HIM's VILLE VALO Announces Release Date For 'Neon Noir' Debut Solo Album
September 14, 2022
HIM mastermind Ville Valo (VV) will release his debut solo album, "Neon Noir", on January 13 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/Spinefarm.
"'Neon Noir' is a sonic step-by-step guide on how to survive, and perhaps even enjoy, the realm of VV with its abundance of things that go bump in the night," says Valo. "It's a teary mascara marathon between Robert Smith and Ozzy, with a dash of hope."
Regarding the lyrical inspiration for the album, Ville told Kerrang! magazine: "I wouldn't call it 'suicidal', but most of the stuff was written during the pandemic, and there weren't many rays of sun hitting me. Everybody was in the mental gutter. Times were tough. This album was the kind of like the lifebuoy for me. It gave me a reason to wake up every morning and work on something else and try to shut the world outside. When I was working on the music, maybe it was selfish to a certain extent, but also it was a matter of survival."
He added: "It seems that mankind needs a bit of a breather from all this shit, myself included. So I tried to put all that frustration onto paper. And if it's love and darkness, and all sorts of things like that, that's probably because it's my vocabulary. Hopefully, the words have been rearranged in a fresh order this time around. But me trying to do something completely different, just because, that doesn't make any sense to me at all."
"Neon Noir" track listing:
01. Echolocate Your Love 02. Run Away From The Sun 03. Neon Noir 04. Loveletting 05. The Foreverlost 06. Baby Lacrimarium 07. Salute The Sanguine 08. In Trenodia 09. Heartful Of Ghosts 10. Saturnine Saturnalia 11. Zener Solitaire 12. Vertigo Eyes
Earlier this month, Ville released "Echolocate Your Love", the second single from "Neon Noir". "Echolocate Your Love" came five months after the arrival of "Loveletting", which marked Ville's first new music in over two years, following the release of the three-track "Gothica Fennica Vol. 1" EP, also released under the VV banner, in March 2020.
Like "Echolocate Your Love" and "Loveletting", "Gothica Fennica Vol. 1" bore a strong musical resemblance to HIM and featured the tracks "Salute The Sanguine", "Run Away From The Sun" and "Saturnine Saturnalia".
Back in April, Ville told Metal Hammer that "Loveletting" was one of the more mellow songs on "Neon Noir". Ville said: "I've always been shit with picking singles — I'm always wrong, so I let the label choose that and everybody was smiling when they heard it the first time, so they suggested it. I'm hoping the next one will be a lot more rock 'n' roll, harder hitting."
Regarding the musical direction of "Neon Noir", Ville told Metal Hammer: "The new stuff definitely does sound like HIM. But I did write most of the songs, so… I'm to blame for that. It's a continuous journey from HIM for me. A lot of people when they move on to solo projects want to distance themselves from the past, burn bridges and start their solo career. It's different for me. VV is me building a bridge between HIM and the future. That's what 'Neon Noir' is."
Ville spoke to Spotify about why it has taken him so long to complete "Neon Noir". "Since the pandemic hit, I started working on the album," he explained. "I actually learned how to record — I learned how to record drums and bass and guitar because I wasn't able to get any musicians; I had to do it solo — literally solo. So I'm really sorry but it did take me two and a half years to get the album done. 'Loveletting' is the first single. It's kind of what I normally do — it's a loud love song; it's a very sad and melancholy wistful one, but sort of maybe light at the end of the tunnel which is hopefully not the oncoming train.
"So there's not much new under the sun of VV, but I love it. [Laughs]"
VV's headline tour dates will take place next year across Europe and North America. Naturally starting in Helsinki, Finland, the 2023 extensive run reaches the U.K. in March before heading to America come April.
HIM completed a farewell tour in 2017, closing the final chapter on the band's 26-year career. At the time, Ville explained to Kerrang! magazine why the band decided to call it a day. "We were tired of the same shit," he said. "When you've done it for a long time, at some point it doesn't taste good anymore. We started working on some stuff, it didn't sound good enough, and we didn't get the teenage buzz you're supposed get."
He also discussed the future of his artistic and musical endeavors.
"I'll be figuring out the emotions I'll be going through after the HIM period is done," he said. "That's how I experience life. I experience it through music, I'll pick up the guitar and start writing and I'm sure some of the emotions that come out of this wild ride will come through. My life is not done yet. The HIM part is done, as it is now, the chapter is closed, but the book is still unfinished…"
Formed in 1991 by Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström and bassist Mikko "Migé" Paananen, HIM offered the world a new take on the metal genre, which became known as "love metal" (also the title of their fourth album).
HIM in 2015 parted ways with its longtime drummer, Mika Kristian Karppinen (a.k.a. Gas Lipstick),and replaced him with Jukka "Kosmo" Kröger (formerly of HERRA YLPPÖ & IHMISET).
Three years ago, Valo teamed up with guitar legend Esa Pulliainen to record an album based on songs by the late, legendary Finnish singer Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki. The self-titled album by VILLE VALO & AGENTS was released in February 2019 and was followed by a short tour.
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