This is Ville Valo’s track by track guide to the new VV album Neon Noir

in the new issue of Metal Hammer
(Image credit: Future)

Ville Valo on the cover of the new issue of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future)

Former Him frontman Ville Valo is on the cover of the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, talking about the release of his upcoming debut solo album, Neon Noir, released under the name VV.

“Music and art is essential for my wellbeing,” he tells us. “It’s the air that I breathe – it’s natural for me, but at times I’ve felt like a human among the lizard people, an infiltrator from another galaxy. The only thing I can do is the thing I can do.”

That “thing” has resulted in the 12 swooning, gothic tracks that make up the new album. We asked Ville to talk us through each song to get to the heart(agram) of Neon Noir.

Metal Hammer line break

Echolocate Your Love

Ville: “I was enjoying a documentary on the navigational skills of bats and imagined their nocturnal courting calls bouncing eerily between the walls of the abyss in a gothic ping pong-fashion. To make sure I was communicating this musical vision clearly, I included a cowbell in the middle eight, just because whenever one can, one should.”


Run Away From The Sun

Ville: “The light at the end of the tunnel can sometimes shine so bright it’s scary, and my running-away skills have been highly developed over the years by sweeping most of my issues under the carpet. There are also a few church bell samples ringing among all the 80s-inspired synth sequences, only to make sure the ever-fickle balance between good and evil doesn’t err on the side of Skywalker.” 


Neon Noir

Ville: “A cheerful memento mori if there ever was one, and my first guitar solo on record. The working title was ‘Vangelis Halen’ and I think I managed to get fairly close in marrying the claustrophobic beauty of Blade Runner with the reckless abandon of VH, in a sort of funeral-car-crash-in-slow-motion-type setting.”


Loveletting

Ville: “An ode to the setting sun and a tale of dancing on the razor’s edge between holding on and letting go. A moribundle of joy in a patchouli garden, with handclaps.”


The Foreverlost

Ville: “The Finnish tourism board should definitely include ‘Nyctophile Shangri-La’ as a tagline promoting Finland from now on instead of the worn-out Santanic slogans of yore. A menace-à-trois between Andrew Eldritch, Jaz Coleman and Peter Hook.”


Baby Lacrimarium

Ville: “Quite a traditional love song written by someone who takes the Poe in poetry a wee bit too seriously. A study on blocked tear ducts and The Cure.”


Salute The Sanguine

Ville: “None of the ways out are easy, so taking the road less travelled is always the preferred method. ‘If I could only say the same about the music,’ mutters the little Devil on my shoulder.”


In Trenodia

Ville: “A world-building exercise at its bleakest, ‘Trenodia’ representing a highly modified utopia lit by every shade of blue, with a suitably melancholy soundtrack played at the wrong speed.”


Heartful Of Ghosts

Ville:Heartful Of Ghosts is essentially a heart-wrenching tale of paranormal love and supernatural betrayal. Sonically, this lies somewhere between a lava lamp and acupuncture… with fangs.”


Saturnine Saturnalia 

Ville:Saturnine Saturnalia is romantic doom and gloom at its very finest, and probably the most Sabbathian moment there is on the album. I dug out my Excalibur – the deranged fuzz pedal and vintage army flask-combo that Mige of Him built me many a moon ago – and tended to my tinnitus with gusto.” 


Zener Solitaire 

Ville: “Imagine if this was Phil Spector’s ghost reinterpreting Goblin’s soundtrack for Dario Argento’s movie Suspiria in glorious lo-fi.” 


Vertigo Eyes

Ville: “When you meet someone whose eyes are as hypnotic as watching the Vertigo logo spinning on your turntable, you’re either in love or your drink has been spiked. This is a nod to the ghosts of the past, present and future, and a suitably hallucinatory way to end the record.”

Read the full interview with Ville Valo in this month’s Metal Hammer. Buy it online now (opens in new tab) and have it delivered straight to your door.

Ville Valo on the cover of the new issue of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future)
Metal Hammer

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