as Buried Alive By Love whose director was Bam Margera (other than a pro skater, he's also a video director. He directed both Solitary Man and And Love Said No, respectively cover of Neil Diamond and the only unpublished song of their first greatest hits).

Talking of it, And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997–2004 was actually the first greatest hits of their most successful songs till that time whose digipak version contains a live show at the Semifinal Club in Helsinki. Moreover, an unofficial DVD live exists, the Buried Alive By Love, recorded on March 8th 2003 atthe Grosse Freiheit Club, released about a month before the release of Love Metal.

After those years full of news, good moments and new albums, in 2005 HIM let their dream become true signing with Warner Music. They started in the best way possible, entering the top 20 of the Billiboards top 200 - the best of internation rock hits by Billiboard magazine - and taking part in the Download Festival with bands such as Black Sabbath (worshipped by HIM and Ville) and Velvet Revolver. But most importantly, they went gold with Dark Light and they have also been the first Finnish band that sold more than 500.000 copies in the USA. And thanks to Dark Light, the other HIM albums entered the American charts as well.

A little good story of this period is about the song Plasma Mullet, written by Mige and Burton, never released, and played just once at Radio Bam that, as the name itself suggests, it's a radio show created by Bam Margera himself and aired on Sirius Satellite Radio.

At the height of their success, HIM started working on their second album with Warner Music. Indeed, in 2007, they released Venus Doom, their sixth studio album. Maybe this has been the artistically maturest album of their carreer, thanks to its heavey and dark sound and lyrics soaked in poetry and melancholy. Speaking of work, for HIM the period between 2007 and 2008 was rich of gigs and festival just like never before. On the contrary, for the leader of this band it was maybe the most terrible of his life. The making of Venus Doom overlaped with several Ville's personal issues: the breaking up with his ex girlfriend Jonna Nygren and the suicide of one of his friends led him to find once again the necessary strenght in the alcohol.

In the same period, Ville decided that he wanted his life back, so he went to rehab in this VIP clinic in Malibu where he stayed for about two months to come off alcohol. So as you can see, 2007 was a very important year both for the band and Ville. They took part in many important international festival along with the most famous band of the worldwide alternative music scene.

With a now sober but not at his best Ville, HIM took part in the Projeck Revolution Festival, organized by Linkin Park in aid of charity, where HIM played as headliner along with My Chemical Romance and Placebo. On August 22nd 2007, they streamed live the gig at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarksto through the official myspace profile of "NowWhat". It was during this show that HIM played live the first songs from their new album Venus Doom.

Besides the Projekt Revolution, they toured the USA and Europe as Metallica's supporting band. They hadn't much success since most of the metallers don't recognise their love metal, invented by HIM, as part of the metal genre.

After the worldwide release of their new album, Ville Valo & Co started their Venus Doom Tour which, starting from Sayreville on October 18th 2007, would have arrived in Italy in 2008 with three nights of gigs, first in Milan on March 6th, Florence on the 7th and then in Modena on the 8th. The Venus Doom Tour ended during the 2008 summer, after many months of successful shows all around the world.

In 2008, not far away from their sixth album, HIM releaded their first official live DVD: the Digitale Versatile Doom: Live at the Orpheum Theatre XXXVII A.S. Some monts later, in June, HIM took part in Rock Am Ring, this huge German festival where they had already played in 2001 and 2005.

Now, almost in 2009, fans from all around the world are waiting for the end od December to be able to attend Helldone Festival (ideated by Ville himself to be host at Tavastia Klubi in Helsinki from December 29th to December 31st.) through which they'll end the Venus Doom era, leading to the making of their seventh studio album.

HIM has indeed announced that from the first months of 2009, they'll start working on their new album which should be released on September 2009.

 


Credits

HIM's biography edited by Olly Olly Oxen Free.
© The Heartagram Path
Thanks to Alessia (Sweetie_616) for the intro to the Venus Doom era.

 

Disclaimer

There's the need to specify which sources have been used to write this biography, so that there won't be any misunderstanding. HIM's life and career are the same for all the fans: there are no alternative lives or news which are, by the way, the same for all the HIM fans sites worldwide. So I hope that anyone will believe to have the right to say "They copyied us". No, we didn't. The sources I used to write this attempt of bio (which have been written JUST for The Heartagram Path) are HIM's official biography Synnin Viemää and the free articles from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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