HIM is dead. Currently in the midst of their farewell tour, the Finnish love metallers are closing the curtains on their 26 year career on December 31 2017. In the latest issue of Metal Hammer, frontman and really really good looking guy Ville Valo gives us the world-exclusive final interview. We talk about the breakup, the past and the future, in a personal, heartbreaking account from the mastermind behind His Infernal Majesty.
Below, some of Ville’s friends and peers from the world of rock and metal pay their respects to one of rock music’s most original bands. Goth will never be the same again.
Dani Filth, Cradle Of Filth
“It’s with some considerable pain that I mourn this finale. Our paths have twined many times: Ville sang for us on The Byronic Man; Mikko and Janne supported Cradle across America with their side-project, Daniel Lioneye; Razorblade Romance producer John Fryer helmed our Midian album; I snogged Ville at a Metal Hammer Golden Gods bash…”
Nick Holmes, Paradise Lost
“The night before a day of press in Helsinki, we hooked up with Ville for drinks in a bar called The Lost & Found. There we were introduced to the delights of the Finnish liquorice liqueur, salmiakki. We stayed up literally all night drinking huge shots of the stuff. The next day, I could barely talk, still half pissed, and had the worst hangover I’ve had in my life. Needless to say, I haven’t touched the stuff since.”
Jeff Walker, Carcass
“I was in Finland in around 2004 and I took some time to go visit Ville; he was a gracious host and he let me sleep on the floor of his apartment. I guess they ran out of Billy Idol songs to rip off. Hey, Ville: I’ll be in NYC this month, put me on the guestlist so I can get in the way and drink your rider again.”
Eso Holopainen, Amorphis
“Dear His Infernal Majesty. We had great fun with you guys whenever we met. Last time was at our rehearsal flat that we shared for many years. Now it’s ours – thank you! You’re to blame for every teenager starting to listen to gothic music. HIM is soon dead, but the music lives in our rotten hearts. We love you!”
Howard Jones, Light The Torch
“This is a dark moment. It’s never easy to say farewell to a constant companion, so I won’t. This music has not and will not leave my side. Thank you for every bit of it. Smile at what you’ve created, gentlemen, and thank you for the ride.”
Cristina Scabbia, Lacuna Coil
“It is so hard for a band to create not only a big following of fans, but almost a lifestyle, and HIM did it! Their live shows exuded intensity and sensuality and the Heartagram will live on the skin of a lot of people forever.”
Eicca Toppinen, Apocalyptica
“HIM created their own genre in metal, which is very exceptional. I’ve known the guys since 1995, before we played together in Teatro, Helsinki, where we actually got our first record deal. Ville is such an unique artist, and working with him has been always a great pleasure.”
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Sami Hinkka, Ensiferum
“HIM had just released their first album, and around that time one of my old bands won a contest. The prize was that we got to support HIM! Their music really impressed me, but I would’ve never believed that we shared the stage with future superstars. I’ve followed their career during all these years and they have released some awesome songs.”
Alexi Laiho, Children Of Bodom
“Ville and I did a feature for a German rock magazine. We ended up just slamming beers, making fun of the photographer and laughing about stupid shit. HIM are amazing musicians, and Ville is an amazing songwriter, lyricist, character and frontman. A good-looking son of a bitch, too. I’m truly sad to see a band like HIM go.”
Mikko Von Hertzen, Von Hertzen Brothers
“In J.R.R. Tolkien terms, if The Rasmus were to be described as the Hobbits, Lordi the Orcs and Nightwish the Elves of internationally acclaimed Finnish rock and metal, HIM would be Sauron and Gandalf combined.”
Thomas ‘Happy-Tom’ Seltzer, Turbonegro
“At a school cafeteria full of run-of-the-mill fistmagnet goth bands and namby-pamby metallers asking to get punched right on their pierced two-lips, Ville and the boys brought heart, soul and some fucking scorch to the buffet. Much love and respect from Turbo.”
Jyrki, The 69 Eyes
“For the last two decades, I’ve been having little rock ’n’ roll holidays all over the world by being a guest DJ at famous goth and rock clubs. My setlist has been heavily based on HIM and Hanoi Rocks. So, farewell HIM, enjoy your deliverance, and you’re welcome back anytime! I’ll keep the flag flying.”
Lee Dorrian, Rise Above Records/Ex-Cathedral
“I first met my good friend Mr Valo back in 1998! There were so many good times that we had, though most of them are, to be fair, totally blurred by the copious amounts of alcohol and whatever was consumed. We were invited to support HIM on their UK tour in 2004, which was a lot of laughs. I really don’t think some of their younger fans knew what was going on with a bunch of old rockers such as us ruining the night for them! But it was so cool to be asked and an honour to be involved. It’s very sad HIM are calling it a day; they are a really great band and some of the coolest guys I’ve ever known, who I’m proud to call my friends.”
You can read the world-exclusive final interview with HIM’s Ville Valo in the latest issue of Metal Hammer – on sale now. Buy it directly here (opens in new tab) or become a TeamRock+ member to read it right now.