HIM's VILLE VALO Says 'There's No Intellect Behind' His Songwriting Process

December 27, 2022

Former HIM frontman Ville Valo, who is promoting his upcoming debut solo album, "Neon Noir", was asked in a new interview with Montreal Rocks if he had given any thought to HIM's passionate fanbase while writing and recording the material for his new LP. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "No, none whatsoever. The only way I think to write music is… it's a very instinctual ritual. There's no intellect behind it. I don't like to think about what would make sense or how this next song should sound like or whatever. I just go with the flow and see what comes up. And I think that that instinctual work is probably the reason why maybe some people are very passionate about what HIM did and hopefully passionate about what I'm doing [as a solo artist]. It can get scary at times, but then again, that's one of the reasons — again — to shut myself from the outside world and concentrate on the essential."

Valo also elaborated on his songwriting approach and how it relates to the title of his debut solo album. He said: "Musically speaking, melancholy and sad music still makes me happy; that's what rocks my boat. And I still haven't made up my mind whether I wanna be Dave Gahan or Ozzy Osbourne; I think I fall somewhere right in between DEPECHE MODE and BLACK SABBATH. That's my comfort zone, musically speaking, and I think that the title covers that up quite well as well. And it's a bit cheeky, so it has a sense of humor about it too. So it's not too serious."

"Neon Noir" will arrive on January 13 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/Spinefarm.

Ville has released three singles so far from "Neon Noir": "The Foreverlost", "Echolocate Your Love", and "Loveletting". The latter 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".

HIM completed a farewell tour in 2017, closing the final chapter on the band's 26-year career.

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.

Photo credit: Juha Mustonen

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