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Ex-HIM frontman Ville Valo unveils new band and album

Former HIM frontman Ville Valo has unveiled his new band, Ville Valo & Agents – and they’re releasing a new single this month.

Ville has teamed up with Esa Pulliainen, guitarist with veteran Finnish band Agents, to record an album of songs by late Finnish rock’n’roll singer Rauli Badding Somerjoki. Their first single, a cover of Badding’s Orpolapsi Kiurun (‘Orphan Child Of The Skylark’) will be released digitally on September 21, with an album following in 2019.

“This story begins three years ago,” says Pulliainen, whose band played with Badding in the 80s. “Upon finding three demo cassettes in my drawer which had been sent to me by Badding back in the day, I knew I had to contact Ville right from the get-go. I was aware he knows his Badding inside out. I'm really happy that we were able to finalize this project. Badding meant for these songs to be recorded and even if it took us 30 years to make that happen, I feel I've kept my promise."

Badding is an iconic figure in Finnish music. Born in 1947, he released a string of solo albums in the 1970s and 80s, before dying of alcohol-related illness in 1987 at the age of 39.

HIM split up following a farewell tour in 2017. Ville told Metal Hammer last year that he was working on new solo material: “I have bits and bobs – I’m not sure if they’re good enough. But I like them. I think it’s gonna be more artsy. I’ve always loved Sonic Youth and I always loved Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana – those messy guitars.”