He's The Heartless
"666 is something you're posessed with, something you
just have to get although you know it will destroy you in the end. It's something sweet but it has a bitter aftertaste, like
Belgian beer or something, ha-ha..."
.... says Ville Valo the androgynous figure on the cover
of Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666, burning in the fires of hell and staring into nowhere.
Heartagram : The symbol that gave the name for their official website and told to everyone what HIM is and what it would
be is the heartagram. This symbol is compilation of heart and pentagram and it's Ville's idea to combine those elements. It's
like Yin & Yang, soft & hard, love & hate and other compilations of opposite elements. That thing is in the music
of HIM, here's the opposite elements to heard in every album...
There is private hospital called Mehiläinen (Bee) in Helsinki
that's using same kind of logo, by the way...
Whole Name :
Ville Hermanni Valo
Birth Time Place : November
22, 1976 8:28am Helsinki, Finland
Viltsu, Vilpertti, Rakohammas (Slot-tooth), Zebraman, Vlad Lux, Bil, Don Vitto, Elvis
Lived first months in Vallila surrounded
by houses built from wood. Soon their family moved to Oulunkylä and Ville lived there about 17 years.
When Ville was little
boy they've got lots of pets in their home. Ville learned to walk with the help of the dog named Sami and Ville has said that
he get an awful trauma and he went allergic and asthmatic when the dog died. Ville thinks that is psycholocigal disease for
him. There were also fishes, turtles and other stuff in the home of Ville's childhood.
When Ville was baby and he started
to cry then his father put the song named Paratiisi (by Rauli Badding Somerjoki) in their stereo and his mother took him near
and started to dance. That's the way how Ville stopped shedding his tears.
Family : Father
worked as a taxidriver and later he worked in sexshop where Ville was also working before HIM took Ville. Mother worked officeworks
like Ville says it. Ville have got a brother who's born in 1983 and he is succeed in kickboxing.
First musical memory : The family of Ville has got a friend called Jallu who is very good for imitating Elvis. Once they've
got a party in the house and Jallu was playing 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' at the midnight. Ville crawled with his 'potkuhousut'
(the trousers used by babies) nearby their recordshelves and there were hided bongodrums. Ville started rapidly playing drums
and the parents of him thinked that the boy wants to play the music.
First scaring memory of music was when Ville was
4 years old. The son of Jallu was the fan of Iron Maiden and when Ville went to his room he's so scared about Eddie and other
monsterstuff that he ran away from the room. That happened in the night, by the way..
Schoolyears : Ville was very wild in the school, he's fighting with other guys and he often changed his classroom
for that. He was hyperactive child and when he was about 7 he went to investigations where was attached pipes collecting magnetic
signals from his head. After that Ville get a special permission to draw pictures in the classroom. That's only way to keep
little Ville calm and easy.
In the upper classes he liked a lot of mathematics. First he got problems with that subject,
but he got a teacher named Erkki Falck who was extremely severe. Teacher made always Ville to count on blackboard and put
him shaming at the same time. That's enough for Ville and he decided to learn to count. He spent lots of time for mathematics
and after that Ville starts to getting good number for it.
Ville thinks in their book that school sucks. He understands
the function of lower classes because there was learned to read and write and that's important thing. Ville also thinks that
everyone should go to school when they're ready for it and they really want to study even they are 30 years old. In the school
everyone learned by heart but they take shape of nothing.
After upper classes Ville went to evening-secondary school.
He was there about year and a half and then he quits because he can't stand it anymore. He thinks that reason for that was
his bad discipline with himself.
Passion for music
: When Ville was 8 years old (in 1984)
he heard Animalize by Kiss for the first time. That was the first record that he bought and the recommendation was given by
Ville's cousin Pia. Ville saved the money that he get from his parents and asked from Pia that 'what's good record to buy'
and she answered 'Animalize'. Ville asked that because he don't know anything about music, records or recordstores. So Ville
went to recordstore and took Animalize from the shelf and that's why Ville play music today...
Ville thinks that Pia brainwashed
him to rockmusic and thinks that the result for him should be probably very different kind if she was recommended for example
classical music. Animalize is still very important record for Ville and he gets other record of Kiss after that. In here is
good to tell that Ville likes more of unmasked Kiss than the masked one because he started in their unmasked season.
the third class starts classes for music and pupils started to think what's their instrument what they want to play. Ville
thinks that Gene Simmons is nice and his choice was the bassguitar for that. His parents find somewhere used bassguitar and
that was a great moment for Ville. That bassguitar is still left in his home and he takes care for it. He also plays it sometimes.
The instrument is Dia-marked SG-copy from 70's.
Playing Bass : Ville changed his bass couple of times for more fresh designs. He remembered when he played with his
first bass and small amplifier, it was more pain than pleasure. His fingers bleeding and his mother says 'boy, keep on training'.
Ville was not inspired for training, but lately he said that's good for him though that was very boring sometimes to train
his technics. Ville was never trained with piano or classical music. He wanted rather to play pop or rock than something high-cultural.
Ville starts to learn to reading the notes in his lower classes and there went lots of time before he learned anything.
Hobbies : Ville take an interest in judo and spent almost 9 years for that event when he was kid. His father likes
a lot of events for struggle and the boxing is nearby his heart and that infected to Ville. Ville doesn't want to fight in
boxing, so he choosed judo for his event. Ville got a green belt in judo.
Another hobby from the early years was skateboarding
where he was really good. He stopped skateboarding somewhere in the middle of 90's and Bam Margera is the person who probably
starts again that hobby for Ville.
Nowadays he likes to design graphics with computer.
Collects records and reads
lots of biographies from different artists to educate himself.
Moving out from home : Ville moves out from his home when he was 18. His mother and father gave some money that Ville could live in Helsinki
(there is very expensive rents). Ville was already allergic and asthmatic and he didn't cure himself, because he didn't saw
that necessary then. His family took the dog to their home. The dog was mistreated by its former owner and the family of Ville
wanted to save that dog. The dog made Ville so sick that he was in hospital two weeks. After that the father of Ville gave
apartment as a birthdaypresent to him. So Ville moved out from his home.
: left arm covered with ornament, heart with black outline
under his right wrist, a clef around his left nipple (some sources said that is letter S), little heartagram on his neck,
ornamentwings around heartagram above his genitals, flamesymbol and the cosmic pope on his right calf. All tattoos are made
by his friend Hyde.
Other instruments : Ville
plays every instrument that are often used in the rockbands. He's composing with keyboards and guitar, Bass and drums are
known from his sideprojects and former bands.
Other facts about Ville
: Dark appearance of Ville comes from his mother who got a roots in Hungary. Before Ville was rockstar he worked in
the store that sells sex-stuff.
When first album of HIM was released Ville was known about his suits and the bottle of
redwine in his hand. He abandoned redwine rapidly after that, because he noticed that chemicals in wine doesn't work with
singing and wine's not good for his voice.
Cigarettes are from the times he played instruments in his bands and the smoking
stayed. Ville says that the smoking is some kind of protection to him because he can't hide behind the instrument on the stage.
Ville took inspirations to create lovemetal from melancholy that are very popular element in finnish music. There is Rauli
Badding Somerjoki and Tapio Rautavaara from finnish artists that are very important to Ville.
Ville made most of the material
for HIM, in first album were couple of songs that included material made by Linde. All lyrics are made by Ville. Lyrics are
some kind of diary to Ville and all of them tells about situations in real life covered in this poetic gothstyle.
is addicted to shape of a heart and he collects things around it.
Relationships with HIM-members
: Ville met Mige when he was in 3rd class (about 10 years old) in the school. Because both of them played bass, they
also often hanged around together.
Ville met Linde when he goes to upper classes (about 13 years old) when Linde came
to same school.
Ville & voice :
Ville was meant to play bass in HIM, but because there is Mige and no-one's wanted to be a singer, so Ville became
to that role. Ville didn't sing in his former bands and when he was in school he was ashamed of his voice and he had a big
doubt for singing in the band. He doubts that 'does it work?'.
In HIM:Ville discovered the name 'His Infernal Majesty' from the book 'The Satanic Bible' by Anton LaVey.
He hanged around with hippies and other people like them and he was overdosed of their Haile Selassie and 'His Imperial Majesty'-stuff
and he started to listen deathmetal. Then he find that book and there was in one poem term 'His Infernal Majesty' and he rapidly
thinked that was a good name for their band. At that time they played music inspired by Black Sabbath. They also thinked names
like 'Black Salem' and 'Black Earth' for their band. Mige was sick and tired of that choices. So he took some paint and wrote
on his amplifier title 'His Infernal Majesty' and that's the end for conversations about the name of the band. The symbols
that are used by band (for example number 666) are not be connected with satanic or religional way. It's took from the bands
that are important for HIM and that's some kind of dedication for those bands. The first His Infernal Majesty was born in
1991. Ville plays 6-stringed bass as a guitar and sings, Mige plays bass and there were two guys as a drummer (Juippi &
Juha Tarvonen). The first gig with that band was in Semifinal-club in Helsinki (31.12.1991). Band uses also name Kafferi.
Kafferi made a demorecord 'Xilqa Xilqa Besa Besa'. This band made also demo under their 'official name' and it was named 'Witches
And Other Nights-Fears'. This band splitted up when Mige went to army to serve his native country.
Kafferi means people
with black skin and guys blocked it out from old books of H.P. Lovecraft. The books was the great source of inspiration for
the band then. Ville has got a friends from ethnic minorities and they thought that Kafferi is too grotesque being the name
for the band, so they abandoned it. At the same times Ville made some money to get his cigarettes by playing in the streets
The second version of HIM made a song called 'Borellus' that was straight taken from Lovecraft. That source
of inspiration stays. Borellus are inspired by the novel that tells about dead people and other dark creatures that are awaken
alive. Most important parts of that song Ville sang straight from the book. Lovecraft wrote his books in lyrical way and that's
why it's so easy to sing in its original form.
HIM was on the break because of Mige's in army and the thing get started
again in 1993 and then Linde came in to play guitars and bass (Ville sings and plays drums) and they recorded 3-song demo
in Lepakko. Demo was done in 4-track studio and it includes songs Serpent Ride, Borellus and The Heartless.
demo done by Ville and Linde they got company (Mige & Pätkä) and that's the big bang to the story of band who created
In the summer 1995 they recorded demo included Stigmata Diaboli, The Phantom Gate and Wicked Game what was
lately their breakthrough-hit.
Bands before HIM:B.L.O.O.D.
(late 1980's---special thing was two drummers, another plays in rehearsals and the other one in their gig. Band played one
gig in their school and the other guys was older than Ville. Band plays instrumentalversion of 'Run To The Hills' by Iron
Boys (late 1980's---Ville plays bass. Band plays titles of U2 and Dire Straits and that was the first band that played the
song written by Ville. Band plays 5-6 gigs.)
Aurora (late 1980's---Ville on drums,Lind on guitars. First band that plays only their own music.
Ville and Linde met in the school when Linde came to same school with Ville and they started to play together Charlie Parker.
This band was very offensive and in the one gig their singer was drunk and he fell against equipment for lights and the whole
stuff falls down and breaks the drums. It took a big time to fix the drums that Ville could play with them).
rehearsed about a half of year when they started to plan to make a classtrip. They planned to organize hippieparties in their
school for saving the money for their trip. Parties had to be on the next week when the principal of their school lost his
nerves and screamed that 'you can't make your parties, you'll only smoke your joints there!'. Parties was cancelled and after
that pupils went very angry for that principal. The revenge for that principal was the song called 'Martti Ilvonen tunkee
kyrpää suoleen' (free translation: Martti Ilvonen put his dick down to asshole). The band plays that song in the autumnconcert
of their school and all of the other teachers was almost killed in the laughter. The crowd in concert went insane and started
to throw seats around the area. After that Ville and his friends were not welcome to play in the concerts in the school of
They made another way to save the money for their trip, they sold donuts and stuff like that. They finally arrived
to Amsterdam by driving bus through Sweden,Denmark and Germany. They planned to play music in local schools. In Holland they
played 3-4 gigs and the trip takes about 10 days. That was first time when Ville was outside of Finland because of music.
Terapia (early 1990's)
Kemoterapia (early 1990's)
Experience (1992-93---This bands plays several gigs and there is couple of collections where their demo's were released. They
also played as a supporter of Mudhoney at club called Lepakko in Helsinki. Lepakko was demolished in early 2000. Lepakko was
legendary place for finnish bands and there was also the first 'local radiostation' in action. R.I.P.)
Unga Kaskelottär (early 1990's---duo with Ville &