VILLE VALO Doesn't Rule Out HIM Reunion: 'Never Say Never'

November 26, 2022

During an appearance on a recent episode of "The James McMahon Music Podcast", ex-HIM frontman Ville Valo was asked if he would consider reuniting with his former bandmates if they ever got an amazing offer to play a one-off gig at a festival. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Never say never, I'd say. HIM was so much more than just a band to me. I met Migé [Mikko Paananen], the bass player, when I was about 12. I met Linde [Mikko Lindström], the guitar player, when I was maybe 13 or 14. So we grew up together and went through so many different phases in our lives anyway together, with HIM providing the soundtrack for it and the focus or being the focal point. And it's so much more than about just monetary things.

"If there would be a good reason, good sort of idea or good cause, or if, all of a sudden, everybody would start to gravitate towards each other, I think that would be the best thing," he continued. "[If] all of a sudden everybody in their own lives just start[ed] to… where it would make sense [to get back together] after all this time. 'Cause you need to take breaks.

"[Toward the end of HIM], it wasn't necessarily fizzling out, but we had definitely lost the spark regarding creating new music. We tried to work it out, but it didn't sound good. It started to feel like a day job, and when it starts to feel like that, it's definitely time to end it, in the world of rock and roll, I think. Or in our world of rock and roll. So I cannot tell you whether we're gonna feel like that in the future. I wouldn't mind, but I don't wanna do it right now. It's not something I will think about constantly, or ever, to be honest with you."

Asked if he ever had people suggesting to him during his time with HIM to pursue a solo career or whether he had those aspirations himself, Ville said: "It was a weird existence, because I did write most of the songs [in HIM], and a lot of people, when we started out, they thought it was a solo project, also because it was called 'HIM'. It was a weird combo. So all those 25 years I had to fight for the guys to get some recognition, saying that I do write the songs, I sing the songs, but we are childhood mates and that the sound and the way they play their instruments, it makes a big difference; it cannot be just whomever. So I'm actually glad not to talk about that at all [when it comes to my solo project]; I don't have to, 'cause I played all the stuff by myself and I'm the one to carry the blame or the good and the bad and the ugly.

"I was told that many a time. And especially when something happens to be successful… I mentioned [earlier in the interview] 'Join Me In Death' [HIM's 1999 single] being sort of a pop hit in Germany and all that stuff, and you can't imagine the amount of cooks that wanted to be in that kitchen at that time. Everybody had something to say and dollar signs in their eyes. But it's not a world I feel comfortable in.

"Music is still my safe place, so whenever in doubt, I start listening to BLACK SABBATH," Valo explained. "That's what I did. And that's where it all started. And that's also how it happens. Because I don't wake up in the morning and say to myself, 'Now I'm gonna write a song.' Working on music or being creative, it's my way of understanding the reality around me — it's my survival kit. It helps me out to understand the world and cope with the pressures and the struggles that we all go through. That's been my method. And it's funny that it's a passion that turned into a hobby that turned into work, and it's all those things in one neat little box. It's terribly hard at times, but then again I wouldn't change it for the world."

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

Earlier in the month, Ville told Radio Bob! about the band's split: "I think it was the right call to call it a day with HIM. We'd done it for a long, long time and it started to sort of, like, wither away a bit. It was maybe our interest and maybe just sign of the times. We'd been together for such a long time that we were ourselves really surprised that it lasted for such a long time."

Ville (VV) will release his debut solo album, "Neon Noir", on January 13 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/Spinefarm. The LP will arrive four months after Ville released "Echolocate Your Love", the second single from "Neon Noir". Five months earlier, Valo issued "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.

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.

When HIM announced its farewell tour more than five years ago, 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."

Formed in 1991 by Valo, Lindström and 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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