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Hiili Hiilesmaa: Ville knew clearly what he wanted

The Heartagram Path had the honour and the pleasure to interview Hiili Hiilesmaa, producer of some HIM's albums.
We thank him so much for all the kindness and openness that has shown to us!

In this interview we are going to talk about Hiili Hiilesmaa as a musician and a producer, and discuss some stages of his carrier with HIM.

Hiili Hiilesmaa has been producing music professionally since the mid 90’s.
He has worked with many styles of music, but most focus has been on Metal.
Hiili has worked with many of the top metal bands like HIM, Apocalyptica, The 69 Eyes, Sentenced, Lordi to name a few.
Albums produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa have sold three million copies worldwide.
Flapping and nasty guitar sounds has become his trademarks as well as experimental and wild synth programming.
Hiili is a musician too. In early 90’s he was a drummer in Road Crew. The band made four albums.
Later that decade, he was the keyboardist and programmer in avant-garde/ industrial band called Itä-Saksa. The band released three albums.
He is also the vocalist in a psykogaragepunk-band The Skreppers. The Skreppers have released four albums so far.
The latest band of his is KYPCK where he’s back on the drums. KYPCK has released one album - Cherno - so far and it has been released all over the Europe and in Russia.

@ Hiili Hiilesmaa Official Site.


HIM Album Produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa

1996: 666 Ways to Love

1997: Greatest Love Songs Vol.666 - HIM

[2001: The King Of Rock’n’Roll - Daniel Lioneye ]

2003: Love Metal

2004: And Love Said No (some tracks)

2007: Venus Doom (+3 Re-mixes)

[2010: Vol. II - Daniel Lioneye]


Clicca sulla bandiera Italiana per leggere l'intervista in Italiano.

Interview edited by lovehim - Giada for The Heartagram Path

English Translation by Drownsindawn - Alba @ THP

The Heartagram Path: Sound engineer, successful producer and complete artist (drummer, guitarist and singer). Music is an important part of your life. Where does this passion come from?

Hiili Hiilesmaa: My grandmother, Gunnel Hiilesmaa, was an opera singer and a siging teacher. She opened the door to music to me.
She even teached me to do recordings, when she recorded her students!

THP: Who or what has influenced your artistic career as a musician?

HH: KISS, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Henrix and a Finish band called Hurriganes to name a few.

THP: Are you planning to do something new as a musician in the near future?

HH: Yes, my band KYPCK has just finished the recordings of our seconds album. My other The Skreppers has just finished the recordings of our fifth album. I've also started a project with my Belgian cusin "Af Ursin" where we create the music and we'll using our grandmothers (how already died 9 years ago) tapes and use her voice as a samples. It's the first time I'm having a session with a dead person!!

THP: Do you think that the role of musical producer has changed over the last few years since you got started? What does it mean for you to be a today's producer ?

HH: I think recording equipment has changed totally even during the time when I've been around. But the actual producing has't changed at all. It's the same: Music and People.

THP: You met Ville in 1993 when he played bass with Donits- Osmo Experience. Your long lasting friendship led to the production of the first HIM EP 666 Ways to love: Prologue, recorded at the Munkkiniemi youth centre in only five days. Which were your impressions about teenage Ville ? Did you imagine that HIM could achieve the international success they worked hard for?

HH: Yes, he had already then two main things which are in key role in HIMs success: He knew clearly what he wanted and he had already then his personal voice and his character.

THP: In 1997 HIM released their first album Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, recorded at Munkkiniemi Youth Centre and Jokela and mixed in less than a week. Can we say that you helped the band to find its style?

HH: Musically they had their style when we started. Bringing in the sound and make the things roll in the studio were my main roles. In the mornings Ville took his big tattoo in his hand and in the evenings we did recordings, ha hah!

THP: Let's make a jump forward. Trying to save the Munkkiniemi youth centre, where a lot of popular artists got started , several members of well-known bands got together to record a cover of Ramones' Rock 'n' roll High School, in October 2008.
Did you take part in this project? If so, in what way? As far as you know, did they succed in their purpose?

HH: Yes they did succed! I was asked to join in, but I think I was traveling or something during then.
THP: In 2003 you produced the album named after the term Ville coined to describe their musical style, Love Metal. The album includes everlasting songs like The funeral of hearts, The Sacrament and Buried alive by love, beloved by fans. Which was the band's attitude on this album, since they had already met with success?

HH: The stars were in the right positions and we succeed to make a very big album. There are SO many things that have to work out perfectly when you can create a winning formula.

THP: The sixth studio album, Venus Doom is a biting and gloomy return to origins. It's a masterpiece of sounds and lyrics merging to create poetry in music. How do you place this album in HIM discography?

HH: I think it's great and brave that they wanted to do such an "uncommersial" album after big succes with Dark Light. That proves that they are around just because of music, not because of trying to maximise the success.

THP: HIM albums describe a journey through different genres, with a common thread. In your opinion which album is the most representative of love metal in its essence?

HH: I think Love Metal, ha hah!

THP: The heartagram symbolizes the dualism underlying HIM philosophy. Even if created when Ville was very young, it holds a deep meaning and sometimes overtakes the band's fame. In your opinion, how is this symbol important to HIM?

HH: Surely it's important. It's like "M" to Mc Donald's ;);)

THP: Final question about HIM, what do you think about their last album, Screamworks : Love in Theory and Practice?

HH: I think it's once again a step to somewhere new, which is very important to bands to make a long career.
Year ago we did a two weeks demo session of these songs and it's fun to compare them with the final result!

THP: The Daniel Lioneye side project started during the recording process of Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights, wih Linde, Ville and Migè. Where did this collaboration come from?

HH: You must ask Linde but they all have quite a few musicial perversions....

THP: In April 2010 Daniel Lioneye is releasing a new album that Linde said represents a vent to a hard time in his life. Ville and Migè didn't take part in this work, but Migè has given Linde a hand with lyrics. Ville has been replaced by Bolton. You are the producer and mixed the album. It seems quite different from the previous. What do we have to expect?

HH: As I said, hey all have quite a few musicial perversions, but I guess now Linde is the worst..;)

THP: Negative have been added to your long curriculum as a producer, with the album Anorectic in 2006. Which are your impressions about this band ? How did their style evolve in the last years and what do we have to expect from their passage to Warner Music?

HH: They are great guys and funny to work with. I haven't followed just reacenly what's up with them, so it's hard to answer this :)


Hiili Hiilesmaa Official Site
KYPCK Official MySpace
The Skreppers Official Site

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